Just signed up for bass performance 101 with Berklee online... Help!?
I originally posted this in the general instruction forum and was advised to move it here.
I'm really excited for January! Here's my original post:
Hey Marty.. Hopefully Danny Morris will chime in here soon. He has tons of experience there, and may even teach that class. stay tuned! SB
Hi Marty thanks for your inquiry about Berklee Online's Bass Performance 101. Let me tell you about it so you feel comfortable. Also lets take any anxieties and channel em' into positive practice routines to help you prepare for a positive experience. Rich Appleman and I wrote the course based on decades worth of conversations we had on more or less a daily basis regarding studying the bass. We structured 12 lectures full of information, including demonstrations with us jamming, references to songs containing essential bass vocabulary, and mixed in with each lesson bits and pieces of a theoretical approach so your ears and hands come together making playing songs a bit easier to understand. The concept of groove is included in every lecture as it is by far your most important musical component to work on. Many styles of music are present in the course so you get a wide angle view of bass vocabulary that will work when playing original music and or songs with friends. The range of students varies from professional to novice. The coolest aspect of the online classroom is that from week 1 of the course everyone is there to help each other. A kindred spirit unfolds immediately. Bass players are cool people lets face it! So for starters, get going on achieving a good sound, run some chromatics up and down the neck, play along with some music that you know, and start opening up some songs you would like to know how to play. There's plenty of room in the course design to work on external stuff. We have forums, chat rooms, etc.
Glad to have you aboard. Most likely Rich or I will be your teacher. Look forward to meeting you Marty!
Marty, another thing which will help in preparation for taking Bass Performance 101 is to find an audio interface; something you can plug your bass into which will then send a signal to GarageBand or whatever you use to record digital tracks. Each week you will get 2 playalong tracks to record some bass onto. Subsequently Rich or I will review and critique your tracks. The hip thing with our virtual classroom is that any of your classmates can also check your playing out. This is cool and helpful as you get lots of feedback on your work. Positive feedback incorporates ideas which will in turn help you remedy any issues like "time"/ groove, song form, hooking up with the overall vibe of the track etc.
So as you can see, there is lots to do each week, and the more time you put in, the more you will get out of it. If some weeks your work, life, restricts your participation, that's ok, you'll either catch up at a later date, or can listen in to your classmates posts, and then glean teacher feedback from text posted to your classmates tracks. It's an extremely supportive and positive environment at Berklee Online. Any questions just fire away. I'll get back to you.
Thanks so much for the advice, really appreciate it. I'll start trying out my recording setup and get to work on time / groove!
I did have one specific question... I've been playing a U-bass (very short scale bass, a bit bigger than a ukulele) almost exclusively lately, I just love the tone! But I do have a regular bass I can use when needed. Should I put in some practice with the full scale bass before January or do you think the ubass will be appropriate for bass performance 101?
I really can't wait for January! :D
Marty, I absolutely love the sound and feel of the Ubass, and of course it's portability! Feel free to use it throughout the course. It has such a phat sound, and I really dig the feel of those strings. I did this recording on the island of Kauai in a cave called the "Blue Room" one of the coolest places I've ever been! we recorded the Ubass direct into a Zoom recorder, yet the vibes and natural reverb of the cave inspired us all to make magic..enjoy
Wow, that's an awesome recording! It's great that you're a Ubass fan :D
I picked up the "normal" bass last night and it felt so alien, the stretches were difficult to say the least! I think I'm going to start practicing both anyway if only to make sure I don't forget how to play either.
Thanks so much for getting back to me, I'm feeling really positive about the course. I'm hoping that by the end of performance 101 I'll have the confidence to push for the professional bass certificate.
Catch you in January if you're teaching the course, Thanks again!
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