As musicians and specifically as bass guitar players, we often find ourselves grappling with performance anxiety. Eckhart Tolle’s insightful teachings in his acclaimed book, “The Power of Now,” present a transformative approach that can guide us in overcoming these challenges, helping us to improve our musical skills and live performance chops. At the core of this approach is the concept of “self-created resistance” – the mental and emotional obstacles that we establish within ourselves.
Self-Created Resistance in Musicians
In the life of a bass guitarist, self-created resistance can take on numerous forms: the fear of making mistakes, the struggle of mastering complex techniques, the anxiety of not living up to expectations or the dread of unexplained stage fright. Such resistance often arises from our reluctance to accept what is going on in the present moment and learn to accept it for what it is. We tend to dwell on past errors or fear potential future ones, obstructing our ability to fully engage with the ‘now.’
Harnessing the Power of Now
Learning to harness the ‘Power of Now’ involves an active acceptance of the present moment, no matter how it appears. Instead of resisting a challenging piece of music or fearing an upcoming performance, embrace the situation in its entirety. Acceptance here is not resignation; rather, it’s about being able to perceive the situation with absolute clarity, free from judgement and learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
By dissolving self-created resistance, takes power away from the negative and will enable you to channel your energy into constructive learning and performance outcomes. This opens space for heightened awareness, tranquillity and clarity, leading to developing a deeper connection with the music and the bass guitar.
Improving Bass Guitar Skills
With the ‘Power of Now’ concept, practicing on the bass guitar becomes a mindful act. Instead of focusing on the end goal or worrying about perfection, you start to learn how to engage with the practice session as it is. This state of presence can boost your learning efficiency, help with mastering challenging tasks and foster a deeper understanding of the music.
The overall process of learning a complex piece of music or a new musical concept often brings frustration and resistance to the party. However, being ‘in the moment,’ you begin to learn to acknowledge those feeling without emotional judgement. Instead of creating a continuous loop of internal turmoil over these challenges, you learn to observe them, accept them and work to problem solve them patiently. This kind of mindful practice not only makes the learning process more enjoyable but also enhances the acquisition of your bass guitar skills.
Elevating Live Performances
Performance anxiety, often rooted in fear of judgement or making mistakes, is a common form of self-created resistance among musicians. It can hinder your ability to deliver a memorable and convincing performance. That’s where the ‘Power of Now’ concept can play a pivotal role.
By anchoring yourself in the present moment, you will let go of the fear associated with potential future errors and past mistakes. This allows you to connect better with your music, your bass and your audience. The music flows more naturally when you are not restricting it with anxiety and fear.
Moreover, being fully present on stage means you are in sync with your band members, locked into their rhythm and dynamics of the performance. This synchronisation not only leads to a better overall performance but it also enhances the musical experience for your audience.
Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” offers bass guitarists a transformative path towards overcoming your own self-created resistance. By embracing the present moment, you can enhance your learning process, elevate your performing skills and profoundly make the connection with your audience. So, the next time you pick up your bass guitar, remember to harness the ‘power of now’ and witness how it amplifies your musical journey. To chart the course of your musical journey, provide you with challenging goals and continuous improvement with your bass playing on an exponential level, CLICK HERE!
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