Essential Secrets 4: Practice Without Your Bass
Practice Without Your Bass
How to visualize success
Every bass teacher has heard this from students: "Oh, I couldn't practice. It was such a busy week. I was doing homework, stuck in traffic, running errands, on the subway, watching the kids, sick in bed, out of town." Sound familiar? Maybe you’ve said these things yourself.
You are busy. Practicing can take a back seat to everything else. Luckily, there’s a solution: Practice without your bass. This advice isn’t crazy. It’s one of the most powerful practice strategies around.
Even away from your instrument, you can visualize the process of playing. You can hear difficult sections being played perfectly. You can move your fingers as if they’re on the fretboard.
Visualization is done by Olympic athletes, Oscar-winning actors, successful businesspeople, and international diplomats. Every bassist should have this technique in their arsenal of practice tricks. Once you’re used to the idea, you’ll see how amazing it is.
These are specific suggestions for practicing without your bass:
· Listen to recordings of the music you’re learning.
· Read through your sheet music. Plan your phrasing, dynamics, fingering, and technical details.
· Hear the music in your head and count out difficult rhythms.
· Do a mental run-through of a song or an exercise, focusing on feeling positive and in command.
Don’t make excuses. You can practice without your bass at any time. You won't disturb your roommates, neighbors, or family. You won’t damage your muscles or succumb to overuse injuries. You’ll get an extraordinary amount of practicing done without even knowing where your instrument is. And, when you return to actually playing your bass, you’ll notice the progress you’ve made.
If you’re playing electric bass for ten minutes a day, adding this technique will let you double or triple your total practice time. This may be the ultimate time-saving practice secret.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET