Essential Secrets 64: Don't Get Frustrated
Don't Get Frustrated
Expecting the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
When you practice, you often work on music you can’t control yet. Practicing is about taking unfamiliar musical information and slowly working it into something familiar.
Unfortunately, tackling unfamiliar topics is frustrating for most people, and bassists are no exception. Frustration caused by the unfamiliar is normal and should be expected to arise during practicing. If frustration is expected, then you won’t let it get the best of you. Instead of feeling stymied and angry—which slows down or even stops forward progress—you will be able to detach yourself from your negative feelings.
When you feel the slightest bit of frustration, recognize what is happening and stop it from overwhelming you. Say to yourself, "I’m outside of my comfort zone working on this new material. It’s no big deal. That’s what practicing the bass is all about.” Then, return to the step-by-step process of learning the music.
If you find that frustration is getting the best of you, then it may be time to move on to some music that is already familiar and fun. If switching songs doesn’t do the trick, stop your practice session. It’s fine to walk away from the source of your frustration. Tomorrow you’ll feel calm again, and you’ll return to the task and approach it with a fresh start.
Mastering the electric bass takes patience. Be realistic about how much you can get done at any one practice session—and cut yourself some slack!
As David G. Myers says in his book The Pursuit of Happiness, “Although we often overestimate how much we will accomplish in any given day, we generally underestimate how much we can accomplish in a year, given just a little progress every day.”
This attitude is the very basis of the ten minutes a day philosophy, and bassists need to be reminded of this pearl of wisdom at each and every practice session.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET