A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

More R-5-8’s

I’ve managed to get in a little practice 3 days in a row, even though its elementary stuff. I’ve been doing that R-5-8 exercise from Ed Friedland’s Building Rock Bass Lines and after running through it starting on the E and A strings, I decided to mix it up a little this AM, so I coupled them.

It had an interesting effect, physically. I basically held the same position for two repetitions, and since I moved up a string from E to A and then down a string from A to E in the same position, just playing the R-5-8, it made holding that particular shape with my hand (to reach for those notes) really important and drilled it in differently than holding the shape and moving up on a single string.

Here’s what I mean. This is the original pattern. Basically, you play the 1 (root), the 5th note and the 8 (octave). Then you move up a fret and do it in reverse, so octave, 5th, root. Then, move up and root-5th-octave, up again, octave-5th-root, and just repeat up the neck.

Once that’s done, you do it in reverse, so if you stop on the 12th fret, you then play octave-5th-root, go down a fret and do root-5th-octave, then go down a fret and do octave-5th-root, then down and root-5th-octave, and repeat until you’re back to the 1st fret.

Ed Friedland R-5-8Now this time, here’s what I did, which confused my little pea-brain for a bit until I had it worked out:

Ed Friedland R-5-8 variationSo, what I did here is play the R-5-8, then stay in the same position (don’t move up a fret). Instead, move up a string, from the E to the A string. Play the 8-5-R. THEN move up a string and repeat. The finger you’re using for the 5ths and octaves (either pinky or ring) gets used a lot.

What did I learn from this? In the mornings, moving vertically is more challenging to me than moving horizontally.


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