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What's your practice routine?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by cafepurgatory, Jul 3, 2001.

  1. How do you structure your practice sessions?

    In the few lessons I've managed to take, I keep asking the instructor about how and what to practice and all he says is "Hey try this slap lick!" I've heard so many times that bad practice can be worse than no practice, so what makes GOOD practice?

    As for the bass teacher and his slap licks, slap is all well and good. It's a technique I plan to work on, I'm just not to the point that I believe I'm ready to focus on it yet. First, I'd like to learn some theory so that I know what to slap within a given progression.
  2. sounds like you're not learning sound fundamentals with your teacher.. try posting this question in the Jeff Berlin column and see what he has to say about your teacher's slap licks.. not that teaching slap licks is a bad thing, but you're not learning how to be free on your instrument.
  3. I'm not sure if I'm practising, or just playing, but either way it's fun. I do a few things. Sometimes I'll play along with my mp3s. Sometimes, I'll just make a up a chord progression and improvise around it. And sometimes I'll play a song from memory. It seems to work for me, it's fun at least.
  4. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    First off, my practice time is always scheduled in advance. I never schedule a thorough practice the same day of, I will just find too many reasons not to be able to do it.

    Another thing is no distractions. Cell phone and home phone off, polite yet stern note on door, no television, etc.

    I start with a warm up. It could be one of a couple of things:

    - Drills: chromatics, scales in thirds, scales in alternating flatted 5ths, sharp 5ths, etc.

    - Ear training: Since I play fretless, I'll play to a tuner, then lose the tuner, and play the same pattern with open string references, then bring back the tuner to see if I'm still on target.

    - Scales and arpeggios: Playing scales/arpeggios in different positions, focusing on the hardest for me, (i.e. with open strings, two positions past octave.

    Then I work on 2 -3 jazz tunes. I try and pick two different tunes, (i.e. one modal versus one with lots of ii-V-Is)

    Then I'll sight read for 30 minutes. Etudes, Bach Cello Suites, miscellaneous.

    If I still have time, I'll learn some popular music for my cover band.

    I do try and end with more of my warm-up drills. Chromatic drills, ear training, something like that.
  5. What i do every time :

    - Tune my bass ( D'oh ! )
    - Wipe strings with cloth after playing.
    - Intonation every Sunday :)

    usually i just play scales for 5 mins. or something and then i play all of our songs in a row, takes about 40 mins...
    then i start working on new stuff till i'm tired, sweaty and fed up..

  6. I shouldnt even mention this, but I first tune my bass.
    I then practice scales and arpeggios for about 30 mins to an hour. I do all my major diatonic and minor pentatonic modes in every natural key. At least twice.
    I then just listen to my cd's and and develop my ear by figuring out the tunes.
    Finally I just noodle around and just play stuff Ive come up withor practice different techniques until I get tired or bored.
  7. Tyler Dupont

    Tyler Dupont Wesly Headpush

    I usually pick up the bass and either play along with mp3's or cd's ... or I fire up PC Drummer and jam along with a beat for hours on end working on various techniques.. whatever I find interesting at the time.
  8. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    Depends on what i´m in the mood for:

    sometimes I:
    -play along mp3/cds of some tunes i like
    -play along mp3 of covers we do in my band
    -get a book about slap or scales and practice some
    -go to activebass.com and see some of the lessons and play along (i try some blues riffs, classical tunes, etc.)
    -play totally improvisated stuff along some of my Propelleheads / Roni size / Liam Howlett / etc. because they have great tecno drum patterns with some bass.

  9. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    You know, I didn't mention tuning, because I just assumed that that was a gimme.
  10. Could you give me an example of this? I'm not sure I follow you on that one.
  11. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I should clarify, I meant chromatic scales:


    And so on, up the neck.
  12. The first thing I do is check my tuning. It's normally in tune:)

    Then, I'll warm my hand up. Start off with some simple livks, then move onto stretching stuff, like the 'Disco Inferno' riff, or some various walking blues made from some arpeggios. Then, I'll run through my scales, Major, Minor, Pentatonic Major, Pentatonic Minor, Blues. Then, the triads w/ octaves. Then, depending on how I'm feeling, maybe a tune or two off a site. Then I'll noodle around, or take one of my guitarist's tunes and rhythmically variate it, or if it's a chord progression work on a few different rhythms and positions for it. Try and get the song to feel like we want it.

    Also, I would normally learn a new scale, pattern and construction rules, but I stopped for a while. I learned a few scales at once, and I lost them cos I wasn't frilling them enough. Now, I'm getting those scales down, in every key. I still have to start my modes, but I'm not dreading it that much. I'll just start with Aeolians, as they relate with CMaj and stuff.

    The best thing I did for myself was get a syllabus for an examining body on bass guitar. I'm working through it and the accompanying workbook, learning the stuff appropriate to the grades. When I sat down, I was walready Grade 1 standard. I'm upto around Grade 3 now, but the pitch testing and notation tests on Grade 2 are quite hard.

    The easiest thing is the section on the actual bass guitar, pickups, anatomy etc. I'm Grade 8 of 8 at that:)
  13. Where might one find this?
  14. Well, I'm in England, so mine is adjudicated by the Registry Of Guitar Tutors.. They're the only establishment that examine on bass guitar specifically in the UK.

    I would imagine that there is some kind of college/examination board in the States(which you would be eligible for, seeing as you live in good ol' Hawaii).

    Alternatively, the Registry could send you a syllabus, but you could not be examined on the Grades as you have to be assessed in person by an examiner. Give the Registry a call on:

    (+44) 020 8665 7666

    and see if they can send you the syllabus. They're usually free...


    Hope that helped.

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