A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

HLBM 19: Notes on the A-String

Didn’t practice for the past 3 nights. This is going to sound absurd, but we ran to Carvel with the baby on Sunday, since I didn’t have to meet for work. I grabbed a chocolate-chip mint cup and shared it with her. Wifey had a chocolate hazelnut cup. Anyway, I’m lactose intolerant. I don’t generally eat ice cream, but it was a nice day, and we were planning to head out to St. Vitus in Brooklyn again that night to see Castrator, this all-female death metal band that wifey’s been in contact with for about a year. She interviewed some of them last year for her women in NY’s extreme metal scene work.

So, we get back home. The baby loved the new flavor, which I haven’t had in like 20-something years and was my favorite when I was a kid. Then it hits my stomach and I’m doubled-over for the rest of the night. I was also wiped out for the next two days with on-and-off stomach pains and residual nonsense from being sick last week. It only got a little better last night, and today I think I’m ok again.

Chocolate chip mint FTW... or maybe To The Pain...

Chocolate chip mint FTW… or maybe To The Pain…

But yeah, I need to really consider lactase pills again for this stuff, but we kind of decided to go on the spur, after leaving the pharmacy with wifey’s meds and a little bouncy-ball for the baby. It didn’t help that we got ticketed Saturday night/Sunday AM coming back from that other show at River Roadhouse. I wasn’t able to take care of those until Monday, because the mechanic was closed on Sunday, along with all of the nearby ones, so we missed Castrator. The ticket for the passenger-side headlight was dismissed since I fixed it. The inspection wasn’t though. I’ll hear from them tomorrow. It might be as much as $140. Bleh.

We also watched the first 6 episodes of Daredevil from Marvel/Netflix last night. It lives up to the hype. I never saw the movie – and refuse to do so – so the only thing I have to compare it with is the comics, which I read up until I graduated high school in 1993. It’s a great adaptation. Very Miller-esque. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest.

Ok. So, wifey didn’t go to work today. She’s presenting her women in extreme metal stuff to a group at Hunter College and won’t be back until like 10 tonight. I left the baby outside with the grandparents, because its a nice day out, and I finally got to pick up the bass again.

I ran through all of the E-string stuff and was pretty surprised that I could read it and play it flawlessly – both the initial stuff and the stuff with the accidentals. That’s exercises 10 – 20. The shifting stuff, exercises 21 – 23, still comes slow if I use 1-2-4 fingering, but is perfectly fine with 1-finger-per-fret, so that hasn’t changed at all.

Snippet from Notes on the A String (pg. 19)

Snippet from Notes on the A String (pg. 19)

On the A-string, exercises 24-28 are fine. So, that’s the exercises and the 2 song snippets. 29 slows me down because it incorporates notes on both the E and A strings. I’m ok with the first 4 bars which just go E-F-G-A-B-C-B-A, but when the next 4 start, I slow down because I end up looking at the neck and then have to quickly find my place in the notation again. This is where it moves down and goes G-A-G-F-F-E-F-F-E.

Moving from the open-A to the G and then the F makes me look at the fretboard, because I’m trying to use the 1-2-4 fingering. I’m sure that 1-finger-per-fret would simplify it because all of the exercise would be in a single position. I don’t think its the point of the exercise though. So, more bleh.

I tried exercise 30 as well. Its an 8-bar song snippet called Cattle Crossing and is little all-over-the-place since it uses notes on both strings, including an F#. I don’t feel its rhythm in the last 2 bars, so it throws me off. i just listened to the track on the CD though, so that might help me with it later.

Ok. So, while I was writing, the baby came back in. I changed her and she’s had her bottle, but she also took over the desktop. I’m on the laptop now. So, while she watches her shapes and letters videos, I’m going to practice more.

[edit 11.15.15] Here’s a recording of the Notes on the A-String exercises:

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2 responses

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

  2. Pingback: HLBM (24-30) Notes on the A-String recordings | Ugly Bass Face

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