Essential Secrets 2: Break It Down
Break It Down
Organizing music into small, digestible bites
Here’s the typical way bassists learn a song: Start at the beginning. Play to the end. Then, go back to the top and try again. This is an inefficient way to learn, and it eats up a lot of time.
Luckily, there’s a better way: Break your song into small sections and learn one section at a time. This approach has several advantages.
First, you’ll eliminate the mistakes that constantly force you to stop and restart as you plow through an entire song. By focusing on just a few notes, you can play accurately. Second, you’ll learn faster and memorize more easily. You’re more likely to remember what you played when you focus on a small amount of music. Third, you’ll learn every section of the song equally well, eliminating the all too common situation where the beginning of a song sounds great while the middle and ending are so-so.
Experts on the learning process say that your concentration is strongest at the beginning of a task and that you’ll be least focused about two-thirds of the way through. When you break a song into sections and learn each one separately, you’re creating many new beginnings throughout the song. You’ll be highly focused for every single section. This is hugely powerful!
The next time you play a song, don’t automatically play the beginning. Instead, choose the section that needs the most work and play that section exclusively. Skip every other part of the song. Not playing from start to finish might feel strange at first, but you’ll quickly see how much more you accomplish.
Breaking down music into sections is one of the most important success secrets for bassists. This one strategy alone will forever change how you learn bass lines and songs.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET