Home  /  PONDERINGS  /  FAQ  /  Self-Study & Woodshed Suggestions

Welcome to the FAQ Section

Thanks for checking out my FAQ section! Due to my schedule craziness, it is often impossible to respond to each of the inquiries I receive...but I definitely do want to answer as many of your questions as I'm able. Here are some of my responses to the most frequent questions I receive. I'll try to add to this as time permits. Thanks for your interest! God bless you & your grooving...


Self-Study & Woodshed Suggestions

Hey Norm,

What is it that I'm supposed to be learning or listening for when practicing my scales and learning basslines? It has to be more than just learning the bassline and bassline only.

Also, can you explain how to setup an effective practice schedule? Like what to practice and how long, PLEASE!!!!!!!!! I will call myself a few steps above Beginner.



Hey K.K.-

Absolutely! It's a matter of learning the musical concepts behind the scales and bass lines. My best suggestion is for you to find a good local teacher (who teaches music, vs. "ok....now play THIS lick..."). Otherwise, check out my online lessons (ArtOfGroove.com) and/or DVDs. Either should give you lots of material to work on and should help "connect the dots."

As far as a practice schedule goes, it's obviously difficult for me to fully assess the OPTIMAL balance of time for your specific needs, but here's a general recommendation:

  • Warm Up (at least 3 min's)
  • Reading & Theory (30%)
  • Technique (30%)
  • Working on Time/Groove/Feel (30%)
  • End with something fun (10%)

The proportions are basic guidelines that can be adapted for the amount of time your schedule will allow. Additionally, sometimes there will be more of one thing and less of another. The key is to practice every day. 4 hours every other Saturday won't result in consistent progress.

As an overall objective, I definitely recommend listening to a broad range of musical styles, and developing a broad vocabulary of grooves (see Vol's 2 and 3 of the Grooving DVDs for much more on this).

Also, try to focus no less than 50% of your time on areas that are difficult for you. Woodshedding stuff that you already do well isn't nearly as productive as consistent repetition on musical areas that kick your tail. It's not quite as much fun...but your musical development will definitely reflect your hard work.

Gotta run! Hope that helps...

Blessings- Norm

Ponderings Menu

E-News Letter & Special Offers

Sign up for the groove update, Norm's semi-regular (every 2-3 months) FREE e-newsletter!
The groove update will help you stay in the groove with NormStockton.com and you will get exclusive, members only offers.