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Essential Secrets 26: Slow It Down

25 May 2017

Essential Secrets


Compliments of performance coach/bassist David Motto

DAVID MOTTO

Secret 26:
Slow It Down

--

The Magic of Muscle Memory

--

Here’s something most bassists never think about: Whenever you play, your muscles create every sound that comes out of your instrument. If your muscles don’t perform perfectly, you get wrong notes, imprecise rhythms, and poor tone. But, you can’t consciously think about the movements your muscles make. Your thoughts need to be on more important things. So, your muscles must be able to do their job without receiving conscious commands from your brain.

The good news is that your muscles have a memory system of their own. Muscle memory lets you execute precise sequences of actions automatically. When the muscles learn a musical passage correctly, you will perform that music without thinking about it.

One thing is clear though. Don’t teach your muscles mistakes.

If the muscles learn some music incorrectly, they will make mistakes each time you attempt the sequence. You’ll play your bass wrong—automatically! This is the single, biggest mistake made by musicians.

There’s only one way to be certain you’ll play everything accurately: Slow down! You must practice slowly enough that you have total control of your muscles, fingers, and the fretboard. This means you will need to play very slowly when you’re first getting acquainted with a song. At an excruciatingly slow speed, you can correct any mistake before it even happens.

You might think that playing slowly will be too time-consuming. Actually, this trick will save you enormous amounts of time. By staying in control of your music, you’ll eliminate the endless cycle of struggling with a riff and getting it wrong over and over again.

Slowing down is a well-kept secret of the world’s best musicians. It could be the most important piece of advice you’ll ever receive about learning to play the bass. Use this strategy, and you’ll completely change how much you get done when you’re practicing.



Books by David Motto:



THE TEN MINUTE BASS VIRTUOSO
THE TEN MINUTE
BASS VIRTUOSO
-EBOOK/PDF-
ESSENTIAL SIGHTREADING STUDIES FOR ELECTRIC BASS -- COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET
ESSENTIAL
SIGHTREADING STUDIES
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET

-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-



BASS IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

SLAP IT!
SLAP IT!
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

ESSENTIAL SIGHTREADING STUDIES FOR BASS, 3 Vol. set
ESSENTIAL
SIGHTREADING
STUDIES FOR BASS
3-VOLUME SET
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-
These three books from David Motto make up one of the great sightreading resources of all time. Available singly or as a set, in print or ebook form, with accompanying audio.

GETTING STARTED

Just learning your way around the bass? We'll start you right.

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PLAY BASS TODAY
PLAY BASS TODAY
Teach yourself to play bass guitar at your own pace. Includes CD with instruction and backing tracks.

BEGINNING ELECTRIC BASS
BEGINNING
ELECTRIC BASS
Part one of a three-part series, this book introduces music theory, scales and chords. Learn to build cool bass lines.

Click here to see all our Beginners titles.

JOSQUIN DES PRES

JOSQUIN DES PRES
Bass player, record producer, songwriter, and TV composer Josquin Des Pres has also found time to write many instructive books for bass. His work includes everything from funk and hip hop and R&B to classical music, sight reading, fretless and even music-career advice.

Click here to see all Josquin's books.

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