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What should I be practicing?

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by fourstringbliss, Nov 5, 2003.


  1. I have been playing bass for about a year now. I am not taking lessons anywhere, but I know the notes on the fretboard and I know my scales. I can play root notes and some walking type rhdythms in my church band. I am a finger picker. I only have about 20-30 minutes each day that I can practice and I want to improve my technique, speed, and accuracy. What should I be practicing?
     
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    if you've got 20-30 minutes to practice, you might want to find some exercises that allow you to 'multitask' - that is, work on technique issues while also picking up some new theory ideas.

    For playing in church, the most important area of your playing to develop is your ability to interpret chord charts in the common styles used in your church. Find a book that teaches you about the basics of chord construction - Major, Minor, etc, and shows you how they fit together within a specific key.

    Ed Friedland probably has a book that covers these issues, and from my experience with his other teaching materials, he's one of the best and clearest tuitional book writers around - check out www.edfriedland.com and see what's on offer.

    Remember to take it slow, work on your sound and the specifics of your timing as well as getting the notes in the right order, and try to contextualise any exercise as soon as possible within a 'real' musical example - find a song that incorporates that principle. If you can't find one anywhere, it may be that the exercise you're studying isn't that important right now. Lay it on one side and work on something you're going to use next Sunday morning... :)

    enjoy!

    Steve
    www.stevelawson.net
     
  3. Thanks a lot for the advice!