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New way to practice?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Chipsonfire, Jul 28, 2007.


  1. Chipsonfire

    Chipsonfire

    Jul 20, 2007
    Socorro, NM
    So I got this idea to help me learn what I need to know (sorry if it's already been talked about I tried searching and found nothing). I've finally gone and learned tab notation so I'm going to take tabs that I find and transcribe them to sheet music so I can learn the finger placement and at the same time see what note it corresponds to. I'm a pretty visual learner so being able to see it is very helpful. This should help not just with notes and how to play them, but also give me some practice with music theory as I will be putting (estimated) time sigs, note values and, if I can manage, key sigs as well. What do you all think?
     
  2. ba55i5t

    ba55i5t

    May 24, 2006
    A lot of people do that already, I think. But otherwise, make sure that you sometimes pick songs that have different techniques and different genres so you can expand your horizons and become a good overall bassist.
     
  3. Chipsonfire

    Chipsonfire

    Jul 20, 2007
    Socorro, NM
    That is definitely part of the plan. I've been asking what people would suggest because I know the limitations of using only my own styles of music.
     
  4. I wouldnt waste to much time on tab or rely on its accuracy. Get yourself a good songbook (maybe your favorite band) with notation and start identifying the chord, learn the chord progressions and rythmns. Pick out the chord tones in the lines, then the approach notes. Pay attention to the rests. You can learn alot from just the sheet of music. Make sure your counting the beats and playing the notes including the rests their full duration.

    I first identify the chord, play the arpeggio, then play the written line, keep with in 5 frets on 4 strings and try to to keep shifts to a minimum.

    If your into transcribing, you can alway transcribe to a different key.
     
  5. Chipsonfire

    Chipsonfire

    Jul 20, 2007
    Socorro, NM
    I don't rely on tabs at all. In fact, I'm very much against their use, but some of my friends made a good point that (when they are accurate) they tell you how to place your fingers on the frets. I have NO guitar background so I have no idea how to make a certain sound with a guitar and tabs are helping me with that. It's a visual way of learning how to play notes, which suits my learning style to a t. It also helps me to get back up to speed with sheet music. Believe me when I say that I would love to get some sheet music and play it by sight, but I don't know how to play specific notes on bass yet and this visual system seems like it will work very well for me.
     
  6. charic

    charic

    Apr 17, 2006
    Cambridge
    I reccomend powertab quite highly, ive found it useful as i can already sight read music (keyboard player) so the rests and the note durations are on there (on the score) and the tab is just underneath. This allows you to see what corresponds to what on the tab.
     
  7. DocBop

    DocBop

    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    The problem I see with what you're talking about is you're not developing your ear. Whoever did the tab got all that. If you want to start with a transcibed bass liine get ones in standard notation so you improve your reading skill. Then tab it as you working the various fingering positions. That will teach you far more in the long run.

    One of the many problem with tab is they become heroin for players and they can't get away from them. They don't develop other skills to become a musician.
     
  8. hunta

    hunta

    Dec 2, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Transcription is not the only way to learn. It works great for some people, but your assertion that "every single great bass and guitar player" has spent hours and hours transcribing is not really true. Yes, plenty of the jazz masters would preach transcription as a learning method, does that mean it's the only way to learn? No.

    Personally, I find transcription to be insanely time consuming and I can spend my time better just practicing. You need to find out what works best for you. Why are you doing transcription? Is it to improve your ear? Improve your skills with standard notation? Charting songs for a band?

    I find jamming on songs I don't know from a CD or improvising with other musicians to be better for ear training. You want to connect the sounds in your mind to music on your instrument? Think up a riff and figure out how to play it! Transcribing is optional. If I need to work on my reading I get out my omnibook or shed on any other tough charts I can find. If you're writing out songs for a band, then yea, it's hard to get around transcription unless you buy the chart and even then it helps to be able to identify and correct mistakes.

    Don't get me wrong, transcription is a great skill, but it is not the be all and end all of learning music.
     
  9. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Still, the O.P. needs to get away from tab. He asserts that he would love to be able to read music by sight and that he doesn't know where the notes are on the fingerboard.

    Chipsonfire, you just need to get a decent method book and start learning how to read. If you can afford it, get a great teacher, too.

    I think that DocBop is right in that you would be better off reversing your strategy. Take notation and turn it into tablature.

    :bassist:
     
  10. Go to this sight. It is a diagram of the Bass fretboard and where the notes are located on the fretboard

    http://www.studybass.com/lessons/reading-music/bass-clef-fretboard-notes

    click on: Bass Clef Notes on the Fretboard to download the pdf file
     
  11. Chipsonfire

    Chipsonfire

    Jul 20, 2007
    Socorro, NM
    Although I really appreciate the input here from everybody, I really find this as being the only helpful one. The whole point of this method is to help me learn finger placement in a way that makes sense to me, while gaining a few other skills as well. I haven't played an instrument in 11 years and even then it was for a short time so my listening skills are little down. I listen to a song and I can never seem to recreate a single note in the bassline. A teacher is almost out of the question in this town; we don't even have a music store. I've asked a few guitarist friends for help but they don't seem to like the idea of teaching (which is understandable, not everyone can teach). In any case, I'll check in to all your ideas so as not to brush aside a good idea because I merely think it wont work. Thanks everyone for the help :)
     
  12. Lowpro

    Lowpro

    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    http://www.henkhaverhoek.nl/exercises.html

    Sheet music equivalent of exercises. However I'm assuming you don't know what those little dots mean.

    http://www.howtodothings.com/hobbies/a2683-how-to-read-sheet-music.html

    And that shows you the treble and bass clefts.

    I just googled "Bass exercises"

    I can also agree that tabs are like heroine, but when you want to learn a song, tabs are really just the easiest. You don't see the rests, you don't hear the mutes, but if you have half a brain and listen to the song you'll hear em.
     
  13. Chipsonfire

    Chipsonfire

    Jul 20, 2007
    Socorro, NM
    This is indeed very helpful, but if had read my post you'd realize that I, at the very least, implied that I read sheet music. I hate to sound like an ass, but I'm just responding in kind. The skill I don't have is playing bass. It's one of those theory vs. practice situations. Again, thanks for the exercises, I'm sure they will come in handy :)
     
  14. Lowpro

    Lowpro

    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    Doesn't matter how well you read sheet music, you don't have the ear developed. If you want to be able to transpose you need to hear what's going on. Playing Diatonics, modes, 4ths, 5ths, chords, it all helps you get where the player "is coming from" Those exercises all help with your ear, you'll start to know what notes sounds right when, as well they all help you develop your left-hand skill, which to say the least is the most important part.

    If there's a specific technique you want to learn, also try hitting up youtube. There's dozens of vids of mini bass lessons.
     
  15. Chipsonfire

    Chipsonfire

    Jul 20, 2007
    Socorro, NM
    The comment about reading sheet music was aimed at the link "how to read sheet music." The exercises link has been bookmarked and I thank you for that one. I already frequent YouTube for mini lessons on technique (I love the lessons by this guy, hes a good teacher that tells you not only where to put your hands, but also what notes are being played).
     
  16. Stroker

    Stroker

    Jul 21, 2007
    Conway, AR
    I totally disagree with tabs hurting your ear. I;m far from an experianced bassist but when I first started I used alot of tab. About 3-4 weeks into learning I would be driving around listening to the radio and I started hearing everything for the first time again. I never really heard the bass before but just playing brought that out. Tabs are great for a beginner as long as they understand that they are a crutch and when their ear developes (and it will) they will be able to transcribe on their own.
     
  17. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I'm telling you, man, get a good set of books. Ed Freidland has some great stuff out there. His edition of the Hal Leonard Bass Method Vols. 1-3 are good. Some of the exercises are a little corny but you have cd's to play along with and he explains everything really well. He also explains where the notes are on the fingerboard in a very organized manner. If you can't get a teacher then I would recommend something like this. He also has a section on tablature that works better than the crap you get on the internet sites. IMHO, there is a right and wrong way to notate tab.

    :bassist:
     
  18. Chipsonfire

    Chipsonfire

    Jul 20, 2007
    Socorro, NM
    I'll look into that, it sounds helpful. I've also been looking at this and I just realized it's by the same person lol. The only thing stopping me now is rent is due soon and we need a fridge and i'm going to have to pay for college books soon as well :( But I'll definitely keep those in mind.
     
  19. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    While that book is published by Hal Leonard it may not (and doesn't look like it) have anything to do with Ed Freidland. Hal Leonard is a publishing company. Ed Freidland is a bassist and teacher. Mr. Freidland edited the latest edition of the Hal Leonard Bass Method.

    The nice thing about Mr. Freidland's edition of the H.L. Bass Method is that he shows you where the notes are on the fingerboard. He then give you excercises that deal exclusively with these notes. It gradually gets more complex.

    The Rock Bass Bible has some good lines in it but I think that you would do better with a Method Book. Heck, get both when money allows.

    :bassist:
     

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