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Hearing Oneself

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Johnny L, Dec 6, 2002.

  1. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    As I've spoken with several players recently, I always bring up my experiences singing with the church choir...I would always get a kick out of centering my voice's pitches with the organ and feeling the resonance. I would listen to the others sing, and it was often that they would be either sharp or flat with respect to the same organ, and it was not pleasant for me to hear myself or the others when our intonation was off. If I was off, I would hear it immediately and adjust my pitch.

    I also perceive intonation problems when I hear others play the bass without accompaniment and when I listen to recordings of myself practicing. But when I'm actually practicing the bass I'm just not hearing it and adjusting as I play often enough for comfort, and this frustrates me. Open strings are not very forgiving to poorly intonated stopped notes.

    Did any of you have this problem as you were developing, and if so, how long did it take for you to improve your ability to correct your intonation just by listening to yourself? I enjoy hearing and feeling my bass resonate when my intonation is good, but is there more for me to go with than my same experience with that church organ?
  2. Fred W

    Fred W

    Feb 21, 2002
    Bronx, NY
    About 12 years ago I got an electric uprite after joining a community big band. I had not played DB the 14 yrs previous, so I had a lot of work to do.What helped me- I got a tuner that played pitches, Korg, I think,and played major scales in every key with the root pitch droning. sound good to you?
  3. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Well said, Ed. You gotta good teacher.
  4. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    That's great advice right there, for any instrument. And very easy not to do!
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Pre-conceiving the note is something I've been tapping into lately. I'm getting better at it, but it can be exhausting, I've found. This is just a matter of excercise, though.

    Spending the time with The Stick that I have been, this is exactly what has been helping me get the sound (it works there, too) and pitch that I've been looking for, and it all translates over the pizz playing. Whenever I screw it up, I do an instant check and I'll invariably find that it's because my mind was wandering just enough.

    The 'wandering' part is more difficult to explain properly, in light of Alexander Technique, so I won't try here (DonO :), but siffice it to say that I scratch, get a bad tone, and play out of tune when I'm not hearing it before I get there.

    My muscle-memory thing isn't so good, so I doubt that I'll ever be completely comfortable playing when I can't hear myself so well...
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Thank you, Ed. I'll take all of that as a compliment, even if it is all a bit exaggerated.

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