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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by SpiderMan, Dec 20, 2000.

  1. SpiderMan


    Dec 20, 2000
    I am very new to the bass and am just starting to feel comfortable playing with some friends. I was wondering if there were any excercises I should be working on to improve my playing. I know this is kind of vague but anything anyone might suggest for a beginner would be much appreciated. Also, who are bassists I should be listening to? I have a Black Market by Weather Report with Jaco Pastorius and I enjoy both Les Claypool and Mike Gordon. Any bass playes I should be listening to?
  2. Spidey -

    I'd recommend taking the time and spending the money to find a good teacher. We could give you some suggestions and pointers here, but nothing will take the place of someone who's right there to help you out. You haven't filled out your profile, so we don't know where you are, it's just possible that one of the other members could help you find a great teacher near you, if not teach you themselves (if you're near Orlando, FL, I teach :D). If you have any specific questions, ask away and we'll be happy to help as best we can. Good luck!
  3. SpiderMan


    Dec 20, 2000
    Hey Gard,

    Thanks for your post. I really appreciate it. Unfortunately, I am from Boston. I am new member so where would I fill out my profile?
    Anyways, I've been working on the Bass line for Roses are Free a song Phish covers. I believe it is Bflat into F into Eflat. I've been playing it all on the 8th fret on the D A and G strings. I sometimes will play it all on one sting or vary it somewhat but almost always on the eigth frets of those strings. My question I guess is how do I liven it up? What notes can I add in between? I know this is probably a terrible question from a terrible bass player but if you could help I'd once again be very much appreciative.
    Know any teachers in Boston?

  4. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    I'm in NH, and I teach.

    Chris A.:rolleyes:
  5. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    I don't know the song and this is an over simplification based on an educated guess. But the song is most likely in Bb. Being Phish, it may be a rock tune. The I, IV, V pattern comes to mind hear.

    As a beginner, I would recommend trying a couple of things. First, learn the B flat major scale. Bb C D Eb F G A - Bb C D Eb F G A - Bb… These are the notes that sound good in a B flat tune. One approach would be start by playing the first note (chord) you hear and go up or down the scale with the right timing so that when the next chord change happens you have climbed or descended to the next Chord. Get a book with scales and chords in it if you don’t own one yet, and spend some time learning all the scales and chords. Eventually you will be able to hear what is going on in a song based on this foundation, lots good listening and trial and error.

    Bb C D Eb F G A - Bb C D Eb F G A - Bb…

    Learn that scale all the way up and down the neck, and with the right timing and feel you can get by a whole career just on that. This approach I will call Diatonic or scale playing.

    Chordal playing is similar but concentrates on playing every other note in the scale going up (for now). So if you were on the Bflat chord you would play Bflat D, F and perhaps the next Bflat up or the next F down until the next chord change happens. Then you would play every other note in the Bflat scail starting on the note you hear. Perhaps it is Eflat or F.

    Eb G Bb Eb - when the Eb (four) chord happens
    F A C F - when the F (five) chord happens

    In a lot of pop music the every other note in the scale thing happens three notes (a triad)
    In jazz and or other more adventurous music some chords will be combinations of four, five six or more notes to make up a chord. Again using every other note in the scale. Don't do that yet!

    Look up Carol Kaye for starting point on the chordal approach.

    People say 'one chord' it means the chord based on the key the song was written in.

    When they say the 'four chord', it's the chord starting on the fourth note in the scale and so on.

    Historically many tunes start on the one and progress to the four or the five moves back to the one and go back to the four or the five. There are a lot of common patterns, not enough that you can't see them coming after a couple years of trying.

    At times instead of playing only the notes in the scale, other notes are added in between. Call this Chromatic. For instance if you played one note per fret until you got up to the next chord you are playing chromatically.

    Lastly you can combine the above techniques, just don't do like me and get lost trying to embellish for the sake of embellishment. Keep It Simple and you wont get lost.

  6. SpiderMan


    Dec 20, 2000
    Hey sorry it took so long for me to respond but thanks for the informative reply. Hope you have a great new year.
  7. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    Glad i could help ... I just got back on the board after a short break.


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