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 Post subject: Practicing?
PostPosted: May 19th, 2020, 8:44 am 
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Joined: February 22nd, 2017, 5:58 pm
Posts: 93
I have to admit it, I hate practicing on my own. I know how valuable it is to know theory and scales and to learn as much as possible. And I want to do that, but when I sit down to do it, I feel like I'm suffering through high school chemistry class.

I am happiest when I learn songs for a band practice and then learn them even better at band practice, then at gigs. Often, I learn more about music theory when I play and discover things. Still, i realize that I need to be more conscious in what I learn. For example, I can translate chords I play on guitar to the bass and play with and around the notes.

When I imagine most of you, I imagine you as studious learners who either enjoy the classic learning styles or have the discipline to sit down and do it even if it's not enjoyable.

But I don't know your approach to the topic, and I'd be really interested in your thoughts about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Practicing?
PostPosted: May 19th, 2020, 9:03 am 
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Joined: January 9th, 2009, 1:34 am
Posts: 1809
Location: The Netherlands
Like you, I hate practicing too. I don't know a thing about music theory, I don't know any scales, my technique is sloppy at best but my timing is OK and my playing is functional and works in the bands I've been in. I'm having fun, and to me that's what matters most :)

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 Post subject: Re: Practicing?
PostPosted: May 19th, 2020, 12:27 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2015, 6:36 pm
Posts: 2372
Location: Cambridge, MA
I don't have any formal training and have only played bass with other people once in the last twenty years. But I actually enjoy practice because it's one of the few things I do for myself to unwind from a stressful job and young kids. "Practice" for me has until recently consisted of learning challenging songs, sometimes picking a song to emphasize a skill I want to improve (Funk #49 for dead notes, for example).

But since the lockdown, a more accomplished musician friend asked me to record a bass track for him. I got myself set up, hit the red button, and WOW. I have picked up some VERY bad habits from years of playing to music and never applying a critical ear (mine or anyone else's). I tend to lead the beat terribly, albeit consistently. And for fast phrases, I tend to accelerate after the beat, so I play the "and, ah" even earlier than the "one, ee."

So practice for the last few weeks has been finding isolated drum tracks, aligning with a song .mp3, playing along, and forcing myself to listen to each take. I listen to each take with the whole song, and with just the drum track.

It took about two weeks to beat my "ones," "twos," "threes," and "fours" into submission. It's taking a little more work to slow my "and ahs" down. But I'll get there.


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 Post subject: Re: Practicing?
PostPosted: May 20th, 2020, 4:16 am 
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Joined: December 20th, 2011, 11:42 am
Posts: 782
Location: Philly Area
For me I learned theory at a young age (when learning is part of the norm) and it really helped me however as I got older (now 56) I tend to practice much less but I often challenge myself in areas of interest. I was never a great at Slap bass so I spent a few weeks, found a couple of great videos and learned a couple of RHCP songs using slapping. Also over the years I learned a little piano, guitar, Uke and during the winter learned how to play Ticket to Ride and Tomorrow Never Knows on Drums. Again it was fun and really helped me to understand timing and I used youtube learn the tricks for these songs on drums.


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 Post subject: Re: Practicing?
PostPosted: May 21st, 2020, 9:06 am 
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Joined: February 22nd, 2017, 5:58 pm
Posts: 93
I have tried to learn to read music for years. I took piano lessons when I was young, thank goodness, and I learned the notes, but I was never able to see the notes properly or to connect the dots on the page with the not on the piano or guitar. My ear works faster than my eyes do, and I can play the stuff, but I just can't get it off the page.

I used to read tabs okay, and I did it a lot, but never got fluid with it. I have a vast catalogue of guitar licks and chords.

I have read theory books and websites, but I have some kind of block that prevents my understanding. Over the years, I've discovered the rudiments of theory from analyzing what I'm playing, stumbled upon the theory at times.

My lack of ability to read music is not hindrance to my learning of theory. I just need to keep searching until I can find an explanation I understand. Then, it would feel like my practice had a deeper purpose rather than just a fuck-around thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Practicing?
PostPosted: May 22nd, 2020, 8:39 am 
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Joined: March 9th, 2008, 7:46 am
Posts: 3377
Location: West Orange, NJ
I don’t practice unless I’m learning a new song or it’s a band practice. I’m too busy and active playing out to have time anyway...or at least I used to be. Someday I’d like to just sit down and learn some new techniques, styles, scales, etc., but it doesn’t serve my purpose right now.


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 Post subject: Re: Practicing?
PostPosted: May 23rd, 2020, 7:50 am 
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Joined: October 8th, 2014, 9:35 pm
Posts: 28
I am practicing 3 finger technique a la Billy Sheehan. I can do gallop at 200 bpm, goal is to go up to 280!!!
Also m and a fingers need to get better at working independently. Hard to make improvements at 45!!!

Also I had a bunch of Joaquin Des Pres groove books that I plan to start working off of.


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