Dream Theater - "Home" question

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Dave Metts, Aug 6, 2001.

  1. Dave Metts

    Dave Metts Guest

    Nov 21, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    Hey there everyone. I've got a quick question about how this song is played. I looked at the tab on this site (yeah I know, tabs suck), and I was curious about the part right after the repeated intro riff (the riff played on the D and G strings that repeats once).

    In the part of the song in question the intro line is basically repeated one octave lower. I was wondering if John Myung maybe tuned down to D for this song. I can't seem to keep that D on the B-string anchored while I play the other notes on the A-string. My hands just seem too small to make the stretch, and it seems REALLY uncomfortable. I've just recently started playing one-finger-per-fret (used to use index, middle, pinky). I'm beginning to think that my hands may just be too small to play bass. Any ideas?

    Edit: Mods feel free to move this wherever you think it should go. Seems to be a little bit Recordings, some General Technique, and perhaps a dash of Miscellaneous.
  2. seamus

    seamus Guest

    Feb 8, 2001
    I don't believe he tunes it down, I could be wrong though. If tuning down would help you play it and it doesn't compromise the E string for the rest of the song, I say go for it. I took a look at the tab and while it is a stretch, it can happen for you. Just keep trying the passage here and there and it should become easier to handle.

    I noticed where you mentioned "I've just recently started playing one-finger-per-fret". Does this mean you used to fret with more than one finger?
    I'm not sure I caught what you meant there, but if that's the case, it could take some time to build up the strength to fret the notes to your liking. Dexterity and endurance can build up quickly, it just takes a little time.

    Don't be discouraged. You are attempting to play lines by a very advanced and dextrous bassist. I can't speak for everyone here at TB, but I cringe at the thought of trying to match Myung note for note on some of the things he plays, and I know that some of it is still out of my reach. :(

    Smaller hands will make the stretch more difficult, but tackling stuff like this can be worthwhile. If the passage is uncomfortable, don't practice it beyond the point of exhaustion. That can make people discouraged because they think that their fingers will never move the way they want, which is not necessarily true. If you cramp up, take some rest until another time, maybe even the next day. Exhausted muscles just don't perform up to expectations.

    Here's some other things on playing that part:

    -Make sure the action on your bass is comfortable, if it is high, it will make passages like this very difficult. I've never held Myung's basses personally, but I can almost guarantee he has pretty low action.

    -Try barring the 3rd fret of the B-E-A strings with your strongest finger, the index. This will put your other fingers in as good a position as possible for playing the notes on the A string.

    -Use that pinky! If you are not used to it, it will seem weird for a while. In time, you'll forget that it's the pinky, it will become stronger.

    I hope this helps. I didn't want to make such a long post, but I know how discouraging it can be when trying to play lines by exceptional bassists. I also love DT! :D
  3. Newsted


    Jun 24, 2001
    i have take this tab too but from the official site and i learn to lay the hole song with out tuning donw nothing i juast changed the posisions becose i have a 4 string bass
  4. Dave Metts

    Dave Metts Guest

    Nov 21, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    Thanks a lot for the replies. I guess I'll just keep working on that riff. I probably just need to build some dexterity and finger strength.

    Seamus, to give you an idea of what I'm talking about with the one finger per fret thing:

    If I were playing on the E string, I used to use my index to play F (first fret), middle finger to play F# (second fret), and pinky to play G (third fret). My ring finger never got used until I got higher up the neck. That's how a video I got a long time ago said to play, so that's how I started. My classical guitar playing friend (who is also pretty well accomplished at playing just about any stringed instrument) told me to start using all four fingers (excluding thumb) for fretting everywhere on the neck. So now I would use my ring finger for that G on the E string and my pinky for the G#. I hope that cleared everything up.

    Thanks once again for the replies!
  5. seamus

    seamus Guest

    Feb 8, 2001
    Oh ok, I see what you mean about the fingering now. I totally missed that you did not mention the ring finger in the first post.

    I've never had any lessons, so I just fret with whatever feels best at the time. I don't necessarily fret with the same fingers when playing the same lines, so I guess it's whatever works. The only thing I try to avoid is moving quickly up and down the neck fretting with the same finger repeatedly. My playing sounds better if I use different fingers to help me with the quicker runs and such.

    In regards to 'Home', I definitely had to use the index, ring finger, and pinky. I'm guessing that the recent use of your ring finger may be what's posing some difficulty. I'm sure you'll play it better than anyone in no time. :)
  6. Dave Metts

    Dave Metts Guest

    Nov 21, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I checked the tab on the official site, and it doesn't have that difficult riff in it. Three cheers for different transcriptions. Now it's a matter of finding out which one is right :)
  7. Drop_D

    Drop_D Guest

    Aug 1, 2001
    Portugal , Oporto
    I play Home on my four string , i tune down to D (Drop_D), and sounds good to me. But i´m almost sure that Myung doesn´t tune down.

    But if you want something Realy difficul check out the unisone solo at the very ending of this song (12:23 m )

    If you succeed in playing that lick , let me know

    (Just for the records : i can play it :) )