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#1
What kind of practice do you find the best? Do you learn better playing to music, with friends, with a metronome, with a video or what? Do you do lessons from magazines, books or the internet? Do you mainly practice scales and techniques or songs and licks?

Do you record your practice and listen back? Where do you practice? Let's hear it!
#2
my favorite way to practice and get better is by jamming with friends, I record myself on tape alot when I practice too.
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#3
i'm at about 2-3 hours a night now..and i usually do something like this:

warm up 15 mins - scales, modes up and down the neck in all keys, slowly...speeding up ten bpm every few mins.

then i practice scales, chromatics etc, with all different fingerings, doing them in 3rds, 4ths etc..from root to octave and from octave to root, up and down the neck. do that for a good half hour i guess.. this is where i try and get as fast as possible for as long as possible, building up stamina. gets prety boring listen to that damn metronome but meh...gotta be done.

then i play some tunes, usually i will just jam for about 15 mins, fingerstyle - i've got some good drum tracks so i can really easily jam to any kind of genre. this helps improv loads for me. then i play through my bands tunes, not all but a good few of them. then i spend a good while trying to nail whatever song i am learning at the time. so at the moment i am really trying t get scarified up to full speed. also i am working on continuum too, but just cant get those damn fast bits.

i then have another jam with myself, usually some slap. maybe for a good half hour - basically rock out.

then i warm down with slow scales for five mins or so.

i might mix the order up or whatever, but that's my routine pretty much
#4
I take lessons, so it forces me into a bit of loose structure for daily practice. There are some variations, but usually practice includes some scale / modes work with a metronome, running through a few songs I know in my sleep and then a few songs I've been assigned and then something new that I've picked on my own, either a song or a new skill that I want to learn. Aside from that practice time, I usually have some jam time with my spouse (drummer) where we jam on whatever the mood takes us. I also try to jam with a few other people once or twice a month, both in and out of the studio / workshop space.

I usually practice in the living room / music room, and if I'm practicing by myself, I'll use a metronome or Guitar pro. While I have music to work through from class, I also love to mine the used book stores and music stores for sheet music and books for new gems. I've just started watch more video lessons for techniques as of late.

Yes, I record myself and find it very, very painful but useful. I am my own worst critic and pretty hard on myself and my playing. Recording helps you hear areas you need to work on as well as where you are doing well.

While it may not be the best method for everyone, it works for me.
#5
Quote by Applehead
i've got some good drum tracks so i can really easily jam to any kind of genre.



You think you could send me those drum tracks? I've been having some trouble finding good ones online.


Anyway, I usually warm up with a few scales, running through basic chord forms, and general messing around. Then I play a few songs (Rush, RHCP, Tool, etc...), and mess around some more. Every now and then I'll take an easy song and come up with a new bassline. All this usually totals to about an hour.
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#6
I have a very shitty practice routine. I pretty much go through some scales and mess with melodies and rhythms and such.

I need lessons.
#7
^^ no you just need some disciprine

force yourself to pull out the metronome and learn scales and modes, learn them until you can see large note clusters that want you to play them

im not much of a song practicer (except for my bands) so i usually run through scales and modes, and then arpeggios through the scale (harmonized 7th's), then i will go throuh scales again in whatever problem area might exist (easily transitioning from one box to another) and play different runs on it (1-4-2-5-3-6-4-7 type things) then i might lay down some chords with bass or guitar on my looper and make a little backtrack to jam to, otherwise i will go watch tv and play unplugged / or along with songs and just improv the best i can, trying to somehow transition between.

i also throw in tapping and slapping, but its not very consistent as im not that good yet / dont know a great about of techniques in them, and am still building up technique

ps. i never had a teacher so it all depends on how much you want to learn / how good you want to be
#8
I practice the stuff I've learned in my most recent lesson for about an hour each night. After I get done with that I usually play a few fun songs like Peace Sells and Money.
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#9
Honestly, i have the worst practice routines ever.
I use the Billy Sheehan practice routine thinger until my fingers are warm

-7-6-4----6-4------4---------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------7------7-6----7-6-4-7-6-4---6-4-------4-------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------7------7-5----7-5-4--7-5-4----5-4---------4--------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------7-------7-5-----7-5-4-

and then left hand chromatics

1-2-3-4
1h2h3

etc.

then right hand 16th notes, 2 finger, and 3 finger gallops.

then I'm good, but I'm going to start adding scales to the workouts (legit ones) just so i can memorize the patterns

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#10
i just practice by picking up my bass and playing. i divide my practice time into a few things

Warm up: i just play the intro to a song that i wrote to get my fingers moving

self exploration: this is when i just play and make up riffs and stuff and get comfortable

Theory: it speaks for it's self

application of theory: self-explanitory

jamming: again speaks for it's self
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#11
I wish I had enough self discipline to get into a practice routine. I really try and get started on at least an hour a day but there always seem to be not enough hours in the day. I always sit down and say okay I'm going to practice an hour everyday starting today. I practice for about 15 minutes and something always happens a friend might call, the tonight show might come on, I just take a little break and all of a sudden it's two hours later etc.. As it is I find I just squeak in enough time to practice for my bass lesson and that's about it. It's really disappointing to me.
#12
I'll start out by just playing some simple riffs. Then i practice to music. I got a playlist on my ipod that goes from easy songs to tougher songs, so that's pretty much what i always do
#13
Just play whatever I feel like at that time, usually just about 15 mins at a time soloing or just playing fun licks
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#14
i dont have a practice routine but i'm playing my bass almost all day every day trying new things and jamming my tutors and my mates
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#15
I started a bit of a routine today .. not going to go in depth on it, but alot of scales, and other practice riffs I've found out and about. I also mixed in a bit of time to learn a song that interest me. I also took some time out to toy with creating my own riffs. Other than that, I used the drum machine on my pedal and just tried to keep with the beat.

I'd say I was playing for a little over 2 hours.
#16
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
I wish I had enough self discipline to get into a practice routine. I really try and get started on at least an hour a day but there always seem to be not enough hours in the day. I always sit down and say okay I'm going to practice an hour everyday starting today. I practice for about 15 minutes and something always happens a friend might call, the tonight show might come on, I just take a little break and all of a sudden it's two hours later etc.. As it is I find I just squeak in enough time to practice for my bass lesson and that's about it. It's really disappointing to me.



play while watching tv

imo excercising your fingers is 80% of being able to play well, the other 20% is knowing what to play of course

i will play unplugged to the tv all the time, just work on fretting and hammers and speed

easy
#17
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
I I practice for about 15 minutes and something always happens ... the tonight show might come on, I just take a little break and all of a sudden it's two hours later etc...


Play your scales during commercial breaks. Its more fun than doing sit ups and has less calories than hitting the fridge. I'm serious--and if its late at night, use headphones or unplug. I nailed the 7 modern modes that way.


One more thing--one of my teachers suggested keeping a musical journal in which I set goals and outline practice routines. It is a bit of a weird concept, but it has helped make me a bit more structured in my practicing.
Last edited by anarkee at Mar 10, 2007,
#18
Until about a week ago, my sinful practicing amounted to either learning the main riff of some song or other via tab or just picking up the bass and aimlessly improvising for about 15 minutes, with a few week long periods of dedication to a certain song, technique, or theoretical concept.

Now, however, I run bass excersizes for about ten minutes each on my fretless and my ray to build finger strength, then do a few melodic slapping routines before degenerating into improvisation once again.

Acoustic guitar is taking up a bit too much time I use to use to build my chops, however.
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#19
Quote by anarkee
Play your scales during commercial breaks. Its more fun than doing sit ups and has less calories than hitting the fridge. I'm serious--and if its late at night, use headphones or unplug. I nailed the 7 modern modes that way.


One more thing--one of my teachers suggested keeping a musical journal in which I set goals and outline practice routines. It is a bit of a weird concept, but it has helped make me a bit more structured in my practicing.


But those miracle blade commercials are just so darn interesting! Heck yes! But other than that, good idea I find I never have my basement to myself which is where the only TV other than the one in my parents room is. And as soon as I pick up my bass, my sister looks over and says "you're not playing that are you?" "yeah I am get over it" "Augh! you're so annoying!" This is then followed by her turning the TV up so loud that my parents come down and say the obligatory "Can't you practice in your room?" which then followed by an "Oh my god your such a bitch" from me to my sister then my mom says "HEY! Now you can't touch your bass for a week! Good Job!" True story. Although I have no idea why I just typed it all out

ANYWAY! I tried keeping a journal of what I did but, never of what I wanted to do. Hmmm... maybe that's a good idea.
#20
I usually start out like most people with scales up and down the neck, modes, etc. I'll gradually increase the BPM as my fingers get warmed up and I start playing with less mistakes and more focus (I sometimes zone out and mess up )

Then I start playing a rock song that I am learning like YYZ, MOP slap style or something, I'm kinda ADD with that. I'll always have random spurts of improvisation going on the whole time.

Next I'll work on some of the jazz or orchestral songs I'm trying to learn also. Soloing, reading, all that kind of stuff.

At the end, I mess around and have a bit of fun, let loose and not care too much about the correctness, but just jam.

I usually practice about an hourish every night. since everybody else in my house goes to bed early, I usually practice unplugged.
#22
if im feeling it that day i will play for like 3 or 4 hours and just rock out to whatever tunes i want to play and then others i try to look at music theory and learn but i get bored and eat a sandwich
#23
It's interesting to hear what you guys do. I don't have any routine to my practice. If I've got music in my head then I have to go home and play it right away. Lately I've been making synth music to a drum pattern and then jamming over that. I've spent too much time trying to find the right tone in the last month or so than trying to get good technique. I think the problem is I'm satisfied with the way I currently play. That's the main reason I'm planning to branch out into fretless and keys over the next couple of months.
#24
i usually warm up with scales and chromatic stuff and then play along to songs i know and learn other songs/improv to drum tracks and sometimes if something good comes up ill record it. other than that, i just kinda play whenever im doing something that doesn't require my hands.
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#25
i play to music and with my band.
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#26
I'm in the exact same rut as Yertle (the first bit), today I started writing out some different scales and learning them in different forms (i.e. not just the box pattern - which I have nailed with the main scales ).

And I try to learn most of songs (maybe thats where I'm going wrong ) and then coming back to them, and learning the rest, but I more recently I have been coming up with riffs / chord patterns & melodies etc and just noting them down on a pad. I'm pretty good at coming up with melodic riffs & arpeggios, but funnily enough, not as good at coming up with simple Bassy riffs (my Guitarist mate suggested I come up with some dual Bass songs lol - speaking of that, if I had a setup to record / up load some stuff maybe some of yous could help me with the "solid rhythm" type Bass lines ).

I'm planing on upgrading to a 6 string (Sr506 - trading in my sr300) to expand my playing, but I'm also going to get a Guitar to help come up with a more song based structure to my music writing. I also wish I had more opportunities to jam, a couple of my mates have offered to have a jam some time, but everyones sort of busy at the moment - and it takes a bit of organizing where I live because everyone lives fairly far apart .
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#27
i play bass for around 2 hours a day at least, mainly along to cds and when im on the computer, i always have my bass and my lap and just play random things. i also practice guitar for around 30 minutes but its just not as fun to play as bass
#28
I usually run through scales and modes for around 20-30 mins, then at the moment i will work on my sight reading for another 20 mins or so, then will learn a song and just do osme improvising for another half an hour. I don't do it all in one big chunk though
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#29
I like to listen to the song, figure out how to play it, then play it like 565154545 times.
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#30
I practice 4 hours a day and break it down into 4 section:

First I practice scales up and down the neck for an hour increasing the speed of the metronome once I get it perfect. Second I study theory for an hour either from an internet site (musictheory.net) or from a book. For the third hour I break out the Real Book and work on a jazz standard until I know it inside and out. For the last hour I practice a new technique, I did slapping for about 6 months and now I'm working on tapping. After I master tapping I'll probably move onto harmonizing unless I find something better to do.
#31
the way i like to practice is to pretty much warm up throw down a nice beat on the drum machine and just jam
i feel that feeling the music and working off it is the most importiant thing a bassist can learn to do


but i also feel that sitting down and slowly working on technique and theory are also a huge part of play bass (or any instrument)

it cant all be fun and games
#32
Quote by Morning_Star53
it cant all be fun and games

I think it can and should be all fun and games - its a hobby not a job!
#33
^for me, it's more than a hobby - it's a passion. MY brother treats his guitar playing as a hobby - which is fine - but he hasn't progressed very far. I recently bought him Speed Mechanics and as he has started playing through the exercises, he said "it's boring doing exercises". Yes, indeed. but you become a demon. I am often bored while doing exercises, but i can see the benefit so carry on..
#34
Mostly improvising, playing random things or songs. now and again i'll come to a tune that i like and i'll sit and work around it. occasionally i get the drum machine on and just jam out a bit. i'm not working nearly enough on my theory.
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#35
I don't know - I'm not belittling playing in any way but it is just that: playing. If I wanted to spend hours doing something repetative I'd do my coursework! I'm perfectly happy with being able to play all my favourite songs and to be able to write a bit and jam with friends. If I felt for a moment it was becoming something I had to do for the sake of itself or that it was a chore I'd sell all my gear tomorrow.
#36
^ yeah me too, but i dont mean in that way. i just mean everyone wants something different out of their playing. Bass, for me, is my lifes passion and i want to master it. I want to be as good as i can possibly be, and challenge myself constantly. I want to be able to play and write songs that are challening. I feel the same way about piano, and i wont rest until i can play La Campanella.

but with guitar, i am not so bothered, and it's more for me to be able to play some songs, write a few chord progressions etc.. that is definitely just a bit of fun for me, but bass and piano i am deadly serious about and they are a big part of my life.
#37
I had a similar discussion with my instructor last night. He said he can tell, esp. with his teenage and adult students who is "driven" to play and who plays as a hobby. His test is that if you can't go 24 hours without aching to pick up your instrument and will drill something until you get it right, you are driven to play, and therefore in his opinion are a musician rather than someone who "plays" an instrument.

There's nothing wrong or right about the two approaches, its just a personal view on how you look at how something fits in your life.
#38
I agree. on holiday i had to buy a cheap guitar as i was driving my girlfriend mad. i had to play something !!

As you say, there is no wrong or right, it's whatever you feel you want out of the instrument
#39
Quote by smb
I don't know - I'm not belittling playing in any way but it is just that: playing. If I wanted to spend hours doing something repetative I'd do my coursework! I'm perfectly happy with being able to play all my favourite songs and to be able to write a bit and jam with friends. If I felt for a moment it was becoming something I had to do for the sake of itself or that it was a chore I'd sell all my gear tomorrow.


but learnign music shouldn't feel like a chore, it should be soulful and you should "need to do it". i'd rather play bass for 6 hours straight then go to one class at school.
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