A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

HLBM 27: More Notes on the A-String – Roll It

I dusted off my old 4-string, tuned it up and used it for practice tonight. The fretted 6-string is hanging on the wall in the living room. Its been months since I took the 4-string down to give it any love, and its a fun change, like always, to play it again. The neck is so small compared to the 6, and it feels so light. I’m able to maneuver on it quicker, and don’t have the additional strings on the top and bottom to take into account when practicing.

That said, I miss having a low B, even if I don’t use it for much other than positional exercises at this point. Also, this is my 27th post working through the Hal Leonard Bass Method, and I’m only on the first 4 frets on the A-string. I guess I’ll find out if slow and steady really wins the race.

I ran through all of the E and A-string exercises, up to 34, on the 4-string. They didn’t give me any problems until 33 and 34.

Exercise 33 is [A-B] [C-C#] [C#-B] [A-B] [A]. In that 3rd bar, I kept forgetting and playing it as [C#-C], because my hand keeps thinking I’m moving down 1 fret at a time and because we play that in 2nd position, and I’m used to my 2nd finger being on the B, from 1st position.

Ex. 34,

Ex. 34, “Roll It,” with the finger info removed – from More Notes on the A String (pg. 21)

Exercise 34 is that Roll It song. I used the copy of the exercise I made without the fingers specified above the measures. This way, I’d have to read it instead of cheating and just looking at which finger to use. I can generally make it through the first 7 bars before messing up. I played it using the CD track a few times, and found that since the pattern repeats in every bar, all I have to do is read the 1st note of each bar, to situate myself, and then I’m able to make it through – but this is kind of like cheating, to me.

I read every note in the first 4 bars, but once I get to the 5th bar, I start going on autopilot, and just using the 1st note to orient myself. When I move from C to Bb in bars 7 and 8, I stall out about half of the time.

I think I’m going to just read the notation to myself a few times when my head is more clear, to make sure that I’m really reading the notes. Having sharps, flats and the natural sign – all in consecutive bars – throws me, so I think I need to iron it out before moving on and getting to an exercise that adds in another string or something.

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

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3 responses

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

  2. Pingback: Catching back up | Ugly Bass Face

  3. Pingback: HLBM (31-35) More Notes on the A-String recordings | Ugly Bass Face

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