This Interesting article popped up on Ariane Cap’s blog this morning, and I thought I’d share it here.
I wish there were ways to cheat at learning bass… I’d be better at bass!
But the fact that you can’t cheat your way to learning an instrument is a big part of what makes learning one so rewarding. Other than the very rare musical prodigy who doesn’t have to struggle to learn it, no one with any amount of skill on an instrument got there on accident. One of my Navy buddies use to say something along the line of “if staying in shape were easy, we would all be walking around with perfect bodies… but it isn’t easy, it is constant work.” Same applies to bass. If it were easy or if you could cheat your way to it, we would all be Jaco… but it isn’t. It is constant work, and we as novice/ intermediate players should take more time to appreciate the work we have put in to get to whatever level you are currently at. Then realize that continued improvement requires continued focused effort. Any “cheating” you can use along the way to learn a skill isn’t cheating… it is learning!
I never thought of open strings as being a cheat, I started trying to incorporate them because I heard it was part of the James Jamerson sound. The practice and metronome stuff is work! Pen and paper are two of the most important things in a gig bag maybe a cheat because now I don’t have to remember the singer changed the key, or if a certain part in a song had been changed because someones friend was showing up at a show and we were supposed to give them more time to shine in a certain song, or last minute set changes, the fact that I don’t have to do that by memory could be a cheat I guess. I will admit that there are things to make your bass playing easier, shapes come to mind. Hacks like the the relative minor and looking at the arpeggio to give you an idea of where a bass line might come from make life easier and might help you sound like you know more than you do. I messaged my friend about playing motown songs or creating something in that style, “do you find yourself falling back to the I-V-VIII when you’re playing this stuff” he said he had been playing forever but he had no idea what I was talking about that he had patterns and shapes that he pulled from to create for every style, rhythm, and situation. He based his playing on not what should be played but what he knew from trial and error over 40 yrs, shouldn’t be played. I immediately thought…cheater…LOL
Speaking of open stings…
@mac hows that Zero Fret working out for you?
I’ve not fitted it yet @PamPurrs
To be honest I’m almost a bit “scared to do it !
I watched a video from Dave’s World of Fun Stuff (he’s a luthier) where he said the job of fitting a zero fret is a lot more than the company makes it out to be. I would be pretty hesitant myself.
That’s the video that caused my hesitation @eric.kiser .
Initially I held back while I pondered over wether or not to put an American made Mack on the P bass and then I watched the video.
Then life in general got in the way enough for me to forget about it but now @PamPurrs has brought it into the light again I really should have a go at it.