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Second Lesson - Much Better

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by degroove, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. degroove


    Jun 5, 2002
    Wilmington, DE
    Had my second lesson tonight. It went MUCH BETTER than my first. Had him show me how to rosin the bow, as my rosin was new and I had to start it by peeling some aluminum looking coating away with enough room to run my bow.

    I made sure I was holding the bass properly and got it down. We reviewed holding the bow. I was able to bow MUCH better this week. I also did some scales (F Major, Bb Major) with him and will practice that. In addition, we walked through Simandl hand positions as I was doing scales.

    My understanding of what Simadl is has changed a bit. I thought there would be some magic pattern I had to learn, but it seems like it has more to do with using three fingers up until about 6 and a half position, and I am not going that far up the neck yet. Keep in mind, there is probably more to it, but thats what I got so far...

    So all in all, I am looking forward to working on some Rufus Etudes on open strings with a bow, Simandl exercises relating to the F Major and Bb Scales. He said we would work all though the 12 scaless.

    The hardest work for me now is learning to read music. That hinders me more than the physical aspects...

    So - Once again, glad I have an instructor...

    Any and all helpful comments for this Newbie are appreciated, especially exercises or practices that helped in the beginning.
  2. Glad to hear your lesson went well, things will just keep getting better. I'll give some advice about reading, read through something new every day. Even if it's beyond what you are doing in your lessons (to a point of course). Read up to 3rd position, the more you read new material the better your reading will get.
  3. degroove


    Jun 5, 2002
    Wilmington, DE
    True. Do you think in your head the name of the note as you play? I am thinking that saying it outloud might help me too with developing memory of it.

    The thing is sometimes reading gets frustrating so I put it down and forget about it. Guess I should do it more frequently in smaller increments.
  4. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    This is good practice. You can even try to sing the notes...
  5. Eventually its muscle memory - you see the note and you play it, and the brain doesn't even say "F#" or whatever. However, be careful to play things in different positions and tgo play the same notes in different places on the bass, otherwise you will get locked into things. Simandl is pretty good about this, as many times position is indicated and the text will tell you (for example) to play a G on the D string instead of open...
  6. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    a) As you've heard, there's no substitute for practice.

    b) Reading music is made up of these elements: Pitch, duration and rhthmic context, and articulation and dynamic instructions.

    The more you "burn in" on any element the easier it is to deal with tricky situations. Once you know that F-major scale cold, when you see that you're reading in the key of F, you will not need to spend as much time thinking about exactly what note is on the page and you will be able to turn that energy toward reading rhythms. Conversely, if you read a lot or practice with a drum-book or read the rhythms in the Guitar Player Mag examples while sitting on the toilet, you will gain experience in recognizing rhythmic patterns and groupings and be able to devote more instantaneous-time to notes.

    Go get 'em.
  7. Degroove, it looks like you've got the right attitude -- you know it's not gonna happen overnight and it sounds like you're motivated to put the work in to make it happen

    I've had students who come to me and say, "My orchestra director says I have to learn vibrato for the concert next week. Can you show me how?" I tell them, man, I've been working on vibrato for 20 years, and its still not where I want it to be."

    This is not an instrument for those looking for short-term gratification. That's what drums are for!
  8. degroove


    Jun 5, 2002
    Wilmington, DE
    I will try, but boy, anyone listening will be scared... ;)

    I think I know what you are saying. In learning to read words, I started by sounding them out, but now, I can see them as a whole and know what they mean without thinking about it.

    Yeah, my first bass instructor had me learn rhymic notation without regard to note value to practice playing in time and recognizing the patters. I would say that I have a better edge with this than note value recognition when you are talking about the triad of reading (note value, duration, and finger placement).

    :) I read somewhere that in India, you can't even touch a percussion instrument until you know all the rhythmic language and variants :) There, it is NOT short term, here it is!!

    Also, reading is where i hit the wall every time with lessons. Each time, I have gotten a bit more and a bit closer, but when it got tough, I dropped it.

    I would go back to my thinking...I know enough none note reading theory to be able to play and be a solid musician...what do I need that for? :)

    I now know. It will open up a whole new area of music for me to learn that is not learnable by ear like modern rock music such as classical and jazz...
  9. DeGroove -

    When I first started to learn to read bass clef, I used to take any music book that had bass clef - I think I actually used Rufus's book, and take it with me everywhere.

    While on the train or wherever, I would write in the note names, above the notes, slowly at first, counting up or down lines and spaces from a note I knew.

    Gradually it got faster and faster, until I didn't have to think, I just saw and wrote.

    It's not rocket science, but it did get me up to speed on note recognition.
  10. degroove


    Jun 5, 2002
    Wilmington, DE
    Hey!! That is a GREAT idea. I used to write notes down on cards for classes to study and it helped a lot! Your recommendation is a good one that should be easy enough to do. Thanks.. :)
  11. erikwhitton

    erikwhitton Guest

    Sep 20, 2002
    Portland, ME USA
    That WILL change...

    I've been playing for a year now and I spend more time on the Simandl book than anything else. I really love the sound of these excersises. I don't think you could hope for better melodies in a beginner's book. He basically teaches you a scale, and gives you 4-5 different excersises with nice melodies built from that scale. Works for me. I play Simandl bowed as well as pizz. I also try different tempos. Great resource for reading notes too. If you want help reading tempo stuff - get the etude book. YIKES.

    Other than that I usually open up the Fake Book and walk through the changes and learn melodies.

    Good luck...I have GOT to start taking lesson again! -erik
  12. Finally! Someone else has said it, so now I can confess: I like the Simandl exercises too!!!

    So many folks complain about how dry and stodgy they are, but I find many of them quite musical. Add some dynamics and articulation to some of them, and you've got a miniature concert piece (well, maybe I wouldn't take it that far).

    But no matter how you feel about him musically, Uncle Franz is the man for learning standard fingering.
  13. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Re: Reading Notes (and more stuff), there is this neat little Flash-based utility to download. It helped me a lot for intervals and chord training. Music Trainers and Utilities 2.1.2
  14. degroove


    Jun 5, 2002
    Wilmington, DE
    Thanks. I will have to check that you when I get home! :)

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