Essential Secrets 13: Be Honest with Yourself
Be Honest with Yourself
Honesty really is the best policy
Practicing bass is about exploring your musical potential. Daily practicing leads to a sense of personal accomplishment and self-dedication, and it gets you ready to perform in public.
The only way to experience freedom when you perform is to be truly prepared. The only way to be truly prepared is to be honest with yourself as you figure out how to spend your finite amount of practice time.
Does the riff feel comfortable? Are you happy with your pitch, rhythm, tone, phrasing, and dynamics? If there is something that needs more work, admit it and focus on the needed improvements. Never skip the material that really needs your attention. To save time in the practice room, skip everything that you can already play well.
To work on honesty in the practice room, try this: the next time you find yourself saying, "That sounds pretty good" or "I think I'll be able to play that at the next rehearsal,” stop for a minute and decide what you really mean. If you are truly satisfied and really feel confident, then it’s okay to move on to something else.
However, if it doesn’t actually sound good enough, or if you’re not sure you’ll be successful at that rehearsal, give it another try. Your willingness to be honest and do more work could change a disastrous performance into a great performance.
There is a big difference between saying to yourself, “That’s good enough for today” when you truly mean it and saying exactly the same thing with a twinge inside that you can actually do better. If your gut instinct tells you the music isn’t good enough for today, then keep working.
Your honesty will improve your bass playing, and the truth shall set you free.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET