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From Trumpet to bass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by papathaddy, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. papathaddy


    Apr 8, 2009
    I'm not an excellent trumpeter, but I used to be able to hold my own, and I was wondering what's an easy way to apply reading music to playing bass. I don't want to buy a bass book, so i usually go towards tabs. I don't like tabs, because unlike most music its a lot of listening and then reading, and back and forth.

    Is there something I can use like guitarpro or some cheap software than can translate songs to bass? Also is listening to music by ear a very common thing amongst bassists? I can do it, just very very slowly. What are some tricks of the trade? Cuz I love practicing and I feel like i'm missing something.
  2. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Call Flea. Or is this Flea? ;)
  3. papathaddy


    Apr 8, 2009
    Ha, I wish i had half or maybe a quarter of talent that he has. If I did, i wouldn't be asking this question.
  4. Tenma4


    Jan 26, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    Tabs can prove to be helpful, but they have their limitations. Use them to help train your ear while playing along with something you're listening to. Be careful not to neglect your reading (standard notation) skills though. I bought/borrowed some piano music (read: church hymnals at first) to begin reading and playing from the bass clef.

    I'm not sure what you're looking for in "translate songs to bass". There are plenty of us that play by ear. In my practice time I try to mix in sightreading, improvising with chord charts and lead sheets, and learning songs by ear. A mix is helpful. My suggestion is to use all of the available options.

    Best wishes on the switch or addition of instrument. Hit me up privately if you want more of my related thoughts.
  5. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    I come from a similar background in brass, but form the tenor horn section. Point one i will make is that because you have being using three fingers to play valves you are way ahead of the game as far a finger picking styles are concerned, so don't be scared to use 3 fingers as opposed to two, it never done me any harm and in many ways was gift to have it.

    Tabs are a tool to use inconjunction with your playing, if they work for you go for it, don't let anyone tell you different.
    But try re-apply what you know concerning theory and using you ears to the bass. Some of it will apply some of it won't. Don't try and deny your treble clef skills for the sake of bass cleff, run the two side by side..piano players do it.
    That point is about application, that's the one mistake i made that wasted a lot of my time. I found it easier just to learn the bass clef rather than try and transpose the treble in to it. I know that may seem stange and i may be just the oppisite for you as most trumpet players i know transpose in their head sheets for Bb trumpet to Eb trumpet with out the blink of an eye.
    If you have lots of Trumpet sheets turn them upside down and sight read them as bass clef, turn them back and sight read them a treble. If you feel brave even try and play then in the bass clef, you never know what you will find.LOL :)

    Have fun and enjoy..welcome to the bass end of music LOL :)

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