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use your ears!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Mixmasta J, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. Mixmasta J

    Mixmasta J

    Dec 4, 2004
    warning: this is coming from a highschool blues/jazz bassist, and I know a lot of people don't respect young musicians.

    I was playing today with my rythm section during my jazz band period. I am in the jazz A band, and we also have a a jazz B band for beginners and extra practice. Well today the B band bassist came into our little jam, and he said he wanted to jam. I gave him my bass, and we were off.

    Soon after the first chorus of "The Wind Cries Mary" (oh btw we had the day off today, we are usually working our tails off on music, we got a break today :) ) the kid was lost. He asked me for tabs and notation, and all I knew was the chord progressions, and the basic rythms. When I jam, I am always making up lines off the top of my head, and simply following the rest of the band until I have a little confidence to become a bit fancier.

    This kid couldn't follow anything, and as a result couldn't hold a solid groove. He can read quite well, but when asked to lay it down thick on the spot, it became a problem.

    I know that some people need to see things to understand them, but it is also a necessity to have a good ear. You never know if your guitarist is going to extend a solo, or if the progression will change, or if you need to improvise. This can only be acquired by playing more with your ear, and less with theory all the time (although theory is EXTREMELY important)

    I guess my point is that if you like to jam and play jazz/the blues, always keep an open mind and an open ear. I plan on working with the bassist from the B band for a while now so that he can take his head out of the music and open his ears to the groove arond him! It should be a fun, yet challenging experience!

    just my .02$

  2. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    We all have strenghts and weaknesses.

    But I hear what you're saying.
  3. Yo,
    Ears and Chart's- Aye:hyper:
    TABS.... Nay!!!!!:rollno:

    Worst thang for the "Modern" Bassist.... TABS

    Bobbo 77'
  4. I gotta give you props for working with him, theres not enough of that in the world. I'm in a similar situation with you (highschool jazz bassist). This makes me want to become more involved in helping other less experienced bassists out (without corrupting them of course ;)
  5. jerm


    Jul 10, 2005
    I know alot of people like that. No creativity, no ear, just copying other genres from notation. What happened to music coming from the inside. You gotta hear it with your ear and feel it with your heart and play it with your fingers, its not running a machine, its making music and if your heart isn't into it, its completely worthless.
  6. bassist15


    Mar 6, 2006
    This is kinda the opposite of my situation . this is my Freshman year in High School and I started Jazz Band this year ,I was already able to read Treble clef but bass clef was new to me. So I was constantly improviseing lines when i woudl get lost. Now im reading very well and still improvising every now and then. Improvising during Jazz bands songs helps develop your different styles and maybe gives you some lines for a band situation.
    When you are teaching this kid , be very patient. Some people arent as talented as others and it could take him a bit to learn and theres nothing like feeling pressure when you cant doing something well at first.
    ONe thing I woudl tell him is to listen to alot of different styles of music and take it all in and jsut play what he feels and not worry so much. Theres no right or wrong way if you feel it.
  7. mothmonsterman


    Feb 8, 2006
    ahh well he's young and stupid we were all there once. but i never had anyone take me under their wing and show me to groove. lucky him.
  8. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    This is such a cool, refreshing attitude to read about as I'm so tired of hearing about players looking down at those who aren't as accomplished yet.
    Good on ya, when you help someone else, you help yourself too!

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