No.41 Five Steps To Efficient Practicing on the Bass Guitar

No.41 Five Steps To Efficient Practicing on the Bass Guitar
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    I'm Greg from Greg's Bass Shed. Welcome to my lesson - Five Steps to Efficient Practicing. A few of my subscribers have been asking me recently how to practice, and what to practice. Now these are really important questions because, you can have all the resources in the world, but if you don't know how to use them, then they are no good to anyone. So I'm going to pick five steps to help you to practice efficiently, and by the end of the video, you'll be able to go away and form your own practice routine or practice schedule. Now I'm going to give you several resources throughout the video to help you with your own practice routine. You can download these in the usual place, which is in the description box below this video, click the link and I'll send you an email with all the downloads in it. Ok Step Number One - set aside a regular time to practice. This step is really vital, if you're going to improve as a musician. It's really important to take a block of time and put that aside each week for practicing. I suggest initially, for trying to get 45-minute blocks, five times a week. This repetition with your practice is necessary, and really important if you're going to progress to be a decent musician. You don't really need to practice at the same time each day. I practice at different times a day. But make sure you can block out a certain time when you can prioritise practicing. Step Number Two- pick target areas to practice. Once you have your regular practice time in place, it's important to pick areas that you can work on with your playing. You may already know what you want to work on, but if not, I've got a really good resource that you can download below. It's called Target Three Areas to Quickly Improve and Progress. This has a set of questions first of all, and then I'll give you information to pick certain areas to practice. For example, you may want to start reading music, you might want to improve and start with your jazz playing. Or you might simply just want to have your notes to ring out more cleanly. Being clear about what your aims are will really help you to challenge yourself, and progress quickly Step Three - practice at a level that challenges, you. Now, it's really important that you work on the material that's not too hard or too easy for you, and it's human nature to stagnate, and pick the same bass line, and play that over and over again, week after week after week. But if you pick bass lines that are a little bit harder than your currently level, then this will really challenge you, and you'll notice your improvement really quickly. Material that is too easy won't really do this, and material that is too hard, will probably just frustrate you, as you won't be able to play it. Remember, it's best to learn incrementally, in small steps. Now in my channel I've got a Bass line Breakdown Series, and if you are a real beginner, then you might want to look, for example at the Nirvana tracks, as you should be able to play those bass lines with a bit of practice. And if you are at a more advanced level, then look at other tunes in there, or look at my technical exercises, for example. Step Number Four - plan your practice schedule. Now that you have time put aside to practice, and you know what you're going to work o,n it's time to break your practice time down into sections. If you have a 45 minute practice session, for example, I suggest breaking that down into three 15-minute blocks. Now these blocks could look something like this. Block One, you could focus on your sound, your tone, and your technique. You can do this by practicing scales and arpeggios and Importantly, try them in different registers. So you could play a G Major scale down here for example. You could double the rhythm, playing two notes on each note. And then you could play say, an F major scale up high. So you can play it starting on the 13th fret, and really listening to your sound. Make sure you're getting a clean sound. You can work on that by playing the scale slowly. So I've got a couple of video lessons on this channel that can help you with that. There's video number 21 - Five Essential Scales for Bass Guitar. Video number 22 - Learn the Major and Minor Arpeggio for the Bass Guitar. So take a look at those lessons and also take a look at my broken chord videos as they will help you as well. So for Block Number Two, you could look at developing your ear, for example, and you can do this by playing material that you don't normally play. Try to copy any of the lines in the song, including melody. You can even sit in front of the TV and just play anything that you hear, any of the melodies, any of the bass lines. So if you're watching say, game Of Thrones, for example, you could play the tune for that. Just try to copy that when you're playing along. Now, one thing I used to do to get practice in, is when I was singing nursery rhythms to my boy, when he was young, I used to play along with the tune at the same time. I use to actually play it on a double bass, but you can do on an electric. So try it, it is actually harder than you think. It really improves your ear playing, and your melody playing. For Block three, I'd say work on music theory. So you could pick an area you want to develop in like reading music, for example. Or learning to play jazz, and really look at the theory behind that. Now if you want to learn to read music, I would say do at the beginning, do it hand in hand as you're learning the notes. If you're an advanced player and you go back to learning to read music, Ii can be really frustrating because you're already at a high level for your playing. Now I've also got video lessons that can help you with these topics. So I've got Starting To Play Jazz. I've got a video on starting to read music. So have a look at those and look in the theory playlist as well. The last step Step Number Five, is to use all the resources that you can get your hands on. There's a wealth of information online to help you develop as a musician. Use some of the free resources there or buy an online course. Obviously I've got my channel here at Greg's Bass Shed. I've got over 40 lessons in there and the best way to use it, is to look at the Playlists, because I've put them into series. It's easier than looking at the whole list of videos and trying to work out what's there. Now as it's a relatively new channel, I've got quite a lot of series with only a few videos in them. But remember I'm adding a new video every Friday. I'll be topping up all those playlists and so you've got, say 10 videos in each playlist. So have a look at the titles of the playlists, and pick what you want to work on. For example, I've got a Bass Beginners Series, or a music theory series now. You also might want to look at my website: and there's a resources page on there. You can find that by clicking on the home page. You'll see some categories at the top, you can click on the resource tab. I've got 2 printable tables in there to help you. In one you can plan out your month. It's broken down into days, and in another one, you can log all your practice time. So you can click on those and print those out. I've also got appendices in there and they are the bonus material for my Bass Beginner Guide. So have a look at those. I'll be putting new material in those all the time and you can print those out as well. There's material there to practice your reading, or the practice your scales and arpeggios. If you do wish to buy a resource to help you, then you can buy my Bass Beginner's Guide, and that will take you from a beginner, right up to intermediate level. Up to a really good level, if you work all the way through that. There are 120 pages in that, covering topics such as reading music, scales arpeggios, getting a better tone, how to practice and that comes in e-book form. So digital form. So you look at it on your laptop, iPad, phone, or you can print that out. If there's enough demand, I'll look into printing that out into book form. Please leave a comment at the bottom of this video, or email me if you'd like me to print that into a book, if you prefer that format. Now there are a lot of exercises and bass lines in my ebook, and these help you with your rhythm, with reading music, and lots of other topics and you can get the bonus material on my website. So you could work through that chapter by chapter, and that would give you a really good framework for month by month, for example, or you can just pick out the areas that you want to work on. So to summarise this lesson, I'd say the quickest way to improve as a musician, is to look honestly at your playing, then set short and long term goals, and through organised practice, achieve these goals. In the last 25 years of my professional playing and teaching, I've picked up the need, and the ability to practice really fast and really efficiently. So my personal aim with Greg's Bass Shed, is to pass on as much of that information to you as I can. Now, I believe anyone can progress to a really good level as a bass player. It's just a matter of putting some time, effort, and thought into it. So plan out your own practice schedule, but most Importantly, enjoy your bass playing. If you've got any questions or comments, then leave them below and please share this, because it really helps me to spread the word about Greg's Bass Shed. Remember to download the PDF and I'll send all these resources to you, and have a look at my website and join in the chat on Facebook or Instagram. All those links are in the description. This is Greg from Greg's Bass Shed, I'll see you next week.
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