The second part of our Student Voicebites on Practising is by a young bass guitar player who has achieved Grade 8 distinction (95%) and a bass guitar performance certificate. He gives his straight forward sound advice:
Fully involved in bands, school shows and festivals.
Play what you enjoy playing so that playing becomes a hobby rather than a chore. Don’t wait for your teacher to teach you what you want to learn. Try and teach yourself and then impress your music teacher.
Joining school bands gives you a specific time of the week at which you will always play. Joining bands also means you can be forced to play a range of different styles and pieces you may not have otherwise played. For an exam make sure you can play the pieces well consistently so that the theory is the only part you need to revise/learn.
Young man at Grade 8 Distinction and Level 4 diploma on the Bass Guitar.
(Involved with bands, school shows and festivals)
”Music to me is an important part of my life. Otis asked me why I practise, the answer is pretty obvious, it’s because I enjoy it! Why else play an instrument? If you’re playing an instrument just to help your C.V or because your dad’s a musician or because some other reason that isn’t ‘because I enjoy it’, then quit the instrument. You’ll never feel inclined to practise. Also you’ve got to enjoy the music you play. I listen to progressive death metal, so guess what, that’s what I play. It’s bass and guitar based music. If you play trumpet and you don’t even have a favourite trumpeter, then you’re playing the wrong instrument. As the great rapper Eminem states: ‘‘Lose yourself in the music’’. These words are wisdom because to enjoy practising, you need to be able to enjoy music made by your own instrument. Even if the stuff your teacher sets is boring make sure you’re aspiring to something greater on your instrument. Go and buy all the records of your favourite players and jam along with them- even if you can’t play half the stuff. I try playing along to veil of maya guitar, yet I’m nowhere near good enough to play it properly! If you can’t afford the records, just go on Youtube! If you’re a classical instrument player, don’t settle for the mainstream electric pop that’s all over the radio. See k out some inspiration, and trust me, you’ll find an inspiration worth practising for. If you find your running out of stuff to practice, go and join a band so you HAVE to practice. Go and transcribe some songs, film yourself covering them and put it on YouTube. Go and buy a songbook and learn the whole book. Jam with your mates. These are all forms of practising. Music shouldn’t be a chore.”