Essential Secrets 33: Make Your Exercises Interesting
Make Your Exercises Interesting
How Smart Warm-ups Help You
You can end up playing exactly the same warm-up exercises day after day if you’re not careful. Not only will this be boring, but you’ll be missing an opportunity to maximize your use of time. When you always play the same warm-ups, you eventually stop paying attention. Bad habits and sloppy technique may even develop.
If you’re going to play bass for just a few minutes a day, make each precious minute count. Listen carefully to every detail of your sound from the very first note you play during warm-ups. To learn as much as possible in the limited time available, your warm-up routines need to be interesting and varied. Spice up your exercises with these techniques:
· Vary your articulations: Play separate and connected as well as long and short notes.
· Change your dynamics: Play every exercise quiet, medium, and loud— without changing any volume controls!
· Incorporate rhythms: Take a tricky rhythm from your song and slowly play a scale using this rhythm on each note of the scale.
· Alter tempos: Go through an exercise slowly, at a medium tempo, and at a fast speed.
· Experiment with your tone: From dark to bright, heavy to light, add tonal contrast to your exercises.
· Use keys wisely: (1) Run every exercise in all 12 keys. (2) Play scales or arpeggios in the same key as the song you’re working on.
· Conquer difficult licks: Play the most difficult lick from your song at an extremely slow speed as a warm-up. You’ll simultaneously be warming up and learning the very music you most want to avoid.
Each of these variations makes your exercises more interesting so they hold your attention, increase your concentration, and make the best use of your time. As an added bonus, incorporating all the music basics into your warm-ups can make even your exercises sound like a real song!
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET