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Learning aids

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by saltydog, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. saltydog


    Nov 17, 2009
    Hello Everyone,
    I'm a double bass player, not exactly a "newbie," but not many years worth of experience either. One of the ways I am trying to enhance my learning is with some pointed "ear training." I don't do too bad with less complex two, three, four major chord tunes, but some tunes, especially jazz tunes with more complex chordal structures are really a problem to try to "hear," especially when the bass is buried with a whole quartet or sextet playing along. And, often the quality of the recording
    just does not support hearing a bass line....one has to struggle just to hear it.
    I know absolutely nothing about monitors, preamps, and other technology. Is there, available on the market, technology that I can put in a CD and listen to...let's say, a Ray Brown standard and isolate out the bass line..... even slow the tempo while maintaining the pitch...? Perhaps even being able to record the isolated channel?
    Thanks all.....
  2. what the pluck

    what the pluck

    Oct 13, 2010
    Hi There

    To isolate just the bass from a stereo recording is pretty much impossible. You could cut frequencies around the bass but bass needs some of the higher frequencies for a bit of definition so you would really just end up with a bit of a boomy mess. What I would suggest you look into is a basic recording program. With this you will be able to load in the songs you want to learn and then do things like loop specific parts etc. You can slow it down and I do believe that some programs will allow you to do this without altering the pitch but I am not 100 percent sure which ones.

    Hope that helps
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I think most of us, mainly the ones (like me) that started on bass guitar and listening to recordings made basically within a year or so of when we first listened to them, are just not used to hearing bass in the same sonic space as recordings made prior to the "rock" era. It just takes some time and familiarity with the music, but the thing that has made the most difference for me is just being able to "hear" more, which is an ear training thing. When I first started listening to this music, I found the Bird Savoy and Dial recordings unlistenable, because ALL I was hearing was velocity. When I got to the point that I could actually "hear" what Bird (and Diz) were doing with some clarity, then all of a sudden nothing was "buried in the mix".
    What ear training are you doing? How much jazz playing do you get in (with groups) a day or week or month? What transcribing did you start with?
  4. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    This isn't what you asked, but you might find looking at some bass lines helpful. The Hal Leonard series of bass instructional books has, IMHO, some simple but good bass lines - just playing through the book and noticing the chord changes might be educational for you.

    One thing I sometimes do for my students is record a guitar playing the changes and have them play the written bass line along with my recording.

    NB: I'm referring to their electric bass method book, not upright, but a good bass line is a good bass line.

    Hope that's helpful to you.



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