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Do any of you REALLY want to improve...


BenLoy

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Now there's a useful piece of advice! :D

 

Seriously, I've been playing all day (memorizing new material for three groups, plus working on hard "ego-bruising" stuff).

 

I've got an hour to rest my tired little hands before my gig tonight...not looking forward to luggin' my gear in this weather, but I guess if I really cared about that I'd have picked the flute...

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Good advice. One thing I did that helped me open my ears way up was to make it a point to learn my favorite cheesy TV themes on the bass. I first learned "The Price Is Right" and "The A Team." :thu:

"I had to have something, and it wasn't there. I couldn't go down the street and buy it, so I built it."

 

Les Paul

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The Super Mario Brothers theme is great to work on half-time walking and funky octaves (when Mario crosses over into the underworld...you know what I'm talkin' about... :thu: )

 

(*whew*)...I think it's time for a massage therapy session...there's a knot in my left shoulder the size of a baseball! :mad: Ow...

 

Ultra-stressful day gig + playing electric and upright all the time do not equal relaxed shoulder muscles...at least when one carries all his stress in his shoulders to begin with...

 

I see Alexander Technique research ahead...

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lately I've been sitting down and trying to play the melodies for songs that I know. It could be anything from a jazz standard to a Beatles tune to Popeye the Sailor Man to the Star Spangled Banner.

 

No written music, no recordings.

 

I 'm supposed to know these songs, do I really know the tunes, can I really play my bass by ear?

 

Sometimes I tell my students, "you mean your parents helped you pay for this bass and amp and you can't even play happy birthday to them on your bass?"

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I did the same thing with the main theme from "Rhapsody in Blue" yesterday...then the melody to a Mozart concerto that I don't remember the name to but that my father used to listen to constantly when I was growing up...the one that the priest recognizes Salieri playing in "Amadeus." :D

 

I agree...remembering melodies off the top of your head and trying to play them (in whatever key any of your fingers happens to be resting on) is great practice...

 

Sometimes I try to play a tune in a key that sounds like it's "supposed" to be in that key...and then check myself with a recording of it and see if my pitch memory was right...sometimes I'm right on or close...other times I'm way off.

 

My pitch is way relative, but a little perfect pitch is useful when faking for getting that first note right...

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and another idea:

 

Stop playing on the internet, and start practicing!

You got the main problem of mine :freak: !I'm addicted to online game,that REALLY waste a lot of time.I bought 3-4 old CDs of RHCP,I'm gonna learn them all! :D
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  • 4 weeks later...
Originally posted by BenLoy:

then the melody to a Mozart concerto that I don't remember the name to but that my father used to listen to constantly when I was growing up...the one that the priest recognizes Salieri playing in "Amadeus."

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - my favorite movie and my favorite composer. That would sound interesting on bass. I also like the idea of playing themes from video games - I'll have to see how many I can remember...
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I managed to figure out Eine Kleine Nagt Muzik half way , but then I crossed over the The ice-cream truck tune and phantom of the opera and yeah so many. even "liewe heksie" heehee

 

I love playing theme tunes for some very strange reason , thats how I learned from day one and still learning.

There is only two kinds of music , good music and bad music ....oooh and drugs is bad mmmmkay :)
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All well and good, but I've a big problem with that advice: My ears are crap.

 

The advice seems really good, and people I respect on this forum have said that it's good, but my problem with transcribing is that sometimes I just can't figure out songs at all.

 

I've seen a lot of people say that it's just a matter of practice. The reason I don't spend much time transcribing is that I can never be sure if I'm right or not. I've transcribed some chords and basslines that were way off the mark, with totally wrong keys. I've seen magazine or book transcriptions later and realised that I was nowhere near correct.

 

You know those wildly inaccurate tabs on the internet? The people who wrote those thought that they had transcribed them well. That's what worries me: If I spend hours figuring out a song by ear, how do I know that I'm right?

 

I think my problem might be that I usually play an unplugged electric bass when I practice or transcribe, but I think it's more than that.

 

Has anyone any advice for me? I'd really appreciate it.

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You'll know if you're right if it SOUNDS right.

 

Sometimes when learning by ear at first, you'll find that you get the broad strokes right, but you'll listen to the record and realized that there were subtle details you missed.

 

If you truly think your ear is bad test it. Can you hear the difference between two notes? Can you tell whether the second note is higher or lower? Can you remember lyrics?

 

You can do it. Take a general musicianship class if necessary. I was in class with a kid who had no sense of pitch at all. By the end of the year, he showed remarkable improvement.

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Thanks for that, Ben.

 

Originally posted by BenLoy:

You'll know if you're right if it SOUNDS right.

I s'pose! One encouraging thing is the amount of musicians whom I've seen playing bad versions of songs, who still have a steady gig!

 

If you truly think your ear is bad test it. Can you hear the difference between two notes? Can you tell whether the second note is higher or lower? Can you remember lyrics?
I can hear the difference, but I can't always reproduce the interval on my bass. Sometimes I amaze myself by figuring a song out perfectly, but that's once in a blue moon.

 

You can do it. Take a general musicianship class if necessary. I was in class with a kid who had no sense of pitch at all. By the end of the year, he showed remarkable improvement.
I just might do that. I recently bought "Ultimate Ear Training For Guitarists And Bassists" by Gary Willis, and I've just started doing the "Say It, Sing It, Play It" exercise that Jerry Jemmott wrote in Bass Player magazine. I'm not too enthuasiastic about them though, because in the end it's up to me to make sure that the note I sing is at the right pitch.

 

Ah feck it, I know it's holding me back as a musician, so I suppose I'd better just dive into those exercises, and do my best. I'll take a look around for general musicianship classes too.

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