Essential Secrets 96: Make Yourself Uncomfortable
Make Yourself Uncomfortable
Knowing That You Can Perform No Matter What
One aspect of the music world that doesn’t get talked about often is how uncomfortable the performance environment can be. From freezing cold dressing rooms to hot lights on stage, concert conditions can have a damaging effect on you and your bass. Extreme temperatures, humidity, dryness, and bad lighting are all part of the realities of playing in public. Musicians have almost no control over these conditions.
So, in your practice room you need to prepare yourself for the discomforts of being on stage. Try playing under these circumstances for one practice session each this week:
· Blast your air conditioning. Or, if it’s winter, don’t turn on your heat. Cold temperatures make it difficult to move your fingers, and your instrument’s frets and strings will feel cold to the touch. If it’s very cold, your strings will tighten up, causing your bass to go sharp.
· Turn your heat up until the room is uncomfortably warm. Hot temperatures cause a completely different set of problems. Bassists deal with sweat dripping in their eyes, slippery fingers, and even fatigue or dehydration. Extreme heat will loosen your strings, making your bass go flat.
· Aim a light at your face. On many stages, you’ll deal with poorly placed overhead lights that shine in your eyes—not to mention spotlights that momentarily blind you and make you think you’re staring at the sun.
· Put a bright light behind you, aimed at your back. You won’t be able to see your fretboard or left hand, and the shadow cast on your music stand will make it nearly impossible to read sheet music.
Each of these conditions will force you to develop a plan of action to overcome the physical discomfort and still be able to play bass successfully. Your strategies will prepare you to perform in the worst of circumstances.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET