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Essential Secrets 28: Begin with the Basics

23 June 2017

Essential Secrets


Compliments of performance coach/bassist David Motto

DAVID MOTTO

Secret 28:
Begin with the Basics

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Mastering the Skills that Matter Most

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Let’s say you’ve been driving for many years. Even with all that experience and time behind the wheel, you still couldn’t compete in the Indianapolis 500. Professional drivers have mastered a set of specific, insider skills that you don’t know.

The same is true with music. What makes great bassists great is their focus on specific, technical skills that let them control tone, rhythm, dynamics, time, and the feel. The insiders in the music world know that real virtuosity comes from mastering these Basics of Music. It’s not about how many notes you can play per second.

You may want to skip the Basics when you play bass, concentrating instead only on the fun stuff, like learning a new song or playing something you already know. Here’s the problem with that approach: You need the Basics to learn new material in the first place!

Focus on the Basics during every practice session. You won’t want to cover this material after working on a fun piece of music, so start your practicing with Basics drills. The Basics will make you a better player and serve as your warm-ups.

These three items always work for your Basics routines:

1. Long Tones: Focus on tone production and controlling the start and finish of each note. Play long tones at every dynamic level, from the quietest you can play to the loudest you can play.

2. Scales and Arpeggios: Play in every key all over the fingerboard. Control your tone and focus on accuracy. Play quarter notes, eighth notes, triplets, and sixteenth notes with a metronome to improve your time.

3. Etudes: Work through the technical challenges of these exercises so you constantly expand your abilities.

Even if your Basics warm-up is only a couple minutes long, it will have a tremendous effect on the rest of your bass playing. Always begin with the Basics.



Books by David Motto:



THE TEN MINUTE BASS VIRTUOSO
THE TEN MINUTE
BASS VIRTUOSO
-EBOOK/PDF-
ESSENTIAL SIGHTREADING STUDIES FOR ELECTRIC BASS -- COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET
ESSENTIAL
SIGHTREADING STUDIES
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET

-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-



BASS IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

SLAP IT!
SLAP IT!
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

ESSENTIAL SIGHTREADING STUDIES FOR BASS, 3 Vol. set
ESSENTIAL
SIGHTREADING
STUDIES FOR BASS
3-VOLUME SET
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-
These three books from David Motto make up one of the great sightreading resources of all time. Available singly or as a set, in print or ebook form, with accompanying audio.

GETTING STARTED

Just learning your way around the bass? We'll start you right.

Click here to see all our Beginners titles.

PLAY BASS TODAY
PLAY BASS TODAY
Teach yourself to play bass guitar at your own pace. Includes CD with instruction and backing tracks.

BEGINNING ELECTRIC BASS
BEGINNING
ELECTRIC BASS
Part one of a three-part series, this book introduces music theory, scales and chords. Learn to build cool bass lines.

Click here to see all our Beginners titles.

JOSQUIN DES PRES

JOSQUIN DES PRES
Bass player, record producer, songwriter, and TV composer Josquin Des Pres has also found time to write many instructive books for bass. His work includes everything from funk and hip hop and R&B to classical music, sight reading, fretless and even music-career advice.

Click here to see all Josquin's books.

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