A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Unorthodox Instructionals Part 4: Change The Way You Hear Music

This fourth post from Tom Kenrick’s blog about unique books that many bassists would not have considered for study shares two books that helped him with ear training, which coincidentally, seems to be an important element in the Coursera online class I’ve been taking. In this post, Tom relates how, after suffering from tendonitis and having to cut down his physical practice time, “For roughly 18 months the vast majority of my practising revolved around ear training exercises and transcriptions.” He worked through Ron Gorow’s Hearing and Writing Music and then, more recently, Ran Blake’s Primacy Of The Ear. Working through the first book gave him mastery over hearing and transcribing intervals, which of course is vital to accurately conveying music. The second one provided him with a process or methodology with what to do with the material he had worked on in the first book.

Both of these sound very useful to me – I’m especially intrigued by what the 2nd book might offer, and I think I understand the benefits of the first one, both to hearing and to transcription. As an aside, I grabbed a copy of The Advancing Guitarist, based on Tom’s recommendation, and read through a bit of the beginning while waiting to grab the wife and her friend from yoga class last week. Its utterly fascinating. In the first 23 pages, he discussed things about mastery over single strings, argued about harmony, melody and counterpoint, and gave practice hints that really awed me. He’s like the Tesla of guitar, but spoken by Dr. House, M.D. I’ve been going through bits of it here and there, and after my Coursera thing is over, reviewing it in more detail is one of the top things on my list to do – so, thanks Tom for the fantastic recommendation!

2 responses

  1. Pingback: Ear Training: How to Play What You Hear in Your Head | Ugly Bass Face

  2. Pingback: The Five Music Theory Books that Most Influenced Adam Neely | Ugly Bass Face

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