108 Days of Practice
About three years ago, I had the great opportunity to study with Kai Eckhardt. Besides our weekly lessons, I also participated in his mentorship program, which I highly recommend to anyone wanting to take their playing to the next level. For more information, visit: http://kaizone.com/mentorship.html
Without going into too much detail, the program is best summed up as committing to practice every day for 108 days, for a minimum of a half hour a day. This doesn’t sound like much, but the real challenge here is the consistency of it. Inevitably, there would fall a day when I would wake up, go to a rehearsal, teach all day and zoom off to a gig, then get home and realize I hadn’t put in my half hour. This is truly where your commitment to the challenge comes in.
On the other hand, many days started at a half hour and turned into 2, 3, 4, 5 or sometimes even 6 hours of practice. Having that happen a few times a week changed me as a player. I remember I really started to feel a connection to my instrument and to my own personal voice on the bass.
Well, I’m hungry again. I teamed up with Zepparella bandmates, Gretchen Menn and Clementine, and we are taking the 108 day challenge again. (Sounds like a fitness program! Ha!) We decided to pair it up with reading a single chapter from Zen Guitar each day before we begin practice. This way, there is a principle to help guide the practice to a deeper place of understanding.
Today is Day 4 and I am already asking myself why I just don’t do this year round. It’s practically like a meditation for me. I find I’m more grounded, happier and… improving! Imagine that.
“Addicted to that Rush” by Mr. Big is my first challenge. Billy Sheehan and Paul Gilbert shreddddddding! I’m having so much fun learning this one! I’ve got the intro down and now I’m starting the middle tapping section.
Being equally in love with rock and funk, I’m also working on Graham Central Station’s “Earthquake.” Stanky. I’m hoping I can find an opportunity this summer to play this one live. Somehow, playing it at home through my little practice amp just seems like an injustice to this tune.
I couldn’t just leave it at that. I’m also hungry to work on my speed, so I’ve been shedding Chick’s “Got a Match.” Mad props to Patitucci on this track. Is it even humanly possible to play that fast? Seriously.
OK. Time to stop blogging and start my practice for the day. I’ll keep you posted!
Love and Low End,