Please rate my pizz playing after 2 months! Videos.
Just made the switch to upright two months ago. Been getting lessons fortnightly. I'd love you for guys to share your thoughts about my playing. Below are two videos from a trio I play with. We do reharmonised pop and some soul/rnb/jazz. I play an all ply St Antonio Bass.
Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know
Norah Jones - Don't Know Why
Thanks in advance guys!
This is really easy as there is SO much that's good about these videos! Great band, arrangements and playing. The best thing is that you guys are really listening and shaping the music with dynamics/arrangements and some nice harmony.
Your playing is really solid and just whats needed for the setting. I like the rhythmic slaps and percussion which is really easy to overuse in a trio, but it really sat well in the mix.
Your tuning is good and there is a lot of clarity to your ideas.
I guess if you are after suggestions on what to work on I would look at left hand technique as that is such a big subject on upright bass. In this setting its not a problem, but perhaps more up tempo stuff it might be? If it's not then just keep doing whatever you are doing as it works.
Great job, for someone who has been playing upright for 2 months you so should be really thrilled. Check out the look of 'oh yeah' you get from the keys player in Gotye at 0:17. He loves it!
Thanks so much! Really appreciate your thoughts and compliments. Here's a few things people have been telling me based on these videos:
1. I Shouldn't be looking at the fingerboard...ever
2. My left arm needs to be perpendicular to the fingerboard; and mine slouches
3. I need to be using my fingertips as opposed to pads on my left hand
Any thoughts of these things guys?
Oh by the way Geoff, I had a look around your site and what you're doing is great! I signed up!
Love the sound. The only thing I can see is that you are leaning away from the bass i.e. shoulders are not level. It's likely to induce tension in your shoulders and neck. Maybe lower the bass a bit. Maybe have your head closer to the bass. Right hand looks beautifully relaxed BTW.
I think I get what you mean...thanks Seamist.
1. Don't beat yourself up, but don't look for the notes in normal position. Some players do in thumb position, some don't, but thats a discussion for another time.
2. Keep your left arm relaxed all the way back to the shoulder and use arm/hand weight to keep the strings down. Be aware of the position of your elbow. A lot of players let that drop which can add a bend at the wrist. Also look out for raising it too high, which can add tension to your shoulder and stop you being relaxed. You don't want to be 'holding' your left arm up with tension in the shoulder. That might mean that you have the bass too high. I think you are on the right track with this, but a few small adjustments will improve it.
3. Yes, I would try to focus in on improving your hand shape to help with more consistent intonation. Of course you are doing fine as is, but you should at least look in more detail at the subject to find out what works for you. It's a pretty personal thing, but you have to be equally dividing the hand into 3 semitones no matter how you do it in order to play in tune in one position. (unless of course you use all 4 fingers which you dont seem to be).
.....I would also really explore shifting techniques as that really helped me. However you seem like you already know what you need to be doing and you must have an effective practice routine to make the progress you have. So just keep doing it....
When I transitioned across from bass guitar I had private lessons with a lot of different teachers, classical and jazz and I would encourage you to find a local expert teacher to help you maximise your progress is you haven't already..
...and I'm glad you like my site, thanks :-)
... I would add that you may want to explore playing nearer the end of the fingerboard for a more focused sound, but it looks/sounds good as it is. The way you are relaxing and using arm weight is great and means your rhythm and tone are both very good.
I like it!
That said be careful about using the internet as a substitute for a good teacher. We can all learn a tremendous amount from YouTube and forums like this, but it's best to be in a room with someone who can give you instant feedback and demonstrate proper technique.
One thing I would add would be not to use the third finger except in thumb position, although some great players do.
You sound great for two months in.
Can you explain the terminology of Thumb position? noob question, sorry.
soong, you sound great to me for playing for such a short time! I'm impressed by your nice clear intonation.
Is this a group that you have already been playing with on bass guitar? What a great way to make the switch... I'm hoping to do the same shortly. I hope I can find a first instrument that speaks as well as yours seems to.
Thumb position traditionally starts at the 1 octave hamonic on each string (12th fret on bass guitar). It involves bringing the left hand thumb around from the back of the neck, onto the strings to acces the higher register. The thumb is used to play notes and support the other fingers. Traditionally you now use the 3rd finger and omit the 4th. E.G thumb, 1,2,3.
Modern variations are of course more involved, but that's a general discription.
Thanks Geoff, we looked at it in lessons last night as well.
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