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Essential Secrets 31: Tackle the Tough Stuff

29 August 2017

Essential Secrets


Compliments of performance coach/bassist David Motto

DAVID MOTTO

Secret 31:
Tackle the Tough Stuff

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Mastering Difficult Material

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In every piece of music, there is inevitably one section that seems unplayable. It’s either too high or too fast, or it just seems too hard. Sometimes there are many of these sections. Throughout this book, this difficult material will be called “Tough Stuff.”

The Tough Stuff is important because it reminds you of the main purpose of practicing the bass: learning material you cannot play right now so you can master it and perform it successfully later. As much as you might want to go over everything you already do well in the limited amount of time you have for practicing, you need to build new skills. Sure, playing what you know is fun and comfortable, but new skills will only be obtained by mastering the Tough Stuff.

How can the Tough Stuff impact your bass playing? Essentially, you must rethink your use of practice time and make the Tough Stuff the primary focus of your practicing. More than half of your practice time should be spent mastering the new and difficult.

Most bassists avoid the Tough Stuff by using the “Top to Bottom” method of practicing. This practice method works like this: You play through entire songs, starting at the top, making some mistakes along the way, and finishing at the very end. You do this over and over, no matter how bad you sound. Top to Bottom practicing stops you from mastering anything and is an unsuccessful practice method. With this method, you’ll never figure out what is causing your difficulties, and you’ll never learn your music thoroughly.

Focusing on the Tough Stuff will improve your bass technique, give you confidence, and help your performances. Instead of practicing what is comfortable or fumbling your way through whole songs, give yourself a new goal: Turn what you can’t do into what you can do. This is the best use of your time.



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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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.

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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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