108 Days of Practice

Angeline's practice spaceAbout 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,



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17 Responses to 108 Days of Practice

  • Josh Barrett says:

    Hey Angeline,
    I have met you several times with Ian and Paul and played with you at Last Day Saloon once or twice with Dustin Saylor.
    This post is inspiring! I love the concept of the practice regimen. I am excited for you and looking forward to hearing you shred live soon!


  • Let’s see, power bass + talented lead + emphatic drummer == power trio => Cream

    Sounds like Cream might have some material which would fit well with the practice band lineup.

  • Mark Manion says:

    I play everyday, but I don’t always consider it practice.
    I’ll take the 108 day practice challenge starting tomorrow.
    And I’ll get a copy of the book too.
    Watch out Blues licks here I come.

  • Thomas Perry says:

    Dude, just ordered my copy of Zen Guitar….Stay tuned…

  • Vincent Sweargen says:

    108 is a power number. That number was applied by my martial arts some years ago in the form of 108 days of training. I’m not surprised at it’s application to practicinc my instument. I played bass in high school which was some 30 years ago. Two years ago I began playing again and the fire rages on. Today I will begin the 108 days of practice. See in then.

    Keep is low.

  • Bob Burr says:

    Hi there. I was not aware of the Zen Guitar book but I will find a copy. I’m retired so I have more than enough time to try the challenge on my own. I have no one to lay with but I’ll let fate work that out; but, for now, I’ll hit it as James Bond would and hope I get the girl in the end, lol. Yeah, I’m dreaming but I’m loving it. My best to you and your band mates!

  • Bob Burr says:

    Sorry for the typo. I meant that I had no one to Play with and, uh, well let me leave it at that. Kinda embarrassed over this way. So much for first impressions.

  • Will says:

    Hi, good to see the fretless jazz up on the wall Do you prefer rounds or flats on it?

  • Rob Cook says:

    Hi Angeline,
    I liked the 108 challenge idea from your blog so I thought I’d give it a go. And it is a challenge, but after 15 days now, everything is improving. My best mate and bass guitarist (who also happens to be an Eckardt) in our band Sheeza Goer (as in “Sheeza goer mate”) noticed my playing had gone up a few notches (there’s about 1000 notches to go) so now he is doing it as well.
    Sorry this was just going to be a one liner saying thanks.
    My wifes getting me the Zen Gtr for X-mas,
    Have great Christmas yourself and if Zepparella ever want to tour Australia we’ll be there.

    • Angeline says:

      Hi there!

      I love hearing these stories… So glad the 108 day challenge is working for you too! Now, just stay at it! Best of luck and happy holidays! 🙂

  • Rob Smith says:

    Wow, I just found you, through a YouTube Zepparella video. I have been searching for something to give me inspiration to get back into my bass, and I believe that you have provided just that. Being a Buddhist as well, this just fits. Will be picking up the book and my Jazz. Keep it low, Angeline, and thank you!

  • Robert says:

    Hello. Is Kai’s program applicable to newer bass players who want to play classic rock, punk, and funk? Thanks for the response in advance.

    • Angeline says:

      Yes, I think Kai’s program is great for bass players at any stage of the game. You can always reach out to him via email and ask him directly though 🙂
      Best of Luck!

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