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BASS TECHNIQUE, General Introduction

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Whousedtoplay, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
  2. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    That's a great link, and covers a lot of questions that pop up almost every day here on TB.

    Perhaps you could ask the mods to "Sticky" it ?
  3. aprod

    aprod Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2008
    The techniques used in this book will leave you crippled. Try Carol Kaye's method, absolutely the best, or Ed Friedland's material with Hal Leonard Publishing.
  4. Stevas


    Dec 3, 2013
    A great resource! Thanks for sharing
  5. bmason81


    Jul 7, 2010
    Why? That's a big claim with you not backing it up, explain please
  6. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    +1. I'd be interested to hear "aprod's" point of view. :)
  7. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Seriously, you can't just drop a bomb like that and run away. Please explain yourself.
  8. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Maybe, but now that I've looked at your chapter on left-hand technique, I can think of other reasons why someone might describe the method you are teaching as potentially "crippling." I don't mean that in a mean-spirited way; I just mean that if someone learns your way and becomes proficient at it, he or she will eventually hit a wall, and having learned it your way might actually make it more difficult to later learn new techniques to advance any further. And the reason I say this because is that it is exactly what happened to me: I learned my scales initially just the way you teach them, and I eventually hit that wall. It wasn't until years later that I discovered what I regard as a far superior method, but I'm still to this day having a heck of a time breaking out of those old familiar patterns after having relied on them for so long.

    Specifically, I'm now a big proponent of a method I discovered through Scott Devine's videos (though I'm sure many other teachers use the same or similar methods). The key elements of this approach are (1) learning three different fingering patterns for each scale, each starting with a different finger on the root; and (2) practicing those scales not only from root to root -- and not only starting from roots on the lowest string -- but from the lowest available note in the scale to the highest available note of the scale in any given position, using all the strings. Eventually the goal is to be able to shift more or less anywhere, anytime, rom one fingering to the other, for example ascending using one pattern and descending using another.

    Notice that the dreaded "octave shift" you explain only becomes necessary in order to be able to repeat the same fingering pattern used in the first octave in the second octave: You've got to shift to get your middle finger on the root. I suppose there are times when this might be a good move, but much of the time it would be much easier to not shift and merely continue into the second octave using a different fingering pattern (in the case of the major scale, one starting with the pinky on the root).

    I've been working on this "new" approach for some time now, and it's really been opening doors for me (including, as a bonus, learning my entire fretboard better). And I've got to say, it has been very difficult to break the habit of always defaulting to the one particular fingering I learned first and used exclusively for so long. In retrospect, I really wish I had learned my scales this way in the first place, so all three fingering patterns would be equally comfortable.

    Of course, I understand that this is intended to be a beginner-level text, and you could make a reasonable argument that, pedagogically, the method I'm describing might be too much to throw at a beginning student all at once. But although this might be easier for beginners in the short term, I can also see why it could be detrimental in the long run. I have no idea whether this is what "aprod" had in mind or not, but that's my $0.02 worth.
  9. GastonD


    Nov 18, 2013
    Belgrade, Serbia
    I'd say that as with any resource, it is the ultimately the user's responsibility to decide, how, when and if to use the material. When a resource comes free of charge, most complaints are more or less irrelevant, unless meant in the truest possible benevolent way.

    However, I see that the website offers the complete book for free, but I wonder what is the ordering procedure? Do I simply send them an e-mail with the request/order and then receive the book in an e-mail response?
  10. Rick Robins

    Rick Robins

    Jan 13, 2010
    The text does read"" It can be done in several different ways, so the examples only show one solution out of many""
  11. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Just to be clear, my comments weren't really intended as a criticism or complaint. I was just curious about the previous "crippling comment," and then about OP's hypotheses about it, and once I looked over the materials I had some thoughts which decided to share in light of my own personal experience.

    As a teacher myself (though not of music), I fully appreciate that there can be many equally good ways of teaching any given material, each having its own pros and cons and depending on goals and context. In this case I think OP's method has the short-term benefits of being easy to learn, and of getting someone up and playing quickly, which for many beginners would be just what they want. However, I think it might be less effective over the long term than the method I described, for students who aspire to eventually moving beyond beginner level.
  12. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Whoa, hold on -- I come in peace! Sorry if I was unclear: That underlined sentence was really intended to be positive, not negative, although I can see now how it might have been interpreted otherwise.

    "Your" method really did work for me for years. When I decided to take up bass (in my early 40s, BTW), my goal was simply to get good enough to be able to play with friends in hobby bands, just for fun, and I wanted to be able to get to that level as quickly as possible. Learning one fingering (and the easiest one, at that) for each scale was great for that, and I did in fact get to the level I wanted to quickly -- and had all the fun I had hoped I would. So that was all great; no complaints. Only then did I (to my own surprise) begin to set my aspirations a bit higher, at which time I found and started working on the method I described -- at which time I discovered that my exclusive focus on one way of thinking about and fingering scales was making it difficult to develop the others. (For example, it seems like I can practice the alternative fingerings all I want, but when I get into a playing situation I can't stop myself from automatically reverting to my old ways.) So when I said that in retrospect I now wish I had learned multiple fingerings, etc. from the start, I freely admit that this is a matter of 20-20 hindsight, and partly a result of my own shifting aspirations. So please don't take offense; none is intended. I really do mean it when I say there are advantages and disadvantages to every method.

    If you are interested in some constructive criticism, I have a few ideas about some things you could add to your presentation of that material that I think, based on my own experience, might help beginners avoid getting too trapped in one box as I did, without trying to teach all the nuances of the V-6 and a 5.7L HEMI V-8 engine. I'd be happy share them, FWIW, if you're interested, or not if you aren't.
  13. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    All instruction, theory, learning or such like is there for the guidance of the intelligent and the obedience of fools. Take such comments as "cripple you" with a pinch of salt and let the thread move on....:)
  14. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    C'mon, man, lighten up. When I referred to "'your' method," I very deliberately put "your" in quotes deliberately to acknowledge that it is not something that you invented, and so you should neither be credited nor blamed for it. It was just shorthand for "the method that you describe in your book," with no value judgment of any sort intended.

    Look: I originally chimed into this thread in your defense: I thought it was rude and inappropriate for someone to characterize your materials as "crippling" without offering an explanation as to why. Since then I have tried to offer some ideas for thoughtful discussion, but somehow you have managed to interpret everything I say as a personal attack, despite my bending over backwards trying to avoid exactly that. If you post something like this on a discussion forum for bass players, you ought to expect some discussion, some of it critical.
  15. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Please enjoy this brief intermission while O.P. and I work out some misunderstandings via pm. We will return you to your regularly scheduled argument shortly....

    [cue Muzak]
  16. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    It's not his (Who used to play) method and we don't really know if he even uses the "method". He's just posting stuff, no editorial comment, no opinion on why he thinks the "method" is beneficial, nothing. :D
  17. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Why in the name of goodness would you need an opinion on that ? :confused:

    Surely it is up to each individual to decide this for themselves ?