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Im listening, but not hearing it!


Thingus

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Alright guys, you havn't failed me yet, so heres my next question.

 

I have been playing for almost 5 years now, and I can right original bass lines, but I have trouble sitting down and trying to play what I hear on cds.

 

I know everyone is going to say "just listen", and trust me, I have!

 

Any tips that can help me out?

Im just a dreamer

 

Dreaming my life away

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It depends what you're listening to. Use blues as an easy exampe: THere are a handful of progressions and I guarantee that you recognize the I-IV. When you recognize it, then you know what the next chord is before you play or hear it. This is how experienced players can sit in with people they don't know and play songs they haven't rehearsed without missing a beat.

If you're playing rock, especially of the newer/modern varities, the game is a little more complicated because there isn't a trademark progression to fall back upon.

What to do? I'd suggest to tell us what kind of music you want to play and more focused advice will come your way.

...think funky thoughts... :freak:
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I've found it's a lot easier if you can hum the part. This is something I don't hear other people mention too often, but its the only way I can break down difficult parts.

 

I get to where I can hum the line (eventually, you don't really have to hum it out loud) then I pause the CD, and keep humming the line. Then I just play along with what I'm humming. If the line is too fast, I hum it more slowly until I can play along, taking it one note at a time. If I get stuck on a note, I just hold that note (with my hum) until I find it with my fingers.

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hi thingus,part of the problem could be the bands you're listening to are using alternate tunings.you know drop-d,or 2 steps low across the neck or any variation a-la sonic youth,soundgarden,korn etc.........you get the idea.let the forum know what it is you're listening to and we will help you
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Turn it up loud, close the door, and go in the next room. You'll hear the bass part much better. Then (as others have said), listen to it until you can hum the part before you play it. You won't be able to play it until you can hum it.
Ah, nice marmot.
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Spend hours and hours and hours. Start with easier songs. Take an ear-training course at a college. Spend more hours. Turn the radio on and play along for hours at a time. Take a gig where you don't know any of the songs and learn them on the spot. Spend more hours. Go back to songs you think you know and relearn them, each time you'll hear something new. Write out charts for all the songs you figure out. Spend more hours.
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Listen to everyone here, they have the best ideas. If all else fails find the song on Tabcrawler and they will give you the chords then you'll have a hard copy and can learn the passing and leading tones from there.
I didn't come here to play. I came here to make babies.
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A big problem with learning lines straight from a CD is memory. just remembiring the line. thats were transcribing bass lines comes in. You can reveiw one measure of music over and over till you know what it is, then write it down.
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Well, here's an idea...break the problem into smaller problems.

 

Take a blank sheet paper...draw 8 horizontal lines. Subdivide these with 5 lines...giving you 4 measures per line...32 measures total.

 

Before you try to figure out the line, take the harmonic dictation...at the very least, get the roots down on the page. If you can hear the major/minors, all the better. For now, don't worry about extensions and alterations.

 

When you have generated this chord chart, see how the bass player handles it...root/five, repeated 8ths, walking, boogie. Try to come up with the basic vibe or arrangement the bassist gives the song.

 

Then, concentrated on hooks, fills and anything that makes the line distinctive.

 

Organize your thinking, and the problem solves itself. In fact, I can ape virtually any bass line out there...if I can't play it technically I could write it down. However, even though this skill comes from years of practice, I STILL use the above steps to organize my learning of a bass line.

"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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I do what scootdog said except i turn the bass up and sit in the bath (its the room across the hall). Just listen and listen and i just tried the humming thing cos i'd never heard of it before and it works and lastly the age old word, practice.
"i must've wrote 30 songs the first weekend i met my true love ... then she died and i got stuck with this b****" - Father of the Pride
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I don't know what kind of music you're trying to get the bass lines from,

but this has always worked for me.

Listen to the song carefully and try to hear what the chords being played are.

Don't worry about playing the bass line from the start. You have to find out what chords are

being played first. So play only the root note of each chord if you have to until you hear and

understand what chords are being played.

Then you can start to work on the bass line. In most types of music in an accompanist's role, the bass will play the outline of the chord and maybe some passing tones for effect.

After doing this type of work with CDs etc... you're ear will automatically hear what is

coming next in most cases.

I think getting access to a keyboard would be a great idea too.

Play a chord like a simple C or C7 chord and hear what it sounds like when you play different

bass notes.

For example play the C7 chord with a C bass note (root), then G bass (fifth), E bass note (third), and B flat bass note (seventh). Some of the latter sounds may be throwing you off a bit because they're unfamiliar.

 

Hope this helps!

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Originally posted by Scootdog:

Turn it up loud, close the door, and go in the next room. You'll hear the bass part much better. Then (as others have said), listen to it until you can hum the part before you play it. You won't be able to play it until you can hum it.

What works the same way for me is have music through my surround stereo, while I have my Koss 4AA headphones on (these things work better than earplugs in the -dB department :D ) I hear the bass, but it isnt too clear. I'd rather just turn up the sub woofer...

 

BTW, the Koss Pro 4AA headphones ARE GREAT, although very heavy, yet very comfortable after u get used to em. They give a GREAT sound. You can get em for $60 + S&H at J & R Music World or $100 anywhere else.

 

~PHIL~

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Sorry to make you wait for my reply, I really appreciate all the help.

 

To answer the people who asked, I play Jazz and Classic Rock and classic metal. Modern rock and metal has never appealed to me that much. Thanks again for anymore help you guys can give me!

Im just a dreamer

 

Dreaming my life away

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To attempt to add to the already good advice:

 

When trying to learn a song by ear, especially when you're just getting into trying it, listen to the song in question. A lot. Listen, listen, listen. Don't even pick up your bass until you are so intimately hip to what the bass player is doing that you just know that line in your head. You should be able to sing it to yourself. Once you know the line this well, picking up your bass and actually working out the notes will be infinitely easier. That's how I learned all these damned complicated Yogi tunes when I got offered the gig. I listened to Any Raw Flesh? and Salve for probably 2 weeks straight before I even tried learning any of the notes. Good luck, and stick with it. A good ear is one of your best allies.

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I agree with everyone, if you can sing it you can play it. I will add that sometimes I it find easier to learn the part an octave up, it's hard to hear low notes close to speakers and on headphones; that's a little physics phenomenon. That's why people suggested having some distance between you and the source the low notes need a little time to become coherent.

"I never would have seen it, if I didn't already believe it" Unknown

http://www.SongCritic.com

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I agree with everyone and Richard Bona, too: if you can sing the line you can play the line.

 

I tend to do what Bump does -- listen to a tune I need to learn and listen to it a lot, before I even try to pick out the notes. I take it in the car and I also put it on the computers where I work (home and at work). Turn the "repeat" function on, and burn myself out on it.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Listen to the song as long as it takes until you're tired of hearing it. Then pull out your bass.

 

Also, another idea is to buy(if you don't aleady have one) a CD player with "added bass boom" or something like that. I'm pretty sure most of them are made with that now, but I found it helps to define the bass line rather than guess behind the structure of the chords and such.

 

Good luck.

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Hi Thingus,

 

I have the same problem, and unfortunately I have to attribute it to my hearing loss. I am not deaf, or even close to being deaf, but I do have a measurable hearing loss.

 

When I listen to songs on the radio, I can barely tell what the bass is doing, unless is it mixed with the bass really prominent.

 

I didn't realize how bad my problem was until I brought some CDs in to my bass teacher and he listened to them and tabbed them out for me. He would listen and hear all kinds of stuff, and I would be sitting right there next to him, and didn't hear any of it. Sometimes even after reading the tab I still couldn't hear it. Very weird.

 

I thought I was just hearing the bass drum, and I couldn't distinguish the indivudual notes.

 

But, the good news is that the longer I play, and the more bass lines I learn, I am able to distinguish them better on CDs and the radio.

 

Plus, I figured out all of the settings on my car stereo to make the bass stand out more.

 

And I totally agree about listening to the song over and over, before even trying to play it.

 

If you haven't already done so... I suggest that you get your hearing checked. How old are you?

 

... connie z

"Change comes from within." - Jeremy Cohen

 

The definition of LUCK: When Preparation meets Opportunity!

 

http://www.cybergumbo.com

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