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thinking outside penatonic


KikkyMonk

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I would seek a good teacher and learn music theory. Once you do it will unlock the doors and out you past the pentatonic barrier you have. another thing to do is find out what key a song is in that yo are playing and look up the available sclaes for that key. Or you can go to www.orock.com under the musician's forum and check out the scalculator. It is a very nifty tool, an unlike chord and scale books, it allows you to calculate your own fret maps. I find this very helpful. For example if the song was in the key of E. I would print a fret map for bass guitar in the key of e, (select to display the notes option) and learn where all the notes for E are. Then I would find out which scales are composed or work over the chord progressions in the song.

 

Will

 

One life...One Destiny

Thirten Colvmns

One Life...One Destiny...

Thirteen Colvmns

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Here's what I've done to break habits and fight off my personal-cliches:

 

Immediate bandaids:

1. Where possible, don't play the root of the chord - your fills will HAVE to be different if you're moving to a different note in the chord (try the 7th) ... if nothing else, it will force your hands out of the old patterns.

2. Start throwing flat-5s in your fills.

3. Force yourself to play chromatic fills, instead of "jumps" ...

 

Long-term - toward building a different vocabulary ...

1. Listen - to good jazz players, to Brazilian players, to world music ...

2. Practice - Work on modal scales - (i.e. - try Lydian, if you're playing a lot of Major-chord pop stuff ...)

3. Perform - Take some songs that you know inside-out and rework the fills that you "always" play (if you're that kind of player) ... and start putting in "alternate" fills that are harmonically different from your usual vocabulary - and start working them into gigs.

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All good ideas so far. I would make two other suggestions:

 

a) think in terms of movement through the chords ie: a song in G with a chord sequence of Bm7 - Em7 - Am7 - Ab7 - Fm7 is likely modulating to Db. So keep that in mind as you choose bass notes; try to create a movement toward a Db tonal center thru those chords instead of just playing root/fifth stuff.

 

b) think in terms of the melody! it's never a mistake to reflect the melody in your fills.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Somewhere in the dusty archives of virtual community resides a comment made about "pentatonic neck-wringing"... {Perhaps "Jason" can point it out" ; }

 

First step: listen less to what you've been hearing and more to stuff that stands outside that realm. Far enough outside that pentatonic noodling isn't the main basis for its construction (but maybe close enough that it still informs it).

 

Second: see how small dollops of chromatisicm, passing tones, chord extensions, and polytonality (basically having two tonics present simultaneously), and melodic liscense/paraphrasing, can spice up the mix without deviating from the genre you choose, too far. Often, my favorite practitioners of various styles still are imbued with the simplicity of "roots music" harmonically but sprinkle seasonings - devices for deeper musical interest - they have gleaned elsewhere, or that are a natural part of their musical tendencies.

 

Third: in popular populist forms of music rhythm is still the main element, which is one reason harmonic and melodic statements don't need to veer from pentatonic bedrock. Part of my practice regimen {as if I were that organized and disclipined ; } is to take basslines and habits I have formed and restate them: with more space, or less space, different punctuations and percussive attacks, note durations, and spiffy little re-phrasings that place accents differently, making use of occasional note choices from the Second category above.

 

Ferinstance (and this exapmple is from a very basic small phrase), I might take a flatted seventh-to-root bit and insert a major seventh inbetween - or substitute it entirely every second or fourth time. Or might substitute the root itself (and still going to the root again but with a harmonic-inducing picking attack using both thumb and a finger. I might use a flatted sixth or a sixth in place of the flatted seventh - or a double stop built on a different chord, etc.

 

When I do this I am actually in the process of remapping my habits and my ear, and exploring what is appropriate - but to me - more tasty. After some time spent pursuing such oblique strategy, one doesn't often misfire because you can sense what fits the genre/style/bassline while expanding it. And you will find yourself with new habits that others will often admire and want to cop - but meanwhile you are again feeling in a rut and are about ready to come full circle to where you percieved yourself before ; }

 

...But it's really a spiral: hopefully you have lost none of your original compelling drive and groove, but have gained additional "voice".

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Here's another example of what I was generally speaking of, KikkyMonk. Grab some covers or write some originals that are a little more involved harmonically than what you usually work out / gig with. Say, something that uses modes as the basis for chords/scales. I was just working out on something built around ascending thirds spoaced around the whole-tone scale. I normally think of that scale as kind of abstract, unsettling, or too damn "thinky". But coming at it from another angle it was surprisingly funky and really set me up for some nice turns at the high dive...

 

Another eg: if you play funk sometimes (remember phholks: before thumping took over phunk had already some pretty mature examples of booty weirdness), check out a few Brecker Brothers tunes (or a Bernie Worell title). Lots of nice uses of different modes and superimposed chords. Once you kinda get the drift of stuff like this you can get away with moidah ; }

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A very simple approach would be to start actively searching for music to listen to that is completely out of your normal listening range... something totally different from your influences. If you find some parts that you really like, learn those. Just getting another listening perspective can do wonders for your playing. What it does, is opens your mind a little more, and that's the idea, right? :D

 

My high school drawing teacher once told me that drawing is 90% looking and 10% drawing. I believe music is the same way: 90% listening, 10% playing. Expand your listening horizons and your playing horizons will follow! :thu:

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a) think in terms of movement through the chords ie: a song in G with a chord sequence of Bm7 - Em7 - Am7 - Ab7 - Fm7 is likely modulating to Db. So keep that in mind as you choose bass notes; try to create a movement toward a Db tonal center thru those chords instead of just playing root/fifth stuff.

what do you mean by modulating?

 

Dave

 

thanks for the tips so far...

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"Modulation" is when music changes keys.

This is usually (but not always) done in a way that involves a series of chords that "set up" the new key.

Play the chords Coyote described (the exact rhythms/measure lengths/etc. don't matter---in fact try it several ways) to get a feel for how they lead to the new key.

Try variations such as leaving out one/some of the chords to see what that does to the mood.

Experiment, also, with using different chords, both as part of the modulation & as the final chord that you're heading toward.

Listen to some songs to spot examples they may contain & explore how they work (there are formulae for these things but those are best for learning exercises---when music relies too much on them it winds up sounding cliched).

 

This isn't intended to be offensive but it would do you (& all of us) a world of good to read & study the basics of music theory...& then persue that study throughout your life as a musician.

Lessons, etc., can be helpful, certainly, but even if you study with (a) good teacher(s) it benefits you to research things on your own & with others.

You may feel this is not immediately benficial or that it's not necessary...or that it's "too much" but eventually you'll realize the benefits.

 

Start at a good music store or ask someone who teaches for suggestions or just hit a public library & fond some general books on music: scales & modes; how chords are constructed; keys & how they relate; etc.

It takes a while but you can really help yourself this way!

 

If you're at a real loss for what to study send me a Private Message & I'll give you some specific widely-available books to check out.

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(1) Sixth and ninth notes work well in both major and minor keys, so throw them in for variety. If you're in a minor key, select a flat sixth or natural sixth based on the tonality of the music. The natural sixth works better if you're in a Lydian tonality (popular in rock and pop). Don't just play one or the other blindly. Listen to which sounds best.

 

Examples:

Key of C: 9th = D, 6th = A

Key of Cm: 9th = D, 6th = Ab

Key of C Lydian: 9th = D, 6th = A

 

(2) A quick chromatic note one step above or below any of the five pentatonic notes will work as a "lead in" to its respective scale tone.

 

Example: Cm pentatonic: C Eb F G Bb

 

An Ab or an F# can lead to the G.

An A or a B can lead to the Bb (although the B will flow more naturally to the tonic C).

 

(3) If you're playing fast, especially in a solo, you can play a few quick notes from the pentatonic scale one half step or a full step above or below the key, then quickly return to the key.

 

Example: sixteenth notes - fret numbers included as a hint

 

Eb(11) C(8) F(8) G(10)

Bb(8) C(10) Eb(8) C(10)

F(10) D(7) C(10) A(7) --- temporarily in Dm penta

E(9) C#(6) B(9) G#(6) --- temporarily in C#m penta

Eb(8) G(5) Bb(8) C(5)

G(5) F(3) Eb(6) C(3)

F#(4) G(5)

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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ASk yourself;

 

What would the Romans Do?.....Hummm...

 

But seriously...

 

To avoid going back to your own cliches, simply try learnng new music from players you wouldn't normally listen to. Right know the pentatonic scales seem to be the most confortable fingerings to you right? Well move on!...work on playing chord arpegios starting on everyone of their notes ascending and descending from any string at any given time. Also do'em in a linear fashion, across the neck in two octaves.

 

When all that is cone at a very confortable level, try cromaticism in connecting these chord tones and you'll be surprised at your advancement. TRUST ME!!!!

"Word to your mother"
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http://=http://image1ex.villagephotos.com/pubimage.asp?id_=832275 Just testing a link here,this picture may be too small which I will fix

 

Well this is just an old note of the Major Modes separated in odd and even numbers for each scale inside the Modes.This example is in C major which is looked upon as the Roman numeral one.

 

Try looking at each mode scale and pull out the odd and even numbers.Try working through the circle of 5ths and pull out the odd and evens for each key.This is a good way to find the relationship for each note to each key and helps you see the Major,Minor, Dominant scales and chords quickly.

Interesting to know that 12 notes, 12 keys and 3 basic chord types made so much music.
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I can see the tyops - er, typos - that prevent image/url display there, RobE. As in html (and derived from it), one has to close ubb code with a / in the descriptor, make sure all brackets [] are present, etc.

 

Or they could just use the UBB Code buttons provided in the composition and edit windows ; }

.
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Hey guys I'm afraid if I'm just learning to navigate through the forum.

 

Where is the edit button?I don't want to tick anyone off by topping a thread with my mistakes.

 

Which tags are required to host a picture?All it is anyway is a handwritten chart of the Modes broken up into odd and even numbers.

 

I'll try it again.

Interesting to know that 12 notes, 12 keys and 3 basic chord types made so much music.
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This is a view of just 2 notes beyond the Pentatonic scale.

 

If you look at Any key from the Ionian point and drop the 4th & 7th notes you are back to the Pentatonic.

 

From the 6th key, you drop the 2note and 6note if you like to view your Pentatonics from the Minor point.

Interesting to know that 12 notes, 12 keys and 3 basic chord types made so much music.
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RobEBass, I hereby motion that we declare this thread the official location for your learning experiments to link URLs and images. If I can get approval from DBB to sidetrack emphasis from his Post Of The Day program, that is ; }

 

You know I can almost make sense of that scan - I think it'd throw the most advanced OCR [optical character recognition] software into a tizzy that'd core dump the entire Pentagon LAN if not run in a brickwalled sandbox ; }

 

<-- greenboy ---<<<<    

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LMAO Green.The last post I have no idea why came up as a hyperlink.It looks like over here I fixed an earlier attempt.I take it that NONE of the pictures are visible on your end?
Interesting to know that 12 notes, 12 keys and 3 basic chord types made so much music.
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RobE, when you are in the POST A REPLY (composition) window do you see just below the typing window a set of buttons titled INSTANT UBB CODE. Use a couple of those and examine the code they write - if you don't know where the UBB Code readme for this site is kept (I never bothered to look either, but maybe someday...)

 

<-- greenboy ---<<<<   still using hand-rolled and individualized emoticons in deference to the pioneers

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This surely can't be done in one sitting.

 

I'm sure there are quite a few folk here will be able to jump in and provide examples too.

 

The basics.....here is just one of amny ways to experiment with the Modes along with my chicken scratch chart:

 

1) Play each scale from root to root(CDEFGABC) 1 to 7 + 1 again.(I know you know how to do this already)

 

2)Then take each Mode and play only the odd numbered notes.For example,C Maj. 1 = C , 3rd = E,5th = G & 7th = B. This turns out to be the form of the Chord in the Key of C called C Maj 7.

 

3)Look all over the neck for C E G & B and find the 5 forms of those notes patterns in every concievable pattern you can create.

 

4)Next, either on another instrument or even the Bass play a C Maj 7th chord to say a pre programed Slow Jazz swing on a Drum Machine and tape it.

 

Like the Pentatonics just take those 4 notes and try to create some melodies.

 

Now if your feeling even more daring after that little experience try doing the same as steps 1 2 3 & 4 to the other scales inside which ever key you pick to try this.My little chart on this thread is in C which is a good place to begin.

 

Try to Create a simple chord progression by using the II, V and I chords (Yes in that order). The II is over a 4 beat measure, the V is the same duration as II, then I for 8 like 4 beats of the I chord and 4 more as a turnaround back to chord II which is the top chord of the Chord progression.

 

II chord - 10th fret (D)low E string, 10th fret © D string & (F) on G string 10th fret.On a Bass you can play a D M 7th chord and just drop the 5th note

 

V chord - 10th fret A string (G) 9th fret D string (B)and then F on the 10th fret G string.You don't need the 5th to play this chord either.

 

I chord - play C on the 8th fret on E string and play B & E on the D & G string.

 

This is known as a II V I progression.It's not really rocket science or elementry either.However,it's a good way to start experimenting with the usage of the Mode Scales and the Pentatonics as well as other evens or out notes as well as the other 5 not in the C major Mode.

 

I've found this chart a sort of "you'll learn something new everyday about it kinda chart"

 

Hope I can learn something new about it myself too. :)

Interesting to know that 12 notes, 12 keys and 3 basic chord types made so much music.
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:idea: I don't know why I didn't think of this yesterday...F.Simandl method for double bass, including the etudes. The exercises in this book are easily adaptable to bass guitar, and will open up new worlds of patterns.

Back in either 1970 or 71,or was it 72? I was working with a local band in Miami, and happened to be playing at the same club where Jaco was working with another local group, (This is before he became a bass legend.)

During breaks when the rest of us were outside BSing, getting high or hitting on the local groupies, Jaco was in the dressing room practicing his Simandl book. (Even then he was a monster.) Anyone who knew Jaco knows I'm not BS'ing you. It is an excellent bass book, and worth the $15-20 it cost today. Try it. You won't regret it. :)

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F.Simandl method for double bass, including the etudes. The exercises in this book are easily adaptable to bass guitar, and will open up new worlds of patterns.
I loved my Simandl book but was frightened of it and didn't get the most out of it that is possible.I had a teacher who just started learning from it himself and started showing me stuff but his teaching career was cut short by a big gig.When I went looking for another teacher nobody was fimiliar with the book nor was interested in taking on the project over of showing me things which were uncharted territory for myself to attempt on my own.Naturally,I tried to show myself how to do things from it but had many questions with no place to inquire and that was pretty much the end of my reading studies & ability.

 

I can say that I made it through about the first 40 pages (which barely cracks the surface of how great that book is)and my hands were doing things I would have never thought of doing.

 

All and all that is a great book and hope I can dive in it again someday myself despite needing help with going through it.

Interesting to know that 12 notes, 12 keys and 3 basic chord types made so much music.
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