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Question for Mr. Manring!

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by dreadhead, Jul 12, 2002.


  1. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    Hello Michael! I'm really amazed to see your name here... and well, if you are here, I'm almost FORCED to ask you some questions!
    I wanted to know: when you create a solo tune, how do you do it? Do you "imagine" the tune before playing it or you just put your magic hands on your bass and they do the work? ;)
    What exercise would you recommend to a young solo bassist?
    Thanx!
     
  2. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Thanks for your questions, Dreadhead. I compose music in lots of different ways. Sometimes I get a very clear sonic image in my head before I pick up the bass. I'm not always able to make the end result sound exactly like what I hear in my head, but that can be fun too, because it sets you off in directions you might not have imagined! Other times a new piece will evolve from a particular sound or an idea – not necessarily a musical idea! Sometimes I'll even start writing a piece very methodically by thinking something like, "I need to write a tune in such-and-such a key, in ¾ MM=80 on the Hyperbass" etc. To me, the fun thing about composing is that there are so many different ways to approach it, so many different angles to explore.

    As far as exercises go, I think it's good to ask yourself what your goals are and let that guide you. If you want to be able to do a lot of jazz style improv, you'll really have to have your harmony down and have a very complete understanding of the fingerboard. If you're more into playing through-composed music, you might want to practice by transcribing piano or guitar pieces by composers you admire and then learn to play them with as much expression and precision as possible. As with composing, there are many, many different ways to go about it – try a few different approaches and see hoe they work for you. Good luck!
     
  3. dreadhead

    dreadhead

    Feb 1, 2002
    Europe
    ...sorry for the late reply...
    Thanx a lot for your advices!
    Just another question: what's in your opinion the best way to create a bass solo for a normal pop/rock song? Copy the voice tunes? To sing some tune that would fit the track? This is my usual problem ;)
    Thanx thanx thanx!
     
  4. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but it sounds like you want to play the featured improv over a basic pop tune – is that right? In any case, I'd always advise looking for what best serves the music. If the piece is melodic you might want to play something with a very sing-able, vocal feel to it, as you mentioned. However, sometimes the solo section of a tune is a good place for contrast. Don't be afraid to really step out if it adds to the dynamic shape of the music. A solo is an opportunity to express yourself and make a statement about what is meaningful to you. I think you're absolutely right to ask yourself this question and I hope you will ask it for each solo that you take!