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Posts posted by TheLowDown

  1. I don't go by shapes.

    i don't know if I could call myself one of those "people who know what they're doing", but when I'm practising to jam tracks I just use some or all of the required notes, although I err on the side of simplicity. If I can make something sound good with just root and 5th, then I've done my job. No need to overpopulate basslines with notes. Less is more.

    The jam tracks are exercises for me to test my skills at improvisation so that i can feel comfortable moving from chord to chord as well as testing myself finding the chord tones all over the neck wherever the root is. As mentioned, I don't go by shapes because I think they're very limiting, albeit convenient. I will never improve as a bass player by sticking with what is convenient.

    For example, if I'm playing the Dm7 chord, this will use the intervals: root(D), minor 3rd(B),  5th(A), and minor 7th(C).  So when I'm jamming I'm not going to be sticking with the minor(eg Dorian, Phrygian, or Aeolian) shape, but instead I will be looking for those intervals all over the neck. I could play the minor 3rd one string up and 2 frets down, or I could play the minor 3rd 4 frets up on the same string, or the minor 3rd 1 string down and 4 frets down. It helps me to think on my feet so that I'm constantly trying to improvise.

    Don't forget to look into the possibility of using inversions. You don't always have to start on the root note and it can make it more interesting by adding some ghost notes and other decorative elements.


    If you're actually performing in a gig or a recording studio, then shapes for the notes nearby are a convenience because you don't want to be finding the notes all over the neck - that will just be wasted effort. Simplicity is best. But if you practise as above,  you won't need the shapes because you'll know where the notes are that you need when the time comes.


    Knowing the modes is always useful for when playing chord progressions. For bassists you only really need to know the Ionian(or major), Dorian(minor),  and Mixolydian(dominant) modes because most of what we play will be chord tones. The major, minor, and dominant chords will make up 99% of what you'll ever need.


    If you don't want to get bogged down in what type(major, minor, dominant, suspended etc) of chord you're playing then stick with root and 5th.


    Hope that helps or gives some food for thought.

    • Like 2

  2. I only need 1 bass, but I can appreciate why many people like to collect basses for the sake of ownership.  If you have the money and having more than 1 bass gives you enjoyment in life, then why not.

    Having said that I do have more than 1 bass, but they're different number of strings with some being fretted and others being fretless, so each one serves a different purpose. I wouldn't want to have two 4-string fretted because then by sales instinct would start to tingle.

    • Like 2

  3. 18 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

    January the 1st. I tried to book something via DPD on about the 8th of january and found they were no longer able to do deliveries from the EU to the UK.



    I've never had it delivered by DPD, only UPS. Both from before Brexit and the one time I bought from them since Brexit. 


  4. I like a P bass type tone for myself in my own home, so this usually means 100% neck pickup and the less bridge pickup the better. I leave it at that and never fiddle with the controls.

    Outside of home, my tone is whatever the sound man wants it to be.


    • Like 2

  5. On 26/03/2021 at 20:39, Downunderwonder said:

    A bit like a sparrow doesn't understand aerodynamics.

    Not this again. I often forget that Paul McCartney was a musical genius who's music came to him via George Martin divine intervention.
    It's like these people who avoid learning music theory because they believe that it would hold their creative juices back, when in reality it's because they're too thick and/or lazy.



    On 27/03/2021 at 12:16, chris_b said:

    You don't have 5 songs in the top 5 positions of the US top 10 unless you're the best there is.

    Talent has never been determined by consensus in the same way that science isn't, especially when it was mostly screaming teenage girls who bought their records and attended their concerts. Elvis Priesley was "the king of rock n roll" who sold hundreds of millions, yet he hasn't got a songwriting credit to his name except when the contract forced it. Then we've got that mega talented Justin Beiber, songwriting geniuses Spice Girls and Kylie Minogue, and the list goes on and on of hugely talented artists who sold shed loads of records because they were that good.

    • Like 1

  6. 7 hours ago, mikel said:

    Music lessons? Unless you were well off and wanted to play in an orchestra they were rarer than hens teeth. You cant judge the beginnings of rock music by todays technology or easily available instruction.

    Paul McCartney did have music lessons and he tried to learn theory, but quickly gave it up because he found it too difficult and challenging.


    8 hours ago, Crawford13 said:

    all the beatles were very bitter against Paul post beatles due to the law suit so perhaps not the most impartial source when it comes to what actually happened

    Paul wasn't mentioned in the clip.

  7. 7 hours ago, Happy Jack said:

    Don't feed the troll.

    Not trolling at all. I shouldn't have to feel like I have to mindlessly agree with what's seen as popular opinion for fear of not falling in line, like the emperor's new clothes. I'm entitled to think for myself and have my own opinion. I hope that's allowed.

    The 5 of them were a chance coming together of the right people with the right management at the right time. Without GM's motivation and creative direction and input, they would have been 4 ordinary lads winging it on instruments that they could barely play.

     Some of their interviews were quite illuminating, such as this one with Lennon


  8. 34 minutes ago, neilp said:

    His song writing is mediocre at best


    So is his bass playing. It's frequently the case that when a band has achieved the fame and fortune that the Beatles did, primarily driven by the musical expertise of screaming 12 year old girls, people in subsequent generations have been all too eager to see talent and brilliance and genius where there certainly wasn't any, as is always the case with any band so revered. In truth, there has never been any correlation between talent and the popularity achieved by any artist. People are forever reading deep meanings into their lyrics where there wasn't any too, but this is to be expected.

    The Beatles, including McCartney, were 4 mop-top numpties would have been entirely lost without George Martin.


  9. I think Bassbuzz / Josh Fossgreen is a good channel because he explains things well. Unlike many others he explains ideas with visuals.

    Mark from Talkingbass and Scott's channel are only given half marks because of that as it makes it very difficult to see what notes are actually being played. That and other reasons is why I don't subscribe to either anymore. It would help if Mark didn't stand so far away as if he wants us to paint a landscape portrait of him - get closer man! We want to see the fretboard so we can see what's being played. SBL is too clickbaity and he waffles and waffles and waffles and waffles and waffles, and it's like an hour into the video before there's any useful content.

    Ryan Madora and Greg's bass shed are good too.


  10. 2 hours ago, chris_b said:

    The bucket of spanners falling down the stairs that is modern slap

    That's an aptly visual quote 👍.

    The thing that gets me about modern slap is that I don't see how the players can possibly believe that their intention in those intense slap solos is more about making music than merely showing off.

    I have no doubt that slap requires talent in the same way as doing a hand stand while shaking maracas in ones mouth, but whether the listener believes it's musical is another matter. At some point in its history, slap crossed over from musical art to performance art.

    • Like 2

  11. When i was young it was all rock rock rock and then new wave.  Now rock is probably the only genre that I rarely listen to.


    On 22/03/2021 at 10:05, owen said:

    What did I know? Not enough, clearly. I have even read Suggs's autobiogrpahy and it was all "yeah, the lads were learning how to play as we went, we made it all up etc etc". That is clealry a narrative and not the truth.

    It probably was the truth rather than a narrative. Floyd were like that too and could hardly play. . A lot of bands were like that and most of the bands and acts that we grew up loving were just average noodlers wanting to hit the big time. Music was more of a vehicle than anything else.

    • Like 1

  12. I don't like slap either, and I believe that you're far from alone in having that opinion.

    I see slap as being the least musical technique and which serves the song the least well. I like melodic and tuneful solos when they serve the song, and in such a situation a non-slap melodic solo should always be chosen above slap.


    • Like 2

  13. 7 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

    Oh ok, sorry. I have no real problem going between 4 and 5 strings, just the spacing.

    As much as I only play 5 strings, and the 5 string fretless ibanezes are great, i never really found the B string on fretless all that useful. They don't seem to work well as flatwounds and they are a bit flappy on roundwounds!

    Seems ok on my 6 string fretless, but a lot of people think the B string on a fretless is less useful than the high C.

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