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Practicing Archives - Page 19

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Practicing on the Road

Q: Do you practice while on the road? If so… how? A: Actually, I tend to be more inspired to practice while on the road because I tend to be very ‘high’ on music while traveling and doing what I love! I get very single-minded and focused when on the road and can’t seem to stop thinking, listening to or...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

Practice Technique: Note Isolation for Improved Intonation

There are countless ways to improve our intonation, both at our instrument and away from it. Here’s one strategy, to be done at our instrument, which can help open our ears and stabilize a key center. It involves isolating and spotlighting a single pitch every time it appears. The technique works well with music of any tempo. You can isolate...

Practicing for Performance
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Practicing for Performance

When we are first learning a new work, we might spend many hours putting it together. We can easily spend days, weeks or even months working on small sections, phrases, passagework, navigating specific chord changes, or other musical and technical items in a piece. We do this not only to perfect individual sections and assure technical fluidity, but also in...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Your Own Voice

Q: I’m trying to grow, but its like I’ve hit the wall. I’m trying to play like a bass player is slipping away from me. I try to play for everyone, but it’s hard to find my own “voice” in the song. I find myself trying to play stuff where it doesn’t fit. How do i dig deeper than I...

Efficient 20 Minute Practice
Bass Lessons

Efficient 20 Minute Practice

How often do you hear people claim that it’s not how much your practice but how efficiently you practice? There are always claims that practicing 15-30 minutes every day versus a 3 hour session every Saturday will have a more positive impact on your playing ability – but how do you make the most of those 15-30 minutes? In this...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Good Practice?

Q: What is considered a “good” practice session?? Say, if I take an hour to practice, what should I be working on… doing warm-ups, running through set lists of songs I know, learning new material, listening and trying to imitate players I like, etc. Just trying to be as productive as possible with my time. A: In my opinion, ANY...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Practicing in Your Head

Q: So as I walked around the house, my wife asked me, “What are you doing, space cadet?” I guess I had a fairly blank look on my face and was walking around the house in circles. I replied, “Playing Bass… in my head.” She then said, “huh… you should write about that for the No Treble guys!” And I...

Ask Damian Erskine, Columns

Ask Damian Erskine: Practicing in every key?

Q: I seem to see two camps out there. “Learn/understand everything in all 12 keys” and “the symmetry of the neck can not be denied, so embrace the patterns and do not worry about learning it in all 12 keys”. Although I am not against a strong theory base or patterns, is there a middle road or another way of...

Lesson: Practicing Chord Changes
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Practicing Chord Changes

There are many ways to get better at the changes on a particular tune, but this approach works really well. First, play just quarter notes, and play all the arpeggios to get a “mental map” of all the chord tones in the progression (try to do it with a metronome): Then, still in quarter notes, start inverting the chords to...

Bass Lessons

Lesson: Practicing and the Mind

Today’s lesson is a preview from Jon Burr’s forthcoming “Physical and Mental Programming for the Improvising Bassist”… In order to gain an understanding of how to practice effectively and efficiently, it is useful to have some understanding of the structure of the brain, mind and nervous system. It is possible to “practice” and not get better-or, even, to get worse,...