Essential Secrets 80: Use Your Inner Voice Wisely
Use Your Inner Voice Wisely
It’s important to use your inner voice carefully. The inner voice often acts as a critic, stating everything you’re doing wrong.
If this voice says anything about you, then you have gotten outside the music and have started to think about yourself while you play. Your job as you play bass is just that—to play the bass. You shouldn’t be thinking about yourself.
Turning off the inner voice is next to impossible. But, you can control this voice and use it to your benefit. The key is to focus your inner voice on the process of playing the bass itself.
Here’s an example: You can say, “Play those notes loudly” as opposed to saying “I always forget to play those notes loudly, so I better remember this time.” Though these two statements assert the same idea, the first version helps you play better by focusing outward toward the music. The second version points inward toward you. This inward focus should be avoided at all costs.
The funny thing about the inner voice is that it causes difficulties in your playing even when it gives positive feedback. As soon as the inner voice begins to praise, you will most likely make a mistake in your playing. The higher the praise, the more likely the mistake. For instance, if you say, "This is the best I've ever sounded," you are sure to fumble on some lick that is usually easy for you.
Thinking about yourself focuses on what you just played. Meanwhile, the music is still moving forward and needs your undivided attention. While you’re busy praising how well you’ve been doing, no one is in charge of the upcoming notes!
The practice room is the best place to start focusing your inner voice on the music. Don’t criticize yourself. Don’t praise yourself. Just give directions on how to execute the notes, and you’ll save time and grief.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET