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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Roy Vogt, Mar 9, 2010.
Ok, my 3rd review of PSOM is up.
Any updates on this one Roy?
I'm wondering if I should just append my write up of my time at TPSOM on Peter Weil's review. Regardless, here y'all go:
I figured out a way to put the notes on the staff for each position on the fretboard. Now, if I can just find some time.....
Great idea, Roy.
I was looking for suggestions on "outside" playing. I know there are some cool things you can do with chromatic passing tones and approach tones etc that sound "outside" even though harmonically speaking, it can still be considered "inside." Or you can use different types of minor scales (Dorian, Aeolian, melodic etc) to add different colors. But for the purpose of this post, let's just call them inside.
But I wanted to find out more about playing "completely outside." As a simple reference, lets say there is a tune in Dmin7 (a la "So What").
What are some cool "outside" things you can do build some nice tension on minor chords? I know that on dominant chords, tritone subs work well, and diminished scales/patterns work well. (Seems like the dominant chords were made to be stretched out. ) But on minor chords, what kinds of tricks can you use?
(Even though I asked about minor chords and vamps, please feel free to elaborate on all types of chords.)
Sorry, all. I've been extremely busy with playing and teaching this last couple of weeks. I'll try to post TAB-B-GONE this weekend. If you haven't already done so, check out CDwellers review of PSOM:
I'll try to post again on Sunday-gigs all through the weekend so I'll check in then.
After a couple of insane, intense weeks I've been able to put together the first Tab-B-Gone. Normally I just write this out for individual students but it's the same concept.
What I've done is to write out all of the notes in the key of C (no sharps or flats) in positions for the entire range of a Fender-type 4 string. The Roman numerals below the notes refer to the position (I-1, II-2) which is defined by the fret that the index finger of the fretting hand is on.
Slowly play all of the notes in each position out of time. If you need to, print it out and write the note names in above or below the notes. Remember they are all out of the musician's alphabet (A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A). Try to keep the thumb in the center of the neck, the fingers curved, and press down the note as needed. Think about each position like the QWERTY keyboard-you are finding all the possible notes in they key of C in each position.
I'll post the next Tab B Gone next weekend, and I'll also store them all on my blog on www.thunderrow.com. Have fun!
Fantastic PDF, Ron. I downloaded and it's now on my music stand, to be perused and used during tonight's practice. Thanks a bunch!
I wasn't around for awhile because I was up to HERE working on my new CD, that is, the artwork and the final mastering points. Plus, we just finished another One Week Intensive that turned out to be its usual great event. If you go to CDweller's pages, I can comment about what went down.
What is the release date for your CD and who else is accompanying you on it?
A Groove is a Terrible Thing to Waste!
It will be available in around two weeks. You may know that Keith Jarrett is a very big influence on me. He made a great part of his career playing and recording standard tunes. This is why I decided to do a trio with my longtime friends and colleagues Richard Drexler on piano and upright bass, and Danny Gottlieb on drums. Being a guy who loves puns, and because the CD only contains standard tunes (plus one of Maurice Ravel's Vales Nobles et Sentimentales) I named my new CD "High Standards"!
It is a live recording of three guys in a room. We really connected and made some outstanding interplay-type playing. Plus, I regard many of these solos to be the best I ever recorded.
It will be on CDBaby, so enjoy!
I'm what some would call a "natural singer" - I can sing melodies, add harmony, solo over chord changes all because I can make the mental connection between what I'm hearing in my head and producing the desired result with my vocal chords.
However, I'm still struggling as a bass player in producing the same results on the fretboard. I can "hear" what I want to be soloing in my head, but as soon as I attempt to play it on the bass, it's as if I hit a brick wall. Do you have any advice/lessons/book recommendations in overcoming this barrier? I've often heard/read the sage advice, "if you can sing it, you can play it." However, I'm looking something a little more concrete.
Just an overview of my musical experience: originally went to college for vocal performance; play a little bit of piano (more for my personal benefit in songwriting and composing); started playing the electric bass in the middle school jazz band and added the upright in the high school and college jazz combos/ensembles. I read sheet music fairly well; when it came to walking bass lines in jazz music with nothing but chord symbols and the standard slash marks, it was trial and error - by the 2nd/3rd time through the chart I knew which notes not to play. I started taking private lessons in 2008 and finally learned what the chord symbols actually meant, i.e. why the Eb was painful when played over a Cmaj7 chord. I actually consider music theory fun and interesting!!! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to continue private lessons due to monetary issues so I'm unable to address my soloing issues with my teacher.
Thanks ~ BP
if i may...
when you sing, do you know what notes you're singing or do you just instictively know what to sing? the "if you can sing it, you can play it" thing really only works if you know what the notes are on the bass that you're singing. and then you have to have the motor skills involved with playing, of course, which sounds like you have covered.
once you're able to make the connection between what you're singing and what you're playing, then that cliche actually works. so if you haven't already, i think learning the notes you're singing would help immensely.
but if you have and it's still not connecting, maybe try singing some stuff and recording it, transcribing it, then try to play it on the bass. after you do that a while, i would think some of the naturalness of your singing would start to rub off on your bass playing. and of course, continue learning theory and finding out things like why an Eb doesn't work so well over a Cmaj7.
anyway, just my thoughts...roy probably has some better ideas, but hopefully this will help you a little.
+1 ever since you first made a noise with your vocal chords as a baby, you brain has had a neural pathway developed to relate to, develop, recognises and reproduce the relevant sounds, via vocal chords, tongue placement, breath control, and the mouth shape.
This has all happend without any concious thought you body developed these skills in the sub-concious if you will.
Now you add bass, and as Jimmy has said you brain has no real access to those notes because it does not recognise how to access them in any form. learn where the noted are and how the sound and relate to each other and it ill again become "natural".
I am a natural singer as well. Never had any music classes of any kind or any vocal training but can easily jump in and sing harmony by ear. If I could play the bass lines I sing, then I'd be a prolific bass player, problem is...as has been pointed out....I have no real access to those notes since my brain doesn't know where they are on the fretboard.
I've always known I had an ear for music even though I have no idea what I'm singing academically, I know if it sounds good or not. I can't really describe it as I don't have the knowledge of the terms, but when I am singing harmony I can "feel" when I'm singing the right part. I have no idea what it's called, but when that "tuning fork" rings in my head I know it's right.
Funny thing has happened. Well, some not so funny. I lost my job last week, so I've had to suspend my lessons (and lots of other non essential parts of life). I've had a lot of time to sit and play, and I love to play, so I've been spending a lot of time with my bass in the last week. I hit shuffle on iTunes and try to play along with the songs I know well enough to play. While I can't match the recording in most cases, I can play along at a functional level. I've probably improved my playing exponentially over the past week just by playing using my ear. It's really allowed me to get the notes under my fingers without thinking about it. Doing exercises caused me to focus on technique and patterns. Just playing without giving it a thought has allowed me to learn how things sound and feel. I've run across a few songs that I thought I wouldn't be able to play, but low and behold I can play them and have no idea how I know how to do it.
The down side (besides being an out of work bum) is that I'm getting very good at playing in the pocket but I find it very difficult to move around of the fretboard. Slides and big jumps are a no go for me. I also play very mechanically. I listen to the player on the recording and their bass seems to sing where mine is very mechanical. I'm not bending strings, sliding, or using any vibrato.
I'm currently beating the bushes to find a group of folks to jam with or maybe join a band and do some small gigs. I think I'm good enough to function in a basic role, and if I can shed the parts enough, sing as well. But so far I've not been able to do both.
chad, it's been my experience that being able to sing and not play bass as well will get you more work than being able to play bass well and not sing. i know a lot of guys who can play bass better than me around here, yet i'm one of the busier guys in town because i sing. so at least you have that going for you. no reason not to try to learn bass as well as you can, but singing, especially if you can do leads, will get you gigs.
Singing what you play can work, but it's more effective if you know the exact vocabulary. For instance, can you sing (and play) a major triad anywhere on the bass. If so, try minor, augmented, diminished, four note chords etc. Try simple ideas or "licks" (for example, a scale in 3rds) and see if you can sync up your voice with your bass.
I speak German "OK" but if I don't practice it by reading, talking, listening, etc. I will lose my language chops quickly. I think it works the same way with tonal material IME.
A good simple source for ideas to sing and play might be Patterns for Jazz (Bass Clef). Jamey Aebersold has it and I know that www.bassbooks.com carries it on their site.
+1 I've missed out on a couple of really nice tours because I didn't have a high tenor voice (for example, the late Roy Orbison). Especially in Nashville, the "singin' bass player" is a sought after commodity in bands.
Wow! I can't wait-that's going to be excellent!
I sing baritone harmony, but can stretch up if needed.
Lately I've been paying more attention to the music I'm able to play well on bass, and it amazes me that the players on the recording are doing such simple stuff. Songs like U2's "With or Without You" is dead simple, yet the bass line really anchors that song.
Perhaps it's possible to be a highly functional bass player without doing all the fancy stuff. Not that I'm saying I don't want to learn, but I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself and feeling like I have to be a virtuoso before I'm ready to function as a bass player. I now no longer believe that. I have a real desire to get together with some folks and play.