Your favorite practice tools?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by kesslari, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    What do you use to help you get more out of your practice?
    Metronome? Drum machine?
    How do you hear them? Do you use a mixer? Or ??
    Computer and software (like Band in a Box? or ??)
    Looping pedal?
    Albums and stereo?
    What gives you more bang for your thump?
    Favorites items? Things you'd recommend as "great value"?
  2. AlphaMale


    Oct 30, 2006
    Ventura County
    Honestly, I practice mostly with just an amp.
    Well Actually only about 20% of the time I even use an amp.
    Other musicians are a good practice tool.
  3. I load up Pandora and get setup a station for the kind of music I feel like playing, then just jam.
  4. nickbear


    Jun 12, 2007
    surrey, uk
    metronome, theory books, cds, other musicians... other musicians being number 1
  5. WayneS


    Apr 9, 2007
    a bass and an amp
  6. :( Still waiting for Santa to bring me the Tascam Mp3 bass trainer. 'Apparantly' has effects, a drum machine built in, slows tracks down by 50%, loops etc.
    On occassion I imagine I'll still be using a small practice amp at home but I think this will be a great tool.

    (stop press.....BIZZARE!:eek:... as I'm typing this, the mailman has just rang the doorbell (honest) with a package for me.....?)
  7. EADG mx

    EADG mx

    Jul 4, 2005
    my favourite is other musicians

    other than that, I like internet resources and books

    I hate using a metronome but I know how beneficial it is so I deal with it
  8. Pete C

    Pete C

    Feb 23, 2007
    New York
    Random scraps of sheet music, my tascam bass trainer and riff doodling with my amp.
  9. Tascam bass trainer I travel a lot so i use it as an mp3 player i can slow the song down and listen to the bass and get the tabs or music at my destination
    Though I Don't know if it has a drum track on it
  10. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Metronome or other time keeper
    recording device - listen to yourself, it adds a different perspective
    slow down software to help with transcribing (great slowdowner MAC, Slow Gold for PC)
    Some great recordings
    Some great transcriptions
    Great lighting
    nice surroundings

    I can burn many hours
  11. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    Metronome, staff paper, music, and you should always try to practice electric with an amp.
  12. deekay911


    Nov 4, 2007
    Charleston SC
    Alesis SR-16 drum machine, Tascam MP-BT trainer and Spirit Portfolio mixer so I can play it all through my rig.
  13. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Thanks for the input.

    Other musicians - LOL! That's a different category of practice, and enters whole other areas of playing and dynamics. Unquestionably one of the best ways to improve your playing, but a whole different thing. 'nuff said there.

    I guess I should have said "solo practice" tools :D

    Alesis SR16 - wow, I'm amazed those are still being used. I had one back in the late 80's or so.
    Ah, just googled it, it's a whole new skin on that cat.
  14. Weekly Jam - "With People"
  15. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    My metronome, stereo, and desire to keep exploring.
  16. the_fonz


    Nov 27, 2006
    Kane, PA
    i use my little brother
    he's constantly drumming
    so i just plug in and play along to waht he's doing
  17. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    You perform like you practice, so I stand up with my amp turned on and play along with a CD or radio. Unless I'm just running scales, memorizing patterns, then I can be sitting without amplification.
  18. Right now a good jazz fake book is my number one practice tool. I use it in a bunch of ways:

    1. sight-reading (I use treble clef and bass clef versions)
    2. walking bass lines
    3. soloing concepts
    4. Theory
    a)analysis (form, key centers, etc...)
    b)playing different chord tones instead of roots - ie: the 3rds of every chord, or 5ths or 7ths (sometimes extensions too!)
    c) voiceleading guide tones
    5. Ear training
    a) sing melody while playing a bass line
    b) sing the arpeggios of the changes
    c) sing an improvised solo while playing a bass line

    I'm finding that by focusing most of my attention on a fake book like this, I'm expanding my repertoire and increasing my understanding of the jazz language. I also find it helpful to listen to whatever examples I can of the tunes I work on.
  19. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Boss DB-88, or just a regular metronome
    Tascam CD Bass Trainer
    Line6 POD and my Shure in-ears
    or sometimes I just jam along with CDs or the radio... I especially like to jam around with stuff I wouldn't normally listen to

    I also like for sight-reading exercises, ear training, etc

    Of course, my favorite practice "tools" are my bandmates :) We live together and have a practice set-up with a Roland TD-6SXT drum kit, a Line6 Bass POD xt Live, and a Line6 POD Pro. Everything runs into a Presonus Firepod and out to headphones. Right now we are recording to Zoom H2, but I'm getting a Mac Mini actually for free next week, so maybe we will begin recording to that. We'll see :)