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How YOU Can Use Deliberate Practice To Learn Walking Bass

Hey there

This week I've talked about deliberate practice and learning walking basslines.

Now most people know the topic of deliberate practice via the mention of it in Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers via the cute nickname he gave it - the 10,000 Hour Rule.

Only problem is that Gladwell made several erroneous interpretations of deliberate practice in Outliers.  And only got one right.  The one he got right was that in just about any field you have to put in a great deal of hard work to become a virtuoso.

For classical violin students and piano students who aspire to be symphony level soloists...it's way more than 10,000 hours, it's actually around 20,000 Hours!

The good news is though, that if you understand how to apply the principles of deliberate practice you can learn to walk with much less  investment of time than 10,000 hours - because let's be real: even 10,000 hours (3 hrs per day for 10 years) is time few of us have!

I've told my 'how I learned walking bass in 10 days and paid the rent' story several times before.  Back in 2014 I had an email from a subscriber called Jeff.   Jeff said this:

"Hey Paul, I've got Ed's book that you talked about in your story, because I've always wanted to learn how to play walking bass even though I'm mostly a blues player, and I've been working through it.

But I'm not making much progress!  What am I doing wrong?"

We emailed back and forwards a few times as I tried to establish how he was practicing....and it quickly became clear to me that the system that I'd used back in the day was a massive part of what he was missing.  There were other elements too - but the system was the primary one.

And remember that I stumbled upon this system back in the day when I HAD to learn to play walking bass lines for a series of gigs.  And that in around 90 to 100 hours of nearly pure deliberate practice over 9 days I went from not being able to walk on the bass at all to being able to walk on standards like Autumn leaves, Stella by Starlight, I Got Rhythm, Take The A Train, Just Friends, Mr PC, Softly As In A Morning Sunrise, Summertime, Beautiful Love and many more.

So I told him this.  He replied:

"Can you teach me walking bass lines via your system that uses deliberate practice?"

To cut a long story short, I could.

And I did. (And so far I've also taught over 600 students using this system)

Details will be available later in the week....

Paul Wolfe/www.how-to-play-bass.com




Previous Articles In The Series

1. Why I Had To Learn To "Walk" On The Bass - https://how-to-play-bass.com/wb101-had-to-learn

2.  How I Got Through My First "Walking" Gig With 10 Days Practice - https://how-to-play-bass.com/wb101-first-walking-gig

3.  What Ed Friedland's "Building Walking Basslines" Book Has Got: https://how-to-play-bass.com/wb101-what-bwb-has-got

4. The 3 Reasons Every Bass Player Should Learn To "Walk" - https://how-to-play-bass.com/wb101-3-reasons-walk