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Chordal Approach

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by ZuluFunk, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    First of all, thanks for shipping the book so quickly.
    As soon As I opened it I started reading, then said "Dang me, I need my bass!!!".

    I went through the beginning portion going over blues structure, and reharmonization. It showed me that mostly all of what I've been doing instinctively all these years is correct. It also showed me a few options that I can throw into the mix.

    I tend to work on chords more in how my fingers go rather than what notes I'm playing and why. I look at the root, add a 3rd, 5th, 7th...whatever, without really knowing what "number" it is. I just try to find the note that goes with it based on how it sounds.

    I guess I'd need to know what key the song is in, determine the appropriate scale, figure out what "number" is associated with each note, then build a chord based on that. It may sound strange but I never APPROACHED it that way.

    I skimmed through the rest of the book and did the rhythm section part in the back. It's really a fun exercise.

    In some ways the book is too basic for me. I spent so many years just picking the notes by ear and putting them together based on how they sound (not how they look on paper).

    In other ways, I'm realizing that there is a gap in my training. I really have to learn more theory about scales and chords (the WHY behind them) and re-learn sight reading. When people say "What key is that in" I just say " I don't know, but this is what I play..." and it always seems to be correct. Hopefully I'll be able to answer in a more educated way.

    I am going to review that book in much more detail in the upcoming weeks. I'm also going to look for ways to learn the names of the scales and chords I've been doing and figure out why I do what I do. That will help me better understand so much more.

    I recommend this book to any bassist who wants to explore chords or determine the basis for why he plays the notes he does.

    One nice bonus might be either a Mini CD, or a link to a secure .mp3 of someone performing the exercise. Maybe even a track of a combo playing the progressions so the student can apply the lessons along with the music.

    If anyone knows any good theory videos or CDs, please recommend them. I read through Jazzno's thread and it was very useful. I just do better with an audio/visual media. I think in the end I'm going to take some classes at a local college to try to fill in the gaps.

    Thanks Mike.
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    thanks for the kind words. As you get further into the book, I'd love to hear more comments