A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Posts tagged “Soundcloud

Practice: 11/19/15 – HLBM 37

I should be sleeping… its 3 AM. I made the mistake of picking up my bass after blogging about JamKazam and wikiloops and ended up running through that blues exercise in the HLBM again. Afterward, I had to go to the next one, because I remember from before that I liked the 2nd blues exercise more – and I still do.

Here’s a quick recording of ex. 37 “A Little Heavy“. Its a 12-bar blues but there are chord changes in the 2nd and 12th bars (to B and C#, respectively). It has less notes than the previous 12-bar blues exercise, but I like the flow of it more. I think the use of space makes the notes we do play stand out more strongly.

[edit] Here’s the original post I wrote about this exercise:

Practice: 11/18/15 – HLBM 36


So, I practiced ex. 21, 22 & 23 in the HLBM for about 20 mins this AM. Interestingly, I found that when I slowed down and focused (and it wasn’t 2 or 3 AM) only one of the 3 was difficult to follow – ex.21. I think its possibly because it has 6 bars of notes, as opposed to 5 bars for the other two exercises. All of them have roughly the same number of different note symbols (around 7ish) if you look at naturals, flats and sharps. So, having a relatively clear head and one less bar of music makes a difference.

Each of these exercises is also linear – they move up a few frets and then back down again. There’s no skipping notes and no moving across strings. And, if I think about the last one as if I’m leading with my pinkie finger, it also reduces the difficulty.

Later, tonight, I warmed up with an old exercise that goes up and down the neck and then that tiny snippet from Mother Man and worked on ex. 29 & 34. I found that they’re much smoother now. However, I think I’m also starting to memorize them again. I might look at playing the bars up and down instead of left-to-right, purely as a reading exercise, but in these particular cases, I think the actual sequence of the bars is important to the exercises themselves, so it’ll be… different.

After dinner, I ran through ex. 36, which is the first of two 12-bar blues exercises. I was a little shaky at first when moving strings, especially going from G# to A between bars 4 & 5, but I mostly have it now. Bopps came in and wanted to “practice her guitar” with me, so I grabbed her little Dora the Explorer uke and was actually able to play through the 12-bar blues exercise without referencing the book while she went all pyrotechnic on her uke.


Alternatives to SoundCloud

So, I recently started recording exercises from the Hal Leonard book and random practice exercises I’m working on. Some of these are shared on the blog via SoundCloud. I started looking at it more closely though and I think there’s a limited shelf-life there for people like me.

SoundCloud has a 3 hour limit for uploads for free accounts. Its not 3 hours per month or per year. Its 3 hours in total. This means that if I keep blogging and sharing, I’ll eventually run out of “space” on SoundCloud. I can upgrade to a Pro account, which carries a monthly/yearly fee and doubles the time allotment. I can also upgrade to a Pro Unlimited account and have an unlimited upload capacity, but this also costs money.

I was looking for free options that I can use in the long term. As much as I enjoy SoundCloud, I don’t want to hit a wall where I’m unable to use it to share my progress or just share exercises. Youtube is the first alternative that comes to mind. Its free and there’s no limit to how much you can share there. However, I don’t want to share audio files using large video windows. I like SoundCloud’s option to embed a short audio player.

We can already upload audio to Youtube. It would be nice if they eventually added the option to share audio with a smaller player. I think it would actually dominate the landscape, as Youtube is the largest provider of audio and video files on the internet. We’ll see if they go in that direction at some point.

Another alternative that looks promising to me is Audiomack. Its similar to SoundCloud, but is a newer and somewhat smaller service (6M users vs 250M). The upside to it that really got my attention was that all users – even free accounts – have access to unlimited uploads and playbacks. So, in a way, it does what SoundCloud does, but with the delivery capacity of Youtube.

It sounds like a great match, but I haven’t actually tried it yet. For bloggers like myself, there’s another benefit: It integrates with WordPress, like Youtube and SoundCloud do.

So, after I try it out, I’ll report back. Criticisms that I’ve read basically say its not as friendly as SoundCloud. Development supposedly went overboard with feature-bloat, which is the opposite of SoundCloud, and it makes it harder to use, but I’ll have to see. I don’t plan on promoting myself or monetizing my practice recordings. If uploading an MP3, adding info about it and sharing it aren’t too complex, I’ll probably turn to it in the long run.

Practice: 11/17/15 – HLBM 10-35

Tonight, I worked through exercises in the Hal Leonard book again. I didn’t practice over the past 2 nights and found that I couldn’t sleep and kept getting worked up about it, so I came down at around 12:45 AM and got to it. Its after 2 AM now and I only took 1 break to read through Phil Court‘s latest blog post (holy crap, he cut off the tip of his finger on his fretting hand!) so I think my fingers are getting used to it again.

I went through exercises 10-35, which are all of the E and A string exercises. There are a few that trip me up a bit – 21, 22, 23, 29 & 34. Those first 3 are the exercises that require you to shift using a specific finger – without that constraint, its much easier to do. 29 & 34 are both exercises that use 2 strings, and I think I’m slipping up because my reading isn’t strong yet. When I’m at the end of the last measure in a row and have to go to the left and continue with the next measure, and when I’m playing notes on parallel frets like C# & G# or Bb & F, I slow down as my brain tries to confirm that I’m indeed using the same finger for both notes (and have to use that “rolling fingers” technique) as well as puzzle out the sharp or flat.

Well, I know specifically which exercises I have to drill now. I’m going to move ahead to the next page in the morning and use those 5 exercises that slow me down as my main warm-ups.

Here are some recordings of tonight’s attempts. Some of the exercises are repeated. We actually have to repeat for a few that have the colon (:) at the end of a bar, because it means “repeat”. Others are repeated because I just do that a lot when practicing.


HLBM (31-35) More Notes on the A-String recordings

Here are recordings of tonight’s exercises from the Notes on the A-String lesson from the Hal Leonard Bass Method.


HLBM (24-30) Notes on the A-String recordings

Here are recordings of tonight’s exercises from the Notes on the A-String lesson from the Hal Leonard Bass Method.


HLBM (18-23) More Notes on the E-String recordings

Here are recordings of tonight’s exercises from the More Notes on the E-String lesson from the Hal Leonard Bass Method.