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Practice Archives - Page 10

Strategies for Better Intonation
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Strategies for Better Intonation

If you are an upright bassist, then intonation is on your mind. I’ve talked in the past about using drones to help solidify intonation, but this is just one of seemingly innumerable strategies to improve pitch. Today we’ll touch on a few other approaches. You can do all of these exercises with music you are working on or, of course,...

Audition and Performance Preparation: Recording Yourself
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Audition and Performance Preparation: Recording Yourself

One very enlightening way to prepare for an audition or performance is to record yourself prior stepping on the stage, or into the audition room. Expensive equipment is not required to gain benefit from recording yourself. Although better recording equipment means you can listen back in greater detail, the fact is that free recording software and the microphones on most...

From Groove to Changes to Soloing: Damian Erskine’s Practice Routine
Ask Damian Erskine

From Groove to Changes to Soloing: Damian Erskine’s Practice Routine

Q: You answer a lot of questions to help bassists out. But I’d like to know, what are you personally working on to improve your playing? A: I am in a constant state of flux with my practice habits. Different things bug me about my playing depending on the gigs I have one week versus the next. Lately, it has...

Improving Your Playing: What’s Your Story?
Ask Damian Erskine

Improving Your Playing: What’s Your Story?

Q: What are you personally working on to improve your playing? A: Okay, getting more personal than usual here <grin>… I am in a constant state of flux with my practice habits. Different things bug me about my playing depending on the gigs I have one week versus the next, causing me to switch gears and focus. Lately, I’ve been...

Repeat After Me: Metronomes (and Drum Machines) Are Fun
I Wish I Knew That

Repeat After Me: Metronomes (and Drum Machines) Are Fun

First things first, I’m not trying to open a “metronome debate.” I’m also not trying to lecture people about using (or not using) a metronome during their practice sessions. Instead, I’m going to shed some light on why and how metronomes can be useful tools when it comes to practicing and experimenting with your instrument. We’ll examine the differences between...

Guiding Your Own Practice: A Checklist for Improving Your Practice Routine
I Wish I Knew That

Guiding Your Own Practice: A Checklist for Improving Your Practice Routine

Confession: I played bass for years without ever practicing. I didn’t know what to focus on and certainly didn’t have enough discipline for it… I just wanted to play. I played along with records, I fooled around and discovered certain licks, and I hung out with musical buddies who would give me tips now and then; but I never actually...

Pacing Your Solos: A Guide to Improvisation
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Pacing Your Solos: A Guide to Improvisation

It is not uncommon for students of improvisation to approach their practice without a real plan. They simply start trying to improvise a solo, without really focusing on When, How or What to play, hoping things will simply get better over time. I was certainly guilty of this. It’s one reason I developed my expandable “Tune Treatment” mentioned in an...