Essential Secrets 40: Expand Your Concentration
Expand Your Concentration
Being Aware of Every Detail of Your Playing
Achieving an elevated level of concentration while you practice is essential to your success as a bassist. When you are incredibly attentive, you learn more quickly, remember more, and play better than ever.
One area of concentration is simple: Making sure you’re actually doing what you’re supposed to be doing. If today’s goal is learning the third section of your song, then you must concentrate on that third section. Tear it apart note by note. Go slowly and work out all the details. Don’t worry about how this section fits in with the rest of the song. Just put your time and efforts where they are truly needed.
A second aspect of concentration is more subtle: Developing a heightened sense of awareness while you’re playing. When practicing, all your thoughts and energies must be focused on how you sound. Distractions cannot affect you. Non-musical thoughts cannot enter your mind. It’s as if you’re looking through a microscope. The rest of the world disappears, and you’re only aware of what’s immediately in front of you.
Use these tricks to increase your level of concentration:
· Before you play anything, tell yourself exactly what you’re trying to accomplish.
· Listen for more than just the correct notes by paying attention to your dynamics, articulations, tone, and tempo.
· Be aware of how you feel as you play so that no tension builds up anywhere in your body.
· Schedule a start time and an end time for your practice session. During this time promise yourself you won’t think about anything else in your life. You’ll be fully committed to your music.
By being highly sensitive to how you sound, you can accomplish what you want when you play the bass. Instead of doing full run-throughs on auto-pilot—and feeling like you’re getting nowhere—you’ll concentrate on every detail and propel your playing to new heights.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET