Essential Secrets 71: Practice Whenever You Can
Practice Whenever You Can
Taking Advantage of Limited Time
Many bassists feel that they won’t accomplish their goals without extraordinary amounts of uninterrupted practice time. They think, “If I can’t play for two or three hours straight, it’s not worth getting started.”
But, let’s look at reality: If you’ll only practice when you have hours of free time, you’ll never get around to playing the bass at all.
It’s good to re-think your practicing strategy. Forget about spending hours on end playing music. Instead, get your practicing done in shorter increments. One day might be 10 minutes. The next day could be three 10-minute practice sessions. Because you can keep your concentration at a high level when practicing for a short amount of time, you’ll learn a lot more in those three 10-minute sessions than you would in one 30-minute effort.
The real secret, though, is in taking this concept one step further: Do you ever find yourself with a very short amount of time to kill? You might be waiting to leave your house. Or, maybe a document is arriving in a few minutes at work. Whatever the reason for your few minutes of unscheduled time, you can turn these very short bits of time into effective bursts of bass playing. Two approaches work best when you only have a minute or two:
1. Work on something very specific—a short section of a song or something you’ve been avoiding or that scares you. It’s not so bad to work on it for one or two minutes. Then, you get to walk away.
2. Be completely spontaneous. No planning. Just goof off for a couple minutes and experience the sheer joy of playing the bass.
What a difference a couple minutes can make! You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, and you’ll probably be inspired to play your instrument later in the day.
These nano-sized practice sessions are a terrific complement to your other playing. Sneak in some playing time—whenever you can.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET