A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Archive for April 30, 2015

HLBM 29: More Notes on the A-String – Rolly

Practice has been a mixed bag these past few days. I didn’t actually pick up my bass on Sunday or Monday. Instead, I opted to work in the middle of the night – like I did a whole lot last year and most of the 13 or so before it. I’m trying to finish the variable & object placement for a revised Nursing Interim assessment for our software and Visual Studio has a glitch that’s causing extreme slowdown and giving me a big headache. Stuff that should take me about an hour drags out to between 3-6. It was like this with the Nursing Admission assessment as well. Those are the two biggest assessments in our system, which is part of the problem. But, anyway, whether my nonexistent dog ate my homework or not, I didn’t practice much.

On Tuesday, I got in about 10 mins. I don’t even know if that counts. I spent a lot of the evening & night with the baby though. Same with today. I’ve been taking her to the playground every day since the weather got a little better. When I try to practice, while we let her wind down with Nick Jr. on TV, she comes by a lot to help me. She’s starting to learn the names of the strings on the bass, although she falls back to calling them A-B-C-D a lot. She also likes playing them the most when I have it strapped on and I’m standing by my music stand with the Hal Leonard book in it, trying to read.

Anyway. 3 days were basically a waste, bass-wise. On the other hand, I got in a little practice tonight and ran through everything on the E and A strings again. I’m playing exercise 34, Roll It, on auto, so the notation isn’t really helping me there, since its all the same fret on different strings, to practice “rolling fingers”. I decided to move on.

The next exercise is #35 – Rolly. Thanks, Ed. I’m kind of expecting one with palm muting and drop-tuning called “Stop, Drop & Roll” somewhere down the line now. This one was a bit easier than Roll It, only because it let me read again without falling victim to having all of the notes on the same fret in different sequences and letting my fingers run on auto while my brain tied itself in loops. That’s not to say its easy though. The comment at the beginning says:

This 2nd position exercise has several string crossings (and uses Ab on the way down from open A). In measures 3 and 4 there are finger rolls between G and C.

Its not so bad, but playing Ab for the 1st time, on a fret that we haven’t used before, is interesting. Having an Ab and a G# in the same song still throws me a little, but I was able to make it through. I think in a day or so, I should have it, if I can sneak in some practice. Wifey & I have a show to go to on Saturday, and I think a baby shower next Saturday, so my weekends are getting crowded again.

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