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playing along with CD

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by skidog, Sep 20, 2002.

  1. Is there equipment, or perhaps a program I can use to pull the bass lines out of a CD? Also once I pull that line out, can I listen to it alone to see if I am playing the way the original artist did?
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    As Ed says, this is never really going to be perfect unless you buy something like the Aebersold CDs where you can isolate channels.

    But really this is a skill that all bassists need to develop and is something you can work on all the time.

    So whenever you hear music - try and isolate the bass in your head and try to work out what it's doing. The more you do this, the easier it becomes - when I was 14 - 16 , I would be doing this all the time and it was what made me want to play bass - I knew that was what I was hearing on records!

    This will help you in any area of music - whether learning covers or playing/improvising with other people.

    Short cuts don't really help in the long run, like most things with music - it's just a case of practice, practice, practice!! ;)
  3. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Some music is available accurately transcribed and in a music-minus-one format on CD in (sheet) music stores. Sometimes whole albums, sometimes hit collections (though they tend to be simplified arrangements).
  4. appreciate the come-back on my query. Since at the current time I do not read music, I guess I'll just keep plugging along the way I have been, i.e. playing open mikes and jamming with whomever I can. I'm taking a "small show band" class at the local communtiy college. That could only help. Never played with horns before. Later; skidog
  5. bassbloke


    Feb 26, 2002
    There is a shareware program called Transcribe that I find useful. Should be easy to find with a Google search.

    Like similar software Transcribe slows down recordings but it has the useful addional feature that you can alter the pitch of recordings. If you increase the pitch by an octave and slow down to half speed it often "digs out" bass lines that are buried in the mix.
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    But what has reading music got to do with this? :confused:

    I mean - lots of great musicians haven't read music, but they had great ears and "transcribed" stuff all the time.

    So, for example, Jimi Hendrix apparently heard "Sgt Pepper" once and could play the whole thing - straight off!

    But this has nothing to do with reading sheet music.
  7. Link to Transkriber Software

    I'm also a bluegrass banjo player, so I bought this piece of software from the Janet Davis Music web site in Arkansas, for a very nice price.

    Transkriber does not isolate the bass or any other part of the music, but it does slow it WAY down, and mostly keeps the same pitch. It is very versatile and can record sections of CD input to play back and/or loop at whatever slow speed you want.

    I used Transkriber to nail the exact basslines for Bouree and Moondance. It works well.
  8. Many of those said books are in note and tab formats - you don't have to read music to read tabs, they're pretty easy to get used to.

    (not the start of a tab/no tab war, just a suggestion)

  9. FiedelP


    May 24, 2002
    Hamburg, Germany
    Buy a cd-player with pitch control. I remember Sting was doing something equally when he studied basslines. He played the Longplayers at 45 to raise the pitch, and some of the lower register basstones became clearer. Another thing is a CD-player with a A-B repeat option. This helps a lot.
  10. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I assume you mean the song Sgt Pepper, not the entire album :) To be fair, the chords to the song are pretty simple! You're right of course, though, you don't need to read music to transcribe - in fact almost all of the songs I know (including a great deal of the Beatles catalogue) I've learnt by listening to the record and transcribing, without writing anything down.

    Years of just listening to songs and figuring out all the chords, bass lines, and the arrangements has taught me to recognise chords and intervals etc. very quickly, and I find I can often transcribe songs in my head without even an instrument (though I haven't got perfect pitch, I usually need one to find out what key songs are in). I think it's really about practice - you don't need that much in the way of jiggery-pokery to filter out parts of the arrangement if you have a good ear. Sometimes I find slowing things down is useful (e.g. very quick solos), and sometimes whacking it up an octave is useful (e.g. low bass lines) but usually just a CD player with a decent pause button is fine :)

    I would suggest you just start listening to records - without trying to isolate parts too much - and figure out what is going on (a piano is very useful for this). It doesn't matter if at the start you find it difficult to pick out bass lines & chords (yes, identifying chords by ear is still incredibly useful for a bass player) - just carry on doing it and you'll pick it up.
  11. play it the same way exactly as the original artist?

    where's the fun in that?
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    NO - the whole album - that's the story! Hendrix was a fantastic ear player and could play anything after hearing it once.

    I have known people like this - and a lot of Jazz musicians can play by ear along with anything as it happens.
  13. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Perhaps not fun per se, but you can learn enormously by studying how and what good players do. Both in terms of bass lines - a lot of thought and experience has often gone into making a bass line work with the drums and the rest of the arrangement - and also technique. Trying to find the best way to play a given bass line instead of only playing what you find convenient will challenge your ears and hands, improving both. There's also the "being true to the original" thing, if you cover a song you have to keep at least enough to not loose the basic feel, an audience likes to recognize a song.
  14. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  15. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Keep it simple...a note at a time. The next note will be the same, higher or lower. (I am assuming we are mostly dealing with pitch here.)

    And as to "what fun is playing other peoples stuff the way they play it??"....It will help you grow immensely as a musician. It teachs you variations that could take years to work out, develop and create on your own, if at all! It will keep your music fresh and alive!!!

  16. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Bloody hell you're kidding? How could you possibly listen to a whole album once and play it straight away? Forget being able to pick up the chords & stuff by ear, how could you *remember* the whole album?!?!? I mean *I* could play along to a lot of songs by ear even if I hadn't heard them before - but a whole album?? blimey!

    EDIT: I'd like to have seen Hendrix do that with Aja and The Royal Scam - now that's complex pop music for ya :)
  17. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000

    Bear in mind this is hear-say about a dead icon/legend. While I am sure he was a phenominal musician, I would bet this "story" has grown with time.
  18. oddentity


    Nov 20, 2000
    The way I heard this story, Jimi somehow scored a copy of the album before it was released, learned it all in one night, and then played it at a show before the record was available to the public. Either way, it's very impressive! 'Course, both versions may be myths...
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    No not at all - I have met many Jazz musicians with similar skills - who know literally thousands of tunes - all the chords/melody etc.

    I have also seen them play anything thrown at them straight away - whether written or by ear - this is the basis of a lot of improvised Jazz. This is how the masters learnt - by listening to other players - when Louis Armstrong started, you couldn't just go out and buy CDs to hear what he was doing - the Jazz players who wanted to cop his licks had to see him play, remember the stuff and then incoporate it into what they were doing.

    The same applied to the Blues and Hendrix was just following a long line of tradition amongst Blues musicians - who would hear tunes one night and have them in the set, the next !

    As to learning large amounts of material - have you ever listened to a romantic-era piano concerto - there are phenomenal numbers of notes and concert pianists are not expected to use a score and have many of these "under their belts"! ;)
  20. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I can understand listening to a tune one night and incorporating it into a set the next. I can also understand learning romantic-era piano concertos. I can also understand having thousands of tunes in your memory. It's the listening to a whole album *once* and playing it straight off that gets me! The concert pianist isn't expected to memorise Rachmaninov piano concertos having only looked at the music once :)

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