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help a beginner out!

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Billdog, Apr 11, 2003.


  1. Billdog

    Billdog

    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    If this is in the wrong forum, feel free to move it. I just wanted to know what everyone's suggestions were for doing serious woodshedding over the summer. I'm probably being overly hard on myself, but I'm just going to say I have poor rhythm and virtually no sight reading skills. I only play electric bass at the moment. I know lots of theory, but have virtually no practical abilities. Soooo, how do you suggest I practice over the summer seeing as I'll be taking an upright class next semester of college. (I will have a teacher). I e-mailed the professor of the class and he said to work on my timing and sight reading in both treble and bass clef. What is the fastest way to go about doing that? Obviously lots of reading with a metronome, but any particular suggestions? Thanks.
     
  2. Sup Dog,
    Well I would find a Teacher now and work on reading. If you dont have a DB now this will still help huge in your future studies. My 2 cents...

    Dave
     
  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Time is time, Dog. If your problem is poor rhythm you can get serious work done tapping your leg with your hand. But, better yet, you have a BG and can work with that even before you get a DB.

    a) Play with a metronome. Click all four beats. Click just 2 & 4. Click just 2. Click just 4. Play at differing tempos. Play tunes or just run scales.

    b) Play with records. You can learn an awful lot playing with Jimmy Cobb or Vernell Fournier, eh?
     
  4. Billdog

    Billdog

    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks a bunch. I appreciate it. By the way, is this the right forum to be in? I really couldn't find one better suited to my question except maybe one of the orchestral things for the sight reading portion of the question. But, it really wasn't a sight reading question entirely sooo.... again, thank you for the input. Any info is appreciated. Oh, do you suggest any books other than Simandl instruction type books for sight reading purposes?
     
  5. Billdog

    Billdog

    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    I should probably clarify something. My rhythm when I'm attempting to improvise with a song or over chord changes isn't bad. It's my reading rhythm that's really off. I assume all of the same advice still applies though.
     
  6. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    A book that helped me with sight-reading was Louis Bellson's "Modern Rhythms in 4/4." It's a drum-book. It's probably out-of-print. I bet that any medium-tricky snare-drum book would do just as well.

    Obviously, sight-reading (or good reading generally) requires us to recognize notes and rhythms. The more "automatic" you can make one, the easier to focus on the other when reading. This ain't nuclear physics, right?

    Anyway, having scales and arpeggios right under your fingers can't hurt, and practice with rhythms can help make up the difference.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Billdog

    Billdog

    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks. Ok, stupid question time. Should I be able to tap out eigth-notes and eigth-note-triplets at the same time without getting them mixed up?:) My brother and I like to have little spitting contests with that kind of stuff. I'm sure it depends on how hardcore you are about your rhythmic capabilities, I'd just like to hear if its common among experienced musicians (other than drummers), to be capable of physically pulling off polyrhythms like this. (I assume this is an example of a polyrhythm, I have yet to study them in any depth)
     
  8. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Artistic involvement is like Kali's bauble: You spend your whole life totally engrossed in something only to discover you were staring at the paint on God's middle left toe-nail.

    Ah well, back to earth for me, Dog. What I was trying to say is that there's a million things you can do with your life and your music. Try to figure out what will help you to reach your musical goals, and work on it. If playing 2-on-3 or 3-on-4 helps you to get where you want to be, work on them now. If reading is getting in the way of something you want to do, work on that. But with all that work, do what you can to keep the big picture in mind: Move toward musical interaction and growth.
     
  9. Billdog

    Billdog

    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks Samuel! That's good sound advice. I'm an engineering student, so I tend to get caught up in the details!(severe understatement) A good kick in the pants like that to wake me up once in a while really is great. I appreciate all your help.
     
  10. Metronomes help I'm sure but the way I developed rythm is by listening to music with a serious groove and experimenting. So both together, listening and experimenting so that you get a sence of rythmic ideas, and a metronome so you know what you are doing (triplets, upbeats etc)
     
  11. Billdog

    Billdog

    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks again. I can't wait to get started! I can't wait for school to end either!