A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Practice: 11/22/15 – HLBM 37 (Analysis)

I’ve been warming up with a descending 4-3-2-1 pattern starting with my pinkie finger on the 12th fret. Its because the fret spaces are smaller the higher up the neck we go, so it lets me gradually move towards wider-spaced frets as I warm up. Its basically 12-11-10-9 from the low string to the high one, then 11-10-9-8 from the high to the low, and so on. So, it goes across strings, in an up-and-down way and progresses down the fretboard until we end up with our fingers on the first 4 frets.

After that, I actually do continue with just my pinkie, ring & middle, then pinkie & ring, and finally just the pinkie on the 1st fret. I’ve noticed that those fingers have a tough time in the first few frets because I never use them there – that’s the domain of my index and middle fingers usually. It takes about 5 mins to do at whatever speed I’m doing it on the 6-string fretted bass, sans metronome.

I also worked through the exercises in the HLBM that gave me trouble last week, before moving on to new territory. That’s been going well. Repetition has improved how I’m playing them. After running the two 12-bar blues exercises, I started looking at ex. 37 (A Little Heavy) and tried to figure out what scale went along with it, based on its notes in the score.

It starts on F#, which is also the note that begins 1/2 of the 12 bars, so I took that to be the tonal center. I think that also makes sense considering its a 12-bar blues, which tend to begin on the tonal center. However, things immediately got hairy for me when I plotted out the notes in a major scale beginning on F#.

Scale degree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Frets to move 0 2 2 1 2 2 2 1
Note name F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#

Here’s the thing. In a regular (diatonic) scale, we can only have each letter appear once. So, only one kind of A, one kind of B, and so on. If there’s an A, there can’t be an A# or an Ab. So, the notes in scale above are probably right. However, in the score, there’s no E# anywhere. E# is actually F.

I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, but I’m going to try and figure it out. If it boggles my mind too much, I’ll see it the Talkbass oracles can imbue me with a drop of their wisdom so that this makes more sense. I think, ultimately, I just have to play an F, but if I were to think about it in terms of theory, I’d think of it as an E#. That’s kind of a pain in the deep vacuum of my nether region, but the theory part is more for analysis that practical usage (at least at this point).

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2 responses

  1. Pingback: Practice: 11/22/15 – HLBM 37 (Analysis 2) | Ugly Bass Face

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

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