Essential Secrets 34: Repeat Your Initial Success
Repeat Your Initial Success
Using Repetitions to Strengthen Your Playing
After working diligently on a specific technique or a section of a song, you’ll taste success for the first time. You’ll suddenly be able to play everything correctly! This is definitely cause for celebration and one of the most rewarding experiences of playing the bass guitar.
At that point, you need to make sure the difficult notes are permanently under your control. Can you play them again successfully? Don’t stop working after getting something right only once. You’re not yet ready to move on.
Instead, it’s time to repeat the music in question over and over. The minimum number of repetitions to do is three. The first time you played it successfully might have been a fluke. Getting it right twice shows that the first time was real. Playing correctly a third time proves you know it.
Successful musicians employ two repetition strategies:
1. Play a specific number of repetitions. You’ll play the music five or ten times in a row. The ultimate goal is to get them all right. But, shoot for four out of five (or nine out of ten) being correct. If you’re unsuccessful playing these repetitions, slow down and keep practicing.
2. Play repetitions for a certain amount of time. Put on your timer for three or four minutes and play as many repetitions as you can in that amount of time.
If you move on to other material the first time you play something correctly, you’ll have to come back tomorrow and learn it all over again. Repetitions cement the music into your muscle memory and save you a lot of practice time.
Remember this anonymous quote: “Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” Even if you’re not a professional bassist, you’ll benefit from using the practice secrets of the pros.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET