Jeff Berlin Posted June 20, 2016 Share Posted June 20, 2016 Hi to all Bass Players. If you are interested in something that I feel might be important to you, read this and good luck with how this post affects your views about groove. My pointing out deficiencies in how the electric bass is taught is done on the behalf of bass players who trust methods of teaching that have not been looked at correctly. Bass players, students and teachers worldwide feel that groove and time are more important than playing the right notes which makes the learning of music less of a priority than playing in time. Bass teachers state that nothing is more important than a groove, a point that I heard stated on a couple of bass websites just the other day. But this is a false principle of both learning and playing that can be proven here and now because no matter how one feels about this, it is hard to argue with the math. In playing, groove or feel isn't the first thing to look for. It is the last! Here is why! The order of practicing or playing anything whatsoever on your bass requires you to first know what the notes are. You can't groove if you don't have something to groove with. So, if you want to get technical, in music, the notes are actually first in order of priority. Next, after choosing the notes to be played, you need to know where the notes are located on the bass neck. Next, you need to play those identified notes in between the correct frets on your bass neck using two hands to play the notes correctly. Only after all this is done can someone find a good feel, a groove to perform those notes. Notes are the first regard when playing bass. This is obvious when you realize that it is impossible to groove with nothing. In bass performance, groove is not the priority because in a musical performance there is no priority. Groove is a part of a whole, a shared ingredient of a quality performance of notes and feel. It is a false belief that nothing is as important in bass playing than having a groove. It is a philosophy hardwired into the belief system of bass players and educators all over the world that has compromised both the learning and the performing of bass. Bass teachers got things backwards by not understanding that musical pitch came first before the feel could be attended to. This oversight by bass instructors literally stopped bass students and self taught players from growing correctly as musically competent players because the proper order of both playing and practicing was reversed. Groove only takes place and can only exist in one's performance after one first learns the right notes to play. Next, no one loses the feel or groove by seeking the correct notes to play because everyone, knowingly or not, have already first learned the notes and where they are located on the bass neck before one plays a bass line. Players involved in a performance don't look for the right notes while playing because they already know what they are. Everyone first learns what the right notes are in order to have something to play and subsequently to groove with. Finally, I've always been puzzled why bass players put such importance on groove or feel, performance elements that are no more or less important than the other elements that constitutes a good bass performance. As with vitamins or a well functioning automobile, the whole is what makes things work. Cheers and thank you for reading this! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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