I would like to use this blog to introduce a term I’d like to coin for all practical musical practicing time;and that is,“Practical Practice!”
The lessons I will be prescribing to the student will be exercises that may be useful in a “real life” recording,jamming, and or performing situation.
When I isolate my practice time it might look and include these isolated areas of concentration:
Right-Hand Bass Guitar Practice Technique
1.Right-Hand Technique: I will set a metronome at 80 beats per minute to warm up using a scale I’m unfamiliar with like the “Hindu Scale” for example, and along with developing my right-hand speed I will experiment with what chords and or keys it plays well over. So I am learning theory as well as developing my right-hand technique.
I always increase the metronome setting by 4-beats per minute as I master each exercise.
Bass Arpeggio Practice Tips
2.Play Arpeggios over 2-5-1-6 progression backing tracks with no bass guitar in one specific key per week. No matter how well I achieve this over a one-week period, in the following weeks I move on to a different key. Arpeggios are arguably one of the hardest exercises to discretely play over time; especially when it’s tempo is upbeat! Eventually, the arpeggio forms become very familiar over ALL the keys!
Bass Practice With Backing Tracks
3.Play to basic Jazz Standards backing tracks with no bass. Example, “Footprints,” or “Blue Bossa” and of course “Autumn Leaves.” This exercise combines arpeggio and scale applications learned from steps 1&2 from above.
Practicing Bass With Songs
4. Learn a challenging bass line or technique from recordings. Example, I might want to learn to slap the bass line to “Call Me Al” by Paul Simon, or “Power” by Marcus Miller.
This concludes my “Practicle Bass Guitar Practice!” I try to fit these 4 bullet points into a 60-minute sessions, 4 days per week. I spend very little time on sight-reading music but will occasionally read a short piece of music to keep me in tact.