What Is Hip 16th notes after a (1) drink.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by BassAndCigars, May 13, 2021.


  1. BassAndCigars

    BassAndCigars

    Apr 19, 2021
    USA
    This is gonna sound goofy I realize but:
    I'm 62 and new to bass. I played guitar most all my life until close to 10 years ago when I quit music altogether and took a break. Bought a bass 3 weeks ago and I'm enjoying the heck out of it. So my question.............
    The 16th note thing. "What Is Hip". I'm improving but I can't quite do it anywhere near tempo UNLESS............late at night I toss back my usual nightcap. Couple shots of scotch nothing excessive and I pick up my bass and suddenly.........I can do it. Not completely up to recorded speed yet but pretty close. I can do it and it's cool and it sounds good.
    My question is: WHY? Can somebody help me understand the physics or whatever of why that would be? I never drank onstage back when I was playing guitar. Never. Hated how I played tipsy. After the gig sure. I'd have a little drink and relax. So why is it helpful now that I'm learning bass? I'm truly curious. It's a weird phenomenon.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
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  2. WrapRough

    WrapRough

    Jan 26, 2021
    London
    No idea, but maybe it relaxed you a bit. I find anything by Rocco I need to be really relaxed to play. The minute I tense up it falls apart. I am learning Funk the Dumb Stuff at the moment, and it's the same. As soon as I screw up, I realise I was tensing up or digging in a bit too hard.

    Have you figured out the fingering trick for What is Hip yet? The bit when he goes to the 6th - i've found I need to change my fingering to start on the middle, otherwise it doesnt work properly :)
     
  3. J_Bass

    J_Bass Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    I have a suggestion, record yourself playing the tune after the drinks.

    In the morning, find out if you can really do it after drinking, or if it was just the ugly girl-pretty girl effect.
     
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  4. BassAndCigars

    BassAndCigars

    Apr 19, 2021
    USA
    I totally get where you're going with that and I've considered that but honestly it's just the one drink so I can tell it really is better. I can still tell the difference between fast and slow lol.
     
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  5. J_Bass

    J_Bass Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    I get it. But it's not just fast vs slow.

    It's clean vs sloppy. If you're doing it fast, but sloppy, it's no good. That's why I suggested recording.
     
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  6. BassAndCigars

    BassAndCigars

    Apr 19, 2021
    USA
    That's a great tune too.
    I haven't been able to actually play along with the recording and work on that bit you mention yet. I don't have a dedicated private practice space at the moment and the family always seems to be watching tv and, well, you know.............
     
  7. BassAndCigars

    BassAndCigars

    Apr 19, 2021
    USA
    Understood. Thankyou.
     
  8. WrapRough

    WrapRough

    Jan 26, 2021
    London
    This is a good video for help with that track in general. I know he is annoying as hell but it helped me :)

     
  9. J_Bass

    J_Bass Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    Don't take the wrong way, it's what I do myself. Record and listen.


    That bass line is super clean, all those staccato notes have to sound clean and seperated from each other.

    Super funky and fun line to play, good choice!
     
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  10. BassAndCigars

    BassAndCigars

    Apr 19, 2021
    USA
    Yeah that tune and Rocco in general is an absolute benchmark for the style of playing I aspire to. Like I mentioned I'm an absolute newbie and green on the instrument although playing guitar has helped immensely but what is NOT like guitar is that right hand stuff. The fact that I can even come close to that "duh duh duh duh duh duh duh" stuff after only 3 weeks just has me stoked and encouraged over the moon. So much fun. Rocco and Jaco are my total bass idols man and developing my right hand I think is absolutely the key to being the player I want to become.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
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  11. J_Bass

    J_Bass Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    Listen to Bobby Vega, too.

    Very cool, and he plays a lot with a pick, since you are a guitarist, maybe it's easier for you.







     
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  12. AFRO

    AFRO

    Aug 29, 2010
    My unprofessional thesis of this is: the drink (however little it was) has relaxed you enough subconsciously that your line is smoother. fast is much easier to play when relaxed. -tough concept to grasp- but it rings true. stamina is another issue for another post. but relaxed helps there too.

    try this: do a shot of water (placebo effect) and see if just looking at the empty shot glass calms you a bit. if it does not work, then it for sure is the booze relaxing your muscles.

    just food for thought, i am no doc and you are nearly 20 yrs my senior (so good work on picking up the Bass after so many years of guitar)

    Stay low.

    good luck.
     
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  13. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    Because it relaxes you. To play fast, you have to relax every muscle in your body that's not directly involved with producing the notes. Most people tense up when they try to play fast, and then completely lose the feel and the tempo.

    "Relax" is the best all around advice for playing in time. Booze is one way, but I'm with you, I don't like its other effects. I like to meditate; you need to find what works for you. There's no shortage of literature.

    The best instruction I ever got specifically for playing fast is: "slow plus steady equals fast."

    That means you practice it slow and steady with a metronome click on every note. Keep increasing that, eventually going click for every two notes, and then every four notes, and eventually you'll be playing 16ths at tempo and without sounding rushed, dragged or uneven. If you stumble, dial back the metronome and nail it down at a slower tempo before dialing it up again.

    This is old school and would seem self-evident, but if you can't play it slowly and evenly, you'll struggle to play it fast.
     
  14. RGerhart

    RGerhart

    Jan 11, 2021
    Portland, OR
    +1 on the relaxation bit
    Sometimes one drink, especially if you are a regular drinker, will do the trick. Also, with Rocco's lines, it's one of those things that you have to practice on a regular basis. Get into his headspace. I've been studying his lines for years now and, much like James Jamerson's work, I think I've just scratched the surface of his technique, phrasing, and style.
     
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  15. chris_b

    chris_b

    Jun 2, 2007
    I'd need several drinks so I wouldn't feel RSI kicking in!
     
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  16. Plain Old Barry

    Plain Old Barry Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2018
    Connecticut
    This makes tons of sense. Being relaxed helps all things physical. Even pro athletes play better when relaxed and having fun.

    Esteban has excellent suggestions, especially the drills. Once you can play faster than the song, it's going to feel easier. You don't need to play *everything* faster, start by concentrating on the song's lines, for 10 minutes every day.
     
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  17. sotua

    sotua

    Sep 20, 2004
    Somewhere in time
    I find that I can't play with any kind of accuracy even after one drink. So whenever I was gigging and the bar gigs included a couple of drink vouchers per band member, I kept them for after the show, before the show was strictly water.

    Perhaps you're more relaxed with that drink - as pointed out above, if you tense up when playing something as punishing as Rocco's 16ths, you're going to tire faster and start making mistakes. Also second the idea of recording yourself. I've had many recording sessions where I had takes I thought I nailed it, and then when listening to playback it's evidently off time on some parts, and some mis-fretted notes I barely noticed stand out like sore thumbs.
     
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  18. BassAndCigars

    BassAndCigars

    Apr 19, 2021
    USA
    Thanks everybody for the replies so far. Much appreciated.
     
  19. Now you know why Kieth Richard's so damn good! :laugh:
     
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  20. Did you record yourself though getting there? Many things feel swell when you drink alcohol. That's my experience for sure.
     
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