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Musical Idiot....

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Humblerumble, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. Humblerumble


    Feb 22, 2004
    I believe that I discovered something. I am a musical dunce. I have been playing bass for twenty years or so, and I have always played by ear. When I first started playing guitar at age 14, we didn't have tabs and such, so if you wanted to learn a song you put on the album (that's the predecessor to cds for you youngsters) and you worked it out by ear. I still do that, or if someone starts playing something I can jump in after a few measures and play no problem. well I started my first Music Dojo class, Walking Bass 1, and by the third lesson we were learning chord tones, triads, diminished this and thats and I figured out at that time that I am in the musical LD group or so it felt. I hope that I can keep up with this class and continue on but by the third lesson, I was like wow, I'm a musical idiot :eek:
  2. JohnBarr


    Mar 19, 2004
    Central NY
    Well Humbel, people were playing music for generations before anyone wrote it down. So you could say your roots go way back.

    I'm starting from the opposite end. Learning music and then learning to play. I have an awful time trying to play along with songs, but can read the notes OK (well, sort of OK) It's just a different approach.

    The more I play, the better I hear.

    You may find that a little musical background will help you play, help you create new lines or know what works with what you hear. I hope it goes that way for you anyway. It's one way to grow.

    But thinking and playing don't mix in real time. So neither of us (the player or the thinker) gets into the middle of a song and things: OK that was a pentatonic in G so I can do a triplet fill in Em). You work that out ahead of time and then just do it.

    We'll probably meet in the middle :p
  3. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Dude, its normal to feel like an idiot. I felt that way when I first started learning theory and the stuff you are. BTW, I still feel like an idiot compared to people like Ed Fuqua, Pacman, Chris F, and many many others here.

    Just keep a positive out look on it all. If you find yourself falling behind in the class, just ask someone for help. Most people are nice enough to lend ya a hand.
  4. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    One of things I like about music is that you're never good at it. There's always more to learn or discover.

    Some guys who read well, can admire someone who can play by ear

    Some guys who are real good at funk, wish they could swing.

    Others who groove wish they could play fast.

    The list goes on and on.

    Music is a challenge, and that's why it's one of those things that will keep you interested for a lifetime. You just need to be up to facing challenges.
  5. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Yea I'm the same why, I can't read and I know very little about music theory I just find a song I like and work out the bassline.
  6. nuclearrabbit17

    nuclearrabbit17 Guest

    May 20, 2004
    You're not a musical idiot you just dont know any musical theory. It's not a necessary thing. U can play anything by ear which in my opinion is just as good. Depends on preference, but i believe that the more music theory u learn the more your creativity goes down the drain. Its all preference. Thing is, u arent a musical idiot.
  7. Humblerumble


    Feb 22, 2004
    I got interested in learning more after listening to Victor talk about his views on music. He looks at music as a language that you speak and the more "literate" that you are the better the conversations you are able to have. I thought that was a cool way of looking at it. This is an Adam Nitti class and I read a post on TB about someone hearing him lecture and feeling like he was learning nuclear physics or something like that :) My Pastor says that if you want to learn something new you have to be willing to be bad at it...at first, or you never grow. I am in the technology field so I am always learning something new, but I am out of my comfort zone with the music theory, which I guess is a good thing. Thanks for the positive comments. :)
  8. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Same here and I'm arrogant about it! :D
  9. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    Hi! My name is Folmeister, and I am a musical idiot. Same story, same conclusions. Tom Cruise will play my part in the movie.
  10. Ditto ... !!

    I considered myself capable enough on the bass until I did Adam's Jazz101 and I stumbled and fell after lesson 11 or so.

    My answer was to copy'n'paste each lesson into a Word Doc (Word XP deals with copy'n'paste very well) and copy the MP3s and Videos onto my hard disk.

    Now I work on them at home when I have the motivation and I'm accepting that it will take a long time before I advance beyond Jazz101.

    For all who have not done this course ... I highly recommend it. In my view, it is the clearest explanation of Jazz101 that I have ever read.

  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Shouldn't that be either Tom Hanks or Dustin Hoffman and "Idiot Savante" !!?? ;)
  12. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    You called? Oh, sorry, I thought someone called my name!

    Bang on.

    Its' swings and roundabouts... the best thing you can do is identify the things you're not so good at and get better :)
    ...and remeber there's no hurry!

    Note to self: take own advice :)

    Oh and Arnie has signed up to play me in the movie.. "yoo hav bean substitchooted... tryytone" :eyebrow:
  13. I am in the same boat here as well. I have been playing bass and guitar for close to 20 years now, but it has always been by ear or noodeling around until i come up with something good. The cool part is that my bro-in-law, a classical guitar playing whiz, could not "jam" or improvise to save his life. He really gets steamed when I just listen to something for a few minutes and then play the part i need. I however get lost when he or one of the guys in my band start talking about added 7th's, triads and the circle of 5th's.
    So here I am, 35 years old and enrolled in theory classes at my local community college.
  14. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Right now I'm somewhere between the the two. I didnt know the difference between a major and minor triad about four years ago, so I took some lessons with our very own Steve Lawson and that set me off on a long path!

    I'm hoping to enrol on an adult education jazz course next month actually - weekly on Saturdays - it should give me the constant inspiration I need
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Sounds good!! So I do a course on Saturdays with Geoff Simkins on a similar basis and it really keeps me motivated throughout the year to keep learning and to get these things in my head. Otherwise I just don't practice enough - but I know that if I am going to Geoff's class, then I have to practice and be on top form, or I just won't get away with it!! ;)
  16. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    yep, that's the exact same case with me. all best intentions etc.
    i find i tend to spend most of my time learning new material for gigs, rehearsing, actaully gigging or teaching. the past 4 months or so i've been busy probably 5 nights a week. i love music and i love playing, but i have to have time away from it to see friends, spend time with my grilfriend etc, or i'd go mad

    just a lesson each week should hopefully give me more of push. the college does bass only classes and ensemble classes each week, I'm planning to take both.
  17. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    Local community colleges are excellent places to begin addressing our musical deficiencies. I know the one I teach at has an excellent music program (as a musical idiot, rest assured I do NOT teach bass or any other musical subject)
  18. Hey man,

    I feel the same way...If someone throws a chart at me that has a definative bass line, I can figure it out, but once somebody asks me to play a walking line, I am a deer caught in headlights. And walking basslines should be so simple to do...BAH!
  19. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I'd say they are the exact opposite, by default. To play a decent walking line you have to compose on the spot using all the information on the sheet in front of you and (more importantly) your ears.
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's right - it's a lifetime study for Jazz bass players and you can hear how the best bass players put all their - maybe 30 or 40 years experience - into the walking lines they create!!

    I would add to what Howard says, that the other thing that adds to the difficulty is that you always need to be thinking ahead, about where your line is going and resolving smoothly!

    It goes without saying that you need to be responding to what's going on around you and inspiring the rest of the band, as well as outlining the chords, maintaining the pulse steadily and giving clear signals about the 'form' of the tune!! :meh: