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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by JeffBerlin, Apr 9, 2010.
This is the last time im going to be nice about it. Quit talking about my mom.
Hey Jeff. Tell me your thoughts on slap bass playing. I hear that you aren't a fan. Why not?
Whatever people do to improve as players, don't forget to learn how to read. Don't forget to practice music that falls into academics but not art. And never forget to practice in peace, slowly relaxed and not for hours on end. Do this, and you will all triple your musicality. P.S. There are no such a thing as chops building exercises. Someone asked me the other day to recommend some and I thought that I might share with you what I shared with him.
I recognize the virtuosos who slap as masters of that style, Victor Wooten is probably the greatest of them all. But slapping doesn't really fall into any realm of melody or harmony. Melody and harmony is where I live as a bass player. Slap is what it is, but I simply don't hear bass that way! It also makes for a weak academic music to study.
Explain what you mean about there not being any such thing as chops building exercises. I do not understand.
To me it's a textural thing. It can really add some interest and change in dynamics. I think of it as playing drums on my bass. LOL! I was just curious as to your thoughts on it.
Some players think that there are exercises to help you to play faster. There aren't!
In most cases, I don't offer thoughts about art. Anything that anybody plays because it makes them happy is their art and I never criticize one's art. But I do criticize and scream up and down and jump in circles while yanking on my hair about really bad music lessons.
Ahhhhhh! Your Mom's a lovely lady, I am sure!
Here's a bit of a issue for me. I play for a church which is fairly large and we have a good number of really good musicians including young guys. I'm the main bass player and cover the majority of our services (we do three back to back services each Sunday), however with several drummers just aching to play we have at times scheduled different drummer for each service and you can imagine how confusing this can be for me as the bassist. The oldest drummers is well seasoned and focuses on the pocket, the next guy is a young twenty something and plays like a wild man to the point that he breaks cymbals and heads and the other drummers complain about his inability to play in a controlled fashion. It's like Star Search when he plays and I get close to snapping at him. The other drummer is also a bass player and it's interesting that he doesn't listen to lock in with me when he plays drums although he has a tight pocket when he does. Our Music Director doesn't like to say anything and leaves it to me to be the heavy. Any advise on how to deal with each drummer?
Ok, I know what a supposed chopbuilding exercise is. I've even seen books/articles/videos of people teaching them for guitar and bass. What I want to know is why you are saying that those aren't valid. How does one go about building their chops and being more proficient? Playing more difficult pieces of music? I'm interested in your philosophy. I used to practice a lot of those exercises, but I sucked when it came to jamming with people. They did help my dexterity. I got a lot better when I studied chord theory and used chord tones for my parts and started jamming a lot.
Hi Jeff. I was reading a *woodshed* article in Bass Player about triads and one paragraph discussed triad inversions and how it could add spice and color to lines. In the article it mentions to listen to you among others for applications of inversions. Is thier a paticular song of yours that represents the best use of triad inversions?
After the other nights dynamics I laughed (for all of the right reasons) when I saw this thread. A good end to a bad day
I wanted to ask you whether you are familiar with the basses made by Rob Allen? Phenomenal instruments (see my avatar).
Gig host one player for each music chair that is required. Tell the band leader to have an audition. This will get everyone playing at the best. Then just pick one guy.
I think understand what you are talking about. Music theory and physics don't change. They are universal and the nuts and bolts of whatever else you build on top of it. How you apply them is the "art" aspect. Is that correct? I learned to sing recently after taking many really bad lessons, I found someone who taught me good technique with progressively more difficult songs. Good singing technique is universal. Style is something different. No matter what style, you still need to have good technique. I think the same applies to any instrument or music that a person plays.
Yep. People can get pretty wound up alright! There's a couple of guys who really have it in for me over here. They tried to play nice with me, but when i didn't accept their apology for the mean things that they wrote, they simply returned to their old ways about me. I knew that their true self would come out and it has!
Regarding the bass, it looks quite beautiful.
I have to say that much of what I read, in my opinion, was based on those others you mention own insecurities about their playing in relation to challenges you present them and their respective vanities. Acknowledging weaknesses in ones own playing is surely an absolute prerequisite of improving?? Or am I wrong?
If you didn't know, the bass is a Rob Allen Mouse 30 - astonishingly woody tone and by far the best bass I've ever played. Check out the thread "Show us your Rob Allen II" if you get a moment or two.
One way I increased my comfort level with music was leaving a church with a single core group for a church that has multiple drummers, bassists, and leaders in rotation. I try to adapt. When a light-hitting drummer is on deck, that's the week I I'll try out an intro - and then switch gears when a hard-hitting guy is on tubs by detuning the 5-string and focusing on bottom grooves. The variety lets me bring different ideas back to the first church that tends to stay in a rut. Are some weeks 'disappointing'? I'm learning to not think that way and take from each line-up what I can.
I've also learned that you cannot put notation in front of some people, and some people are paralyzed without a full score. The key (given my personal limitations) is finding some way to communicate subdividing the beat in ways they would not otherwise consider. That's a learning experience in itself (or could be a point of frustration) since there are more volunteers than ones with professional training. I know you advocate reading, but what do suggest when the group has mixed skills?
I imagine that your dexterity got better when playing those particular exercises only on those exercises which makes sense; this is what you were practicing. But, music itself contains harmonic, melody and rhythmical content that needs representing. If one practices what I refer to as "the Good Stuff" that is, factual harmonic music, then your hands have a reason to function. The music that you are working on insists on it.
But, if one simply does Right Hand Techniqe Left Hand Techniqu or Chops Building Techniques (all false concept of playing by the way) you won't get what you may be looking for, which is having the ability to play the music that you hear inside or to play the music that someone else has asked you to play.
I'm gonna take something from my trumpet playing here. I've been playing trumpet for seven years now. And as a person who can play any wind instrument, and is fairly proficient on bass, I can say that trumpet is HARD. DANGED hard. The human mouth is simply not designed to do that. And here I am, trying to force it to do it, anyway.
This is what my teacher says over again: you build up your trumpet house one brick at a time.
Now the speed we're talking about in bass is an athletic thing. It's about your muscles, not your music. In trumpet, the athletic thing we all strive for is the high notes. But my teacher, who is an excellent teacher, has never had me do a single high note excercize. I play my long tones, my scales, my lip slurs, my tonguing excersizes, etc. I have never just sat there and played high notes.
And, well, I know it sounds arrogant, but I'm a senior in high school and I'm one of the best my school has ever seen.
It's the same for bass. When I started, I couldn't come close to playing with one finger on a fret. 5 years later, I can do it easily even at fret one. Have I ever done "stretching" excersizes? No, of course not. It just happens.
So keep practicing.