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Essential Secrets 51: Use a Timer

28 June 2018

Essential Secrets


Compliments of performance coach/bassist David Motto

DAVID MOTTO

Secret 51:
Use a Timer

--

Freeing Yourself from Watching the Clock

--

Timers have a bad reputation with musicians. You may have visions of parents putting a timer on top of a piano and telling their young child to keep practicing until the timer goes off. This technique is a sure way to take the joy out of playing music.

One positive use of a timer is to decide exactly how long you want to practice and to set your timer when you start. Unlike the parent scenario above, you are making the decision to play the bass. It’s not being forced on you. This is a crucial difference. Setting a timer for the duration of your practice session does wonders for your concentration if you are very busy, easily distracted, or just unmotivated.

Another timer technique helps you develop the high level of focus needed to have major breakthroughs in your bass playing. Here’s how this technique works:

1. Pick one item to work on. This could be a single scale or exercise, a very specific section of a song, or something you’ve been avoiding. Choose just one item.

2. set your timer for a very short increment of time: 1 to 2 minutes, 3 minutes maximum.

3. Start the timer and begin playing. Work on that single item while the timer is running. Focus all your energies on the task at hand. When the timer goes off, stop playing your bass. You’re done with that item for today.

This use of a timer is actually profound. It has a surprising effect, allowing you to forget about the clock as you practice. Your mind will focus on the music because you won’t be distracted by how long you’ve been playing. (The timer is keeping track of time for you.)

You’ll feel like you’re in a race, trying to get as much done as possible before the buzzer goes off. Using a timer like this can get you in the “zone” faster than any other technique.



Books by David Motto:



THE TEN MINUTE BASS VIRTUOSO
THE TEN MINUTE
BASS VIRTUOSO
-EBOOK/PDF-
ESSENTIAL SIGHTREADING STUDIES FOR ELECTRIC BASS -- COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET
ESSENTIAL
SIGHTREADING STUDIES
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET

-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-



BASS IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

SLAP IT!
SLAP IT!
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

ESSENTIAL SIGHTREADING STUDIES FOR BASS, 3 Vol. set
ESSENTIAL
SIGHTREADING
STUDIES FOR BASS
3-VOLUME SET
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-
These three books from David Motto make up one of the great sightreading resources of all time. Available singly or as a set, in print or ebook form, with accompanying audio.

GETTING STARTED

Just learning your way around the bass? We'll start you right.

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PLAY BASS TODAY
PLAY BASS TODAY
Teach yourself to play bass guitar at your own pace. Includes CD with instruction and backing tracks.

BEGINNING ELECTRIC BASS
BEGINNING
ELECTRIC BASS
Part one of a three-part series, this book introduces music theory, scales and chords. Learn to build cool bass lines.

Click here to see all our Beginners titles.

JOSQUIN DES PRES

JOSQUIN DES PRES
Bass player, record producer, songwriter, and TV composer Josquin Des Pres has also found time to write many instructive books for bass. His work includes everything from funk and hip hop and R&B to classical music, sight reading, fretless and even music-career advice.

Click here to see all Josquin's books.

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