Essential Secrets 45: Overcome the Fear Factor
Overcome the Fear Factor
Gaining Confidence and Control
Many bassists are afraid to tackle music that seems impossible to play. This is the Fear Factor, and it’s very real. When fear rises up, your natural “fight or flight” response takes over. By avoiding difficult music (essentially a “flight” response), you avoid the fear. The only problem with this approach is you never learn your music!
The essential trick to overcome the Fear Factor is simple: Make any difficult section seem easier by eliminating the difficulty. So, when you’re dealing with crazy rhythms, big leaps, or notes that are too high or too fast, there are several specific and time-saving techniques for overcoming the Fear Factor:
· Play the notes extremely slowly or out of time altogether. This overcomes the fear of fast notes and lets you figure out the best fingering.
· Break up the music into short segments. Learning too much at once is daunting.
· Focus on only a few notes. It’s totally fine to learn just half a bar at a time.
· Play complicated rhythms slowly on a single pitch. Don’t worry about playing the right pitches while you learn a tough rhythm.
· Count every subdivision of every beat. Then, you will know the exact placement of each note.
· Play just two notes in a row. Loop them, going back and forth between the two notes. Expand to three notes. Then, four. Continue until you can play the whole section.
· When you can play a section correctly, play it slowly four or five times in a row to make sure you really know it.
You can overcome your fears and conquer your music. Don’t feel confused or inadequate when confronted with difficulties on the bass. Instead, try each of the techniques listed here. They will give you the confidence and control to master any music you want to play. Feeling in control gets rid of fear!
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET