A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Posts tagged “D-Lite

Practice: 12/08/15 – HLBM 42 & 45

HLBMRan through the whole HLBM book until ex. 45 again. 42 (D-Lite) stalled me again until I listened to the track. For some reason, the notes just don’t come together in my head until I’ve heard the track. Maybe its a country thing? I don’t know. The notation should transcend that. I just don’t feel that particular exercise at all.

45 is also giving me pause. Its the new finger shifting one, on the D-string, with sharps, flats and specific fingers on specific frets. I have to break it into smaller chunks and tackle it that way. But, its nearly 5:00 PM now, so I’m going to break and hang out with the baby until its time to get the wife from the train. She has some piano-ing to do.

Practice: 12/04/15 – HLBM 42

I practiced a bit this AM. Warming up took me about 15 mins, with the two exercises I’ve been running. I’m doing them across all 6 strings, not just the 4 that I posted earlier in the week, so its a little more tiring. I understand now how some people have warm-ups that are like 30 mins. Its really about the exercises you do, even though I’m only doing a single run of each, together, they take a chunk of time.

Anyhow, after that, I ran ex. 42 in the Hal Leonard book again, to see how I’m doing, and its smoother than when I last posted it. So, I’m getting it under my fingers. I’m trying to think of that whole thing differently now as well.

Previously, I fretted about memorizing exercises from the book because I want to use them as reading exercises, but I watched a video from Scott Devine about learning licks, and how they become part of our voice. I’m trying to think of it like that – if I physically memorize a sequence of some sort, then for the time that it remains in my tenuous memory, its part of my repertoire of “licks”. Moving along a few pages in the book will probably work it out of memory again.

Anyway, this is how it sounds now, as opposed to how it sounded a few days ago.

Practice: 12/02/15 – HLBM 42

I did it. I played through ex. 42 from the notation – not from memory or even using the scale degrees that I was looking at yesterday. I’m going to run it more later tonight, but tomorrow, I can go on to the next page and see what fresh horror awaits me.

I’m 2 days behind where I thought I’d be. The rest of the book wasn’t much of a problem – but this exercise really beat me up. Hopefully whatever’s coming won’t do so as much.


Practice: 12/01/15 – HLBM 42 (Analysis) & bassline thoughts

I was going through ex. 42 (D-Lite) in the HLBM yesterday and got curious. I wanted to know what key it was in, and if there was an easier way to play it, although I’m still making myself do it from 1st or 2nd position, which is what we’re currently using in the book. I was fairly certain that its in D-major because the exercises in this lesson focus on the D-string. But, I wanted to know where the notes fall in the D-major scale.

So, I ended up counting the notes to get a tally of how often each appeared in the exercise, in case that became important. After analysis, I don’t think the frequency is what’s important. I think that each note’s position, and thus, role, in the song or exercise is.

There are only 5 notes in the exercise. This revelation should make it easier for me to play, conceptually, because it narrows down the number of notes I have to remember. I didn’t think about taking note of the actual number of different notes in a given exercise before. The notes are A, B, C#, D and E.

1. D major

I ended up writing out the D-major scale and highlighting the notes. They’re all in the actual scale – no chromatic notes. I believe that this means they’re diatonic. Here they are:

Scale degree: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Note name: D E F# G A B C# D
Frets/steps: 2 2 1 2 2 2 1

So, we can see that by scale degrees, we’re only using the 1, 2, 5, 6 & 7. Three of those are chord tones – the 1 (D), 5 (A) and 7 (C#). Two of them are passing tones 2 (E) and 6 (B). This was interesting to me because it let me look at something else – where were we using chord tones and when weren’t we? How did we transition from one chord tone to the next? This let me begin to understand their functions.

Also, with this exercise, I noticed that there are a lot of “waves” where what we play climbs up and then back down, with regard to notes/tones.

Here’s the exercise with the scale degrees painted on. This is in D-major:

HLBM42 - D-Lite (Dmaj degrees).jpg

Ex. 42 (D-Lite) using D-major scale degrees


Practice: 11/29/15 – HLBM 42

In Soviet Russia

I made some progress with the dreaded ex. 42 in the HLBM. It wasn’t the way I intended though. I tried running the exercise by reading it, but was getting nowhere. I kept making mistakes. So, I tried to play along with the track again, to give myself some audible cues. Well, I didn’t do so well there this time either. I kept frazzling my B’s and D’s.

So, I just ran it by ear. Surprisingly, I got it. Then I did it again… and again. I mess up a little bit with it on some runs, but for the most part, I can play it through by ear and memory, but not by reading the notation. Two steps forward. You know how it goes.

I’m gonna get this via notation. I have to break, run out and get my brother-in-law home before Walking Dead starts, but when I return, if the baby doesn’t jump me, I’m going to go at it again.

Practice: 11/28/15 – HLBM 42 (2)

Ok. Its 8 AM now. I’m not sure why this particular exercise is so hard for me, even after I’ve eliminated the chord symbols from above the notation (they weren’t starting on the root and were really throwing me off). I’ve made some progress though. I acquiesced and listened to the CD track, instead of just playing it from the notation. The thought was that at my level, hearing the music the way its supposed to sound might help me connect the notes or phrases in a meaningful way so I could play through it.

It mostly worked.

After listening to the track twice and then just playing an open string on each note to get myself used to the rhythm at whatever tempo it’s being played at, I attempted it a few times with the CD and made some good headway. There are times when I hit the wrong note and either lost my place and had to start over, or was able to recover with the next note or jump back in on the next bar and then continue.

This is interesting to me because it also means that if I’m not frazzled by screwing up, I can continue on without starting over – although that’s not consistent yet. For some reason, the D note, in particular, is throwing me off more than the others. I’m trying to read ahead and I’m mostly saying the note names aloud, which helps me hit the right one, but its going to take more practice.

This is the exercise I stopped at when I was last going through the HLBM. Also – its a country song.

HLBM42 - D-Lite (no chords)

HLBM Exercise 42: D-LITE, with no chord notation

Practice: 11/28/15 – HLBM 42

So I got up at 3 AM and wasted 45 mins on Facebook looking at what people ate to wrap-up their Thanksgivings. After that, I brushed and toyed with the idea of stuffing my face. Instead, I stared at the note names for the spaces and then the lines on the bass staff for a while and then warmed up and tackled ex. 42 in the HLBM again. I used my edit that doesn’t have the chord names.

I’m able to make it through 6 bars now. That’s everything except for the 2 endings. Yep – that’s a new thing introduced with this exercise: 1st and 2nd endings. I’d kind of have preferred 1st and 2nd helpings instead, and I’d have taken leftovers over standard notation, but, that’s not going to teach me how to read music, so I went with the road less-traveled.

Anyhow. Its 4:45 AM now. Everyone else is sleeping. I’m going to break and eat something after all. I don’t want any of the food to go bad and, uh… breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Here’s some of what I’ll be staring at while I chew: