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What I learned from a week at Berklee

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by DanielleMuscato, Jun 22, 2007.


  1. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    Funny you would produce that particular Mark King clip. I have loved it for 20 years! I'd have to guess that most of my playing posture and habits have their roots in what he was doing at that point in his career, as humbly as I could emulate him while I struggled to develop something of my own identity. He managed to blend spectacular bass playing with mainstream appeal - the holy grail, in my view.

    I always wondered what it is that somebody throws at him at 2:29 in that clip.
     
  2. threshar

    threshar

    Jul 30, 2002
    For the Stu comment - compare him now vs say, in his slap tap & pop video. He may have also been referring to wrists as well, after his urge tour he had severe wrist problems he had ot get fixed up.

    The other interesting thing, they say "OMFG! QUARTER NOTES! UNF UNF!" right? Which is very true. However for their recommended learning most of them are fancy guys who play many notes. (Yes, I realize it is more challenging and learningiful (great word) to transcribe marcus miller or jaco vs adam clayton). That just stuck out.

    I'd love to attend something like this somday, but the current outlook is not so good with how much I have to work, plus 3 kids, plus housework, plus everything else :( Maybe when the kids grow up in 20 years.
     
  3. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    What a nice thread, Dave .... very thoughful of you to share so much excellent information :D

    Regarding the hand positioning thing .... most teachers want a developing bassist to learn the "proper" way of doing things, and thumb/neck positioning is certainly one of the most commonly abused techniques. Once you get a feel for the "right" way you will invariably settle into your own comfortable style .... therein the reason for the styles and techniques of the established pro's being somewhat different than what they might teach & preach.

    Same thing with the simplistic approach of 1/4 & 1/8th notes. Once you have developed a strong sense of time and rhythmic playing you can branch out a little .... :cool:
     
  4. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Pointbass, thanks for your post. I know what you mean... See my avatar for an example :) I started on classical guitar and learned the "proper" hand positioning, etc, but I still plug my thumb up over the top of the neck once in awhile, especially when I'm bending a string...
     
  5. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I'm a classically trained DB guy, so thumb positioning was drilled into me for years. The minute I went to a 7 string all that training went out the window .... my thumb is totally free floating on both the left and right hands ...... ;)
     
  6. Silas Martinez

    Silas Martinez

    Jan 17, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Thanks, Dave. You've inspired me.

    I'm now going through the list, and transcribing them, by ear. This is giving me practice in playing 'the classics', learning by ear, and reading. All things I've felt I needed to improve.

    Genuinely appreciated.

    As a side note, I'm currently using the transcribe! software to playback the samples - built in EQ, speed control, looping - and note suggestions, when I get lost.

    I haven't found the perfect software for the actual writing, though - yes, I could do it by hand, but with as disorganized as my paper filing system is, I'm afraid that it wouldn't be effective - much better to use decent software that allows me to write it using some sembelance of standard notation.

    Edit: Found Finale NotePad. Seems to be perfect for what I'm looking for. I have my software to help me through these transcriptions.
     
  7. low-end-jason

    low-end-jason

    Apr 11, 2007
    wonderful thread. truly a great dialog on things bass players should know about.

    to piggy-back on the practicing with a mirror thing, i was introduced recently to the alexander technique, a psycho-physical technique (i.e., using your mind to control and unteach your body) aimed at relearning all of the harmful habits we have trained ourselves to live with by the practice of noting the problem and it's associated sub-problems (i.e., for me, moving from a major "pattern" hand position to a minor "pattern" caused my left shoulder to tense, as well as my neck and right hand, odd but true) and then correcting them. this is all done with mirrors. i have been humbled and have taken three steps back in order to sort these problems out.

    oh, check out this article in bassplayer magazine on the great Ron Carter. in his teaching, he makes his students watch themselves in the mirror.

    http://www.bassplayer.com/story.asp?storycode=3990
     
  8. When I attended Berklee Danny Morris was my ensemble professor. He's a really nice guy. At the time I could not really wrap my head around a lot of the stuff he would talk to the bassists about, but he was always open to questions and demonstrations. He would really go the extra step to try to explain things by using musical examples/real world experience. Looking back on some of the stuff I learned from him, and other professors at Berklee it really made an impact on the development of my playing and learning.
     
  9. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Yeah, Danny Morris seems really great. I've corresponded with him a bit over email since this program and he's been very insightful. I'd love to go there for school and learn some more from him.

    The guitar player in my band is strongly considering going there next fall, and if he does, we are thinking about relocating to Boston. I'm not sure that I can afford Berklee at this point, but I may take some classes at one of the 60-whatever schools in Boston in the meantime, and maybe do something with Berklee, depending on what they have and what I can afford, maybe see if I can sit in on some classes. I think that just being around some of these guys, or taking private lessons from them, will really improve my playing.
     
  10. Valerus

    Valerus

    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Great and valuable information, thanks Dave.
     
  11. PocketGroove82

    PocketGroove82

    Oct 18, 2006
    Chicago
    Dave,
    I hope you stayed away from Little Stevie's Pizza!
     
  12. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    That was the best back in the day. The old lady that used to slide the slices down the dirty counter to you. Priceless! :meh:

    SLICE!
     
  13. Geezerman

    Geezerman

    Nov 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    :rollno:
     
  14. CRAP!!! I started at 16 in the U.K.been in bands all my life I am now 60 and am working in four bands,two jazz quartets,a country rock band and a 60;s R&R revival band.
    I also run a yearly 3 day Jazz and Blues Festival in 8 venues that attracts 65 bands with about 400 musos.
    <<www.waggajazz.org>> age is all in the mind.
    Mike
     
  15. 69nites

    69nites

    Jul 11, 2006
    Chicago
    as far as classical thumb placement or elevated thumb I think it depends entirely on the song (or even the part of the song) and I switch between them freely without noticing.

    I find classical thumb placement less important on bass than guitar as generally we use the pads of our fingers whereas when playing guitar you need to use the Tip of your finger.

    if you find yourself having trouble reaching things try out classical thumb placement and you'll find your life a lot easier. If not there's likely nothing wrong with your technique.

    This is all just IMO/IME of course.
     
  16. Muss

    Muss

    Nov 20, 2007
    THIS THREAD IS GOLD
    AND I AM A GOLD DIGGER
     
  17. THANKS for all this, Dave!
     
  18. j.a.e.r.i.p

    j.a.e.r.i.p

    Apr 8, 2007
    I was also at the Berklee basslines program and i learned an incredible amount from the experience. not only did it put me in my place as to just how good i thought i was to see kids from all over the world, but also it pointed me in a new direction in terms of what to practice, for months after that MODES MODES MODES which was very good for my playing and especially for writing.
     
  19. ........ god forbid funk ever had any melodic nature to it
     
  20. PocketGroove82

    PocketGroove82

    Oct 18, 2006
    Chicago
    Omg..i forgot how "attractive" she was. :eek:
    Thanks, I just threw up a little in my mouth.
     

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