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Practice regiment while "bandless"


jar546

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I am normally busy learning new songs but see an opportunity to practice the basics of the bass.

 

What is a recommended practice regiment for the bass while one is bandless. I am open to all types of music and you never know what opportunity is going to come along. I appreciate the input.

"The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know" by Me
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Theory and reading skillz. Beyond that, I think it depends on what you listen to and play. I'd say look for something drastically different from what you're used to. Research dub regae, crazy latin feels, world music, old hip hop...
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That's a good atitude to have.

 

Do you have a skill or style you wanted to learn, but didn't have the time for?

 

I second davio's suggestions for a practice regimen, and add reinforcing your mastery of the songs you already know. I'm someone who forgets what I've learned on the bass unless I go back from time to time.

 

Challenge yourself, go to the library and see what they have for instructional material, or just buy a good instruction book like "Building Walking Basslines", or piano sheet music for an artist whose style you like, and learn a lesson or a song every practice day.

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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Reading reading and reading. That skill can land you your next gig. I wish I could learn to a high standard

 

www.myspace.com/davidbassportugal

 

"And then the magical unicorn will come prancing down the rainbow and we'll all join hands for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya." - by davio

 

 

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Reading reading and reading. That skill can land you your next gig. I wish I could learn to a high standard

It's not rocket science. There aren't any foreign concepts involved. It's a skill like any other and most like reading text IMO. It takes practice. You didn't learn to read War and Peace and Shakespearean Sonnets in kindergarten while they were teaching you letters, numbers and colors. You start by practicing your letters and sounds (notes and rhythms) and move on to punctuation (dynamics, etc.). Once you have the basics and are comfortable with them, it's just a matter of wanting to read and learn more and you find things that will introduce some new words and forms (novels, biographies, poetry...symphonic scores, slap notation, lead sheets where you have to switch back and forth between grooving on chords and playing written figures).

 

I hear more people say "I wish I could read music" than "I wish I could play walking bass lines" or "I wish I could *insert skill here*" when they're just skills like any other that can be learned by simply starting with the basics and practicing. It doesn't take formal school courses to learn it and it doesn't take any more out of your day than, say, practicing slap skills or reading your new favorite book that you can't put down.

 

It's a totally attainable goal!

 

http://www.suggestionsforweightloss.net/images/youcandoit_4bi6.jpg

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Get high and play along with Miles Davis records.

 

O.K., maybe not. That used to be my regimen and I'm not sure I progressed any faster for it... ;)

 

One thing I do that has helped is to play along with recordings and just improvise outlandish lines over them, whatever pops into your head. I feel like it's helped my time, my ears, my ability to "think on my feet."

 

And it's almost like being high without having to commit hours of your day to self-induced stupidity...

 

 

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Yes, you can identify skills you'd like to improve and work on them.

 

However, I've become a fan lately of being goal oriented. By that I mean you choose your destination first, plot a course and then work your way there.

 

I certainly wasn't that way in college. I didn't have a problem picking a major like a lot of other kids. But I never bothered to check what jobs my major made available. It was a bit of a shock when I graduated and started looking for a job!

 

So my suggestion is to first choose what kind of band you want to be in next. Then figure out what skills you need for that band. Now you have a directed practice regiment with a clear goal in mind.

 

Based on personal experience I'd say being able to sit in with any band and not suck is a good thing in general. Having a good ear coupled with theory helps a lot. You have an extra advantage if you've heard the song before, even if you've never played it. So if I couldn't decide on a particular goal, I'd work on those things: ear training, theory and listening to a lot of new (to me) music. I'd also go to every open mic I could to practice pulling off songs I'd never played before.

 

The other thing to work on in general is building up a catalog of songs to sing (lead) and play simultaneously. It helps at the open mic when you can lead a few songs. And even if your next band doesn't need you to sing you'll have a better understanding of how to support the vocals with your bass playing.

 

There is always songwriting. Now is a perfect opportunity to write something that is only you.

 

Then there's the solo bass thing. You may never be asked to play solo in a band but I think it builds confidence to know that if you had to, you could be entertaining all on your own. Or to satisfy a pesky relative who wants to hear you play a song all by yourself.

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Yep, play to outrageous impossible stuff. Even if it's frustrating you are improving your chops.

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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Or just go back to the good ol metronome and work on your rhythm.

 

Set it on 70-80 bpm and play the first two 1/16 notes

 

1-e-&-a repeatedly on one note, say 48 times ... count out loud

 

then play: 1-e-&-a

 

 

then play: 1-e-&-a

 

then play: 1-e-&-a

 

 

then play: 1-e-&-a

 

 

then play: 1-e-&-a

 

 

then you up the tempo another 10 bpm and start again.

 

This is the drummer in me talking. If you can do the above to a useable tempos of 90-120 bpm then there's a lot of fun can be had with a drummer with a similar mindset.

 

Peace

Davo

 

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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I would decide what kind of band I wanted to be in and work towards that goal. If its new original stuff then I'd write music & lyrics, basically stockpile ideas for when the right people are located.

 

If you want to make some money playing have a look at what the commercial gigs are in your area and skill yourself up to partake in that scene. Learn those songs.

 

Personally I wouldn't be with out a band for any length of time I would have bass player available posters up every where.

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All good suggestions so far...whether I'm currently gigging or not I still make time to work on fundamentals. Things like scales, modes, theory, rhythm exercises (metronome & drum machine) and so on.

 

I don't have a big need for reading with the kind of work I get but what I do encounter are chord charts. Knowing what to play over any particular chord is fundamental too!

 

For improvisation, I like to flip on the radio and try to play along, solo over or in general, try to make sense out of whatever comes up - even commercials! Stuff that's outside your 'box' is great. Throw yourself some curves and try to hang with it.

 

 

 

 

 

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