Essential Secrets 21: Understand the 80/20 Rule
Understand the 80/20 Rule
Putting In the Time on What Matters
The 80/20 Rule (also known as Pareto’s Principle) says that much of life is distributed unequally. It turns out that, give or take a few points, 20% of people make 80% of the money, 20% of criminals commit 80% of the crimes, and 20% of professional actors get 80% of the roles.
When the 80/20 Rule is applied to bassists, it gives you two guidelines for organizing your practicing:
1. You make 80% of your progress from 20% of your work.
2. 20% of your music needs 80% of your practice time.
A small portion of your work and time in the practice room is giving you the biggest payoff. Generally speaking, this is the highly focused, slow practicing you use to tackle the Tough Stuff and to learn new techniques. The Tough Stuff is the 20% of your music that needs 80% of your attention. The rest of your practice time, while important, is mostly review and playing things you already know how to play.
The upshot of the 80/20 rule is this: You need to spend most of your practice time learning new material, figuring out new techniques, and making sure you’re building the muscle memory needed for your next performance. Only a small portion of your time should cover review material or playing your favorite songs.
This is exactly the opposite of the way most bassists practice! Do you suffer from spending most of your practice time playing your favorite grooves? If so, you’re wasting your precious (and limited) practice time. It might be time to re-organize your use of time in the practice room.
By understanding the 80/20 Rule, you’ll get more done in less time. That should be your goal every time you play the bass.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET