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What should I be practicing?

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by fourstringbliss, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    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. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Banned

    Dec 11, 1999
    Practice should contain the following materials:

    1. Warm up

    2. A review of the previous days/weeks work.

    3. A continuation of the previous work (if you had been working on, for example, exercise 1 then move to exercise 2, etc)

    4. A bit of free play, improvise time.

    It is difficult to tell you exactly what to do, since I have not heard you play. Perhaps getting a teacher to give you some guidance or some good books to lead the way. Dino Monoxelos has a good, new book out "Essential Bass Styles" (or something like that). I like the Gary Willis books, although they tend to go from beginner to advanced really quickly. Ed Friedland's books are good a well.

    If you have specific questions, I might have more specific answers.

    For specific things in working on technique: first make sure your bass is set up well. It is a lot more important than many think. Work on both right hand and left hand "touch" - how light, how heavy - what is the range that I am able to get. Use this info to try and get a bit more facility and speed throughout your scales and church songs that you play. I have a lot of student who a church players. We often work on the particular songs that they are playing to create exercises.

  3. Listen to great the bassist albums out there as well. They'll inspire you and hype you up to practice. Mike's Big Droppin's is a good bassist album.
  4. oh jeezz...what I meant was, "listen to the great bassist albums out there." Well, not only that, just listen to what bassists of all sorts are doing.

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