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What would you guys like to see on a Hammond DVD?


Jim Alfredson

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I get asked about how to form Hammond bass lines a lot. So much so that I'm considering making a DVD about it. I thought I'd go straight to the source (ie, potential customers) and ask what you'd like to learn from a DVD about Hammond organ bass?

 

My plan is to cover three levels (beginner, intermediate, professional) of the following subjects:

 

- left hand technique and how it differs for organ bass vs. piano / synth

- bass pedal technique (Jimmy Smith method)

 

- walking bass lines

- latin bass lines

- funk bass lines

- blues bass lines

 

- hearing, constructing, playing

- pedals vs. left hand

- developing left / right hand independence

 

- examples from classic organ songs

- examples from modern players

 

 

I'm not sure when I'll have time to do it, but hopefully by the summer of next year it will be out.

 

Also, what's a reasonable price you'd expect to pay for such a DVD?

 

Thanks!

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I look at it like getting a music lesson from a pro. At the risk of sounding like a cheapskate... $40/hour would be the minimum I'd expect to pay for that.

 

So, if it's two-hour DVD, I'd expect to pay $80.

 

The hand independence stuff would be worth an entire DVD for me :)

 

Great idea!

 

-John

I make software noises.
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Another topic would be how to amplify the bass lines (through a leslie, PA, club sound system). In other words, what if any sort of separate amplification do you use for the bass component (especially if you're playing a clonewheel)...

 

aL

Gear: Yamaha MODX8, Mojo 61, NS2 73, C. Bechstein baby grand.

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The thing with pedals is I don't think you can skip over any of the most basic fundementals like you can in a normal licks style DVD because this is a non-common subject. Those who want to buy a DVD I believe will be the ones without any formal pedal training.

 

I'm just an old piano player but I think you will need to spend a decent chunk of time on things like keeping your knees together to maintain your reference, heel-toe techniques on basic scales, heel toe chromatic exercises, Circle of 5th or 4th and octave exercises just using toes. Not looking down was hard for me. Maybe sell a big pedal poster that can be placed on a wall in front of an organ to help with keeping your eyes up. I think a beginning level pedals DVD could be really cool.

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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CEB, good points but that's why I specified "bass pedal technique (Jimmy Smith method)" because you don't necessarily need proper classical pedal technique to do the Jimmy Smith thing.

 

I'm completely self-taught and I'm sure my pedal technique is not "correct" but it works very well for what I do. I do heel toe and can hit wide intervals. To me, that's just all about practice. What I was to illustrate in the video is the difference in timbre of the pedals vs left hand bass and how the two work together (again, the Jimmy Smith method). :)

 

I don't play with my knees together, btw. Never heard of that; is that a classical thing?

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- developing left / right hand independence

 

^^^^^^^^ this ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 

$80 seems high to me though, I doubt if I would pay that much. I'm not saying it wouldn't be worth it, I'm just saying you are more likely to get buyers at something like $29 or $39.

 

Whether that price lines up with your cost in a way that makes economic sense, I leave as an exercise for you... ;)

 

--Dave

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

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...I don't play with my knees together, btw. Never heard of that; is that a classical thing?

 

Yes. My teacher was a church organist. It is a general guideline that gets broken when playing the extreme ends of the pedalboard or wide intervals. It may not apply to Hammond stuff as much because I know when I am playing rock I use the expression pedal a lot. But when playing pedals with two feet I was taught that both feet move together as unit as much as possible. It is good economy of motion and it supposed to reduce the number of bad notes but .... my feet suck.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I would add a brief section on keeping one's white socks white. ;)

 

....

 

I could never play with shoes on it feels like trying to play keys while wearing hockey gloves. But Barbara Dennerlein wears shoes and her feet are amazing.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I wonder if the pedal technique should be a stand-alone DVD. Seems like a big subject, especially if starting from scratch. Also, many people would not be interested in the pedal portion, but those that are interested would likely be willing to pay extra for it. So I'd suggest 2 DVDs - at $39 each.

 

I selfishly wish you'd hurry up...

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I'll take ten!

 

Seriously though, I'd expect to pay between $15 and $39.95. I'd pay more for it if it obviously because it's YOU and I know you, but if I didn't know you, I'd think twice about dropping more than $40 on something like that.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

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I bought both of Tony M and Brian A's DVD and they sucked IMHO. They are both going at lighting speed that you can't get anything out of it other than to listen to them wank way ...

 

What I would play dearly for is some signature blue licks that I hear you play all the time (slowed down). Some of your chord overlays (run downs or ups) that you do so well over top of 1 / 4 / 5 roots. Some of your smeer tricks and syncopated chops that run up with both hand.

 

They're are lots of DVD's out there showing you how to set up your draw bars, what a Leslie is and a bunch of other stuff that I already know ... I'd like to see some chops (licks) and maybe why you are using it then.

 

And YES ... to the bass licks

 

If you did that Jim I buy ever DVD you made ... cause I LOVE your style ... way better than Tony M.

SK2 /w Mini Vent / XK3 Pro System /w 142 Leslie, Roland D70, Korg SP250 B3 1959 (retired) , Porta B (retired), XB2 (retired)

 

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I wonder if the pedal technique should be a stand-alone DVD. Seems like a big subject, especially if starting from scratch. Also, many people would not be interested in the pedal portion, but those that are interested would likely be willing to pay extra for it. So I'd suggest 2 DVDs - at $39 each.

 

I selfishly wish you'd hurry up...

 

Well, pedals are integral to how I approach basslines on the Hammond, especially with funkier, syncopated tunes. I think I'd have to cover both left-hand and pedals to do it justice.

 

I'm thinking a 90 minute DVD for $30. Seem fair?

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Man it's funny this thread came up, I was just thinking about asking you if there was a video somewhere where I could SEE and HEAR what people are talking about with the Jimmy Smith tapping method, and how walking bass lines on the organ works. Not having bass players to jam with during my undergrad, my LH bass is pretty good, but pedals I've never done so it's something I'm interested in.

 

Also glad to hear that Tony's video is not great, since it was something I might have considered due to not a lot of resources being out there. In general, though I dislike Tony's playing, too much like a Jimmy Smith clone.

 

Anyway you mentioned how the LH bass differs from piano to synth to organ, that'd be of interest to me. That and the pedal technique, and conceptually how YOU think about bass lines (since I'm sure everyone has a different approach) would help put everything into context.

 

Really excited for this DVD. I'd expect to pay around $40-$50 shipped, seems to be the rate for instructional DVDs.

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I'm thinking a 90 minute DVD for $30. Seem fair?

 

Seems fair to me, I would probably get one if it matched my needs.

 

While I would like to learn how to kick pedals I only have xk1 available for practice, so the pedal part would be pretty much useless to me at this moment. I'd like to see some good licks, left hand comping, tips and tricks.

I'd like NOT to see "what is a drawbar", "what is chorus" and "what is leslie" section. Too many DVDs are oriented towards begginers. I liked Dr.John's DVDs, while some things were slowed down and explained he didn't simplify his licks. I liked that.

 

So please, intermediate to expert heavy DVD would be nice :D Maybe make a boxset: begginer DVD, and 2 DVDs covering intermediate and expert licks + additional DVD with pedal techniques.

 

 

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I bought both of Tony M and Brian A's DVD and they sucked IMHO. They are both going at lighting speed that you can't get anything out of it other than to listen to them wank way ...

 

Hmmm.. I have the Brian Auger DVD as well and I also find it....fair.. at best.

 

Re: Tony Monaco--are you referring to his new instructional blues dvd? If so I am bummed, having just ordered it.

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

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My Professional Websites

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I'd buy at that price, and probably a little more. Don't forget your international audience and make arrangements to ship outside the US!

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Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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I think seeing and being given instruction on some techniques that are completely organ related- things you don't do on another keyboard, like the stacatto chordal riffs up and down the scale, switching smoothly between manuals to comp between the melody/solo part, left hand technique. All of that would be awesome to see if done in an instructional manner that really shows you how to develop those skills. Exercises, drills- things to work those techniques as well.

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