Essential Secrets 54: Accentuate the Positive
Accentuate the Positive
What You Say and Think Affects Your Bass Playing
As mentioned in the introduction to this book, it’s not a good idea to spend time alone saying negative things about yourself and criticizing your musical abilities. The reason? The language you use while practicing actually affects your bass playing.
This effect is evident before you even begin to play. Read the next two sentences out loud and see how each makes you feel.
(1) I have to practice bass today.
(2) I get to play bass today.
These two statements express the same idea but create radically different outcomes in your thinking process. The first makes learning music seem like a problem. The second reveals that music is an opportunity.
When you enter your practice space, your thoughts will affect your attitude and progress. Here are some ground rules for staying positive while playing bass:
· All criticism must address the practice goals. Never direct criticism inward toward you. Keep your focus outward on the solution to musical problems. It’s better to say, “Count all of those rests,” instead of “I never come in at the right time. What’s wrong with me?”
· Give yourself neutral and practical guidance. Anytime you catch yourself using negative language while playing bass, immediately change your wording. For example, “That sounds awful,” morphs into “Keep the tone and volume consistent when hitting that high note.”
· Reframe your perspective. Things that are currently “wrong” are just unfinished! The pitch, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, or tone must still be improved, but there’s nothing actually wrong. They’re just in progress— otherwise you wouldn’t be practicing them!
· Balance your thoughts. For every item you think about that needs to sound better, congratulate yourself on an item that sounds good.
Always use language that will inspire you to achieve your goals. Your thoughts affect your self-image and your musical abilities. Choose your words carefully!
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET