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What Needs to be Memorized?


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It seems clear to me - as a novice bass player - that there are some things that simply have to be memorized as part of developing my musical abilities.


Here's what I do have a pretty good handle on as of right now:


  • standard musical notation (bass clef)
  • notes on my fretboard (I'm about 70-80% there for the first 12 frets)
  • scale patterns on the fretboard: major, major pentatonic, minor, minor pentatonic, blues, dom 7th, 1/2 diminished
  • perfect and minor/major intervals (& inversions)
  • 12-bar blues pattern (I-IV-V)


So my quesion is:

What would you suggest that I next add to my flashcards pile at this point?


C.V.: Snowboarder (1983-), Bass Owner (1996-), Chemistry Teacher (1997-) & Serious Bass Student (2003-)
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You might want to consider your ear...There is a free download called GNU Solfege where you can test you interval, chord and scale recognition and track your hearing progress. If you can recognize those different intervals, chords and scales....you can make educated decisions about what to play with less regard to mechanics and more regard to sound appeal...Like the Oteil Burbridge stuff when he is scatting along with his solos...If you can play what you sing as you sing it, you'll be alright...


Also, if you got all the theory and knowledge you need focus on technique improvment and expansion.

We must accept the consequences of being ourselves-Sojourn of Arjuna


Music at www.moporoco.com/nick

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Well, I assume when you have scale "patterns" down, you refer to "closed" patterns...patterns that use no open strings and are perfectly transportable.


I would advise you to play around the fingerboard in the first 5 frets, and learn the scales involving open strings...really comes in quite useful for reading.


I would further advise you to get a book, like the Simandl book, and practice the exercises shifting in and out of the low positions...knowing where an F# is on G string is fine, but getting there without looking is even better.


I have mentioned a shifting exercise I teach a lot. Here it is:




That's pretty good to know.


This is pretty hard to read. The instructions are to play each pair twice...the first time across the strings, the second only on the A string. Say the note names as you play them. Do this pattern on other pairs of strings.


A lot of guys work to memorize tunes. I'd rather learn the standards by repeated playing. One of the best ways to do that is organize a jam session with friends, and just play. Doesn't matter whether its bluegrass, jazz or Aerosmith...play those tunes a lot.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.


Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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