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This Old Geezer Is Taking Bass Lessons Starting Next Week!

Discussion in 'Music Education - Share your knowledge here!' started by DiMarco, Aug 25, 2020.

  1. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Don't know exactly. Around 1990-1992 I started gigging. I have been playing bass a looooong time.
    But each and every riff or line I made up was done so by accident. I know how to play stuff that sounds good but I never learned the relationship between:
    • Scales
    • Chords within those scales
    • Modes fitting with these chords that are in those scales
    So from next week I will be taking lessons each tuesday in order to learn how and when to apply the rules that come with wanting to play at a higher level of understanding and being able to expand on musical ideas, properly jam and improvise while playing.

    Also, I will be spending a lot of time trying to reinvent my slapping. I now just hammer away on top of the strings as if I intend to break them. The switch will be to doublethumbing and if that goes well plucking triplets to really spice things up.

    So two main jobs: Learn to apply theory and slap like a gentleman.

    Let's see how far I can take this at age 52!
     
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  2. Foal30

    Foal30

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    Good idea to get lessons

    Specific to Music Theory it's good to have the Tutor on Piano.

    I hope it goes well
     
  3. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Congrats buddy! @Foal30 is spot on. I think you will learn more about bass playing by learning the basics on piano, and singing. Singing what you play is a huge secret!
    Slap- welcome to the dark side, lol!

    Ask the teacher to teach you the basics of chord progressions, learn them on keyboard first. Learn about cadences, you will use them no matter what the rest of the band is doing :) It is really easy if you follow a certain path.
    My guess is- chords, chord progressions, cadences, then think that each bass line is made of chord notes, and some passing notes inbetween. And also mind that you don't always need to play the root note, so you can get more melodic lines (Ex you have Cmajor Gmajor chords, but you play C and B (which is the 3rd of the G), and that sounds sad melodic, and spot on harmonically. If you want to sound happy, play C and D. I make my life much easier thinking this way. I like to see the bass line as a counter melody for the lead, rather than playing fundamentals, so I look for oposite movements (if lead goes up, bass goes down, etc)
    Watch this video:
    This is pretty much all you need to know, and think of bass playing chord degrees, not scales.
     
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  4. Madmaskbass

    Madmaskbass

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    Good luck man! I learnt alot of music theory in highschool when heavily involved in brass bands etc but alot has left me and now my brain gets cranky when i try again. I signed up for Scotts bass lessons yesterday and went to one cool section but you need to pass a test to get a level and i failed so now i have to learn some theory to play the levels lol ergh...

    I hope it works for you your goals seem fair and reasonable.
     
  5. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    While getting ready for the lessons, I am refreshing my knowledge about the modes of the major scale, the chords which belong to those scales and the key to bass lines - triads.

    After letting a lot of the info sink in a bit I started wondering where the four different triads (major, minor, dim, aug) fit within the modes. After some puzzeling I figured out the major and minor triads can be played from the tonic; major triad in Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian and the minor triad in all the other modes. This covers a whole lot of ground in most cases.

    But while trying to find out where diminished and augmented triads fit in the picture stuff becomes more weird. The diminished triad is most commonly used from the 2nd degree in the minor (aeolian) scale from what I gather? and - al be it a bit more exotic - from the 5th degree in Lydian & Phrygian modes.

    My question: Where do augmented triads fit in if at all? I know they're being used in The Beatles - Oh Darling but how do they fit in any mode?

    Thanks for any practical info. I haven't been able to find anything online on this yet.

    modes_scales_triads.jpg
     
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  6. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    @DiMarco the first question is: Why do you think you have to know more theory? Set a practical goal first, then a way to reach it. I am saying this because for most of us, mortals, studying modes on bass is not very practical. Studying directly the chords and ways of navigating from one to another is a much straight forward approach. I think Scott put this in a nice way- we are playing chords, same as piano, but we do it one not of a time. Or something like this.
    So instead of thinking Ionian, Dorian, etc, think I ii iii IV V7 vi viidim, and start from there.
    Really, the Beato video is something you should know and understand first. It is quite easy.
     
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  7. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Nature of the beast. Must know everything! =)
     
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  8. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    That's an awesome answer! :)
     
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  9. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    OMG.

    Had my first actual lesson today. It felt humbling.
    Being self taught is okay, and I can really sound good playing what I play. But I have hit the ceiling of how far I can take this without any musical knowledge and doing everything by ear.

    Right now I am playing major and minor triads along the C major scale using the correct finger placement so I can later on do the same with each of the modes.
    Because up til now I never bothered about finger placement and just changed my lines to whatever felt comfortable I am now having a hard time being fluid.

    I feel like such a nub you wouldn't believe it. It is awesome! Pieces of the puzzle will reconnect and at some point I will progress to beyond where I have been up til now.
    It is hard work! But this WILL pay off.
     
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  10. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Congrats Marco!
     
  11. Hardy

    Hardy Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I started this 2 years ago and still I train those basics. A bit slapping, fretless and pick playing are added too. But everything else still has to wait because my own technique was complete crap. The most important thing I learned was patience.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
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  12. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Yes I can relate to that very much Hardy.

    Because we're used to playing songs and making them sound good (sometimes by taking shortcuts and skipping details) we want what we do to work musically.

    When playing stupid triads or even modes along any major scale and hearing it all just sounds like that major scale (since all the notes are in the same family) it tends to feel like a boring drag of an exercise.

    What you're in fact doing is create building blocks you will be able to use later on while creating songs. The patterns you know will emerge there.

    I can not do this yet but already see the huuge added value of this knowledge after lesson one.

    Chords in the C major scale are C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bdim. (didn't have to look that up wow I learn fast!) So I play the major, minor and diminished triads along that scale.

    The trick will be to recognize what key a song is in by hearing the chords that are being played on guitar or pie-ano. When knowing that I will be able to fill in the bassline based on these scale chords.

    But triads are just the basis. The real fun starts when proceeding to modes and adding the 6ths and 7ths into your bass playing. This is where you'll be adding harmonic value to the guitar chords and create an atmosphere.

    And that is my goal right now. Learn how to musically enrich what is going on rather then just supporting the guitars by making them sound bigger.

    Edit: smartphone typos
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
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  13. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Been practicing a lot today, and drew up this cheatsheet for me to print out and doodle on while learning.
    The idea is I mark triads/chords on the white pianokeys (because on those stuff makes sense) and work out the fretboard patterns for them. The chord types for each of the 7 degrees and formulas for the pattern help with working out those.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Foal30

    Foal30

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    Hey

    Diminished think vii mode Locrian
    What about a Blues scale

    Augmented maybe think 5th mode of Harmonic Minor harmony
    "Phrygian Dominant"
     
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  15. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Lesson two was tonight. I had to show I've been practicing all the triads in the major scale. Having practiced for real payed off and in the next 7 days I will be doing the same with all the sevenths included.

    We zoomed in on each mode and compared them to the regular major ionian and minor aeolian ones to see how they relate musically. Then we talked inversions and shortly looked at blues scales for a brief moment - those will return later on.

    I played a little piece I wrote and asked why it sounds so jazzy and funky as hell, as it doesn't fit in any regular scale or mode that I know of. The answer was "hey this is interesting, it sounds great" and I forgot most of the explanation but I fill in little notes that spice things up before resolving to a chord. Thing is with this I make up interesting jazzy lines without knowing it. Must be either getting old or better haha.

    The fruits of my labor so far: I start hearing thirds fifths and sevenths instead of just chords when listening to music. My brain disects it on autopilot. This is weird.

    So far so good. I am having fun learning all this. After the lesson we headed off to Daniël's pub for some beers so a nice evening this week.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
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  16. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    A problem in my left hand I have been working around surfaced while practicing. The pinky loses grip when the ringfinger has to apply pressure. I can properly use either but combined this problem appears. We'll work on that starting next week, too.
     
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  17. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Learning is fun!
     
  18. Hardy

    Hardy Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    It took me weeks of hard training this year to get rid of this problem. Two or three times I overtrained my muscles. Be careful! But in the end I was successful. I now call it the „supermove“, hehe!
     
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  19. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Been practicing this using the Dolphin since that has the best playing neck in the stable (yes better then the Fodera).
    Mild pain in the ring finger muscles only after a full hour of playing, but enough to call it a day. Thanks for the warning Hardy.
     
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  20. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    This video makes it all make sense (nice exotic sentence eh), for those interested.



    And here's Scott's excellent example on how to apply the modes once you've learned them

     
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