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Help!

Discussion in 'Ask Anthony Wellington [archive]' started by Bassman197835, Oct 31, 2013.


  1. Bassman197835

    Bassman197835

    Oct 31, 2013
    Help! :) 16 years Ive played most of which was spent in a rock band focussed on being rock stars over musicians. I have taken 3 years of Jazz lessons and learned many standards,my modes,i know my neck and have great fingering as well as right hand. I can learn most any thing put in front of me. I.e just finished Jaco's "Come On Come Over" including the chorus. But I just cant seem to get any better at freestyle jamming. Or just playing a great Bass line when I sit down with a unrehearsed group. How can I get better at creating a line??
     
  2. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Jan 4, 2011
    Maryland
    Honestly, I can't access your ability based your assessment. One of things that happens in my lessons and clinics all of the time is that people find out that they don't know what they think they know as well as they think they know it.

    I'm absolutely positive that we have very different definitions of the word 'know'. I would have to access your 'knowing' based in my definition. If you ask around TB and other places you'll find that has been true for a lot of people.

    But regardless of that,...

    How well you place someone else's stuff will never be indicative of how well you can create.

    If I learn and memorize Martin Luther King's "I had a dream" speech, it doesn't mean I can write a great speech. It just means that I can mimic someone else's speech. Those are 2 very different skills.

    It'll always be about learning as much as you can about bass and learning as much as you can about music and then using those skills together.

    I wish I could access your ability personally. I know I could point out areas for you to work on for you to achieve what it is that you want to do.

    Peace,
    Anthony
     
  3. Bassman197835

    Bassman197835

    Oct 31, 2013

    I understand. Me telling you I "know" this or that means very little when it cant be shown. However Im not so sure about our def of "Know" being different...but thank you for making sure Im aware you are a better musician :) J/K I was just asking for tips on improv. Ive never really learned many "cover" songs so to speak. Only Jazz standards from class and a few Jamerson,Jaco and Odem lines. I create my own beats and lines just fine. I was just looking for some tips to improve! my improv. As far as getting out of the same old patterns and phrasing. I guess it was a silly question. Just figured I might get a few tips but I guess thats hard to do in text.. Thanks for taking the time to answer.
     
  4. rolandm

    rolandm In search of the lowest note.

    Aug 8, 2010
    Peoria, IL
    Anthony's right on here, we all have different knowledge levels. His is heads and shoulders above mine and many others, no doubt. But the general idea and gist of what you're asking applies whether you are just a novice bass player or an advanced one. If I read that right, what you're asking is, "How can I create musicality in what I play?" And you don't have to "know" a whole lot, or be able to play complex and difficult basslines to do that, although knowledge and technical prowess expand your musical vocabulary.

    Point is, we're talking musicality, and that means groove and note highlights.

    Bootsy said it best. "One." Know where the one is, and then just add in a groove, playing off of different percussive elements in the drummer's playing. Try selecting a given mode or even an arpeggio specific to what the guitar/keys/horns/glockenspiel/whatever is playing, and make it musical by changing the intervals to highlight different parts of what those chords say. It doesn't have to be "right" so toss that idea in the scrap heap. Jamming is about freeform expression and exploration. It just has to progress. So find the one, and then accent around it accordingly.

    That's the nice part about the bass. We can change the WHOLE emphasis of a song by simply changing the groove, or choosing to highlight a different note of the chord in the arpeggios we might play in a given bass line. We set the complexity more in what we play or don't play, than any other instrument out there. So go change the emphasis around, and then let it soak in. Eventually it will soak in just like your technical skills have, so that you can recall it at will, much like you can recall double stops, tricky right had fingering or tapping or what-have-you.

    With apologies to Anthony for butting in, I hope that helped.
     
  5. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Jan 4, 2011
    Maryland
    'Anthony' never minds anyone butting in. And 'Anthony' never thinks he's better than anyone. But 'Anthony' knows experience and lack of experience. That's all I ever comment on.

    Everyone ALREADY knows how to communicate what they KNOW how to communicate.

    They only way to communicate 'more' expressively is to grow your vocabulary and what you know about a language. You don't want you language to bulky upon catch phrases only.

    You are as expressive as your vocabulary.

    peace,
    anthony
     
  6. Bassman197835

    Bassman197835

    Oct 31, 2013
    Oh I was only joking man! I came to you. I meant no disrespect. Just havin a laugh. Hope I didnt offend.
     
  7. Bassman197835

    Bassman197835

    Oct 31, 2013
    rolandm i very much appreciate both of you! As Mr Anthony said. Its impossible to even really! know what Im getting at without hearing me play. Im at a point where I feel like all I do is stay in the pocket. And i do realize sometimes its what you dont! play that sounds better. Just feel stuck in the same ol grooves. I will def dig back in to my modes and make a point of incorporating them to my licks and look for dif phrasings. And since I never really have learned much in the way of Cover songs. I should prob go back and start playing with the radio more.
     
  8. Bassman197835

    Bassman197835

    Oct 31, 2013
    I took a few minutes to look up Mr Anthony. I ran across a short video of yours "wrong notes" very short but basically my issue! I think Ive became complacent with what I know works. Good advice on playing "wrong notes" to find right ones as well as different expressions. I need to stop worrying about messing up so bad and just play I guess :)
     
  9. rolandm

    rolandm In search of the lowest note.

    Aug 8, 2010
    Peoria, IL
    If your improv is giving you fits, I'd caution you to disregard the bass parts that are already written into the song and perhaps write your own. Listen to the chord structure, listen to the rhythms provided, and every so often, pick a song that is entirely outside your comfort zone. Never played reggae? Play reggae. Never played Bach? Play Bach. Never played whatever, play whatever. Maybe through cheaper speakers so you actually have less of the actual recorded bass present without sacrificing the meter of the song, still available via the higher frequencies of the drum kit.

    It rings very true, "You are as expressive as your vocabulary."

    Now, with all the quotes and third person perspective, I totally read your first paragraph ala Clifford Franklin (Orlando Jones) in The Replacements. "The football's like a one-man cold to Clifford Franklin. Clifford Franklin's the only man catchin' it, Clifford Franklin's the only man comin' down with it."
     
  10. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Jan 4, 2011
    Maryland
    I didn't feel disrespected. And I'm the hardest person on the planet to offend. But I DO respond to everything that's written to me. And I ONLY respond to what is written.

    peace,
    anthony
     
  11. Bassman197835

    Bassman197835

    Oct 31, 2013
    Well good. It def didnt come out in text as it did in my head ... Wonderful ideas from both of you. As you say in your video Anthony. I need to stop worrying about playing the wrong note and sounding bad and hit some wrong notes to find better ideas an get out of the same ol rut. And I like the idea of experimenting with the radio by playing dif lines and not following. Just because Im ignorant to the movie... Can you explain the "Replacements" line? Im just curious. I tried googling but kinda unsure what you meant. And not taken in a bad manner! If its constructive criticism please bring it! God knows I need it right now.
     
  12. rolandm

    rolandm In search of the lowest note.

    Aug 8, 2010
    Peoria, IL
    Lol. Rent the movie. Well worth it.
     
  13. Bassman197835

    Bassman197835

    Oct 31, 2013
    I will def watch the movie but it did just click!
    Again! Bassman says thanks for the tips. ;) Do ya feel what Im saying though? Have you ever hit a point in your career where you just feel stuck in a rut? Like all you're doing is rehashing the same ol tricks. The Tool Box thought it a great analogy Anthony. I need to focus more on my tools and start adding to the box again. Catch you guys later!!
     
  14. rolandm

    rolandm In search of the lowest note.

    Aug 8, 2010
    Peoria, IL
    I have, sure. I think most bassists have. Even those with more tools in their toolbox than the rest of us have. When that happens, I typically go with learning a song I otherwise might not have learned, or play a style of music I wouldn't normally play, like I mentioned. I've even learned the guitar/vocal parts to a given song, and have been known to throw them into the performance on occasion.
     

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