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Wax On Wax Off

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Roonz, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. Remember the movie "Karate Kid"? Wax on, wax off? The Chinese guy had the boy making repetitive motions so as to train for automatic response.

    I may be naive, but I have been doing this same thing with the bass. By adopting the finger pattern of a chord from 6 string guitar, it is possible to create moveable chord finger patterns on the bass where the fingers retain the same interval across the strings. I have been practicing (for instance) the dominant seventh chord finger pattern. Other chords are easy, such the minor and major chords. I don't strum the chords!! I play the notes in succession like a walking bass line. The point is to habituate the finger pattern so as to make my sight reading and ad lib play 'automatic'. Next time I see run such as I ii V, IV, V7, then all I need to look at is root, and the rest just falls in place thanks the habit-form pattern. Any key, any time, now! Just slide the pattern around, but the pattern stays the same for a type of chord. It is further possible to alter the picking pattern to jazz things up-- no need to hit the root on 'one' all the time.

    Does anyone (or everyone) do this, too? What is your method?:ninja:

  2. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    Yes, a bit on Afro Cuban type stuff, and in a slow blues when we get very quiet, in a trio so it doesn't get in the way. In the slow blues I may let them ring more than you seem to. I also do it if We play All Blues.
  3. MY idea of habit-in-chord-tones does not destroy articulation. I can still play staccato with this method. In fact, If find a little staccato good for rapid play to avoid the ringing that muddies up the sound.
  4. arginator


    Feb 28, 2009
    Upstate NY
    Wasn't Mr. Miagi Japanese?:p
  5. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    Yep- lots of cool patterns on the fretboard, but it's also good to be able to add in the listening component of playing, i.e. to hear an interval in your head and know exactly where to play it on the same string or any other string...

    Anyway, here's a set of patterns for the modes of the major scale that I studied to the point of 2nd nature. Actually, I don't practice the scales anymore. I just practice the 1,3,5,7 arpeggios for each mode up and down the neck:
  6. Sorry for the ethnic 'slur'. Mr. Miagi was Japanese, er, an 'Asian gentlemen'.
  7. Asher S:

    Thanks for posting the charts. Where did you pull these from?

    Sound like pattern playing is the 'way' to bass nirvana.
  8. synaesthesia


    Apr 13, 2004
  9. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    I'm glad you like the chart. I made it after I figured out the patterns. Apparently many other TB'ers like it too- I see it's been downloaded from my attachments 2,687 times so far.

    As far as "bass nirvana"... I think that's a bit of a stretch. I really think that hearing intervals and harmonies is much more important than memorizing these or any other patterns, but it's good to understand how all the modes "fit together" on the fretboard.
  10. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Some times I think in "guitar chord" shapes too. It's a good way to build familiarity with chord patterns.

    2 potential effects to be aware of:
    1.) barre chords , from the bottom up, are root-5th-8ve-3rd, so you miss that 3rd in the bottom octave, which might come in handy.

    and 2.) It could lead to habitual "1-box-per chord" playing , where the bass line becomes a string of isolated riffs; there are styles and situations where a more fliud, melodic line would be more appropriate.

    but as long as you are aware of those, its probably useful.

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