6 Steps To Productive Practice
Hey Groove Masters…
Creating an effective practice routine is the most effective way of propelling your bass playing forward. However, it is one of the hardest things to install. It’s so easy to get sidetracked, get distracted by the internet… or just let life get in the way.
However, some simple tweaks can make all the difference. Here I share 6 tips to productive practice. By productive, I mean practice that achieves results.
1.Have A Game Plan
Whenever you practise the bass guitar, always have a plan of what you're going to work on. Try and avoid picking up the instrument, then jumping on YouTube to find something suitable to practise. Searching through countless videos on the internet is easiest way of wasting valuable practice time, getting distracted and losing motivation.
Keep a log book of everything you have been working on and make notes on what you’d like to work on next. Even better join a community of bass players like the eBassGuitar Bass Lab PLUS, who can help keep you motivated and give you inspiration if you ever find yourself ‘stuck in a bass rut’.
2.Block Out Your Bass Time
Consistency is the key to progress and making practice a habit. Create a set slot every day which is your ‘bass time’. Even better, make it the same place too. This doesn’t have to be hours a day. I believe even a short burst of 10-15 minutes can achieve noticeable results. This is far better than an hour once a week.
Over a few weeks (some claim it to be as little as 21 days) you can create a positive practice habit where practising is fun and rewarding and above all pushes your skills forward.
3.Ease Into It…
Learning a musical instrument has may parallels to becoming a good athlete. A top sportsman will always warm up to get his muscles moving to avoid injury. We can do exactly the same thing as bass players. We can hit ‘100 miles an hour’ far faster if we spend a few minutes gently cruising at ‘30 miles a hour’ at the start of our practice session.
4.Create A Minimum Time Slot
Most people go into a practice session saying something like ‘I’m going to practice for at least 2 hours’. When that doesn’t happen frustration can often set in because a student hasn’t made their target. I advocate working a little differently. Try setting a minimum time slot, so you go into a practise session saying i’m going to practice for at least 30 minutes today. So when you get lost in the moment, look at your watch and discover an hour has flown by, you feel good about what you have achieved. This further reinforces the idea of a positive practise habit.
5.Finish On Some Fun
When you’ve had a hard practice session always play something you find fun and rewarding. This is a little bit like going going to the stream room at the end of a long gym session to relax. It’s always important to remember why we love playing music and to play music for pure enjoyment. So load up your favourite backing tracks, turn it up nice and loud and just rock out.
6.Focus & Assess
When we practise it’s often hard in the moment to recognise when we are making progress. However, when we ‘zoom out’ and take a look at things from 30,000ft, it is much easier to see… especially if we keep a log. At the end of this ‘6 Steps To Productive Practice I’ve included the eBassGuitar Practice Maximiser which is handy way of tracking when you practise, what went well, what needs work… and most importantly what your biggest achievement of the week was. This is all part of further creating a positive practice habit, especially when you start looking back over a couple of months.
What are your 'productive practice tips? Please comment below & let me know!
Keep groovin' hard