Essential Secrets 72: Commit Yourself to the Long Term
Commit Yourself to the Long Term
Appreciating the Life-Long Pursuit of Musical Goals
As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." Many bass players think there will be a point in life when they will “arrive.” In this imaginary future, they envision playing bass easily and effortlessly. The practicing will be over, and they’ll be able to play brilliantly without doing any work.
Here’s the reality: Every musical accomplishment will lead to a new set of aspirations. To rise to these challenges you’ll still want to practice, focus on your craft, and continue your artistic growth. Each day you’ll make a new practice list, spend a short amount of your limited time working through that list, and do your best to meet your goals.
Always having goals leads to a strange conundrum. On the one hand, the quest for musical perfection is a never-ending, lifelong pursuit that will never be fully realized. That can be frustrating. On the other hand, striving for perfection on a daily basis—even when you know it’s impossible to achieve—remains one of the most fulfilling ways to spend your time. Playing the bass can actually make you happy.
Embrace both ideals. Be intrigued by the lifelong pursuit and be willing to keep improving on a daily basis. It’s okay that there will always be more to learn. Make sure you enjoy the process as it’s happening. Every time you play your bass, look at it as one of the highlights of your day.
No matter how much you accomplish artistically, you’ll always want to be better. Since there will continually be room for improvement, you must love striving for perfection. Balancing the commitment to the long-term and the enjoyment of regular practicing will keep you coming back to your bass and inspire you to play every day. You’ve chosen to be a bassist. Enjoy the ride.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET