This is another one of those playing through a rut articles, Actually its just another method I use to get my self through a flat spot in my creativity. I Suppose we all come to as musicians what is referred to as flat spots in our creativity. Where you reach a certain point and for the life of you you cannot get of of it, Or cannot progress. Its like you have learned all you are going to learn, May as well quit.
Before you do anything drastic or like sell your bass’s ,Just know I think all musicians have been in this spot, Probably more times than some will admit, I for one, And when there you are very frustrated and not excited about your playing, Its like every time you pickup your bass the same notes and patterns come out no mater what you try to play. And you are sick of hearing them. Been there too, Now I want to share with you one of my tricks that gets me out of this rut just about 100% no fail.
But first I want to explain why some people do not get in these ruts. From my understanding and memory ,I Only got into these ruts when I was just home alone practicing for any length of time,
like no gigs no band no rehearsals for at least a week maybe longer. Now when doing studio work daily no problem, No Ruts no Flat spots in creativity. And the same goes when rehearsing on a daily basis with a band. (not alone) but only with a band. And the same goes when taking lessons, No Flat spots no ruts, especially on a every other day schedule. And what I have learned causes this is two things for me that I can identify,
The First is boredom from playing the same licks , same patterns, over in my head and on my fret board. Now I know some of you are thinking ,(“I Don’t Do That” ), But I have found just about all players do this to some extent.
We all have our favorite licks, What is the first few notes you play when you first pick up your bass? And I bet 85% of us play those same first few notes every time even if its to see if everything is working like amps so on.
The Second reason is Laziness now don’t get mad, I had to admit it too. I Found with nobody around watching me or waiting for me, I Was taking it easy on myself and playing in what I call my comfort zone,
The easy notes and licks I tend to always play.
My productive side was not challenging my lazy side to get off its ass enough. It might sound like I am over analyzing this but ,Its not as easy to put into words as it is to think about it, At least for me. And I am convinced this is most of the cause of the Rut or Flat creativity zone most of us find ourselves in from time to time.
So now I want to offer my fix for this problem. Or I should say one of my fixes cause I have tried many things, That’s how I knew this only happens at certain times as mentioned above. I am repeating my old saying that” No body is ever too good at playing any instrument”, To not need to practice.
My fix or cure for this complicated syndrome is Bass Scales, …..Yes its back to the basics.
Play Your Scales….. Play Your Scales
Hope nobody is disappointed. But this works great,
The reason its so great is….. Pretty obvious but for the ones that are real dense,
First you are practicing, and Exercising your hands this is always good.
Your fingers are getting more nimble, This is always good. Most importantly you are playing your scales, Once you do the sounds you play ,While practicing your scales Brings whole new musical ideas come at you,
The Scales were written the way they are for a reason. The Notes compliment each other in a way that they sound good to our ears. And I know first hand that when we hear these ,Harmonic patterns playing it pulls us right out of the ruts and our creative juices start flowing just about immediately .
And you are suddenly And almost magically Back to your old self bass playing wise.
This might sound really dumb, or way too easy to some, And what I say to the doubters Just Try It.
Just so everyone who wants to, Can do this. I Am including a Link To The Bass Scales, With This Report. That way there is nothing holding you back from immediate recovery from this nasty syndrome.
Enjoy -(*!~)Bass Scales Link