I recently read a very thoughtfully written article on ActiveBass.com about practicing methods. Written by Joe Solomon, this article approaches practicing from an improviser’s perspective, but it includes valuable advice for any performing musician:
” I don’t know, I have all these great solos in my head, but I just can’?t seem to play them on my instrument.”
How familiar these words are to those of us who have ever attempted to teach the art of improvising to other bassists. And it always amazes me how many young players, once they have begun to attain a degree of physical mastery over their instruments, seem to feel that this new problem of getting music out of their heads and into their ears and fingers is a relatively minor one, that their teacher will provide them with some simple formula, some magic key that will solve it in a matter of a few weeks.
In my own experience, nothing has been further from the truth. In fact, my usual response is: “Look, I know how you feel. I’?ve been working on that very thing myself for the past 25 years.” I can just sense the unspoken reaction, “Man, this guy really goes slow!” And just to get all cards on the table I must add, “That’?s right, my way is the slow way. There’?s no getting around that.” What I don’t always admit right away is that I consider the ability to go slow to be a great virtue. To me, the slow way turns out in the end to be the fastest way because it is the only way.
Read the complete article here.
Practicing is a fiendishly difficult thing to teach, yet efficient and intelligent practicing determines whether or not one will make progress on their instrument. It is always good to see more articles written on this subject.