Advice for folk musician new to bass

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by bronco, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Hi Michael:

    Here's an interesting question for you. I'm a musician who is new to the bass. I've played the bagpipes quite seriously for the past 4 + years, and have achieved some recognition for my musical competition performances on the pipes in my region. I'm writing in this forum specifically, because I believe I have a unique background as I approach the bass guitar, and I'm looking for some pointers as I begin.

    First, some background about my 'level' of musical learning and development. Bagpipe music is written without keys (there are only 9 notes), and all in the treble clef. Developing expert sight reading skill is imperitive for success and continued learning. Bagpipe music also is intesely rythmical, so gaining a precise sense of split second timing and note durations is also a highly developed part of playing the pipes musically. One of the most important aspects of piping musicianship, the skill of tuning your instrument and maintaining good tone each moment, occupies the mind of a good piper almost every second they play.

    Well, with that understanding, you may imagine my state of mind when introduced to the Bass Clef, Circle of Fifths, Keys, etc etc. I'm not frustrated at all, perhaps just a bit agape at the complexity of 'normal' music. I have a musical conservatory trained bass teacher and what I think might be a good work ethic.

    Perhaps you have some insight, or have taught someone who has an 'alternative' musical background.

    Thanks Much!
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Theory and musicianship are common to all instruments and styles. Look to the common denomonators of the Celtic and Western Music. Draw on your strengths such as intonation, feel and timing, and your sense of musicainship. Hope that helps. I'm usually better at specific questions, so please feel free to visit the forum as often as you would like :D