The Dutch Guitar & Bass Pages
Read my motivation-tips
Place your fingertips as close to the frets as you can
To start off with, on forehand you have to know WHAT you're going to practice (and why!!), so make a checklist. Play your weak parts 3 times as much, play every day ( see my Daily practice and 1-minute programs. Do not worry if it sounds bad, you are practicing things you cannot play yet, remember?. During playing don't THINK but feel & hear. Before starting make a deal with yourself, where you are going to pay attention to.
Number ONE is FEAR! Are you afraid of coming mistakes? (you didn't play them yet!) Number TWO: unwanted sounds from open strings etc...
Pay attention, try to feel from your left-fingertips through your arm, over your neck, down the right arm, to your fingertips and notice where you're having tension. (we make movement NOT tension). To get rid of tension, exaggerate it, hold on to it a couple of seconds, let loose and notice how you did that, practice this and think of it everyday, it'll go away!
You are going to be a fast learner,rememberer and thinker. Playing Paganini keeps you alert, and makes you want to play difficult techniques. BTW Paganini is the founder of todays heavy music. You'll find his techniques in many styles!
An Arpeggio is a broken chord. (played string for string-upwards and/or downwards). Sometimes they appear in modern music, that's true, but most of all we can learn a lot from them. Whenever you do something wrong (tension, wrong position of hands etc..) it won't go, time to consider your faults!
You start with an idea (CD-cover,Movie,Book etc...etc...) then write down the Keywords and see yourself as a moviedirector, make with these Keywords a Movie, all scenes are good, because they bring you to other ideas and keywords. Also buy yourself a Rhyming Dictionairy. Practice a couple of phrases EVERY day, you'll be an expert in ONE month! Articles from about.com
Your Pickhand is THE most important one, the pickhand makes your sound. (soft, hard, melodic, aggresive etc...). In general you play with your ARM and NOT with your hand, keep your hand still. The rythm comes from the same movement as the HiHat-arm of the drummer.
Ask yourself- HOW does it have to sound? This is the idea behind it, make it
exciting, pull attension, make BIG differences! (high-low, hard-soft, short-long,
You'll get a Tennis Elbow as you strain the muscles attached to the bone of your elbow, they rip loose, bit by bit, and it hurts!!. Make no habit of pulling your wrist backwards (computers-mouses!!). Remember, a tennis elbow only cures after 9-12 months of TOTAL rest! (=NO playing!) and it will stay a soft spot all your life. So be Careful! Pain means STOP!.
Straight from every angle (to the strings). Hold it between 3 fingertips with a flat hand, resting on the upper strings to mute them, move with your ARM not with your hand itself, NO tension. Try to imitate a mandoline-tremolo, if that sounds OK you're doing well, practice this everyday!
If it SOUNDS (!) good you're doing it well!
To concentrate is nothing more than asking yourself questions, not a lot people know that, What, Why, Where, When, Who, How etc... So: WHAT do I pay attention to, WHEN do I study, What do I want to learn, What are my weak spots etc.....
You have to let music sound GOOD! (whichever instrument), this is THE most important, not only play the right notes.......So, listen to the loudspeakers and not to the sound from YOUR instrument alone.
Eh......well...THAT isn't easy. First: you have to be very good in your
profession (instrument). Second: you have to have a very good skill in communicating with
others. Third: you have to think commercial. Fourth: you have to be willing to work
yourself a &%$#&%$# everyday. Read the music-magazines/papers get in touch with
If you're BLIND, will you become a fighterpilot?
In our daily lives we are using our alphabeth, to read, write etc. We are doing that with 26 letters and 10 digits, we can do almost anything with that, consider what happens if you don't know the alphabeth, well it is possible but a 100 times harder. In music we have also an alphabeth, our scales/modes, you can play without them but it is a 100 times harder. If you don't have to worry about the notes, ONE thing remains: making MUSIC!
And the end of musical phrases you will usually find a Cadence. A cadence is a musical comma or fullstop. There are four cadence-types
It seems that after 3 days most people forget about 80% what has been said, or what has been learned, this is a pity, maybe you forgot one of the best ideas in your whole life!! Keeping a logbook solves this problem. Write down the KEYWORDS of all your ideas etc read it back so every now and then and you'll be amazed what new ideas will come up, which you write down again in your logbook
The biggest obstacle on your way to the most famous (bass)guitarist of the world is TIME MANAGEMENT. What does that mean?. Everybody knows he has to practice, which is done very well, mostly in the beginning, but after a while you start skipping a day (I'll do that tomorrow, no time today etc). The secret is: study every day, use Momentum. Don't do too much today, otherwise you'll be in trouble tomorrow (time!). Here is where the stopwatch comes in handy. Put the thing on 15 minutes and STUDY (be smart, only useful things you need) until the alarms goes off, then you'll know that you:
You can find a list Here
Whenever you are performing, you have to put (=trigger) yourself in a
peak-state. What I mean is, if you're playing blues p.ex., you have to THINK blues.....HOW
do we do that? It's actually simple....let's stick to the blues for this moment...
A very clever way which improves your playing is using the BSD-technique. BSD stands for Brief-Study-Debrief.
To remember solos, pieces, playing-techniques etc....I always
use the RITMOS-technique. RITMOS stands for: Repetition Is
The Mother Of Skill
Hands do not play the guitar -the brain does!