Ever had one of those mind-blowing deep thoughts about your bass playing? One that changes the way you “approach" playing bass. Do you have any that you’ve heard that you agree with? Any that you don’t agree with at all? Curious minds want to know… (a.k.a. me)
Example: Victor Wooten has that mind-blowing you tube video where he teaches that it doesn’t matter what you play, it’s the groove you set. Even wrong notes can sound right. That blew my mind when I first saw it; but, I have found it to be true.
One that I’ll throw out there is: “it’s all just bass licks with some transitions in between.”
Click on the spoiler tag if you want to read my experience leading to the gist of the philosophy below.
I guess you could file the following experience under “methods that help trick yourself to learn a new song.”
Back when I was playing with a few gig bands, I hit a wall. I had a melt down or learner’s block or whatever. So a buddy sat me down and asked if I had learned one of the songs the band wanted to play at an upcoming gig. “NO!” then I told him how I felt. He said, “Ok that’s cool, what’s your favorite part of that song?" I replied about a cool lick in the song. He said, “do you know how to play it?” “I haven’t tried,” was my response. He said, "just work on that part, I’d like to see the way you play it—maybe even show me how to play it.“ So, I worked on that part only, and then showed him the line. He said, “that’s cool, how does that part lead into the chorus?” “I said it’s only few bars, probably something close to this.” I messed around with it right there in front of him. He said, “wow that sounds really close! What does the bass play over the solo?” “I’m not sure it might be the verse, I’ll listen to it real quick… oh wow, it’s not the verse, it that’s that lick I like!” He said, “So you already know over half of the song now.
…It’s just licks with transitions to and from the next lick, don’t think of songs as something you have to learn from beginning to the end. Just learn the parts you dig, then move on to the transitions to the other part of the song, that way you’re only fleshing out the small spots."
So take it for what it’s worth–that’s how I learned Tom Sawyer.
I’d love to hear from you.