How to practice bass if you hate practice!

If you're stuck in a creative rut, you need some ways to make your bass practice sessions engaging.

Once you create a regular practice schedule and you know what to play each session, you'll look forward to it and you'll stick to it.

10 ways to keep bass practice sessions engaging

1. Play Along with Your Favorite Songs

Instead of playing scales or exercises, pick some of your favorite songs that feature prominent bass lines and play along. This can help improve your timing, ear training, and technique in a more enjoyable context.

2. Join or Form a Band

Playing with others can be incredibly motivating and fun. It forces you to adapt to different styles and speeds up your learning process by applying what you know in a live setting.

3. Record Yourself

Use a simple recording device or software to record your playing. This helps you to hear your progress, identify areas for improvement, and track your growth over time.

4. Experiment with Effects

Experimenting with bass effects pedals or software can be a fun way to explore new sounds and techniques. It can inspire you to play more and find new ways to express yourself musically.

5. Challenge Yourself with New Genres or Scales

If you typically stick to one genre, challenge yourself to play bass lines from different genres. This can expand your musical vocabulary and expose you to new techniques. Here's the E Mixolydian shape I used in the lesson. Try it over an E drone or just play your open E string.

6. Set Small, Achievable Goals

Instead of vague goals like "get better," set specific, achievable objectives like "learn to play the bass line of XYZ song by the end of the week." This can make practice feel more like a game with clear objectives and rewards.

7. Use Apps and Online Resources

There are many apps and online platforms designed to make practicing more interactive and fun. Some offer play-along tracks, gamified lessons, or challenges that can make practice feel less tedious. Moises, Tomplay.

8. Improvise

Spend time improvising over backing tracks or with a drummer. Improvisation can be a fun way to apply what you’ve learned in a creative way, and it helps develop your ear and your ability to create bass lines on the spot.

9. Focus on Fun Techniques

Practice techniques that you find fun, such as slap bass, tapping, or using a pick. Focusing on what excites you about playing bass can make practice sessions something to look forward to.

10. Attend Workshops or Clinics

Participating in workshops, clinics, or master classes can be a great way to learn in a more interactive and less formal environment. It’s also a chance to meet other musicians and get inspired by their journey.

By incorporating these approaches, you can make your bass practice more about playing music and less about the mundane repetition of traditional exercises. The key is to keep it enjoyable and aligned with your musical interests and goals.

If you need material to inspire your practice sessions, I have four bass courses for you to check out.

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