Essential Secrets 90: Practice for Yourself
Practice for Yourself
Focusing on Internal Goals
Performers spend a lot of time trying to impress other people and win their approval. They worry about parents, spouses, friends, audiences, or colleagues and what these people think of their playing.
These external concerns interfere with your ability to perform naturally and at a peak level. Thinking about other people’s opinions of the success or failure of your next public appearance can lead to performance anxiety and disappointment.
Instead, try concentrating on the daily process of achieving your personal and technical goals. Directing attention to these internal goals is often referred to as practicing for yourself.
When you practice for yourself, don’t worry about the outside world. Instead, create a vision of playing the bass in your own, unique way. Use your gut instincts to propel you forward, even if it takes your music into realms other people don’t understand or appreciate. This is exactly what the most significant artists, musicians, and thinkers throughout history have done.
Being true to that vision gives practicing a level of excitement that is often missing. This sense of enthusiasm and personal enjoyment is the reason many bassists began playing in the first place!
Practicing for yourself means making a mental shift from external, performance-based goals to internal, mastery goals. This realignment of attention allows you to enjoy playing the bass more and to feel true to yourself.
And, even if you do eventually win the approval of others, you will only do so when you have accomplished your own goals first. That pursuit is definitely worth a few minutes of your time and effort every day.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET