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The Hal Leonard Bass Method thread

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by HelpImaRock, Aug 18, 2013.


  1. Evert

    Evert

    Oct 7, 2017
    Brussels, Belgium
    after a weekend without much work, i have made quite good progress today: beginning to do quite well on ex 86 (Minor's Tale), and have played up to ex.95 (Third watch) for the first time. I will revisit ex.86 tomorrow - i'm not yet fully comfortable with measures 1-4, but things go better than last friday.

    I might try to finish book 1 by the end of next week, but we'll see if that makes sense.
     
  2. consectaneus

    consectaneus

    Sep 23, 2016
    The first time through, I took the "classic rhythm" for granted (as used in the exercises you mention). Now that I am taking newfound reading skills to other transcriptions, it really does pop up in lots of bass lines! So I recommend getting the feel for it.

    ONE (and two) AND THREE (and four)AND

    Or land on the quarter note four for less syncopated sound.
     
  3. Evert

    Evert

    Oct 7, 2017
    Brussels, Belgium
    Misunderstanding :) my difficulty in ex.86 is about playing cleanly, especially when skipping strings (the octave jumps). Reading, understanding and reproducing the rhythms is not yet challenging at this point.
     
  4. consectaneus

    consectaneus

    Sep 23, 2016
    I didn't think so. My post was in the nature of a general observation. I was explaining the term "classic rhythm" to those who might not know what that is.

    You are obviously moving along nicely and don't need my advice!
     
  5. Evert

    Evert

    Oct 7, 2017
    Brussels, Belgium
    so, i'm preparing the last exercise in book 1 (Etude Bruté) and I'm not sure about my fingering for the last eight-note in measure 6 (the last G, see the score extract below)

    ex 109 measures 6-7.

    as indicated above, I play the 'e' with my index and the 'g' with the fourth finger, but this implies a shift/jump from first to third position. It allows for a clean 'c' in third position at the start of measure 7 (for which we need third position in order to play the octave jump).

    Alternatively, i tried to play the 'g' on an open string. This avoids the shift from first to third position and that gives a nice clean sound, but the skip down to the 'c' at the start of measure 7 is fairly difficult, especially while shifting to 3rd position.

    Which fingering are the experts using ?

    Thanks for your support,

    E
     
  6. What a tough exercise that one is. It is like a final exam of sorts.

    What worked for me - and your mileage may vary - is to have bass in one hand and pencil in the other and block it out to which position I want to be in. Then try it out at a very slow metronome and refine the positions. And then it took about 3 weeks to get to playing at the track speed.
     
  7. Evert

    Evert

    Oct 7, 2017
    Brussels, Belgium
    that's exactly what i'm doing :) not yet working on speed, or even exact duration of notes - just analyzing the fingerings
     
  8. consectaneus

    consectaneus

    Sep 23, 2016
    There was a thread somewhere asking how often do bassists use open strings. If I remember right, the majority prefer the control and consistency of sound of the fretted note when given the chance.

    I think that in the context of this exercise which is under the heading of position shifts, we are encouraged to shift positions in favor of open strings where it makes sense. And I do think the shift makes sense in this example when you are dropping from the fourth finger G down to the first finger C and then to the fourth finger octave C. That is the standard 1-5-8 form.

    In previous examples or course, Ed notates the fingering positions. Then he stops and instructs the student to "see if you can find the best way to play them on your own" which is where you are at. Being that you already know that neither choice is wrong, it seems that you have already figured out which one feels the best for you.
     
  9. Evert

    Evert

    Oct 7, 2017
    Brussels, Belgium
    Yes, seems i follow the same reasoning as you - including the increased control of using a fretted note rather than an open string (even if an open string looks easier in some cases)
     
  10. delta7fred

    delta7fred

    Jul 3, 2007
    England
    TL;DR - Both ways are useful, use whichever suits the song (and your playing style/ability) the best.


    When I started playing bass (over 50 years ago) the only instruction I had was "don't play open stings or chords". There were very few guitar teachers around here and no bass teachers and it seemed pretty good advice so I stuck to it.

    Not playing open strings works very well if you need to change the key of a song. The note consistency is usually quite obvious when playing solo but it is debatable if you would notice in a full band situation (I never found it was worth worrying about).

    The bands that I play in hardly ever plays songs in the original key, we can shift the key several times before we finally settle on one, so I never learn a new song using open strings. Once a key has settled I might use open strings if it is more convenient to play it that way.

    This has come back to bite me because I recently took up playing DB*, and as a beginner on DB the only time that your intonation is guaranteed is when you play open strings, so you play them as much as possible! I have never played walking basslines using open strings so it is all new to me.

    *The reason that I bought the book was that I thought it was time to learn to read and stop relying on playing by ear. So far I am failing miserably because playing by ear comes naturally to me after decades of doing it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  11. consectaneus

    consectaneus

    Sep 23, 2016
    This got me thinking about open strings as a feature of certain genres of music. I got into Jamerson and my interest is in soul/blues where open strings are perhaps more commonly used. JJ came from the playing DB, so that might account for his frequent use of open strings (often used to shift positions).

    I actually like to include open strings and the sound and feeling of bouncing off of them in those styles.

    delta7fred, I can't think of a better book for painlessly learning to read bass clef than HLBM. Still, your developed ear is a tremendous asset.
     
  12. ErikP.Bass

    ErikP.Bass Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2004
    On the topic of fingerings I agree that exploring all potential options, out of and in time, is best. See how they feel to you and identify any challenges within each, if there are any, and work through them if you think it valuable and transferable...or most importantly if you dig the sound.

    I will say that for me personally the mechanics of shifting became a lot easier when I started to employ the thumb pivot (a la Carol Kaye) as opposed to shifting the whole hand, including the thumb. That is exactly what I found myself doing here when playing this example.
     
    consectaneus likes this.
  13. Yonni

    Yonni

    Oct 31, 2016
    I’ve finally finished my studies and have picked the bass up again. Going to start from the beginning again for a refresher.
     
  14. 928cat

    928cat

    Aug 6, 2018
    USA
    Hey everyone, hope studies are going well.

    I'm new here and to playing bass and just started using this method. I actually started with another online course which I really liked, but Ed Friedland's method seems to be better matched to what I need as a beginner. So this is the one for now. I like the way this approach is structured and systematically adding more bit by bit. I feel like I'm already accomplishing something.
     
    Drestakil, Yonni and PillO like this.
  15. My only regret is that I didn't make recordings of myself early on so that I could hear my progress later.
     
  16. 928cat

    928cat

    Aug 6, 2018
    USA
    Hey that's a good idea :) It might also help with getting a better understanding of how clean I sound right now.
     
    PillO likes this.
  17. My teacher was on me for muting early on. Now, anytime I hear drones from poor muting it drives me crazy.
     
  18. Yonni

    Yonni

    Oct 31, 2016
    I didn’t record myself either but coming back to the book after a break I notice a big difference. I seem to have taken it on board well and manage to get through most things first time and then play to speed with the backing track second time through. I’m following other lessons (James’ ebassguitar) as well so I’m only doing two pages a couple of times a week at the moment. By then end of this week I’ll be back to where I was. Mixing it with other stuff helps break the monotony and frustration that can come when you get stuck on an exercise. Keep us posted Cat.
     
    PillO likes this.
  19. Evert

    Evert

    Oct 7, 2017
    Brussels, Belgium
    Had to put the bass aside for a few weeks while I was redecorating my living room, but that's done now and starting tomorrow I should be able to pick up again where I left it (last exercise in book 1).
     
  20. Howdy folks!
    I picked up a used bass and bought the book a few months ago. Currently working on ex 86 in book 1.
    Having a lot of fun.
    Doing a recording as suggested sounds like a great idea, I will do that. This way I can listen to my playing and better here where I am lacking, not always so easy to be objective :)
     

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