A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Archive for April, 2012

Mother Man exercise

I’ve not been practicing as much as I need to recently… that a trend that’s lasted about 4 1/2 months. Last night, while wifey was at class (she’s juggling our first pregnancy, a new job and her 2nd master’s at the same time – yesterday I had to cook for myself and find my own socks!), I decided that if I’m not going through the IIB stuff regularly, or any other material, I’d at least do something short and get some exercise out of it.

Well, over the last year, I’ve found that Roger Patterson (RIP) from Atheist is fast becoming my favorite bassist. I’m a huge fan of Alex Webster, Steve DiGiorgio and Jeroen Thesseling, but Patterson has been quietly and posthumously climbing past them. I’ve been driving with the remastered Unquestionable Presence (among some other CDs) since at least last summer and still can’t stop playing it. His fingerstyle playing just blows me away. Its such a tragedy to the bass world that he died so young. I read somewhere that someone basically said that he was the extreme metal equivalent of Cliff Burton, and I’m inclined to agree with that assessment. He has so much feeling in his playing, yet makes it fit into a metal context. Its been about 20 years since he was killed in an accident, and I’ve only now begun to grasp at his proficiency and really hear what he was playing. I love his style.

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Syncopation on bass – videos

Yesterday, I posted an entry about syncopation, after reading a thread about it on TalkBass. Afterward, I checked Youtube for some video examples and found a few interesting ones, including explanations and exercises on the subject.

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Here’s a syncopation exercise from a British bassist named Yolanda Charles. She uses counting to show how mixing up what beat a note is played on can be used to determine if a rhythm is syncopated.

Yolanda Charles and Phil Gould: Bass Syncopation Exercise

Here’s a blurb about Yolanda from her Myspace site:
I am a musician who has worked as a bass player in the music industry since my 1st ‘session’ for Jimmy Sommerville back in 1989. I then went on to work for Artists such as Marcella Detriot, KD Lang, Paul Weller, Roddy Frame, Carleen Anderson, Robbie Williams, Dave Stewart, Mick Jagger and BB King. I’m working as a songwriter most of the time these days.

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Syncopation on bass

So, wifey and I went for the anmiocentesis on Thursday last week. Its a girl! We’re not doing pink. My baby is going to be scarier than that. 😉 Today’s wifey’s first day at her new job as well. She’s at Columbia University now. If time and energy permit, I’m curious about music classes there… but that’s something for the future. I still need to work through all of the IIB lessons still.

Anyhow. I was between client calls and emails, so I snuck off and grabbed some food. Breakfast is a novelty to me. While I ate, I read a post on Talkbass about syncopation. I found it really interesting, especially two posts. One explains syncopation in terms of the downbeat and the space between downbeats (or upbeat). The other offers an exercise with some information about what you’re gaining through unconscious cognition and how it translates to rhythmic fluency.

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