How to study a musician

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Jamerman, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Jamerman


    Apr 8, 2013
    I imagine people mean they look at the sheet music from some of their music, and try and figure out what techniques they use when, but is there anything more to this than just dissecting sheet music?
  2. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    Lift the tunes and transcribe the sheet music yourself. The more work you do on your own without help the more you learn and retain.
  3. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I try to sneak up on them, catch them by using their favorite food or drink as bait, and then, once they are caged, 24/7 cameras, and a lot of note paper.
  4. Jamerman


    Apr 8, 2013
    Anything else?
  5. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Unless the bass player you're studying transcribed his/her own lines, you'd be better off using your ears to study a musician.
  6. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    Burn a fatty and watch with my ears. That's usually all I need. And carrots.
  7. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Get their recordings and learn to play them. Pay attention to HOW they play, that's more important than what they play as they develop a personal voice on the instrument.

    It is also very interesting to listen to their work chronologically if possible, this way you hear how they progress and evolve their style and technique over time.

    Also,if possible, learn who their influences are/were and go listen to those players as well.
  8. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    Another thing I'll do is if I can find tab online (yeah, that's right, I said tab), I may pull it up just to get a quick cheat sheet to find the major changes a bit quicker. I still use my ears to find the grove, I just make it a little easier on myself sometimes is all.
  9. JennySuzuki


    Dec 18, 2013
    I prefer to ask her out to a nice wine bar, and impress her with my knowledge of German reds before plumbing the depths of her knowledge of obscure French composers.
  10. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
  11. MikeCanada


    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Video is also your friend. Although sometimes lag can be an issue, or you can run into videos where you really can't see what Vic is doing with his right hand because it's moving faster than the video, it is pretty useful. There are a number of bassists that have put out some sort of instructional video or "here's me jamming to a bunch of tunes with cameras on my hands" kind of things. If you do some digging, they aren't that hard to find.

    If they don't have video, a few have also written books. Some are basically transcriptions in tab and/or notation and have a little blurb talking about tone and technique, some are far more detailed. If you're studying those guys, then you're in luck.

    Otherwise listen, watch and repeat. Transcribing and learning as much on your own as you can is very beneficial, but if you are finding that too difficult, you can usually find a tab and see if that helps. Enough tabs have enough mistakes in them that when you learn the song and play it along with the recording, you'll end up using your ear to fix things anyway.

    Most of us have a bag of tricks we use on a regular basis. That holds true for the guys you are planning on studying as well. This is where listening to their stuff chronologically can help, because you can start to pick those things out, and see how they evolve over their playing career. Some guys simply have a much larger bag of tricks than you do... learn as many as you can, study as many bassists as you can, and your playing will thank you later.