I recently rescheduled my workshop, “The Art of Practicing Bass,” for October 24th because I’ve had such a huge uptick of teaching work and needed a little extra time to prepare. As I’ve been putting together material for the workshop, I’ve decided that I want to expand it to an e-book with detailed practice suggestions and musical notation. As an incentive for workshop registration, participants will receive a code for a free copy of the book. (I’d like to publish the book by the end of the 2015, but can’t promise that there won’t be delays) Here is a brief summary of how I’d like to structure the book:
Chapter 1: The Struggle of Practicing Bass
This chapter explains why bassists have to learn how to practice in ways that work for them. Many bassists are never taught how to practice, or if they are, they are taught that there is one “right” way to practice. I’ll discuss some of the reasons that practice produces so much anxiety – and what to do about it!
Chapter 2: Making Time for Practice
This chapter outlines strategies for scheduling efficient and effective practice. These strategies will include setting reasonable goals, breaking practice into small chunks (as little as 5 minutes), and integrating musical practice into other forms of movement and/or learning.
Chapter 3: Addressing Technical Issues
This chapter focuses on why it’s important to address technical limitations, rather than just running through music. It’ll include exercises targeting right hand technique (pizzicato and arco), left hand technique (fingering and shifting), and other aspects of technique.
Chapter 4: Addressing Conceptual Issues
This chapter focuses on addressing conceptual issues – such as learning music theory and improvisation. It’ll include suggestions for making the less enjoyable parts of practice (such as scales, arpeggios, and transcription) manageable and tailored to your goals. I’ll also discuss the importance of composing your own exercises, basslines, solos, etc.
Chapter 5: Addressing Ensemble Issues
This chapter focuses on issues with playing bass in an ensemble – whether small group or big band. It’ll discuss the various roles of the bassist, as well as how to cultivate sociability, adaptability, and listening skills in ensemble contexts.