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Discussion in 'Ask the Berklee Bass Department' started by fnordlyone, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. To the the pro it might concern:

    I am a beginner. I started mid April of this year. I am 43 years old. I don't know much, but I think the key to "tone," "groove," and "rhythm," to my ear while playing with my fingers is….
    Dynamics, by which I mean: force of attack, vibrato, etc: the volume and sound of each note in succession.

    Even playing a favorite song can turn into finger exercises (every note is there, but:meh:), or concentrate on what I'm calling the dynamics of the progression of notes and :).

    I don't even know if any of this makes musical sense, but I'd like to learn more about what I'm discovering… Are there exercises from the elders that can help me develop dynamic dexterity?

    thanks vets,
    f n o r d !
  2. Try playing octaves of different volume. It's a good and simple exercise.

    G -------------------| ------------------ | ----5---5---5---5--|
    D -------------------| ---5---5---5---5- |--3---3----3---3----|
    A ----5---5---5---5-| -3---3---3---3--- |---------------------|
    E --3---3---3---3---| ------------------ | --------------------|
    //*///* /////*////////////*////*/////*////////////*///////*/////*////

    Loop each one of the above examples. Accentuate the notes marked with the star.
    Make your own combinations and practice a lot.

    Hope it helps.
  3. Danny Morris

    Danny Morris Berklee Bass Department

    Feb 15, 2013
    nice thread here and a topic of considerable magnitude! Dynamics represent the connection to emotional content. As you consider your contribution to a track, or song while playing live, you most certainly should connect to your inner emotion. The aspect of note length is something I often survey when learning a song, and/or creating an original bass line. In tandem with the kick drum we have the ability as bass players to tap into the groove of a song. Connecting with the kick, your bass note/timbre is wider in length and dynamic. The kick gives us width, and we give the kick a pitch. Collectively the result has strong outcomes. Your note duration adds to the dynamic outcome with emotional repercussions. Listen to music and hear the dialogue between the kick drum and the bass. When played together there is a consequence and when conversing not necessarily in unison all the time, the result can be interesting as well. Fingers on both right and left hand technique vary amongst players with the end result being a recognizable "voice". This unique aspect to every player separates one musician from the next. Why is it that you can recognize Pino from Marcus, Sting from Paul, Bakithi from Verdine? It's in the timbre, in the note choices, in the shape of the lines, in the dynamics.These major contributors aforementioned have advanced musicianship skills that play into their emotional contribution to songs and the lasting effect that music has on our ears. Every player has a uniqueness to them. Discovery will take you to a level of musicianship where you feel confident playing "your" sound, 'your" vibe that contributes magic to a track. How to get there is thru healthy practicing and lots of performing. Record yourself often. Listen back and discover tendencies. Subsequently refine the aspects of your playing that needs a tweak. Emotional connection is where it's at! So glad this is being talked about. It is often overlooked.
  4. Will do, Mr. Morris! You've given me a couple of bass player's names to research as well. As a very new 43 year old player (started mid April of this year), I haven't any experience playing with a drummer. But what you have posted about the kick drum unity in the groove is quite enlightening, none the less. Will research this as I'm learning to record in garage band and manipulate drum loops.:cool:

    f n o r d !
  5. Yes, thank you! Exactly the type exercise I am seeking.
    young grasshopper