A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

HLBM 01: Open String Exercises

Snippet from Open-String Exercises (pg. 12)

Snippet from Open-String Exercises (pg. 12)

Ok, so I restarted the Hal Leonard Bass Method (HLBM) this AM. I originally started using it 4 years ago but got sidetracked somehow. Not this time though. I didn’t focus too much on the initial stuff (parts of the bass, how to use an amp, tuning, sitting position & standing position). Instead, I went to the musical symbol section and reviewed it, since I know that the book is going to get me reading.

The section I looked at went over the staff, bass clef, what letters the lines and spaces correspond to, what a measure is, different types of bar lines and time signature. Basically, what we see structurally when we look at a sheet of music. Then, it said that we’re going to look at 3 notes for this part of the method – the quarter note, half note and whole note. So, its actually not a ton of stuff to worry about. I think what its going to do is ingrain this into my head and hands with repetition.

With the notation review out of the way, I skipped over right and left hand technique (alternating fingers for the picking hand and 1-2-4 fingering for those lower frets to keep from hurting the hand – basically Simandl technique) and using a pick/plectrum. I’m going to go with my fingers for now, as its what I prefer. I’ll see about using a pick eventually. I went right to the open-string exercises.

This time around, I’m using the Korg Beat Boy as a metronome. I have it set to pattern 2, which is a simple bass/snare pattern and have the tempo slow, at 60 BPM. I remember reading over at StudyBass that we should generally practice using legato technique, which basically means to sustain the notes and let them ring until we play the next one – playing them long instead of short. So, that’s what I’m doing. I don’t generally practice with a metronome, but since Ed’s method is going to focus on reading, and that means timing and rhythm, I’m incorporating it to keep myself moving at the right speed.

The 1st 4 exercises were straightforward. They’re open-string exercises on all 4 strings (I’m doing it on a 6-string, so I’m ignoring the low B and high C strings for now). Just like the book said, the only notes I’ve come across are quarter, half and whole. Each string gets its own exercise, so the only thing to really pay attention to is the note value.

Starting with the 5th exercise, we begin to incorporate other strings. I’ll tackle that one later today. Here’s how I fared with this part of the book 4 years ago:

And here’s a link to the other posts about the book:

[edit 11.15.15] Here’s a recording of the open string exercises:

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2 responses

  1. Pingback: Hal Leonard Bass Method (Ed Friedland) index | Ugly Bass Face

  2. Pingback: HLBM (1-9) Open String Exercises recordings | Ugly Bass Face

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