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How much should I practice?

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How much should I practice? Empty How much should I practice?

Post  Admin Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:38 am

How Much To Practice?

How much you practice depends a lot on your goals and your schedule. I believe frequency of practice is more important than quantity of practice. You will retain more and learn at a faster pace if you consistently practice 30 minutes every day of the week rather than 6 hours one day a week. Boredom can be a real killer of inspiration as well, so as soon as you get bored, put down the instrument!

Pick up your bass once a day even if it is only for five minutes! Just a few minutes of practice when you don’t have much time will strengthen your memory of concepts, improve your musical ear, and reinforce the muscle memory you are developing.

If possible, keep your bass out of its case. Make your bass accessible. That way it is easy to pick up whenever you have some time. If you want to force yourself to pick it up, leave it sitting in your favorite chair or in your bed! Put your bass where it is in your way; don’t keep it out of sight. I find myself picking up my bass instinctively when I’m watching tv, or on the net.

I think a decent, average amount to practice would be 45-60 minutes a day. If you are consistent, you can make a fair amount of progress with that much practice. If you are more serious about playing the bass, 2-3 hours a day would be a good amount of practice time. And, if you want to be really good you might practice as much as 6-8 hours a day. I did this for a long time when I didn’t have a job, and my band was gigging loads. It defiantly made me a better player, but as I said above, frequency is more important than quantity.

The more you practice, the more you will learn. Of course, you need to be practicing the right things, but more practice helps.

I do think there is a saturation point where you can be practicing too much. At some point you will notice you don't get much more return for the time you are putting in practicing. Don't forget there is a world out there that can really inspire you and make you play better, too. Everything is not in your practice room. Don't be a total shut-in! Take your bass out with you, and go for a walk. I do this quite often, and normally end up in some random field, playing away…

As you increase how much you practice, you also need to be aware of the increased health risks musicians face. Long practice sessions may stimulate hand injuries, and you are at higher risk of losing your hearing. Remember to be gentler on yourself as you increase your practice time. Check out my videos on hand and tendon stretching, and do these exercises if you plan on a doing a marathon bass sessions.

Your practice routine doesn’t always have to be the same length of time each day. You could have a full practice routine (maybe 2 hours) and an abbreviated one (maybe 30 minutes). Choose which one fits your schedule best each day. Don’t skip practicing for the day because you can’t get in your normal amount of practice time. This is a common trap into which students fall.

Above all, “an ounce of practice is worth a ton of theory”, so stop reading this, and start playing right now!

Adios.

~Kris~
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