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Lesson Break/Backslide

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Hypnotaize, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. Hypnotaize


    Apr 10, 2014
    I take weekly bass lessons, but I'm going to be stopping for June and July because I have an erratic schedule throughout those two months, including family vacations, etc. However, I will be participating in two music camps, playing bass with other musicians during these.

    I've made a lot of progress since before I started lessons, and I don't want to backslide. Are there any songs/techniques/elements I should work on to keep my progress up? I've been taking lessons for two or three months now.
  2. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
    One thing that I did for vaca at the beach where there is no power is purchase a cheapo acoustic bass + a battery powered bass trainer and head phones. I find that the acoustic isn't really loud at all so I can whack away all day and not bother anyone around me. I got everything used and real cheap.

    If new to the instrument I'd go back over all your lessons to make sure you have them down solid, also take time to REALLY, REALLY, REALLY learn the fret board notes using exercises that revolve around the entire fret board, major/chromatic intervals, the cycle of 5th's/4th's and arpeggio's. Listen to the sounds of the notes themselves and the sounds of how the notes relate to the others in the key, scale or chord. Lastly say or sing the note out loud as you play it.

    I have to say that I get so much home work that a short 2 to 4 week break is needed in order to get caught up periodically. My instructor loves to say "Okay you've got it - Now learn it in all keys" -
    Drives me nuts!

    What music camps are you joining?
  3. Hypnotaize


    Apr 10, 2014
    My city has a jazz festival each year and they have a program for amateur musicians. I'm also joining in a week-long program in Georgia that focuses a lot more on performing with other people.
  4. Lot of things you can do with out your bass -- theory and sight reading for two. I think theory is best learned in an easy chair with a number two pencil handy to make notations in the margins of your theory paper/book.

    Step one of sight reading IMO we have to recognize the fly speck and be able to say it's name in the same amount of time you can say your name. When you can do that - then you are ready to start finding those notes on your fretboard. Now if you are beyond this just carry some sheet music and read.....

    Yes to the Vox battery powered headphone amps if you can take your bass, if you can not - take some sheet music and a couple of theory papers.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
  5. Hypnotaize


    Apr 10, 2014
    I'm going to have my bass, but no amp. Is there any online theory course (free. Something like studybass.com) you'd suggest?
  6. www.musictheory.net and then the piano theory books; Alfred's Theory 1 - 3. Every piano student in the last 50 plus years started out on Alfred's books. I do recommend you start with one of the "Pure" theory books, not something written specifically for the bass. Music theory is music theory - generic to all instruments.

    http://www.guitar-chords.org.uk/chords-key-c.html will pull up the notes for just about any scale and then give you the chords made from that scale.

    Yep chords are made from the notes of the scale. Every other one. So if you stack the notes of a scale you get the chords that harmonize that scale. As we play chord tones understanding this (it's called stacking 3rds) helped me pull everything together. Here is an example:

    C Major Scale stack in 3rds (every other note) = the notes and chords made from the C major scale:
    Notes Degree  Spelling                  Chord name  Function
    C       R          CEGB R-3-5-7         Cmaj7          I  (tonic)
    D       2          DFAC R-b3-5-b7     Dm7             ii
    E       3          EGBD R-b3-5-b7     Em7             iii
    F       4          FACE R-3-5-7        Fmaj7          IV (subdominant)
    G       5          GBDF R-3-5-b7       G7               V  (dominant)
    A       6          ACEG R-b3-5-b7      Am7            vi
    B       7          BDFA R-b3-b5-b7      Bm7b5         vii (diminished)
    For some reason this never travels well to the Internet - get the stacks lined up.

    Why is the D chord minor? If you compare the DFAC to the notes in the D major scale the D major scale will have an F# and a C#. Your DFAC has the 3 and 7 flatted for a spelling of R-b3-5-b7 and that spelling makes a Dm7 chord. All minor chords will have a b3. All major chords will have a natural 3. Stacking the scale in 3rds automatically build the correct major, minor and diminished chords for that scale. That was a very big WOW for me and was the Rosetta Stone I was looking for.

    Do a Google using this key word -- WWHWWWH -- that will send you to several papers on the Major scale and how it is formed. The following chart helped me see the entire Major and Natural Minor scale, i.e the big picture on one sheet of paper:
    Major Scale Chart
    C D E F G A B...............Notice the C scale has no Sharps
    G A B C D E F#.............and the G scale has one, the F#
    D E F# G A B C#...........and the D scale keeps the F# and
    A B C# D E F# G#.........adds the C#. Then the A scale keeps
    E F# G# A B C# D#.......everything and adds the G#. See how
    B C# D# E F# G# A#.....it builds on it's self.
    F# G# A# B C# D# E#
    C# D# E# F# G# A# B#
    F G A Bb C D E.............Look what happens with the flat scales
    Bb C D Eb F G A...........F has one the Bb, then the Bb scale keeps
    Eb F G Ab Bb C D.........it's self and adds the the Eb. Same thing
    Ab Bb C Db Eb F G.......the sharp scales did...
    Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
    Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F
    Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb

    Memory pegs:
    See God Destroy All Earth By F#irey C#haos. Order of the scales with sharps.
    Fat cats go down alleys eating birds. Order of the sharps.
    Farmer brown eats apple dumplings greasily cooked. Order of the scales with flats.
    The key signature is showing three sharps. What scale has three sharps? C has none, G has one, D has two, A has three. Which sharps? Fat Cats Go so the A major scale has three sharps, F#, C# and G#. Using these memory pegs eliminates the need for the above chart. Learn the pegs - that fish thing.

    Natural Minor Scale Chart
    A B C D E F G ................Notice how the 6th column of the
    E F# G A B C D................Major scale becomes the 1st column
    B C# D E F# G A..............in the minor scale and how the 7th
    F# G# A B C# D E............column of the Major scale is now the
    C# D# E F# G# A B..........2nd column in the minor scale. And
    G# A# B C# D# E F#........yep, the 1st column in the Major scale
    D# E# F# G# A# B C#......is now the 3rd column, etc. etc.
    A# B# C# D# E# F# G#....Ask your self why? Hint, think relative minor.
    D E F G A Bb C
    G A Bb C D Eb F
    C D Eb F G Ab Bb
    F G Ab Bb C Db Eb
    Bb C Db Eb F Gb Ab
    Eb F Gb Ab Bb Cb Db
    Ab Bb Cb Db Eb Fb Gb
    Opps, ran out of space, that's all the forum will allow. That should keep you busy till you get back.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  7. Hypnotaize


    Apr 10, 2014
    Thanks! I take piano as well as bass, and my teacher teaches me quite a bit of theory, but I do like to get ahead.

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