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major and minor scales
scales and modes
sharps and flats
chord progressions
practice routine
4 Elements To A Healthy Bass Guitar Practice Routine
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4 Elements To A Healthy Bass Guitar Practice Routine

Is what I'm practicing really helping me become a better player? Very good questions to be asking yourself. If you're serious about developing your skill as a bass player, a good practice routine is essential. A good routine needs to be planned and should keep you interested. Today I will be discussing four elements to keep in mind when designing a healthy bass guitar practice routine.

1. Reading Music

Learn to read Bass Clef from instruction books, sheet music, and anything that is written with lines and staff. Tablature will not help you to read and is not used in organized musical situations. Start by memorizing the open notes and then working in sharps and flats. Next learn the value of each note: whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth notes, sixteenth notes. I recommend starting with quarter note exercises for bass guitar.

2. Music Theory

Practice scales and modes. Start by learning the major and minor scales while using a metronome. Play these at first position in all twelve keys. As you get more comfortable you can experiment by using other finger positions and double octave scales. Modes are constructed by starting at an eight note sequence from the various notes in the major scale. Each Roman numeral represents a step of the C major scale to start from.

I to I is the C Ionian mode

II to II is the D Dorian mode

III to III is the E Phrygian mode

IV to IV is the F Lydian mode

V to V is the G Mixolydian mode

VI to VI is the A Aeolian mode

VII to VII is the B Locrian mode

Memorize the shapes of scales and modes and hear how they can be used in songs and over chord progressions. This will help in the construction of melodies, bass lines, and solos.

3. Ear Training

Learn the bass parts to songs you like. Also learn the melody lines from the vocal, keyboard, or horn parts. This is a skill that will enable you to quickly sit in and play with other musicians. Set up your practice area so that you can easily reach the stop, play, and rewind controls of your audio source.

4. Improvisation

Make up your own bass lines. Get with some friends and experiment with different chord progressions while using the scales and modes to construct your bass lines. Grab a drum machine or metronome and try to write a song or bass groove. Record your original ideas and build a library of ideas that you can pull out when thinking about writing songs.

Healthy practice routines should feel fresh and be interesting to you. They're not meant to be boring or painful. Some routines can be very detailed depending on your musical style and direction. The four elements here is just the beginning and should be used as an outline to help you develop your own practice routines.


Street Talk

Not a musician myself but I do like your strategy of targeting your practice from multiple angles Eventually you can find what works best for you that way!

Reply
  about 3 years ago
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