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Singing as a learning tool for bass players


Davo-London

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Ed Friedland and others on this forum have often said that "if you can't sing it first, then you won't be able to play it". As I do all my practice on headphones at night (after 11 pm) this advice has not made it's way into my playing.

 

However, in teaching my 8 year old the recorder, I noticed a dramatic affect of this learning tool. My daughter repeatedly got a phrase wrong. I asked her to sing it. She got that wrong too. Eventually after singing the phrase several times, she got it right and then played it perfect first time on the recorder.

 

I like it when theory and practice come together and thought I would share this with you.

 

Davo

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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Yeah, I think it works . . . practising at home with a family about always makes things like singing hard.

I studied with a Nigerian percussionist who taught us all our lines by singing it. I took a clinic withguitarist Sheryl Bailey who told us to sing along with all our practising (she can sing in 3rds, 7ths etc with what she plays too.

Dave Liebman told me to learn to sing a solo with all the expression before transcribing it. It does work, as a learning aid. I should do it more too.

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This may sound a little strange but I have always preferred instrumental music to vocals.

I have an unusual ability to remember almost every note in a song that I hear for the first time (songs that I like). I have the inability to remember the words to any song. If I tried to sing along with every song it would be a disaster. I love to sing, I have a good voice, but the words take so much of my attention that I cannot play well. I wish I could sing along but just have not been able to accomplish it.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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Originally posted by Trucks.Of.Love:

Davo - Do you mean singing in the sence of the jazzy #bee bo ba boo boo boo bam bam da da do re ma ma da badda bam# going along with the notes...?

I could never memorize the words to that song, how does it go again??

:D

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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LOL As you are replicating the notes you play it can go however ya like!!

 

A local session guitarist does this quite alot when hes performing solo, basically because he cant sing for shiznit. ;)

 

So when you DO forget the words... hell... just make them up.. with doodoo badda bing bang la la banda boo baaaaa bowwww :D

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Originally posted by Rocky3840:

This may sound a little strange but I have always preferred instrumental music to vocals.

I have an unusual ability to remember almost every note in a song that I hear for the first time (songs that I like). I have the inability to remember the words to any song. If I tried to sing along with every song it would be a disaster. I love to sing, I have a good voice, but the words take so much of my attention that I cannot play well. I wish I could sing along but just have not been able to accomplish it.

Rocky

I feel ya rocky, I can sing the melody, bass, and guitar part (with vowel sound and of course each in its own turn) with little problem. But sometimes someone will ask me what I think a song is about and all I can remeber is the last word of the chorus. I dont tend to remeber words well either. So I jsut sing the parts like trucks of love stated.

BTW Trucks of love... is that you in the picture?

Jonathan

 

 

 

 

 

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Nah, what Davo's talking about is more akin to humming the instrumental part, not singing lyrics.

 

The voice is our own built-in instrument. It's a very natural interface to work with, so we don't get all befuddled with buttons and strings and keys and mouthpieces and bows and sticks and valves and slides and you name it.

 

So you listen and then repeat the phrase you are trying to play. Open vowel sounds usually work well, like "oh" or "ah".

 

It's like those communication/listening exercises where you (the listener) must repeat every sentence your partner says to you. But this musical version is all about pitch, rhythm and dynamics.

 

If you can "sing" your part back correctly, it means you have heard it correctly. It also gives you a chance to internalize the music, to "stick it in your ear" as it were. By that I mean it become absorbed by your music memory. When you try to play the phrase on your instrument, now, you'll be able to compare that to your music memory and adjust accordingly.

 

My 300-piece high school marching band did this from time to time. The vast majority of us had no formal voice lessons, yet after struggling with a passage our director would tell us to put our instruments down and sing our parts. Lo and behold, we sounded like a well-rehearsed choir! Pick the instruments back up and suddenly we could play the passage correctly.

 

Yes, it works.

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Yes, that's what I mean. Sing the part without vocals just get the pitch and rhythm correct and then the instrument will follow.

 

Thanks for your responses. I can't remember lyrics either!

 

Davo

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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