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# DELIBERATE PRACTICE TUTORIAL

6 pages
DELIBERATE PRACTICE TUTORIAL
HOW TO USE DELIBERATE PRACTICE TO FIX ‘HOLES’
IN YOUR TECHNIQUE PRACTICAL TUTORIAL 2: USING DELIBERATE PRACTICE TO
CORRECT AN ISOLATED FAULT
This tutorial looks at using ‘the deliberate practice’ way to correct an
isolated fault.
First up, let’s get some background information. This tutorial came
about as a result of some emails with one of my bass students, a guy
called Todd. Todd is a beginner -and in the first few lessons it became
clear that he needed to work on his right hand technique (plucking hand
technique so as not to confuse you ‘lefties’ out there).
He had two problems to correct - firstly I teach a version of the ‘float-
ing thumb’ technique whereby your thumb rests on different strings
depending on where you are playing, primarily to act as a mute on the
lower strings. And I also teach alternating two finger plucking.
Now when Todd came to me his right hand technique was based on
anchoring his thumb on the pick up and plucking with one hand. So
one of the things we’ve been working on is changing that to the floating
thumb AND alternating two fingers.
And I’m pleased to say he’s making great progress. Which I duly noted
and complimented him upon in his latest lesson critique. In his email
back to me he noted that it was getting better, but that he was still
having problems making smooth transitions from the E string to the D
string, or ...
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DELIBERATEPRACTICE TUTORIAL
HOWTO USE DELIBERATE PRACTICE TO FIX ‘HOLES’  INYOUR TECHNIQUE
PRACTICAL TUTORIAL 2: USING DELIBERATE PRACTICE TO CORRECT AN ISOLATED FAULT
This tutorial looks at using ‘the deliberate practice’ way to correct an isolated fault.
First up, let’s get some background information.This tutorial came about as a result of some emails with one of my bass students, a guy called Todd.Todd is a beginner -and in the ﬁrst few lessons it became clear that he needed to work on his right hand technique (plucking hand technique so as not to confuse you ‘lefties’ out there).
He had two problems to correct - ﬁrstly I teach a version of the ‘ﬂoat-ing thumb’ technique whereby your thumb rests on different strings depending on where you are playing, primarily to act as a mute on the lower strings.And I also teach alternating two ﬁnger plucking.
Now when Todd came to me his right hand technique was based on anchoring his thumb on the pick up and plucking with one hand.So one of the things we’ve been working on is changing that to the ﬂoating thumb AND alternating two ﬁngers.
And I’m pleased to say he’s making great progress.Which I duly noted and complimented him upon in his latest lesson critique.In his email back to me he noted that it was getting better, but that he was still having problems making smooth transitions from the E string to the D string, or vice versa.
What’s important about his email is that he had isolated a technical issue in his playing.And having isolated a technical issue he should look to work on ﬁxing it immediately.
So I suggested a series of exercises for him to address these issues - the important takeaway from this lesson though is not the speciﬁc steps that I’m about to list (because you may not have this technical issue), but the concept of devising a series of sequential exercises designed to correct a ﬂaw or fault that you ﬁnd in your playing technique.
|Deliberate Practice Tutorial | how-to-play-bass.com
Before you email me in indignation that your technique is pretty good, let me just add that if you read interviews with most of the top players in Bass Player Magazine or elsewhere, you’ll ﬁnd that they are constantly working on improving areas in their technique. Anyway, here are the steps. Step One Set a metronome or drum machine going.Very slowly.Maybe as slow as 40 BPM.And then play a bar of 8th notes on the open E string, followed by a bar of 8th notes on the open D string, and then repeat.Notated out it looks like this:
Ok, the most important part of this exercise is to put in PERFECT repeti-tions of it.So I told Todd to really focus on the shifts from the E string to the D string.Make sure they are ﬂawless and seamless.
What you’re aiming to do by repeating this exercise a gazillion times is train your brain that THIS is the way that you shift from the E string to the D string and vice versa. And although this exercise is fairly boring you only need to do it for a few minutes every day and in a relatively short time you’ll have corrected this technique problem. Step Two OK, once you’ve played through the exercise enough times and are satisﬁed that the transitions from the E to the D String - and back again - are seamless, then the next job is to up the tempo a fraction.Maybe moving from 40 to 44 BPM would be a good next step.
|Deliberate Practice Tutorial | how-to-play-bass.com
And repeat the process.And then follow a tempo sequence like this:
40 BPM 44 BPM 48 BPM 52 BPM 56 BPM 60 BPM 64 BPM 68 BPM 72 BPM 76 BPM 80 BPM.
When you reach 80 BPM then that triggers the next phase of the exercise. TIP!: it doesn’t matter how long it takes to get to 80 BPM.What matters is getting it right.As a rule of thumb if you learn something with ﬂaws in your technique it takes two to three times longer to ﬁx at a later date than spending time on getting it right the ﬁrst time. Step Three When you’ve reached 80 BPM with Exercise 1, then reset the metronome to a lower tempo - maybe 48 BPM - and try Exercise 2:
In this exercise instead of shifting strings every bar, now you’re shifting strings every two beats.
Again focus on making those shifts ﬂawless.If you can’t do it at 48 BPM then drop the metronome to 40 BPM and start from there.And make sure it’s ﬂawless before you start nudging the metronome a notch or two. |Deliberate Practice Tutorial | how-to-play-bass.com
Again as another rule of thumb make sure you can do at least 10 ﬂawless repetitions of the sequence before you nude the metronome or drum machine up a notch. And as before when you reach 80 BPM that triggers the next phase of the exercise: Step Four Now you reset the metronome to a lower tempo - the ‘correct’ tempo is the tempo that you can play this exercise ﬂawlessly at:
And now you’re playing only two 8th notes per string and then shifting. Again put in a sequence of perfect repetitions before you take the tempo up.
By the time you get to 80 BPM (and can do it ﬂawlessly) you’ll be well on your way to plugging that hole in your technique.
If you wanted to carry on working on this particular aspect of your te-chique you could either go beyond 80 BPM, or you could go back to a low tempo and switch every 8th note, or you could switch to 16th notes and switch every 2 16th notes....the only limit is your imagination.
As I stressed at the beginning of the report, the takeaway from this tutorial should be that you can use this method to ﬁx just about any hole in areas of your technique.It applies for any right hand technique - slapping, double thumb, pick playing, three or four ﬁnger playing - and left hand technique too.
|Deliberate Practice Tutorial | how-to-play-bass.com
The important thing to remember is to SLOW IT RIGHT DOWN.The mistake that most of my students make with an exercise like this is that they do it too fast - it’s more important to play it slowly and perfectly than faster and wrong!
I hope this tutorial is of interest to you. This is just one way that you can implement Deliberate Practice into your bass playing.If you want more details on Deliberate Practice then click here:
http://www.how-to-play-bass.com/deliberate-practice.html
|Deliberate Practice Tutorial | how-to-play-bass.com
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