Best advice

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Sumguy7787, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. Sumguy7787


    Jan 12, 2006
    Just out of curiousity, what is the best advice you have ever been given that has made you a better bass player and from who.
  2. Less can be more--from a "regular" fiddle player.
  3. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Man, that is a huge question that triggered a flood of responses. I've been playing music since I was 6 years old (albeit with a few gaps). I am basically a jazz player nowadays. Given that background, here are a few thoughts, FWIW:

    (1) Feel is everything.
    (2) It's all about time. [ This came from a drummer, of course! ]
    (3) The space in between the notes is just as important as the notes themselves.
    (4) The release on each note is just as important as the attack.
    (5) Buy a metronome and practice with it.
    (6) Relax.
    (7) Listen consciously and intently to everyone in the band, not just yourself.
    (8) If you really want to dig in to chords and theory, get familiar with the keyboard on a piano.
    (9) If you're thinkin', you're stinkin'.

    I'll stop there ... for now. Sensory overload.
  4. Best advice I've ever gotten? Probably, "Sing what you play, play what you sing." -A guest conductor I once had the privilage to work under.

    Most memorable advice ever? "Practice it slow." -Edgar Meyer. He did a master class at the Las Vegas Bass Workshop last October. He played the first three notes of the Prelude to the second cello suite. He played it so slow, probably quarter note=40 or so, then said, "And that's a bit on the fast side."
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    "Sightreading is playing by ear through your eyes".
  6. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    I'm not much for advice -- examples have meant more.

    Positive examples from Gary Karr, Michael Moore and Stanley Clarke: Just play it -- precision is important; passion is essential.

    Negative examples from local cats: Write. If you don't, you'll play someone else's song forever.
  7. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    I think this one came from Rufus Reid's book. I don't remember it exactly, it was something "Don't practice what you're already good at."

    Which I interpret as "you should improve first what you suck the most at". Of course it should be relevant to your goals.
  8. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    A lot of what we do involves muscle memory.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately?) it doesn't come off the shelf in a pill, or a can, or a bottle, or a spray. It comes only through doing certain things over and over, usually over a long period of time.

    Given that - A beginner might as well just do everything new quite slowly at first until they can do it well using the proper technique. I figure I might as well get it down properly to start with, since I'm gonna be doin' it so much, over and over.

    My favorite example is just real basic - getting a nice pluck and a big acoustic pizz tone by focusing on the proper right hand and arm technique. If your muscles memorize improper technique, it's hard to change and relearn it later. And I'm speaking from experience here I believe.

    Or take left hand shifting for example, and moving in & out of thumb position. That's muscle memory all right. Especially when you try to play with your head up all the time and not look down at the fingerboard.

    I read one of Ray Parker's posts that encouraged me when he said to someone having a problem (and I'm paraphrasing liberally) that you just gotta keep doing certain things over and over. Usually when you do, the muscle memory comes around eventually, and when it does, things will go smoother and sound better.
  9. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Charlotte, NC
    "You should check out"
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

  11. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Charlotte, NC
    Thankzh *hic* Chisssh.
  12. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
    Actually it was today in my lesson. Something like this:

    Teacher to me (student)

    "You and I know all of the same information: figuring, bowing, pitch, etc. The difference is how we apply it physically to the instrument."

    Which pretty much meant relax at the time. But when taken a little out of context, it is a really interesting piece of advice about playing.
  13. Reuben


    Aug 8, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    from Mark Dresser:

    "There's no such thing as sight-reading, only recognizing things you've seen before."

    And, when I complained to him that everyone was giving me charts to read that weren't in my clef or range, Dresser's response was:

    "Get used to it."