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curse of the fixed position

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ninefingerbass, Dec 3, 2005.


  1. i am stuck.

    while im very fast, creative, great ear, fluid and almost near perfect RH technique on a very good day(so ive been told) hence ninefingerbass....i need to develop my left hand technique. i can play anything in major and minor in any key through any mode in any time signature in any style but seem to be stuck playing those over and over. im learning melodic, and diminished scales to added to my arsenal of theory knowledge but it seems to be sounding the same to my ears. is this my voice that i read about that every one seems to be searching for?

    i dont get it. im a good player but want to improve my left hand. i practice scales, modes, chords and arpeggios over and over but it sounds to much of the same to me. when ever i compose i get stuck in that rut. :confused: someone please help. my RH is way too advanced for my LH. Im not a "show off my chops" guy although i know i have it .....i want to have left hand skills. any tips...

    i have a recording that ill post in a few days when i figure out how to upload a song to let you hear me. :help:
     
  2. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    I've been there. A few years ago, all my solos would sound like a bunch of scales and not solid ideas. Then I realized, I was just practicing scales, arpegios, etc. Well, if that's what you practice, that's what will come out. When I broke away from patterns, I started to form ideas. When I practice, I sing melodies in my head and then try to play them on the bass, without regard for what key or mode I'm in. Sometimes the minor third will work better over a major chord if you approach and resolve it correctly. The goal, for me, is to get technique and theory down well enough, so that I can forget it and just play...So that it's second nature.
     
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Transcribe.

    I'm looking forward to you posting some of your recordings - I, for one, have never heard anyone who could play anything in major and minor in any key through any mode in any time signature in any style...Should be exciting!
     
  4. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk

    :p

    Agreed, I would certainly like to hear that as well.
     
  5. If you've practiced your scales and arpeggios a lot, then maybe now it's time to see what you can do with only three or four notes.
     
  6. -Lemur
    What do you mean 3 or 4 notes?
    :confused:

    How do you post sound clips. I am uploading it on wmv. but how do you get it on TB.
     
  7. ladros2

    ladros2

    Jun 2, 2005
    Ireland
    Only use a limited number of notes and see how creative you can be, very different than using lots. And you have to host the file somewhere else, and link to it here.
     
  8. lowerclef

    lowerclef

    Nov 10, 2003
    Nice one, Pacman!
     
  9. Just right. Impose some limits on yourself to make yourself develop other aspects of your playing. You'll have to improve your phrasing and rhythm to sound decent, and your choice of notes will be more important when you play fewer of them.
     
  10. correcting my original thread. when i said that i could play major minor and all the other stuff i meant it in a different way. im sorry if everyone in here is interested in hearing this. but yes i can play through most of the modes in any key. isnt that what musicians are meant to do? correct me if im wrong but i was under the impression that i have created myself to be this superhuman bassist virtuoso. although i'd like to think myself to be one i sure am not but i do know where i stand as a musician/bassist. please i did not mean to say in any key and time and mode any style. its the way i think. thats why its hard to actually express thoughts clearly on the internet.
     
  11. bannedwit

    bannedwit

    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    You can also skip around the mode you are working with. Play pieces of it, break it up and jump from string to string.

    Check out blues guitarists and how they solo. A lot of times It is seriously just 3 notes being played over and over and over for a couple measures...

    Our problem is that we think we need to play more but sometimes
    less is more...
     
  12. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    I'm not sure if this will be useful for you but I'll throw it out there anyway. Have you worked a lot on playing all your scales up and down each string (as opposed to accross all strings)? I've found that this is one of the keys to opening up the fingerboard because it helps to connect all the positions together when improvising.
     
  13. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    9DIGITS - sorry, is English your first language? I think some of the things you are typing aren't coming across.
     
  14. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Damn, sorry. Although I guess coming from NC, the question still stands....

    Positional playing is just one solution to fingering, it's not a hard and fast rule. In fact positional playing can do a lot to "rob" a line of a vocal, melodic quality. There are any number of )for instance) bop heads that can be fingered without a lot of positions shifts, but phrasing them this way can make them sound choppy and not swinging at all. The simplest, most elegant fingering may (in fact) shift you between several positions;making each part of the phrase easier to finger. a good rule of thumb is that if a fingering is awkward and ugly-looking when you stick to one position; SHIFT.

    As far as the statement isnt that what musicians are meant to do, well, no. Musicians are supposed to create MUSIC. There are any number of tools that they use to do so, the most useful of which are the two things on the side of your head.

    I do have to ask, who told you that you have "near perfect right hand technique"? Most musicians I play with talk about sound and ideas, not physical aproach. That is to say, talk about the MUSIC not about the tools.

    You say "im learning melodic, and diminished scales to added to my arsenal of theory knowledge but it seems to be sounding the same to my ears." There's a great bassist and teacher who posts on this site named James Stinnett who has something really wonderful to say on this point. He says that when you are asking about more scales to play, it's akin to somebody who's trying to learn to shoot asking for more ammunition instead of working on improving their aim. You don't NEED more vocabulary at this point, you need to learn how use the vocabulary you have now in a more meaningful way, to speak with intent.

    Do you have a teacher? What are you working on with them? Have you asked them about your concerns? What has been their response?
     
  15. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Wow. Just perfect. Ed, you're a blooming Yoda, ya know?

    Really, I'm serious.
     
  16. Is a blooming Yoda similar to a BLooming Onion in any way?
     
  17. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Joke all you want, but Kung Fuqua is one of TalkBass' best resources. You whipper-snappers pay attention!
     
  18. Well thanks for picking me apart. seriously, i feel that its a good thing. i dont know where i stand as a bassist. but I would like add that as my technique i do not rely on it. a few friends told me a few months ago I just seem to have a raw talent without being shown to pick up RH techniques but cannot apply them to what i play. LH-wise, I can play by ear and feel but it seems to me that I keep playing the same things. you know sounding monotnous(sp). nuff of that. i dont have a teacher because i'm leaving for the navy in 2 months yesterday. I'm pretty busy with that right now.

    and to ed- yes english is my first language, and I'm originally from bronx new york, danbury ct area

    Sorry for the typing errors im kinda in a rush
     
  19. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    That second sentence sounds like it was translated from idiomatic Japanese, I'm not really sure what you're trying to say.

    Well, teacher or no teacher is certainly your choice. Best of luck then.
     
  20. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Michigan
    This post should be auto-posted to anyone starting a thread about "My technique is the roxxors, but no bands wanta play wit me."

    Seriously, Ed, very well written, and great advice.