Essential Secrets 60: Blow Off Steam
Blow Off Steam
Using Your Bass as an Emotional Outlet
Unlike many activities that should not be attempted when you are upset (like driving a car or washing steak knives), playing the bass can actually be enhanced by difficult emotions. Musicians need to convey feelings in their performances, and infusing your music with emotion is an important part of practicing.
If you are upset, angry, or frustrated, try taking it out on your instrument. No, don’t smash your bass on the floor or send it sailing through the nearest window. Just play.
When bassists try this, two things tend to happen. First, they release the negative emotions and start to feel better. The anger and frustration subside as you play with uncontrolled passion. Your instrument becomes a healthy channel for you to deal with difficult emotions, allowing you to leave the negativity behind. You might just find yourself feeling calm after a few minutes. Playing your bass is one of the fastest ways to make bad feelings disappear.
Second, you gain unique insight into the music you’re practicing. If you are angry, for instance, you will probably practice with more intensity, louder dynamics, and rougher tone than you usually use. This change in your playing will cause you to hear the music in new ways and give you ideas about how to perform it. Most amazing of all, you may play better than ever before! The added intensity can be just what the music needs.
Expressing difficult emotions can lead to a supercharged practice session. So, the next time you’re upset, channel it through your bass. Just ten minutes of this intense sort of practicing is enough to make your difficult emotions evaporate and take your playing to new heights.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET