A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

I’m starting that IIB class on Monday (and I’m sick)

In two days I’m going to start that Music Theory for Bass online class at the International Institute of Bassists (IIB). More information about them can be found on two of my previous blog entries:

I’ve been sick for the past week, so I’ve not practiced much. Most of the times that I tried, I lasted about 10 minutes and then ended up laid-out. Of course, work consumed most of my energy even before I tried to practice every night. Still, I’m excited to begin and I really hope that I have this head cold or whatever it is beaten down a bit before I start.

I know I’ve not been posting up much in the way of practice or theory articles for the past few weeks. After I wrote that article about the modes of the major scale and then discussed it with the folks on TalkBass, I thought that I needed to reevaluate what I’d written and maybe approach it anew. I’m not completely sure about that anymore. This blog documents everything I get right as well as wrong, so I’ll likely follow up with some shorter articles about each of the modes of the major scale soon (just because learning the basic patterns is easy) and something more axplanatory (in terms of theory) later.

I was actually in contact with a TB member named jsbachonbass who provided me with a document that he wrote when he was studying the modes. Its similar to something I made, but he spelled out the modes, in relation to each other, in a different way. Its something I hadn’t thought of, myself. I asked and he said that I can post it up on the blog, so I’ll do that sometime soon (when I begin analyzing theory again).

Anyway, I’m going to see how much I can document my experience with IIB without giving away their class for free to the internet at large. So, expect blog entries over the next 3 months that showcase just how much I have to crawl before I can walk (on bass). In the meantime, I tried something a little different when practicing the major scale, that I thought of because of an email from jsbachonbass.

Basically, instead of playing the major scale starting on the root note (the 1) I’ve been playing it starting on the 2, and then on the 3, and so on. I think it is the modes. I’ll ponder that when I’m more clear-headed though. So, if anyone else wants to practice it like that, this is what it looks like:

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 <– start with the regular one, like C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C
2-3-4-5-6-7-8-1 <– next start in on the 2nd note, like D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D
3-4-5-6-7-8-1-2 <– then on the 3rd note, like E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E
4-5-6-7-8-1-2-3 <– then the 4th, and so on…

Count the notes out loud by number. Remember, 8 is the octave. It makes you kind of look at the scale pattern a little differently, as you’re not starting on the root. I’m sure that this has implications later on down the road, theorywise, but I don’t know what those are yet.

I’m just using C major as an example so I don’t have to write out sharps or flats. Basically, play the pattern anywhere you want on the fretboard, but begin and end on a higher scale degree every time. As a warm-up, it wore me out quickly. I blame that on my compromised condition right now though. I’ve not been able to last more than a few minutes.

Ok. I’m off again. I might call out of work tomorrow. I have a boatload of client stuff to go through, but 6 days a week is rough when you’re not well. And, on top of that, I’m editing papers for wifey. Speaking of which, she mentioned me in a blog post of her own. Its music-related, so I’ll probably post a link to it separately.


One response

  1. Pingback: Quick finger exercise for ring, middle & pinkie fingers « Ugly Bass Face

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