One of my other hobbies is studying and reading about deliberate practice and skills acquisition. I’ve been lucky to have had quite a long history of learning about disparate things. My introduction to deliberate practice came with UIT pistol shooting. A very experienced international shooting coach was a member of my club and he offered to coach me and two other pistol shooters.
Having shot most of my life in one thing or another, I was a pretty good shot.
Regardless of that, there were plenty of other people in the club who were significantly better. I couldn’t figure it out, but I was 20 and had a job in the military and disposable income. I spent my weekends at the range and shot until I was knee deep in brass.
I wasn’t getting any better.
Undertaking being coached was a revelation. We broke every single sequence of taking a shot into the smallest component and practiced that intensely and while paying great attention to doing it perfectly.
We practiced walking up to the shooting line and taking the same stance.
We practiced placing the pistol in our hands to put it in the exact same place.
We practiced doing nothing but lifting our pistols from 45 degrees to the shooting position and picking up the aligned sights during the lift, so that they were aligned when they stopped.
We practiced squeezing the trigger while the sights were lined up perfectly, so as not to disturb them.
You name it, we did it in small sections and practiced it in multiple repetitions. 15 to 20 minutes each, before moving on to other small parts.
It slowly built a finely honed technique of foundation layers of skill. Each core skill supported the entire shot cycle.
Within three months of this, my performance took off. The Olympics in 1996 all of sudden became an actual reality. I was occasionally performing WAY beyond what I thought I’d ever be capable of and that’s what eventually derailed it all.
This is the power of deliberate practice. I just didn’t know I was doing it.
Later on, I started learning about K Anders Ericcson’s studies into skill acquisition and deliberate practice. You’ll often hear the “10,000 hours to master something” spoken of.
That’s a mistaken quote by Malcolm Gladwell about Ericcson’s research. Much as I like Malcolm, he really screwed it on this one. I own pretty much all of Ericcson’s published work and have read through it all. It’s about 6 inches thick.
If you take 10 experts who all have 10000 hours of training, you might think that the training time might make them experts.
However, what you need to do is get everyone who has had 10,000 hours of training and see if they’re all experts.
This will lead to a different result. After all, some of you have been writing for decades so you’re all writing calligraphy level for everything. Many of you will have been driving a car for decades too, so you’ll all be champions. You’ve all been talking for multiple years, so you’re all debating champions, public speakers etc.
My favourite example was a guy at my archery club who had an unsafe high draw and when we mentioned it, he said that he’d been shooting that way for 20 years. I pointed out that as the current women’s world champion had been shooting for five and he hadn’t been mens world champion for 20, maybe he could handle some instruction?
Anyway, if you go back to the very early aspects of Josh’s introduction to his course, before you even get on it, I think, he mentions that they utilise the techniques of deliberate practice.
So I have been monitoring how that has been going.
In terms of foundation skill laying, I haven’t seen anything as well structured as the BassBuzz course. Fender Play is also very good, but moves way too slowly for me. Studybass is great, but is short on content. Ariane Cap’s Music Theory for Bass Players looks great to go on to next, NOW that I’ve done half of BassBuzz and have a solid foundation of what many others have assumed I know.
The “Curse of Knowledge” afflicts many online tutors (and people in general)
Scott’s Bass Lessons appear to be aimed at someone who isn’t a rank beginner. I have other friends who have played in bands and they love his lessons.
I quite like the things he points out in free five minute videos.
I just wouldn’t send anyone who started where I did with no idea to anywhere other than here unless it was Fender Play for three or four months so that they absolutely decided that bass was for them.
Then I’d encourage them to invest in quality instruction and come here for excellent foundation knowledge and actual dedicated practice.