I’ve watched a few videos on youtube recently that were well thought out and very meaningful.We all have our inspirations as bass players. Some want to play like Wooten, or Miller, or Clarke, or _________________? You name it, we often times are chasing down someones style, technique, sound, tone and so on.This is perhaps one of the best ways for us to go through the discovery process of identifying our long term sound. There seems to be different opinions on copying other musicians for sound and style. It’s pretty common for us to know the notes and how to play our favorite bass lines from our favorite players, or striving to anyway. In my opinion, if you never move on from only knowing your favorite bass lines that’s okay. If you’re having fun you’re doing something right. We figure out pretty quickly that the farther down the low frequencies rabbit hole...
Often times our art is…misunderstood. The criticism come out from others that just don’t seem to get it. You know what I mean, that mild irritation when someone has a firm opinion about our art that is something less than “WOW! YOU’RE AWESOME!”. Sometimes, a full blown ego gasket pops and it’s all downhill from there.
This is normal and something to try not to take too hard. Who knows why your art wasn’t well received? Taste, style, genre, hair style and my favorite scapegoat, jealousy. In the end, regardless how I try to justify why someone didn’t like something all the accountability falls back to me with one question, “Did I sound the way I intended to?”. Yup, we must face the fact that we cannot satisfy 100% of the people 100% of the time. Also, we must recognize that we can always...
Let me start this blog off by saying, it’s a bit long. So if you’re in the mood, grab a cup of coffee and lets dig in.
Okay, the internet is loaded with “what is a professional musician?” blogs, forums, etc etc. The tone of these often times bring to the surface good discussion and sometimes controversy.
Let us first take the big picture look here.
The Starving Artist
If you’re a musician you’re an artist. Welcome to a bitter sweet world filled with passion, competition, a lot of loose rules, a lot of opinions and some fragile egos. How come you never see a movie about a starving Doctor? He’s couch surfing from place to place, just waiting for the right place to apply his skills, borrowing money from friends, maybe a bit behind on a shower and more often than not lost in day dream and refusing to give up his passion. Society generally sees him as a mooch...
So the bass is what is known as a “chromatic” instrument. What an instrument means to be chromatic, is each note has it’s own little permanent home on the bass. Pick a string and fret, now move up or down one fret. This movement of one fret up or down is a difference called a “semitone”.
Okay, so this one little motion has a whole new meaning to a lot of players out there. This is often explained as a half step. Although, correct more often than not, pausing there really keeps hidden some of the magic the bass brings to the voice of a song. Let’s grab our magic wands and investigate two of them.
The Jazz Note (oops)
Now, if you’re like me, you’ve hit a note wrong maybe once…