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2 Questions

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by greekbassist, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. greekbassist


    Jan 5, 2006
    Hi All,

    I hope someone can help me with these two questions I have.

    Question #1: Does learning to read music help one groove even better? I am thinking that understanding how to count can help a bassist become even better with grooving. Yes, I know listening helps too...What do you all think?

    Question #2: Is there anyone hear on this forum who can hear a groove in there heads and go straight to notation and write exactly what they heard without playing there instrument. Ya know kind of like what Beethoven did and other great musicians. I guess ear training helps?

    I would love to be able to do that...Sometimes at work (I am a receptionist) I hear cool grooves in my head and I don't have my bass. So what usually happens is after work I go home to try and write the groove and I completly forgot how the the groove went :meh:

    Thanks for all your help Greekbassist!
  2. JHL


    Apr 8, 2005
    London, England
    Question #1 you sort of answered yourself... listening to, and learning what you think grooves is the way to go to develop a good feel when it comes to grooving. Learning how to read music is great, but it won't make your groove more solid... it's how you interpret whats written that makes it groove.

    Regarding question #2: Yes... and I'm certain there are alot more than me... and the best advice I can give on how to learn this is to learn how to read and write music, to listen to alot of music and learning it by ear and most importantly: Sing!

    If you start to sing when you play, you will probably sing what you are playing... that's how it was for me when I started doing it at least.
    But as you get better at it your fingers start following your voice instead of the other way around. So your voice starts acting as a sort of helping hand for your musical ideas while they travel from your brain/heart/soul to your hands.

    This will make it very easy to put musical ideas directly to paper without having to sit down with a bass.
  3. I am paraphrasing, but Victor Wooten had a really good comment on reading music and how it plays into a bass players ability to do what they do - he said, in effect, of course reading music helps enhance your musicianship the same way reading words and books enhances your ability to use language. Is it necessary, no. Children learn to speak before they learn to read. But obviously learning to read plays directly into your development intellectually and therefore enhances your ability to do thing with your intellect - like play music.

    So my answer is; yes - reading music will help enhance every aspect of your bass playing skills, including your groove-ability.

    Reading is a tool - if you use that tool to learn lines from other players, it will factor into your personal style and growth and a groovin' bass player.

    I can 'hear' bass parts in my head and transcribe them loosely. But not with a 1 to 1 relationship like Beethoven supposedly could to. I do not have perfect pitch, so what I 'hear' is more of an intervallic relationship then an actual part. When I go to transcribe it, I first discover what key I was hearing then apply the intervals I heard and they are usually pretty close. With practice, the ability to transcribe what you hear with your mind's ear accurately improves.
  4. Diego


    Dec 9, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Q1. YES definitely the more familiar you get with musical theory, the better you become at it (call it grooving, making melodies, understanding harmony....etc)

    Q2. I know of people who can transcribe what is on their heads fairly straighforward. I need my bas on my lap to do it.
  5. greekbassist


    Jan 5, 2006
    Thanks to all for answering my 2 questions.

    It is always interesting to me to see how other bassist do things as well as learn.

    It looks like I am on the track then in the reading music department!

    I had a friend who study music who also learned intervallic relationship in college and was able to transcribe via notation the melody of the person who was singing it to her over the telephone.

    This is what I also want to do accept I want to do this for bass...I guess learning intervals are the best way. Geez, I am dedicated, however, I wonder how long it takes to get good at hearing them.

    JHJL, I will start doing this as I am sure this will also help my ears as well.

    And like I said I will continue to read and copy as well.

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