Page 6 - bass

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Ba s s L ev e l 1
Ban dwa g on Mu s i c S t ud i o s
You should practice and play every day. There is a
difference between practice and playing. Practice
is when you work on things you can't do, while
playing means to play those things you can
already do.
An interesting point about the brain is that it
can’t tell the difference between right and
wrong. Whatever you show the brain it will
like and learn very quickly. So if you practice
something with mistakes the brain will learn this
and practice it in the back of your head all day
long - even when you are sleeping. Then when you
finally realise you are playing mistakes you have
to un-learn it and then re-learn it. Three times
longer than you need to practice. Don’t show the
brain any mistakes!
Therefore when first practicing a new song or
exercise it is best to LEARN IT rather than
trying to PLAY IT. Don’t try to play like the C.D. -
you’ll never be able to keep up and you will be
showing the brain a million mistakes, which it will
learn. Remember the people playing on the C.D.
have been playing for years.
Break this learning stage into two steps –
1. Show each hand exactly what they have to do.
Ignore rhythm and even stop at times to check
each hand BEFORE you play. Make sure your
chord hand fingers are on the right string and in
the right fret. Check your strumming. Don’t show
the brain any mistakes! You should STOP, CHECK
and THINK as you learn each new thing.
2. Now play the song or exercise in rhythm - slow
enough so that your hands can keep up. Don’t
worry if you make one or two little fumbles you
are trying to get used to playing the piece in
Alternate between the two steps until you can
play perfectly in rhythm. Then just slowly
increase the tempo until you reach the speed you
want. By learning the piece you will be able to
play it much sooner and better than if you
continually fumble and eventually stumble on the
right way to play. Remember the old saying of
crawl before you can walk.
So how much time should you devote to
The best aim is to practice everyday, in fact aim
to practice more than once a day.
Regular practice allows your brain and fingers to
learn the work. The more you “turn your brain
and fingers on” the quicker they will learn how to
play. For this reason it is even better to do more
than one practice a day.
Leave your guitar out - when you walk past do a
couple of minutes, if you’re ready for school or
work early then do a couple of minutes, before
your favourite TV show do a minute, and so on. If
you practice twice a day this will be fourteen
times that you turn your brain and fingers on
during the week.
Some times you will be so busy you might only fit
in 1 minute, other times you might find 5 minutes
while other times you will be able to practice for
30 minutes.
So your week of practicing might be Monday 1
minute and 4 minutes; Tuesday 7 minutes and 2
minutes; Wednesday 4 minutes and 26 minutes;
Thursday 15 minutes and 3 minutes; Friday 8
minutes and 2 minutes; Saturday 25 minutes and
11 minutes; Sunday 5 minutes and 35 minutes. All
this regular practice will snowball.
Don't save up for one large practice on the
weekend. Even though the total time may be small