HLBM 20: Notes on the A-String – Ex 29 & 30
So I grabbed wifey from the train a few hours ago, after her thing at Hunter College. Apparently, hers was one of a group of papers presented by the Anthropology department. Most of the others were physical anthro. Hers is cultural anthro. But, anyway, to make a long story short – at the end of the night, she came back with a prize. Her presentation was selected as the best one of the night. Most of the others dealt with things like variations in the chemical makeup of lemur droppings after some sort of stimulus (I’m assuming its a social stimulus, as this is anthropology, but I’m confused because I thought that anthro was specifically about human beings) and other things of that nature. Hers was about women in extreme metal in the NYC-metro area. Similar studies have been done in areas like Texas and England, but none in NY. Anyway, she got the prize – which in this case was an Amazon gift card. So, yay. 😉
Later on, after the baby was put to bed, we watched episodes 7 & 8 of Daredevil. It really is fantastic. Its interesting to me, to see how they delve into the backstories of Matt Murdock and of Wilson Fisk, in particular, but I’ll write about that elsewhere, if I have time. This is about bass.
I feel pretty good. I got in a good amount of practice earlier tonight. The baby was on the computer, watching her videos, and I was next to her, focusing on 2 exercises in the Hal Leonard Bass Method – exercises 29 & 30 in the Notes on the A String section.
In my previous post, I mentioned that shifting and changing strings for those exercises was throwing me off, as I kept looking at the fretboard and not the notes in front of me. Well, I’m an idiot, and I fixed it, so I’m slightly less of an idiot now. We don’t need to shift position to complete those exercises, and they can be done using 1-2-4 fingering.
I had been working on the shifting exercises (21 – 23) before moving onto 29 & 30, and the B & C notes on the A-string are on the 2nd & 3rd frets, respectively, so I had been playing from 2nd position, because somewhere in my head, I must have jumbled together some exercises. Anyway – both can be completed using 1-2-4 fingering from 1st position with no shifting.
How do I know? Because as soon as I finished that previous post, the first thing I did was complete exercise 29 from 1st position without shifting. It took me a second to realize what I’d done, and then I had to recheck it a few times before clenching so I didn’t teach the baby that its ok to drop a bomb on the carpet.
Then, I did it with exercise 30, or Cattle Crossing. So, both exercises are complete and repeatable and I can now turn the page and go on to the next lesson. 😉 I’ll do that later in the day though. For now, I just wanted to get this out so I can unclench a little.
Also, I was reading an interesting thread on Talkbass about sight-reading. The thread is from a new bassist who wanted information about learning to sight read. MalcolmAmos, as usual, had a great reply in it. It was about the distinction about reading music and sight-reading, which I think is important to know:
How to read music and how to sight read are two different things. Sight read implies… the ability to read standard notation sheet music fast enough so you can play from that sheet music and keep up with the tempo – i.e. the music does not go off and leave you.
He goes into it more in his reply, but one of the important things that he said was, “Take some sheet music with you and read every chance you have.” That’s interesting to me, because I’ve been doing that. I have the Hal Leonard book downstairs on my music stand. Its what I use to practice. Upstairs, I also have a PDF copy on my tablet. I re-read the lessons, particularly the notation, before bed pretty frequently. There are nights when I don’t practice, like the past 3, but in which I read instead, and its helping. I can pretty fluidly read the notes on the E and A strings that have been given to me so far. Maybe its just those exercises, but regardless, seeing it has helped cement it into the block of my head and its also helping me to visualize it and play it on the fretboard. Of course, I’m still doing it best when maintaining a single position, but with enough practice shifting positions, I’m certain that the neck will open up to me. Yay. 😉
[edit 11.15.15] Here’s a recording of the Notes on the A-String exercises: