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How to learn a lot of styles

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by kalo, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. kalo


    Jul 29, 2003
    Hi all,

    I was wondering how your professional players or hobbist learn to play a lot of different styles...

    Is it by learning different rhythmic feel for different styles such as latin, rock, blues, swing...

    And, when learning is better to stay to one style for let's say about 6 months or is okay to learn a blues style then maybe a latin style...

    Also, straying a way from the topic a little bit...I am defenitely going to start to learn to read music...Sure, I don't have to read music,and can go by feel, but understanding rhythmic feel via learning to count HELPS out a lot and makes ones creativity even better when it comes down to laying the groove...

    Thanks, Kalo!
  2. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    The way that worked for me was to listen to and occasionally play along with a lot of music. When I first went to college (as a drummer) it was next to impossible for me to learn jazz by reading sheet music. I had to listen to a lot of it to get a sense of what were common patterns and what were acceptable deviations before I could convincingly play it. The same has held true as I've learned other styles on the drums (especially latin) and as I've migrated to bass.
  3. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The number one thing is to listen a lot to the types of music you want to play. That's the only way to get an appreciation of the way the style has been played before.
  4. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Well, lessons with a teacher will help a lot. I mean, you can play along with songs and all, but when a teacher can do something like, say, bring out a clave and teach you a variety of different rhythms to play, you're going to gain a deeper knowledge.

    It's the "give a man a fish" argument. If you learn the concepts, theory, and rhythms behind different genres, you then have the ability to play most songs in that style, not just the one or two you've played before.

    Let's say you've never played jazz before. Are you really going to learn how to confidently play jazz by pulling out Nefertiti and So What and playing along? I don't think so. But if you knew scales, arpeggios and modes, then took lessons on how to construct a walking bass line, then learned different common jazz progressions like ii/V7/I, iii/vi/ii/V7, rhythm changes, jazz blues, and the like; then spend time learning a swing feel, you'll be better equipped.

    So yes, you do want to spend time playing songs from different genres, there is definite value in that, but you really want to start analyzing these styles. This is what you've done with the styles you like know, you probably just didn't realize it. Get a teacher, talk about a rounded program encompassing many styles. Get books to supplement, like Oscar Stagnaro's for latin bass, Rufus Reid's for jazz walking bass and soloing, etc.
  5. kalo


    Jul 29, 2003
    Hi Jazzbo,

    It's funny that you are talking about a teacher....I had my first lesson with one the other day...

    He kept complementing my techinque and playing and the fact that I know a lot about chord build up and stuff....

    There is a slight problem..He charges $30.00 a 1/2 hour...I know one has to pay and I don't mind paying, however,that comes out to $120 to $150 a month depending on whether there is four days in the month or five days :meh:

    To be honest, I am not sure I was all that impressed with his teaching skills...I don't know if I want to continue...I could give him a chance, but if my premonitions are right then i just blown $120.00 dollars for next month....

    For this month, I didn't have to prepay for lessons because I started at end of this month....

    This teacher doesn't help a bassist learn any songs...There is not CD player or nothing in his studio....

    That's kind of a bummer because I was looking for a teacher who could help me learn songs and anaylize what is going on in the song....

    I would like a teacher who can teach like this...

    1. Sight Reading
    2. Theory
    3. Songs & anaylizing
    4. Techinque

    Deep down I know I have the ability to teach myself songs and I already taught myself a lot of theory (because I play guitar)..There are tons of good books on learning to sight read for bass...

    I am torn on what I should do.....Should I take the chance and prepay for next month's lessons?

    Thanks, Kalo!!!
  6. Ditto
    You have to listen to the different styles to get the feel of the style of music ie: A Basic outline is for example - Shuffle ( a triplet feel ) Latin ( A dotted crotchet feel ) and so on
    Also you tend to pick up the good note choices used for the style as explained above.
    Also Jazzbo has sage advice esp. in terms of technique wise b/c a teacher will point that out
  7. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    It's one thing to hear the recording and attempt to replicate it. But when someone shows you the same passage with technique, it's learning the music on a completely different level.

    The joy of a good instructor. Too few and far between.
  8. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Assuming you're American, (filling out your profile is a good idea, people are better able to help you then) then $30 for half an hour is pretty dang steep. I've been doing hour long upright lessons twice a month for $30 each for the last two months -- that's $30 Canadian for one full hour...and unquestionably, he's an excellent teacher. I also get lessons on electric, and I've had plenty of impromptu lessons etc., but I've never seen my playing grow as quickly as it has with my upright teacher...and the fact that you're paying more money for half as much time with a teacher you aren't that impressed with seems like a pretty rough deal.

    Does he have a set lesson plan, and give you homework? Paying $30 for half an hour with a guy that doesn't have his crap together is outrageous. There are other teachers.
  9. Listening, Playing, Seeing them Live........And lots more Listening and playing

    i currently play in 3 bands, with a 4th in the talks.....but the 3 im in are:

    The Blue Monks: A heavy Funk band ala older RHCP, Living Color and Primus with a bluesy and jazz influence with alot of improvisation....thats my kind of deal so it was easy for me to fit in there

    Hip: Jazz trio Leaning more experimental, Like John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Kenny Garret, The Bad Plus, Jaco and Marcus Miller, with a bit of Hip Hop influnced Rythyms and mostly improvised on the spot gigs...that was a bit more difficult, i already Dug most of them, but its hard to just play live, i just crammed jaco, kenny garret and some sinatra into my skull for 2 weeks straight to get in that mood, its getting easier

    Chris Holmeworth Quartet: Pretty much the same as Hip, but with a vocallist doing alot of Frank Sinatra, Vince Jones, Dean Martin and other crooner acts with some rock-ish tunes swung

    so yeah, i basically went through alot of batterys having my walkman on me alot of the timeand carrying my bass with me to college to play during my lunch break
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I agree... + reading.

    Compared to most here, I'm slow. Reading(either bios or "How To" books) really helped me assimilate what I was hearing.
    Example: The two(2) books that really helped me with what Latin chops I have are-
    Funkifying The Clave for Bass & Drums-Lincoln Goines/Robbie Ammeen
    The Salsa Handbook-Rebeca Mauleon

    Drum books with methods, exercises, & transcriptions also helped me with 'feel'.
    ...at a certain point, you can play different feels against what the book sez, too.
    Just for fun. ;)
  11. kalo


    Jul 29, 2003
    Hi All,

    Thanks for all the cool replies....

    To: Govithoy, I do live in the U.S., and your right $30.00 for a 1/2 hour lessons is veeeeery steep.....Most people will charge $15.00 per 1/2 hour and or $20.00 or $25.00 for a full hour....

    Even though I had only one lesson with this teacher, I have decieded to call today and cancel for this month...Good thing I didn't have to pay for a months in advance....

    Thanks Kalo!

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