1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Learning to play in every key

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by rockin982, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. rockin982


    Jan 27, 2004
    NJ, USA
    I've often heard the advice that a bassist should learn to play things in every key. But when I listen to a bass line (or any piece of music for that matter), I hear it more as a series of intervals than as an explicit set of notes. They key of the song seems more a point of reference than a "box" in which I must stay. So if I want to transpose a bass line to another key, is there really more to it than just moving a little further up the fretboard?
  2. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    It depends entirely on the music. Some things sound good played in boxes. Some things, such as walking bass lines, sound better (to my ears anyway) if you always go for the lowest possible fret position.
  3. That's true but if you play scale/chord ( 1-3-5-7 etc...) over all keys in one position say within 5 frets you come up with different patterns ( inversions )
    A good exercise is to play a lick in all 12 keys going through the cycle of fourths or going through minor thirds..etc
    Why? Because same reason you begin to find out different ways of playing the same lick also its good for the ear&finger relationship
  4. jvbjr


    Jan 8, 2005
    If you are sticking to radio friendly rock, you will see about six keys. If you wish to get involved in jazz or classical music you will be using all 12 keys where this advice is more fitting.