I just watched a really interesting video from Scott’s Bass Lessons – this one was from Toronto bassist Rich Brown. In it, Rich took a simple bass lick made up of the first 4 notes of the G minor pentatonic scale and showed how, by simply playing it starting on a different beat, it becomes a different bassline, sonically. The notes are all the same, although he changes from playing them long (legato) to short (staccato); but the sound and because of that, the notes he uses in fills to connect bars, completely change simply due to starting one 16th note later.
Towards the last minute of the video, he moves the line forward one additional 16th note, and again, it completely transforms. This is a fascinating phenomenon to me. It shows how any bassline, even if its played in nearly the same way, effectively has 16 variations that substantially alter how its heard, just by starting it on a different subdivision of the beat.
Also – I love his bass tone. What he’s playing is apparently called an F-bass, and the 5-string version costs about $4,000!
Here’s a video from Scott Devine, of Scott’s Bass Lessons, that has an ear-training exercise for bassists – although it can probably be used with most instruments. It basically calls for the person practicing ear-training to sing solfege or just sing something in the same pitch as the interval that’s being played. The video focuses on notes of the major scale, but it can, obviously, be altered to any scale, and any pitch or tone.
I’m glad that Scott’s about as good a singer as I probably am, which means I’ll have to practice this in my closet at night through a handkerchief, and its fun to hear that his wife actually IS a singer. That Coursera course that I’m about halfway through now has included ear training for 2 intervals each week for the past 3 weeks now. I haven’t gotten to watch the Lesson 4 videos yet, so I don’t know if it will continue. We covered Major 2nds & 3rds in Week 1, Perfect 4ths & 5ths in Week 2 and then Major 6ths and 7ths in Week 3. I don’t see any intervals in the Lesson 4 titles.