With this bass practice habit you 10x your practice effect.
Learn why and how!
So here’s a typical scenario. You’re practicing the first few measures of a tune and you’re doing great. Then you make a mistake, aargghhh, you go back, back up a little bit, fix it and move on. So, essentially you practice like this: play – make an error, aarggh – back up – fix it – keep going.
But here’s the danger, if you keep practicing like this you end up being able to only do it correctly once you did it wrong first. And you can end up in a really pesky loop: play – make an error – back up – fix it – keep going. Play – make an error, ugghh – back up – fix it – keep going. Play – make an error, ugghh – back up – fix it – keep going.
The only way you can play it correctly is if you make the error first. How can you avoid this scenario because eventually fixing that is very arduous? Avoid this loop in the first place. You do this as follows: first you analyze what the issue is. Typically, it’s one of these three reasons:
- There’s a note problem
- There is a rhythmic problem
- There is a technique problem.
If it’s a notes issue, slow it way down – no metronome for the stretch go as slow as you need to.Just find the right pitches.
While you’re at it, check if you’ve got good fingering because maybe there are different places where you can play the same note and it makes a little bit more sense to change that. If you know your theory because you read this book, you might also want to analyze what the context is, because that oftentimes gives you good clues as to what the fingering should be and where you should play it. By the way, make sure that you write down good fingerings.
Is it a rhythm issue?
Step 1: slow it down
Step 2: make sure you feel the subdivision
Step 3: find out what the rhythm is without the pitches
And you could bring in the metronome counting a lower subdivision.
Is it a technique issue? That’s a different video because there’s a lot that goes into good technique, but do remember what I said earlier about fingerings, because good fingerings will very much help you in your pursuit to play it smoothly.
To summarize: avoid falling into a loop of mistakes in the first place. It’s very hard to undo. You get there faster. Do not fall into a loop of mistakes.