Vertical Apreggios

Discussion in 'Ask Jeff Berlin [Closed]' started by Quinn Roberts, Jan 14, 2018.

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  1. Firstly, I'd like to say thank you for all the great musical advice and knowledge you've shared with us on TalkBass. I, personally, can only speak for myself, but, I must say that, I've learned bounds in the past few weeks. Be it from your inspiring posts, or from practice and research after the fact!
    To better improve my memory of the fretboard and help build sense of movement when improvising/creating walking lines I've been drilling myself with various "scale"-based practices (a term I generally hate, but can't find a better one at the moment). I will select a key (generally G, C, or Bb for now (haven't really touched Harmonic or Melodic Minors yet either other then their basic shapes)), then, starting on the lowest string (B in my case), play the modes of said key horizontally across the fretboard and back (typically starting on fret one, and continuing until I get through all the respective modes of the key). I then go back through each mode and repeat, but this time I single out each arpeggio instead of the entire scale. Recently I've been trying to connect these various arpeggios vertically throughout each of the modes. For example, if I were playing the key of C, I'd take Cmaj7 (Not touching any extensions yet either) on the first fret and run through the horizontal arpeggio in the ionian mode (these are three note per string fingerings as well), I'd then slide to the last note of the arpeggio in dorian and go back, so on and so forth, down the entire neck.
    Doing all this has shown great improvement thus far in my knowledge of where I am on the fretboard at any given time. My only issue is that these exercises seem, for lack of a better term, kind of simplistic to me. I feel as though there are different and more challenging ways I could be putting these shapes under my fingers and thus deeper into my mind.
    I'd love to hear any ideas/practice suggestions you may have regarding memory of the fretboard and what I could also/better be doing to achieve such.
     
  2. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Just guessing, but I would suggest they seem simplistic due to being without musical context. For a study in linking chords, arpeggio and passing notes that is also a physical workout you might take a look at Sevcik Op3 for 'cello. Pick each variation apart and listen to how the phrases describe and present the harmonic movement and cadences within and beyond the key. Keep going back to the 'Tema' before starting a new variation. You will need to work out fingering, and in doing so you will discover that the 'default' fingering given in the 'arpeggio for bass' book simply don't work once you get into a musical situation. In other words, the information given by the books, and that we all blow time practicing, often has little relevance to real music.
    Hi @JeffBerlin .
     
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  3. Over time, I just figured out the arpeggios myself, in each position I could logically come up with (seven positions per arpeggio in a key by the time it was done (essentially road down the neck a mode at a time). Thanks for the cello book suggestion! :D It'll be nice having some real content to work at, I've been working the shapes/sounds out to backing tracks and songs I'm familiar with up til now. I'm guessing the book suggest a 1-2-4 fingering system though, might have some obstinance there! :laugh:
     
  4. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    There are very few fingering directions and it makes no assumptions, but it does have lots of dynamic and tempo direction, which in themselves offer learning opportunities for just getting control over your instrument.

    Many 'book' exercises contain and isolate chords, arps etc within a bar which tends to lock you in to particular fingering or rhythmic patterns e.g. you always have finger x playing the root/tonic on 1. The Sevcik is littered with phrases where the arp crosses bar lines (a type of harmonic anacrusis) which long-term breaks down those barriers and frees up your approach and expands your improvisational vocabulary. At least IME.
     
    Quinn Roberts likes this.
  5. I believe this is what I've been looking for then! Should at least give me some much needed practice structure it sounds like (and sight reading!), kinda have just noodled with the arpeggio shapes for the most part to "practice". Thanks again for the info! :D
     
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  6. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Arpeggios are no more and no less important than any other principle of music to practice. In essence, they are "vertical" principles of music as opposed to the "horizontal" scale. Reading and improvement as bass players requires a harmically trustworthy system of learning rather than a certain kind of note layout to learn them.
     
    Quinn Roberts likes this.
  7. I very much agree! It's more or less practice for me to learn the bass as an instrument, not to gain any new musical concepts per se. This has also got me anxious for your response to the user prooftheory's question in the other thread. Seems like a question that should benefit all bassists here!
     
  8. tlc1976

    tlc1976

    Aug 2, 2016
    Michigan
    IMO practicing arpeggios over the different scale shapes is important, if it's something you will use often, like say country music. That's some of the first things I did. The more you are likely to use something, the more you should practice it so you can play it cleanly when needed.
     
  9. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    What you practice isn't about what you play. These are two different principles. Country music bass parts have less to do with arpeggios than any other music since country bass parts are always focused on the one and (often) the five.
     
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  10. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Here's a 'reasonable use' sample...
    20180117_190708.jpg
     
  11. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
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  12. Whousedtoplay

    Whousedtoplay

    May 18, 2013
    TEXAS
    "I'd like to set the Metronome on 60"??? :confused: o_O

     
  13. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Well there are many ways to skin a cat. Sounds like one just got done, or maybe its just the YouTube A/D bitrate, or maybe I'm just a curmudgeonly old git, but no that's just so far off the mark... Maybe the fingerboard markers should have been a clue...
     
  14. FantasticFour

    FantasticFour

    Dec 14, 2013
    Europeland
    She's very similar to the teachers I had as a kid, metronome included.
     
  15. Whousedtoplay

    Whousedtoplay

    May 18, 2013
    TEXAS
    P.S. I have two cats and l love them. I don't like that expression. :crying:
     
  16. Drgonzonm

    Drgonzonm

    Sep 4, 2017
    American SW
    I guess you wont like the book "101 things to do with flat cats". I play bass because beginners with violins sound like a c__ fight,
    @SteveCS , thanks for the post. I will add to my practice sheets.
     
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