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Essential Secrets 61: Play Your Bass, Don't Work It

29 November 2018

Essential Secrets


Compliments of performance coach/bassist David Motto

DAVID MOTTO

Secret 61:
Play Your Bass, Don't Work It

--

Putting the Play Back in Playing Music

--

Work conjures up scenes of drudgery. People can be unfulfilled or unhappy at work. These feelings should never exist when you play music. After all, it’s built into our language: You “play” the bass; you don’t “work” it.

When you are playing bass, there should always be an element of delight involved. Think of little kids on a playground. They’re unconscious of time, responsibilities, or what comes next. They’re just playing.

You have an opportunity to be like those children when you practice, rehearse, and perform. Sure, you want to make forward progress. But, sometimes this progress is best achieved by letting go. Don’t spend even one ten-minute practice session thinking that it’s work.

One aspect of play is feeling good physically as you practice. If you are working your bass, you are probably using too much tension and pressing or squeezing too hard. These actions will make your music sound tense and can cause physical injury over time. Instead, focus on a light touch and on making everything you play sound easy and fun.

Many musicians have difficulty letting go of their serious side, so here are some simple suggestions to put the element of “play” into your, uh, playing:

· Play through something without inhibitions. Don’t worry about your sound. Just play.

· Try a technique that seems impossible, and laugh at yourself as you do it.

· Purposely sound bad. Hit wrong notes. Use horrible tone. Lose all physical control of your bass.

· Play a style of music you absolutely hate. Exaggerate the elements of this style that you can’t stand. Even use the body language of musicians who play this genre.

You can try all of these ideas in just a few minutes. They will add some humor to your day and reconnect you to “playing” the bass.



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-



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.

EBOOKS

Save time and money (and reduce your carbon footprint!). Order books and transcriptions in easy-to-download PDF form. Read them on a desktop, laptop, phone or tablet, and print out pages as you wish.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

BASSIST'S GUIDE TO INJURY MANAGEMENT
THE BASSIST'S GUIDE
TO INJURY
MANAGEMENT,
PREVENTION AND
BETTER HEALTH

-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-

Bass player Dr. Randall Kertz examines common and not so common problems that the musician may encounter during practice or performing situations. You need this book.

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.

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