Lesson 1 Relaxation
Lesson 2 Practising
Lesson 3 Playing fast
Lesson 4 Plucking
Lesson 5 Walking bass
Lesson 6 Ethics in jazz
Lesson 7 Bass solo
Lesson 8 Your story
Lesson 9 Listening
Lesson 10 Mistakes
Lesson 11 Questions
Lesson 12 Standards
Lesson 13 Rehearsing
Lesson 14 Tensions
Lesson 15 Timing
Lesson 16 Price/Quality
Lesson 17 Taking lessons
Lesson 18 AABA
Lesson 19 Your own style
Lesson 20 Basic theory
Lesson 21 Modulating
Lesson 22 Rapid changes
Lesson 23 The left hand

          Lesson 1 Relaxation

I can just as easily call this lesson lesson 1-10, for it is very, very important. If you want to become a virtuoso bass player, if you want to improve your timing, technique, hearing and your ensemble playing: learn to relax more. A great technique is not the result of trying very hard, but of relaxation. If you try very hard, the result is tension, which is the opposite of what you want. When I study, which I do every day, I try to discover at what moment I feel tension. Next, I try to play the same thing without tension.

You can feel tension in your body and in your head, but the first is always a result of the latter.

When tension arises, it becomes impossible to concentrate fully on what you're doing andon what fellow musicians are doing, for you hear half as much. You'll never play properly if you don't do something about this. If you do, you'll be able to look at your playing with a new, higher level of consciousness. You'll understand better what you and the people around you are doing and if something goes wrong, you'll understand very quickly why and do something about it.

Great musicians never seem to have to work hard. It seems easy. It is. It’s easy because they’re so relaxed. To play well, you have to be conscious of many things at the same time. It is a form of mind mastery. For this level of consciousness, it is imperative that you’re totally relaxed.

Relaxation is not something you can only attain after long hours of practising. When you feel tension when you're trying to play a certain passage, just play for a short time every now and then, trying to relax while playing it. A few minutes each time is enough. This way, you'll become a virtuoso bass player easily! This always works. I used to experience a lot of tension, and I can still get more relaxed. This method helps me to raise my playing to a higher level. I don't believe in boundaries anymore thanks to this method; I just keep getting better and better. You can to, it's easy!