Playing Your Bass Guitar Scales
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 off of it, Or cannot progress. Its like you may as well quit.Seems like you just cannot move on, Don`t feel any real improvement, Getting bored as hell playing your Bass,Wondering if you will ever be creative again.
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 matter 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 are on checking pedals speakers etc.
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. And I must mention just because this little trick works like a champ for me does not mean it will work for you or anyone else. I Could be a total freak like nobody else ever.
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, Just playing simple bass scales does it everytime ,Might take 5 minutes or couple hours but it works. at least for me.
And I think its the musical sound of the scales,That when i hear it, it makes me want to create music not sure as im no brain specialists But whatever makes it work im glad i found it.
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. And you are helping yourself in my opinion thats always better that giving up and taking a time out.
Maybe time outs are good for some, But i have always had a hard time of leaving a problem i know i should be working on.I Have been that way for ever, If I have something to tackle or something is broke I need to fix it now or it drives me nuts, Same goes with my music, My relationships, My cars , Everything there is probably some kind of isim they call this but I don`t know the name of it. But do give it a try next time your having a playing rut or a flat spot in creativity. Just play some scales you need to anyway right?
Stay Low ThePlayer