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  1. Rome wasn’t built in a day! Keep it simple and focus on one or two different exercises. For example, play thirds ascending, going up the first pair of notes and down the second. So in G major, play a low G (3rd fret, E), then B (2nd fret, A), then up a fret to C and down to A (5th fret, E), then up to B, and up to D, up to E and down to C, Up to D and up to F#, up to G and down to E, up to F# and up to A, and finally Up to B and down to G. Then take the above exercise and invert each pair of notes, first pair of notes are descending, 2nd pair ascending. It’s harder as you’re not now starting on the root but the 3rd - so: B and G, A and C, D and B, C and E, F# and D, E and G, A and F# and finally G and B. Instead of picking other exercises stick with the two above, play them over 1 and 2 octaves, then all over the neck, top to bottom. Play them up one string as far as you can, then 4 notes on each string, and once comfortable, around the cycle of 4ths in all 12 keys. It sounds like a ton of work but once you get the shape and sound of each pair of 3rds, it does become a lot easier, is a fantastic way to learn the fingerboard and gets you away from purely scale based, one note next to each other type lines. Where theory turns into music is when you call upon this type of knowledge to build lines based on intervals, triads and sequences - add these to scale based and chromatic lines and you have all the required materials for improvisation. However I’d recommend starting as above with 3rds as they appear in the majority of chords, so provide an excellent foundation for both regular bass playing and playing up the dusty end
  2. I have to say I’m really not a fan of these bedroom play along people on YT - the track already has a great bass line so it’s very hard to work out how much is the original groove and how much they’re actually adding - or how many goes they’ve had to record it right. In this case I’ll make an exception - she has very accurate articulation and control over both the length and dynamic of notes, perfect timing and she’s got that elusive “groove” that so many on YT lack (e.g. The monstrously talented but nearly impossible to listen to Senri Kawaguchi on drums - technically perfect but I just can’t listen to it for very long).
  3. Special kudos should go for the Jazz with the new colour “roasted pine”, or “cheap 70s plywood table” The only slightly interesting colour from the new batch is Miami blue. Given they’re charging similar prices (for a simple passive bass) you’d think they could at least match Musicman’s range of colours and have some more interesting finishes? The problem is that in today’s society it’s not enough to gradually improve things like the pickup, or the hardware. You must produce something “new”. As there is essentially nothing Fender can do to change the layout and look of a precision or jazz, they’re reduced to new model names for the same old bass. And it sells, so why not? I’d still love a Roscoe Beck as a standard model (hell, they’ve had a Tony Franklin in the line for years and I know even less about him than Beck) or a p-bass with Dimension eq and pickups - but such experimentation tends to end up in their Squier or cheaper Fender ranges.
  4. Song for my father is in F minor. A la the first chord. It’s definitely not a tune in a major key. Ab major and F minor are related keys so have the same key signature (4 flats).
  5. I think the Ray34/35 are pricier with roasted maple necks and the Ray is a cheaper range, but still comes with dual humbuckers.
  6. The cheaper models also have a roasted maple neck. I guessed it was a US a model from the colour and just about being able to see the logo on the headstock.
  7. That’s a “thing” about Musicman basses. It may require you be a bit more precise as the G is quite close to the edge of the fingerboard. Some people apparently don’t notice it at all. All of the sounds are humbucking but AFAIK from both a US Sterling and Stingray the bridge only position is authentic Stingray.
  8. Yep. Sterling by Musicman: https://sterlingbymusicman.com/products/ray5-hh
  9. Looks like it to me. I think the colour is Burnt Apple. I would pretty much guarantee that a Sterling (not the US bass but the cheaper range) would sound 99.9% the same. The extra you pay for a US model is for lighter weight (wood and hardware), quality of construction and finishing , a hard case and the cachet of being made in the USA. EDIT: and the 18v circuit with neodymium pickups in the newer US model.
  10. A complementary concept is don't keep practising things you can already play perfectly. It’s tempting but is one of the biggest blockers to getting better. A good balance of things to practice should include tackling things you cannot play, but with moderation - for example take a lick/line you know well, and redo it over different harmony (e.g. minor instead of major), or with different meter/time signature. It really helps develop vocabulary. When improvising, always play with some kind of chordal accompaniment. Improvising without context is the origin of noodling
  11. Don’t forget exchange rates. £-$ isn’t what it once was.
  12. Does the US price include sales tax? Probably not, which may account for the difference
  13. It’s worth mentioning that when the original American Standards came out in 2008 you could have one new for about £830. They’ve more than doubled in price in 12 years, but are they really any better? I very much doubt there’s any significant improvements - given Fender’s sometimes ropey QA, probably less difference between a 2008 and 2020 than two from the same year... ...and considering the thousands of great, worn-in P-basses available used, you’d have to really, really want a new one to pay double.
  14. Here’s a cool exercise I took and slightly modified from a very old edition of Guitar Player. It was a tiny side column item from Scott Henderson... Take any bass note, for example, G. Now build a triad on that note. Work out both the arpeggio and from the chord tones, the possible modes and scales (to make life easier just focus on scales that start and end on the same note as the root note of the chord, not necessarily the bass note). Repeat, but shifting the chord up a semitone each time. For example you could have: Gmin - blues scale, Dorian mode, aeolian mode, minor pentatonic Ab/G - Ionian mode, Lydian mode, major pentatonic A/G - mixolydian mode, Lydian dominant mode, altered scale, blues scale, major and minor pentatonics, diminished scale starting with a half step Bbmin/G - (usually written Gmin7b5) - locrian mode, locrian #2 mode, blues scale B/G (usually written Gmaj7#5) - Lydian #5 mode C/G - any scales you’d use over a Cmaj. You could also think of this as some kind of G suspended chord with an added 6th (so G is root, C is perfect 4th, E is 6th). Db/G - now it gets more tricky as more than one chord could fit - you now have Db/F/Ab and G. By arranging the notes from the root you get G, Ab (b9), Db (b5 or if written C# would be the #11) and F (b7). This could be G7b9 (with or without #11), Gmin7b5 etc. Notice that you don’t get all of the notes of a chord, so it’s open to “fill in the blanks”. However the presence of the b7 and b9 points to some kind of dominant 7th sound. Feel free to work out the rest. I love this kind of exercise as it covers several different ideas at once (harmony, scale and chord relationships, triads over alternate bass notes, pedal tones), whilst being a very simple concept (just shifting triads up a semitone each time and working out which chords, and therefore scales would work).
  15. Ok... Maj7: major scale, Lydian mode, major pentatonic Min7: Dorian mode, aeolian mode, minor pentatonic Min7b5: Lorain mode or Locrian #2 mode Dominant 7: mixolydian mode, Lydian b7 mode, altered scale, diminished scale starting which half step, harmonic minor scale (start a 5th below the chords root, e.g. on C7 try F harmonic minor) +7: augmented scale (there’s only 2 as they repeat every whole tone) dim7: diminished scale (usually starting with whole step but possible starting with half step) On each of the chords above, any of the scales mentioned might work. The “quick fix” is to understand the underlying harmony, and if there is a melody that will give you a clue as to what might fit. Use your ears - the mode that “fits” might not be the most interesting sound. Also note that the dominant 7th is the most tense chord so has the widest range of choices. Thats why I started off with an example chord sequence, and what the harmony means, so which mode might be appropriate.
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