Essential Secrets 19: Be Your Own Teacher
Be Your Own Teacher
Acting Like a Coach and Cheerleader
Being your own teacher is not about replacing your bass teacher. It is about taking on the teacher persona during your practice sessions. Playing this role means you must think like your bass teacher. This means quickly but carefully analyzing what you are doing and how you sound. You must be an objective observer, giving yourself guidance on how to improve.
Why is it so important for bassists to take on the role of teacher while they’re practicing? The main reason is the nature of learning music itself. Musicians are left on their own for six days between weekly lessons with no teacher in sight. What happens on these six days? The answer to that question is determined by what occurs in the practice room—where you’re alone and need to make substantial improvement.
Think about everything your bass teacher does for you during your lesson. As your personal coach, your teacher is responsible for solving technical issues, creating exercises, showing you the best fingerings, introducing you to new music, and giving general advice. As your personal cheerleader, your teacher gives you words of encouragement, convinces you that you’re on the road to success, and inspires you to play at higher levels than you thought possible.
Both of these roles are important during your lesson, and they are equally as important during your practice sessions. There’s just one problem: your bass teacher isn’t there for your practice sessions!
To improve quickly you need to be your own teacher. When you’re practicing, take on the roles of objective coach (accurately observing your playing and figuring out ways to improve) and energetic cheerleader (keeping your enthusiasm and desire for improvement high) to keep you moving toward your goals.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET