tips for 'playing along'
I've been playing bass for a little over a year -- concentrating on walking bass.
I started out as a drummer so I have a decent sense of time, but I've just recently begun to 'play along' to backing tracks and it's not going well.
essentially I suck.
if I slow things down a little I can maintain for 3 - 4 bars on a song I've been practicing on, but then I stumble and I can't seem to recover. I loop on 8 bars to make it a little easier, but once I stumble it's all over.
If I slow it down too much, I can't hear the song's progression.
I seem to really want to hold any significant 'melody' note I play, but walking doesn't work that way; it just keeps moving. For a few years I was learning simple comping piano and worked up an elastic sense within the bar to imply the melody. Now that's a bad habit.
Replaying/restarting a note when I practice, another really bad habit.
I may be trying to do too much at once these pieces are half-memorized half being read and that's not working. If I forget the written music and try to improvise and keep it simple that almost works for a while, but not long as my ambition overshots my skill in that regard.
I know it takes some practice and I've only tried this a few times now that I have all the practice gear set up, but there may be some tips to ease into this.
I would suggest you play from fake chord sheet music and just worry with root note bass lines for now, i.e. start over at the beginning.
One root note per lyric syllable. Sing the melody under your breath and follow the fake chord sheet music playing root notes to the chord changes. Simple songs at first. http://www.guitarchordsmagic.com/gui...ar-chords.html Hap-py gets two beats, as does birth-day. The word "to" only gets one beat, etc....
When that flows, move some walking bass lines into the picture. Hap gets the root and py gets the 5. Birth gets one note and day gets another. Back up and start over.
It sounds like you are trying to learn material that is too difficult for your current skill, and getting frustrated. Try playing roots on simpler tunes at slower tempos, and build your confidence. This is one area where an experienced teacher can be invaluable: finding appropriate practice material that is realistic for your current abilities yet challenging enough to propel you to the next level.
As an aside, you have a big advantage as a drummer. Think about good bassists you have played with before, and the things they have done to make your job easier as a drummer.
It's a little overwhelming -- adding the listening skill on top of everything else that's going on. In general, there seems to be way too much thinking for the space allotted and not enough muscle memory. I don't think much at all playing drums -- maybe a flash of some accent or fill, I hear it in my head and it comes out. Guess I didn't really notice all it took to get to that place. I was getting close in a more limited way with soem comp piano.
I know I've jumped into the deep end of the pool, but I'm kind of in a hurry and have enough other background in playing and theory and such that I thought I could push the schedule, but keeping it simple and slowing it down in this 'playing along' phase may be necessary. If nothing else my appreciation for bass player skills keeps growing.
When all else fails "Play The blues".
Really, play along with blues tunes.
They mostly have a 1- 4- 5 progression and make it easier
to "Play along"
I think you are somewhat flawed in viewing listening as a "skill on top of everything else that's going on." IMHO listening is the first, fundamental skill.
If you are in a hurry to get someplace, ask people who have been already there (i.e. a trusted teacher with years of experience in the genre). Having the correct framework in place can literally shave years off your learning curve. ;)
playing the blues is an excellent selection
this is no doubt why every book on walking bass has so many examples of Blues in F or Bb and I suppose I was supposed to have been playing along through all those lessons
this should knock back the complexity a few notches till I get some listening while playing and always moving forward skills going before I hit the jazz standards progressions
shoudl be enoough to get a toehold
Check this out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDcAjpDUQg4
I can play any song I hear but when I am struggling on a tough tune, I do what Scott is teaching.
I'll add to that..... that I learn the song one octave higher first then transpose it back down to where it belongs.
Start with songs you've heard 1,000 times and it'll be that much easier.
I would suggest you take a look at Scott Devine's Beginner Walking bass lesson
He has a unique approach and as I was following the video, I was playing a walking bass line without even realizing it.
Yeah... as said above, I would start over with really simple stuff: roots, chord tones, passing tones...
You'll find a good beginner walking bass lesson on Chris Tarry's site, for example: http://christarry.com/walking-bass-beginner.html
Keep it simple: approach from above and from below, half-step and full step and that's it, until you're comfortable with that.
frankly, if I play simple, I can do it, but it feels like I'm wasting my time. I'd rather push and make mistakes and play something challenging until I can get say 4 bars down in time, than play something simple all the way through over and over.
but I have to acknowledge when I 've pushed too far ahead and cut back and regroup
In the Todd Johnson DVD book set, Todd says now play this a 100 times till it's automatic. I tend to move on, once I 'get it'.
I have to believe both approaches will eventually converge. I'm much better at persistence than patience.
Did you subscribe to Chris Tarry's newsletter? I learned a lot from him. He's currently giving away his book "The Bass Player's Companion" together with great (free) video lessons. I really think you'd find useful stuff here: http://free.christarrylessons.com
Keep it up, man!
Frankly, being able to play 4 consecutive bars of walking bass is a useless skill. You need to be able to play 4 minutes of walking bass so that the band can solo over a bass line outlining the harmonic changes. No band will ever complain that the changes are outlined "too simply;" they'll just be glad you are keeping solid time and making the changes for the duration of the song.
I am not a big fan of practicing mistakes, personally. I believe that when you make a mistake, on some level the wrong note gets imprinted in your mental/muscle memory. Better to practice as slowly as you need to to NOT make mistakes so that you are forging correct neural pathways.
That's my music philosophy 101 for the morning....
Scott Devine lessons = awesome. I know what I'm doing today - thank you
|All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:10 PM.|
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.12
Copyright ©2000 - 2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.