The fumbling around method

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by drummer5359, Aug 9, 2013.


  1. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    I'm am no great wizard of the bass. I take lessons and practice a good bit. I find however that some of my biggest gains in playing come when I'm just fumbling around noodling.

    For instance...

    I'll hear a turnaround or walkup in my head. I'll pick up the bass, pick a key and screw around with the different walks and turnarounds that I do know and move stuff around until I figure out the exact run that I was shooting for.

    It's not very scientific, but as I say, it's proven effective for me.

    Does anyone else seem to have their bigger "aha" moments when noodling?
  2. SolarMan

    SolarMan Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Location:
    Marlborough, MA
    Fumbling around method works for me!

    Love it.
  3. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Location:
    Seattle WA
    Totally. I trend to spend the last 5-10min of my sessions of learning songs or practicing scales, strictly for noodeling. I come up with some cool riffs to learn from & incorporate somewhere later
  4. SolarMan

    SolarMan Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Location:
    Marlborough, MA
    I guess the three of us are the only fumbling TB'ers

    We should start a club!
  5. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    I am most definitely a fumbler.
    Add me to the club.
    Honestly although I spend a very good amount of time working on theory and technique other than that I feel all I do is fumble. :)
  6. tr4252

    tr4252

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    I also fumble. I'll start playing something that I hear in my head, and it begins to evolve. Often, without a clear idea of the end result I'm after, I'll change it as I go. I make mistakes, and sometimes the mistakes are worth keeping. Eventually I've got a phrase or tune more or less finished, but I still continue tweaking it.

    Tom
  7. BowserBass

    BowserBass

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Count me in as a fumbler... I believe thats the music inside of you making it's way out.
  8. but_ch

    but_ch

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Location:
    Western WI
    Yep, me too.
  9. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
    Location:
    New York City
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    90% of the music I've written has come from the noodle method of songwriting. Including my slap happy thingie below.
  10. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    chicago
    i'd say this is the case with many players, myself included
  11. shawshank72

    shawshank72 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    100% true.
    Ive always believed that less thinking is a good thing.
  12. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Willow Street, PA
    Disclosures:
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    I'm in. Some of my best ideas come from when I let go of the routine and let my mind and fingers wander.
  13. CJAtheBassman

    CJAtheBassman

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    I'm a fumbler/noodler. Ususally, I'll come up with a riff from experimenting with scales in different keys (thank goodness for the melodic minor scale).
  14. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    Mount Airy, North Carolina
    This is How I learned and still play. I play by ear and I hit the notes that come into my head. Give it 30 years or so & you brain will give you the notes fast enough to get them on the fretboard in time. Or....Learn all the theory, Scales, Modes, Charts etc. and make it easy on yourself.:) Here's a video of how I do it. Solo at 5:40. The Ric is straight into a Crate with a 18"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGgEyQXkSkk
  15. Luv2Pla4U

    Luv2Pla4U

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Another proud fumbler here, since 1968:bassist:
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If I had to fumble around for 10 minutes every time I thought of a cool riff and wanted to play it, I'd probably kill myself. Nothing better than being able to think of a riff in your head and be able to play it almost instantly. That's what learning some theory will do for you. Don't mean to be Debbie Downer, just stating facts.
  17. INTP

    INTP

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Victor Wooten advocates making time to just play what's in your head as part of your practice routine in his Groove Workshop DVD.

    I think it's a useful way to creatively apply the theory, technique, etc. that you're working on. I hope it goes without saying, but if noodling is ALL you do, then the usefulness will be limited.
  18. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
    Location:
    New York City
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I think that's pretty much a given. Being able to play what you're hearing in your head is essential to being a solid musician.

    For songrwriting though, just about everything I've ever written has evolved. I rarely, if ever, sat down with something in my head and said, "I want to make this a song!" I'm often noodling, sometimes even while doing something else, and something comes up that I like. It then starts to grow and expand and if I don't get tired of it within a few days, becomes a song.

    Everybody has their own process, and whatever works works. That's what works for me. It's actually often the same if I'm writing parts for someone else's song. Sometimes I'll hear something in my head and say YES!, but more often than not, I'll try different things until I really love what's happening. Especially if I'm working on the part with a drummer, as we start influencing each other and some really awesome stuff can start happening.
  19. Schmorgy

    Schmorgy

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    I like to fumble thematically. I'll think "today I'm only going to fumble around with a pentatonic minor" or "I'm going to fumble exclusively in locrian mode with a tonic of C". While simultaneously restrictive in a sense, it also has helped me come up with some of my best lines.
  20. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    I like to improvise whatever comes to mind but if I heard something in my head and I have to find out what it is it has to be very quick or I'll loose patience very fast. Same thing if I want to cover a song i like ... I don't like shooting in the dark until I touch something a week later

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