Essential Secrets 89: Tune Our Your Friends and Family
Tune Out Your Friends and Family
Staying on the Path to Success
Musicians often receive critical comments from family, friends, and roommates. These people always mean well. Unless they are musicians themselves, however, they have little understanding of what makes a successful practice session.
To the untrained ear, hearing a bassist work on a specific skill in no way resembles what music “should” sound like. Long tones and loops, for instance, are important parts of practicing. However, someone hearing you practice these for minutes at a time may think you have lost your mind.
Unintentional criticism from friends and family is often in the form of questions. They may ask, "Why are you playing that one thing over and over? Can't you just play real music?" Or, they may say, “Is that the way it’s supposed to sound? I’ve heard that song before. Shouldn’t it be faster?” Their questions reveal that they do not understand the difference between practicing and performing.
There is a good reason why non-musicians are confused by your practice sessions. They assume that the process of learning the bass must be just like the process of performing. Few people think about the many hours of practicing and rehearsing that take place before the finished product is complete. For the non-performer music is just another form of entertainment, and the expertise and work needed for the performance is either hidden or simply uninteresting.
Don’t blame non-musicians for their bewildering comments about your practicing. You can only shrug off their questions. If you must respond, tell your family members that you’re doing exercises that will make you better and stronger. Let them know that the exercises you are doing are just as important as the exercises done by athletes to prepare for competition.
Don’t let the words of other people get you down and slow your progress. Dismiss their comments, return to your bass, and keep working.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET