A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Posts tagged “Music Theory for Bass

IIB Week 2 – Lesson #2 (Primary Triads)

So, I missed this week’s Monday night chat with Cliff Engel and the other students taking classes at IIB. I was editing wifey’s Afrobeat/Black Metal paper. I did grab all of the course materials for the week though, and started looking over them two nights ago. This week’s focus is on triads. The lesson overview says that we’ll go over the following:

  • Triads
  • Triad Sequences
  • Triad Cells
  • Signs & Terms
  • Note Studies – Open Strings – 3rd Fret
  • Rhythm Studies – Whole, Half, Quarter & Eighth Notes
  • Ear Training – Triads

The text in the 2nd opening paragraph says the following:

In our second lesson, we are going to discuss the primary triads. We will study a collection of the most common articulation markings, signs, symbols, dynamics, and terms found in music notation. We will also begin working through a series of note and rhythm recognition exercises to increase the proficiency of your sight reading skills.

Some of this is material I’m a little familiar with. I’ve been practicing chords and scales with some regularity. There is material that I’ve read about but not practiced yet though, like chord inversions. I’m not familiar with sequences yet, but I suspect that they’re related to the major and minor scale sequences that I saw in Bass Guitar Exercises for Dummies. The lessons are a little different from what I’ve been practicing though. The pattern I’ve been practicing for minor triads is different from the one in the lesson. Just like I had a Major Scale Pattern #2, what’s presented is basically a pattern based on something like a Minor Scale Pattern #2.

Here’s a little more detail on some of the week’s lessons.


IIB Week 1 – Lesson #1 (Introduction)

So, last night at 10 PM, Lesson #1 of Music Theory for Bass became available for download from the International Institute of Bassists (IIB). I didn’t realize this until later in the night, as I was editing a paper for wifey on Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection by Anna Tsing.

The initial lesson is made up of 8 PDF files. I logged into the IIB website at around 1 AM and grabbed them. These files have the following titles:

  1. Lesson #1
  2. A Guide to Practicing
  3. Notes on the E, A, D & G Strings
  4. A Guide to Notation
  5. Notes & Rest Values
  6. Intervals
  7. Relative Pitch Ear Training
  8. Lesson #1 Quiz

I’ll go over each of these a little during the week in separate blog posts. I’m not sure how detailed I’ll be about content, as I don’t want to give away IIB’s class. Tonight, at 10 PM (EST), there’s an optional chatroom meeting/discussion which I’d like to attend. Following is a summary of my thoughts on the sections of the first document (Lesson #1). Some of its parts have the same names as the 8 documents listed above, because it discusses them.


So I took the plunge…

I emailed the International Institute of Bassists last night with some questions about their courses. It mostly regarded when classes are released, whether they’re live or pre-recorded, how long we have access to materials and what kind of access we have to instructors.

I received a reply last night, but didn’t know until I checked email today. They’re fast. 😉 I’ve been emailing Cliff Engel back and forth. He’s the founder of the school, and from what I gather, the main instructor. He was polite and answered all of my questions. I didn’t realize that there was a link at the top of the page with course descriptions that leads to an FAQ, which actually answered all of my questions and then some.

Here’s what I like: