I remember how I used to practice. Play a part of a song, get bored, move on to another part of a song, get distracted by thinking about another song, try that song for a few minutes, then put the bass down and head out. The result of that practice “method” was a “hit and miss” performance. When playing solos or difficult lines in my performance, I would always sweat the difficult solos and bass lines. Why? Because I never actually learned the parts completely!
Try the FOCUS Method
There’s an entrepreneur podcast called EOFire where you will hear the host, John Lee Dumas, talk about his acronym for the word Focus, Follow One Course Until Success. What a great way to think about our practice habits! So, if you’re frustrated with yourself because you never seem to be able to nail down a particular line or song, try the FOCUS method. Here’s an example:
1) Spend time focusing on the notes of the intro, then EXACTLY how you need to finger EACH of those notes. Precision is important when learning a difficult part.
2) Practice only this intro part, slowly and smoothly. Play it as slowly as you need to be precise with each note, ghost note and finger transition.
3) Follow that same course until you are able to play the intro line at the speed of the recording and with confidence! Follow One Course Until Success.
4) Move on to the next part of the song and repeat steps 1-3.
Be aware that although the steps are simple, following them through to success is difficult and will require self-discipline and resolve. Stay on it! Persevere by keeping your heart set on achieving that goal of playing this song with a strong and confident groove!
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