I want to get a bit more serious about my playing and start building a structured practice regime so I don’t just noodle about with things I am comfortable with.
Anyone care to share their practice routines?
I am interested as well. I am near the end of the course and I want to start a structured and regimented practice routine. Maybe our trusty bass teacher @JoshFossgreen can give us a few suggestions.
This is a noble resolution indeed… it usually goes “bad” for me because I just lack the discipline and go off and “practice” whatever I feel like in the present moment…
But, if you want to establish a routine, the experts advice to include several elements, all of them should be practiced daily, if only for a little while each:
- fretboard knowledge and application (scales, arpeggios, …)
- playing with a metronome or a drum track to practice time and groove
- technique (e.g., alternate plucking, string crossing, articulation, slapping, …)
- play alongs, covers, maybe even trying to transcribe a riff, bass line, solo, etc
- specialized study of whatever genre/sub-genre you most like (e.g., blues progressions and bass lines etc.)
Some of these are way more fun than others, which is really the big challenge here
Good luck! Keep us posted!!
I like to mix a little fun, a little learning, and a little work into every practice session.
-By fun, I mean playing a bunch of stuff that I know by rote such as a few cool riffs that I’ve developed, some covers that I’ve been working on, different scales, etc. This has a couple of benefits: First, it gets me and my fingers warmed up and ready to do some real work. Secondly, it reaffirms my confidence that I really do know how to play bass, but just need to improve.
-Study is exactly what it implies. Watching videos, reading lesson materials from the bass classes that I’m currently taking; and implementing them on the bass as I study.
-Work involves improving what I know and practicing new things. Playing at a faster tempo for example, improvising, learning new basslines, reading sheet music and playing it without looking at the neck, etc.
Then I study some more before bed. Amazingly, things you learn right before sleeping have a way of sinking deeply into your brain. I won’t pretend to know the reason why, but it works for me. The next day the things that I studied before bed seem to come easier.
I hope this helps. It’s my way, but may not be the best way for everyone.
I’ve found that practice in the abstract can be very difficult to remember and motivate for. Application based practice (aka: panic induced practice) can be very effective!
This happens naturally when there’s a gig or a recording session and other people need me to learn new challenging things.
In this world of no gigs and work, it’s challenging. So! Make up challenges, and make yourself record / perform them! That’s what I’ve been doing.
It helps me because it gives me a deadline (self created) and an audience (the panic / don’t-fail-in-front-of-audience scare factor), a rewards system (a clear completion, and potential for feedback), and a clear goal of what needs to be worked on (whatever the challenges are for the piece).
I’ve been working on remote collaborations with musician friends, which brings a host of challenges I need to work on.
My practice time consists of working on material designed to inform the performances.
Not sure if this speaks to anyone else out there, but I find I really really need a deadline and an application in order to be devoted to the practice time!
I always work better when I have a scary goal.
This is why I am going to try and do a daily progress video on me learning the chicken. I want to show some sort of improvement each day or I am going to look foolish.
Edit: Got it. I just saw your other post.
I still don’t understand
Edit: now I got it LoL!!!
Killer. yes, me too. Looking forward to the vids!
This is good advice, and I’m learning it. I noticed that the only real growth with practicing I’ve had in the last 4 months or so has been when I sort of “had” to do something. Learn a song with new bandmates, that was a big one, put the pedal to the metal so to speak!
But then I would get really f#@k!ing lazy with practicing on my own. My bass would just sit there, sometimes a week or longer. No discipline or care to even pick it up. No regrets, just an observation. Felt like I learned a lot in social contexts, which is helpful. But now, need to go back, and actually even un-learn some of the bad technique I started doing on the fly. And what better time than when we can’t be around others physically for awhile, haha!