A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

HLBM 28: More Notes on the A-String – Roll It

bosch music tortureIts 4:00 AM. I’ve been working on exercise 34 – Roll It – in the HLBM. I’m getting it, but I’m playing it really, really slowly. So slowly, in fact, that its like I started the exercise yesterday, took a break to shower, and then finished playing it a little while ago. If I were using the metronome, it would have been in beats per hour, not minute.

I’m a little worried that I’m only making it through because I’ve memorized the pattern of the exercise. I’ve been saying the notes out loud as I play them, but for the most part, sharps, flats and anything with a natural sign are slowing me down. I know that I need to associate them with the natural note in my head and then just flatten or sharp them on the fly, but for some reason, its not connecting in the noodle for this exercise.

Part of me also just says to move onto the next one, because the more I see those notes in other exercises, the more they’re going to get reinforced anyway, then I can come back, after leveling up and truly defeat this boss.

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

11 responses

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

  2. I remember those 4 AM sessions when I was learning guitar. Thing is, learning about something takes time and it takes time to make all those connection in that noodle of ours. I typically remembered a few days later what I was learning a few days before. Then, it felt like instinct. Keep at it, it’s amazing what you’ll learn when slow and easy is the pace to take during these early morning sessions.

    April 26, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    • vishalicious

      I’m a little slower than I should be though, because my sleeping habits are really bad. Since I was a little kid, I’ve struggled to get regular rest.

      Hopefully though, the repetition does work and it all comes together in time for me to be able to play with the baby when she’s big enough to pick up drums. 😉

      April 26, 2015 at 11:06 pm

  3. I’m far from an expert, but I do know that with bass (and anything) starting super slow is always the way to go! Also I believe there’s nothing wrong with learning by patterns, as long as you are aware that you are doing so. It is a good foundation for an exercise, but yes we gotta be careful with them.

    April 29, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    • vishalicious

      I don’t want to lock myself into pattern playing, but at the stage I’m in, I think its just part of the experience. I mostly know scales and chords by patterns, not truly by formula or note name.

      With the exercise in the HLBM though, I’m more concerned because my goal is to learn to read, not to necessarily memorize exercises. I think a little of both is happening though, because when I play through old exercises, I also know them on some level. I can remember how they’re supposed to sound and also know the notes well enough to reach for them without fully reading the notation.

      April 29, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      • Oh cool. That is the major mistake I made when I was younger learning – I hated reading music so I kind of skipped past notation reading! I can read the rest of it, but have relied on my ear for the past 9 years…need to go back to basics and learn I think!

        April 30, 2015 at 6:12 am

      • vishalicious

        Playing by your ears is a fantastic skill to have. I need to do a lot of ear training still. Reading notation isn’t as hard as I thought it was. The HLBM in particular makes it easy to learn in small steps. The hard part is doing it quickly enough to sight read. I’m hoping that in a year, I can look back at this and laugh a little at how far I’ve come. 😉

        April 30, 2015 at 9:13 am

  4. It is one thing I have been particularly proud of – my skills in playing by ear. But I just started working towards my grade 8 bass exam and my lack of notation training is certainly a challenge. Yet the pieces for me are more than manageable, just very fast! I am moving to Australia soon and I plan to take my exam there and then teach basic Bass guitar to pupils. Can you tell me more about this HLBM please?

    May 1, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    • vishalicious

      HLBM is short for Hal Leonard Bass Method. Its 3 books that were written by Ed Friedland. He’s a great bass educator. I have the Complete Edition, which is all 3 books, and 3 CD’s, in a spiral-bound volume.

      Basically, it teaches you how to play bass in small increments, and starts you off with reading. I’ve been working through it for the past few weeks, but I’ve been doing it really slowly compared to a lot of other people.

      Ed Friedland has written a lot of great bass books. I have a bunch of them, because I’m an idiot who also buys a lot of bass and music theory stuff instead of completing any of them – which I’m trying to remedy with this one.

      You should go to Amazon and search his name. The book will come up, along with other stuff he’s written. If you go to Talkbass.com and search for his name or for the book, you’ll see a lot about it there as well. Its highly-regarded by both bassists and instructors.

      May 1, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    • vishalicious

      Also, good luck with your exams and with Australia. My wife spent some time down there and loved it.

      May 1, 2015 at 11:55 pm

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

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