Online Bass Instruction with Rusty Springfield
Personal Practice

Personal practice time is the single most important factor in learning to play an instrument, though it need not be drudgery. If it is, then either you're not putting enough fun in your routine or you need to adjust your attitude. Set aside enough time everyday to work on your short term goals, and make sure that you take at least one step in that direction every time you practice. Determine your short term goals and work toward them in a consistent manner. A short term goal can be learning a new tune, a dexterity exercise, working on your timing, tone, etc. If you can't learn a whole tune in a day, then learn the verse. Remember? One thing a day!

As a bassist, you wield a lot of power within a band. A weak bassist makes for a weak band. Sure, your amp can make you sound louder, but it's your fingers that provide the punch and sensitivity to make the music come "alive".
A music student once asked, "Should I practice everyday? "
The teacher replied, "Only on the days you eat."
If your playing is sloppy, your bass line will not produce the proper effect and your groove will suffer. Attitude is also a main ingredient. If you can't feel what you are playing, neither will your audience!

I highly recommend practicing with a metronome, or better yet, a drum machine. You can hone your sense of time to perfection and have fun grooving while you're doing it. After you've spent time working on your timing and execution with a metronome or drum machine, practice with a real live drummer. You can become very aware of timing subtleties this way. You will learn to sense when the drummer slows down or speeds up, even slightly. You and everyone else will feel it when you're in the "pocket."

Time is of the essence!
Go to the next lesson: Holding and Playing the Instrument