What should I do to improve my practicing productivity?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by FleaisGod, Jun 18, 2000.

  1. FleaisGod

    FleaisGod Guest

    Jun 18, 2000
    Atlanta, GA
    I've been playing bass for about 5 months now, Go to lessons once a week, and am in a band. But when it comes to practicing, I just replay the same few songs or lines that I know over and over again. It's really hard for me to pick out the bass in songs that arent bass-driven, so i can't just listen to a song and start working on it. Does anyone have any suggestions that would make my practicing a bit more productive? Thanks in advance!

    - Woody
  2. Don't play stuff you know. That's not practicing. Play along to CDs -- learn tunes you've never done. Buy a book on reading and learn to read. Buy a trombone method book and play through it. Work on your meter. Learn some standards. Learn the heads to "A Train," "Wave," "Satin Doll," "Girl with Emphysema" and other tunes...

    good luck.

  3. in_exile


    Feb 14, 2000
    Go buy guitar magazines with bass lines in them. Once you get your ear then try CD mimic.

    <guitar friend's advice> If you want to write, don't concentrate on what you're playing. Get really into a movie at home and play bass. Or read a book and play.</guitar friend's advice>

  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    One great way to make better use of your practice time is to record yourself and then listen to it. That way you can focus on performing and leave the self-criticism for later.

    Will C. [​IMG]

    I'm not a genius. I'm just a hard working guy.

  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Practice with a metronome, drum machine or keyboard percussion and drum presets. Devise a chord progression and play along to the metronome or drum machine, following your chord progression. A twelve bar blues chord progression is an excellent frame work for such a drill.

    If you don't have a drum machine, Boss makes a Dr.Beat device that is a step up from a metronome, but no where near as expensive as a drum machine. It can be easily dialed to play triplets or other rhythmic figures. The beauty part on all these types of metronomes is that you can slow them down or speed them up and they help you with maintaining a lock with drums and help you with keeping time in your music.
    Jason Oldsted
  6. mr2112


    Mar 31, 2000
    Read and use everthing that was posted before mine...Now, the only thing that I can add is this.....Prepare yourself "mentally", that is important...no one wants to practice scales, and things like that, but, with any instrument, you have to look at how much better you can be once you master the fundamentals of playing!

    Maybe I didn't word this post correctly, but y'all know what I'm sayin'...right?

    "Everybody got mixed feelings...About the function and the form----
    Everybody got to 'elevate', from the norm." ----N.Peart

    ---Later, MR
  7. Drill! Drills are boring as hell but they can be obscenely productive. Get a metronome and do various drills at gradually increasing, then decreasing, tempos. This will help your time and teach you vital skills. Practice arpeggios, scales, fretting hand reach exercise, slapping/popping, etc. It sounds hopelessly boring but you can sit down with a headphone amp and your bass, turn on the TV and practice mindlessly while you are watching Jerry Springer, and before you know it you will be much more technically competent.

    Of coures, no amount of practice will make up for not being in a band. Go! Join!
  8. FleaisGod

    FleaisGod Guest

    Jun 18, 2000
    Atlanta, GA
    Hey all,

    Thanks guys! Since I originally posted this message, I have asked my bass teacher to stop teaching me songs every week that i brought in, and teach me music theory instead. So far I have; learned the major scale, can play a major,minor,or diminished chord out of every note on the fretboard (since I learned the fretboard); know the 5 patterns of the pentatonic scale, and am working on creating bass lines out of the modes, which is actually a helluva lot more exciting and rewarding than i thought previously.Of course im not an expert at all the above but im working on it. Oh, and this is all in only 3 or 4 lessons. I had no idea music theory could help this much. Ive tried to put almost all of the above(from your guys' posts) into a practice routine, and it all has helped bunches.
    Thanks all,


    p.s.- BTW, im already in a band, and we scored our first gig! it's at a skating rink, and we dont get paid, but hey! It's a gig nonethless!