Practice is a requirement if you are going to learn and get better at playing bass guitar. There is a direct correlation between practicing effectively, and improvement as a bassist. If you practice effectively, your bass playing will improve – we promise! But your practice needs to be effective, and in order to practice effectively there are several requirements. Below are the “7 Requirements for Effective Bass Guitar Practice”. If you adhere to these requirements not only will your bass playing improve, but you will also come to view practicing as enjoyable part of playing bass!
1. Be Consistent!
Consistency is the key to practicing effectively and getting better at bass. You must establish the habit of practicing every day. This doesn’t mean you have to force yourself to sit down and work on things that you don’t like or find boring – more on that below. But it’s important for you to have a set, scheduled time to practice each day. You develop habits by doing things routinely at the same same scheduled time, and this holds true for practicing bass. Some days there may be obstacles that keep you from practicing. That’s OK. Life happens and sometimes you may have to miss a day every now and then. But work hard on getting in to the habit of practicing every day at the same scheduled time. Consistency is the key!
2. Practice Between 30 to 60 Minutes Every Day
You should aim to practice for 30 to 60 minutes each day. Practicing longer than that is not necessarily going to make you a better bassist. There may days when you do have time to practice for several hours. And those days can definitely help you improve. But the key is to practice consistently day after day. Practicing for 30 to 60 minutes each day is much better than practicing for many hours one day, and then going for several days without practicing at all. And on those days when you don’t have time for a full 30 minutes of practice, try to pick up your bass and practice for however much time you have. Again, consistency is the key!
3. Practice When You Have the Most Energy to Practice
You should set your scheduled practice time during the part of the day when you have the most energy to practice – relative to the rest of your daily schedule. This will vary from person to person. Some people say practicing in the morning is the best time. Some are not “morning people” and have more energy and/or focus later in the day. Determine whatever time of day (or night) is best for you, and set that time apart for practicing bass.
4. Focus On Specific Improvement
Every time you sit down to practice you should focus on something specific that you want to improve. This involves prioritizing what you need to work on. This might be working on a song for your band that you promised to learn. It might be getting better at slapping, or finger speed, or scales, or learning a song that is really inspiring. Whatever is the most important to you at the time should help you prioritize what you’re going to focus on improving. Find something specific (even if it’s just one little thing) that you can work on improving.
5. Break Your Practice Sessions Down In To Segments
Having a step-by-step practice plan can be helpful for learning, but you don’t have to have one every time you sit down to practice. Especially when time is limited. However, breaking your practices in to segments can help you focus and use your time more efficiently. That doesn’t mean that each segment has to be the same every time either. Prioritize what you need to work on and practice those things in segments. For example, if you only have 30 minutes to practice you may want to spend the first 5 minutes warming up. The next 15 minutes you may want work on something specific such as a scales, arpeggios, or a song you want to learn. The last 10 minutes might be spent on doing something creative – free your mind and play whatever comes to you. Whatever you choose to do, breaking down your practice sessions into segments can help you prioritize what you need to work on while using your time most efficiently.
6. Keep Your Bass Ready to Play
Keep your bass out and ready to play. You don’t want to have to get your bass out if its case, plug it in, get your pedals connected, etc…every time you practice. This creates extra steps that can be discouraging and make you put off practicing. You should keep everything set up and ready to go for your scheduled practice time so you can hop right on your bass and get going. Having your bass out and ready also means it’s available if you ever just want to pick it up and spend a few minutes on exercises, working on a song, etc…which can also help with improvement!
7. Enjoy What You’re Practicing (last but definitely not least!)
A lot of people practice things because they think they’re supposed to do them to make themselves better. If you make yourself work on a song because you think it’s going to make you a better bassist, but can’t stand the song, you’re not going to enjoy practicing it. You’re going to get bored, and you’re going to give up. Always enjoy what you’re doing and practice things you want to work on. Always end a practice session with wanting to do more instead of, “Man I’m glad that was over”. Always put the bass down feeling like you can’t wait to pick it back up again. Music calls to us. Every time you pick up the bass listen to the music speaking to you and what it’s calling for you to play!
Thanks for checking out the “7 Requirements for Effective Bass Guitar Practice”. We hope we’ve given you some insight and guidance on what it takes to ensure the time you spend practicing will be the most effective at improving your bass playing. We also hope we have helped you understand that practice doesn’t have to be a burden, but instead can be something that is an enjoyable part of playing bass. One of the great things about playing bass (and any musical instrument) is that if you put in the practice and do it effectively, you will definitely see improvement. Even the most accomplished bassists will tell you that they are always learning new things about playing bass. That’s perhaps the even better part of playing bass – looking forward to picking it up the next time you sit down to practice, to elevate yourself to higher levels, and play what you love on the bass. We hope you enjoyed this article and look forward to you visiting us often. Now go practice!!
BTW - If you are interested in taking online bass lessons we also highly recommend JamPlay Bass Lessons. Bass Player Center provided a review of their site and services - click here to check it out! Or to visit the JamPlay Bass Lessons main page click here.
Effective Bass Guitar Practice
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