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Three Months Away from Home... How Do I Make the Best of It?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Shaunpski, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. Hi All!

    So the Air Force is sending me off to learn to fly yet another airplane (4th one in my career). In a few weeks, I'll be driving from West Virginia to Oklahoma in my Camry. I know I will have free time, so I want to spend it working on a few things, including my bass playing. Room in the car is limited, but I will be taking my Am Std J Bass (or parts P--still on the fence), practice amp (acoustic B15--gets the job done), laptop, headphones and a couple bass instruction books. I've been wanting to work on my chops, so I figure this is a good time to concentrate on reading (for all intents and purposes, I don't) and walking bass. I just ordered Ed Friedland's "Jazz Bass" and Ed Fuqua's "Walking Bassics." Other than that, I'll utilize TalkBass and YouTube.

    So, what am I missing? What would you take? I'll probably be staying on base, so I'm not concerned about security. The practice amp will serve as my headphone amp. I figure I'll be able to give the effort somewhere between 1/2 hour to 1 hour a day and more on the weekends. I've done this so many times, I've learned that idle time is not good for me, so I'm hoping to come back from OK qualified in the airplane and a better bass player. (BTW, my background is guitar and I'm currently playing bass in a hobby band--blues and classic rock). Thanks in advance!


    For grins... 4f761ce2-9303-4c0e-8e4d-9ee4190395bc_zps5e3b7f22.
  2. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    Going from a fighter jet to a camry?! blughhh!

    What are you missing? a real car. A motorcycle. Or sedatives. I'm mostly kidding. I drive a corolla when The Ultimate Driving Machine isn't enough.

    Seriously, downtime blows. Downtime after an adrenaline crash blows hard. Bring a stand to set the bass next to the bed quick when Sudden Lead Eyelids Syndrome sets in and bring a couple of literature books for if/when sleep escapes you. Best wishes!
  3. Ahhh... The stand is a good call! Fortunately (or unfortunately), my adrenaline and motorcycle racing days are over (five kids and a mortgage are adrenaline inducing enough). These days I appreciate a jet where you can stretch your legs and get a cup of coffee. Good copy on the good books. Thanks!
  4. pjbassist

    pjbassist Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Take the P bro, that thing is bangin! Thank you for your service to our country and good luck!
  5. BAG


    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    Take a tablet/ipad and have this Smart Chord app on it to go through scales and multi-octave arpeggios. I've been using it almost every night for the last couple of months. The wife is now so used to me running scales and arpeggios (unplugged) in front of the TV she forgets to even tell me to put the bass down.:)
  6. The P is still under consideration. Thanks! It's my honor to serve.
    pjbassist likes this.
  7. Thanks! I'll definitely check that out.
  8. Super Iridium

    Super Iridium Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    Thanks for your service. I just subscribed to Scott's Bass Lessons Academy, and it looks like there's a lot of good material there for not too much money. Perfect for practice during your down time.
  9. Leo Smith

    Leo Smith

    Oct 21, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    It seems like you've got it all covered. That material will be plenty for the next few month, given everything else you have to learn. Look up Chris Fitzgerald's videos on YouTube. They should dovetail nicely with the Friedland and Fuqua books.

    Good luck at the school. And don't forget to get outside for a jog, or to go to the gym a bit. "The Company" still needs you to pass that PT test!!
  10. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    Mel Bay Walking Jazz Lines for Bass: Jay Hungerford: 9780786659968: Amazon.com: Books
    Mr Hungerford's book contains not much theory, but applies it. I wouldn't go anywhere for 3 months without it.

    Todd Johnson Vol2 -- maybe just pick up a used copy w/o the DVD
    The gems are in the back of the book past the 'lesson material when he has full song examples.
    Amazon.com: Todd Johnson: Walking Bass Line Module System, Vol. 2 - Scale Modules: Todd Johnson: Movies & TV

    I've been through all 4 books, but I keep coming back to these two.
    and it's 3 months and not a lot for a few more books.

    maybe some audio technica headphones
  11. Thanks, everyone! All good ideas. I appreciate it!

    Now... P or J...? Or just take both...
  12. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User

    Dec 13, 2004
    Phoenix AZ area
    I 2nd the Hungerford book as well.

    If you're going to use CD's get a used Tascam CD-BT (either version) trainer used off eBay or here. Also maybe a drum machine like an Alesis SR 16 used.

    Maybe a mini-mixer so you can add several inputs together if you choose.

    Various chord adapters and reducers.

    Have a good practice stool that folds up if you use one now.

    Bass stand.

    An iPad or laptop.

    Spare favorite strings.

    Basic bass tools like screwdrivers, truss rod wrench etc.

    Polishing cloth.
  13. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    >> Make sure you have everything you need to be able to play along with your CDs, through both amp and HPs. I would think (hope) the Aux input on your amp would allow this.
    >> As mentioned, decent HPs; not just earbuds.
    >> Maybe some additional play along CDs from the Aebersold site.
    >> And a folding music stand.

    Good luck and thank you for your service.
  14. Thanks again. All great suggestions! I actually ordered some Sennheiser HD-280s for the trip and the music stand is another great idea. Any opinions on using the Kindle (or similar) app on a laptop instead of buying a hard copy of a music book? I can see benefits to both...
  15. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User

    Dec 13, 2004
    Phoenix AZ area
    Kindle is okay, and I have used it along with the hard copy of HL Bass Method, but personally I prefer books.

    U.S. How many can you honestly work thru in three months?
  16. Rudreax


    Jun 14, 2008
    New York, NY
    To really utilize your time, I highly suggest making a practice log and writing down NOW all the things you want to work on. That way, every time you pick up your bass and don't want to just jam out, you'll have a resource to look to to tell you "ok, I should work on this now".
  17. JamPlay


    Aug 9, 2012
    JamPlay Berklee
    Hi Shaun, besides the ideas mentioned above, and seeing how you play guitar and now bass, I know for me when I switched from being a trumpet player to bass, i re-listened to lots of music that I thought I knew, and subsequently had many an epiphany while listening to specifically what the bass does. This will get you focused on basslines and bassline construction. With that focus, you can then step back a bit, and realize that any exercise book, or instructional video you work out to, is preparing you for playing basslines. Making this connection is essential for building healthy bass practice routines. Your groove, your sound/timbre, your ability to make a song happen for real is the true test. This will be excellent preparation when the opportunities arise for you performing tunes as well. You have to play lots of basslines to get comfortable with it. There are many players practicing scales, and arpeggios, and various techniques, and then when they are asked to play at a blues jam, or any style jam really, they fall short, because they never focused directly on basslines and the construction of them. Best to you, and sincere thanks for your military service.
  18. Thanks! I hear that loud and clear. I've learned the notes to many a song, but that's just the beginning. Also, listening to what is really going on has helped me realize (just like guitar) the deeper one digs, the more there is to learn. Thanks again, everyone.

    JamPlay likes this.
  19. Thanks! Knocking out the test this week. The good news is, the older I get, the more time I have for the run...
    Leo Smith likes this.

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