on shifting and intonation

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by kimstevens, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. kimstevens


    Nov 12, 2002
    Hello Michael and Steve,

    Sometimes it seems to me that I could practice nothing but position shifting on fretless bass. I've been thinking about the well known concept of practicing only, or at least mostly, what you don't know, and how that relates to the idea of happiness vs. pleasure: it can be very pleasurable to play or practice what we know or can do well, but long term happiness is dependent on progress, which can only come from practicing the more difficult stuff we can't yet do well. And shifting in tune, especially at a fast speed, certainly qualifies as difficult for me! I'm wondering if either of you have spent much concentrated time on this, for example just practicing shifting all day, or all week, year, etc., or if your skill development has been more a result of the practice of shifting as it occurs naturally in music and scales, arpeggios, and other exercises.
  2. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    This might give you part of the answer you seek.

    Interview at www.fretlessbass.com

  3. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    It’s great that you’re so interested in focusing on this skill, kimstevens! So much of improvement as a musician comes from focus and intention. Intonation through position shifts is not a skill I work on as much as others, partially, because it’s my goal to keep position shifting to a relative minimum. But it is something I work on from time to time, applying the same concepts I use in other intonation exercises. I find it to be one of those skills that, thankfully, doesn’t seem to need daily maintenance. I can usually get by with spending 10-20 minutes a week or so on it, but by all means, do what works for you. You may have a playing style that really benefits from the concentration on shifting.