Jump to content
Nicko

Beyond your technical ability

Recommended Posts

There's a few songs I have tried to learn over the years that were beyond my basic skill level, and when the band first suggested them I tried and tried but just couldn't do it.

Some occasionally come back as a suggestion and I give it a another go. I didn't think that I had improved that much in the last 2 or 3 years but I can now play these things that were previously impossible for me.

Examples

When I come Around - Greenday - just couldn't move my fingers quickly enough
I predict a Riot - Kaiser Chiefs - really struggled with the structure, the individual phrases were easy enough
No One Knows - QOTSA - Where do I even start, structure, fills, panic
Somebody Told Me - Killers - I was all over the place.

Maybe being taken out of my comfort zone is a necessary learning experience. This is why I play covers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who told you that you have to play what the original player did ? Roll your own , mate. It's the best way to improve and develop a style and if anyone tells you you're doing it wrong you just send them to have a chat with me.

Having said that - you have touched on an important tip for improving players of all abilities. Don't practise what you can play , practise what you can't.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t play in a band but i try to play along with backing tracks I struggle to play more songs than I can actually play but I’m really struggling with “the trooper” I just can’t get the gallops however hard I try I’ve tried two fingers and three fingers but after I do a couple it all goes to s**t

Was it just practice that made you master it or did something seem to just click and then you could play them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been many years since I was trying to get to a level where I felt good enough to play with other people but as I recall it wasn't a linear progression. More like stairs. I'd go along a bit without making any headway then suddenly go up a bit. Went like that for years. A mate of mine has a theory that nobody ever stays the same , you get better or you get worse , so practise keeps you getting better. Sure I could cast a couple of turds amongst his pearls but he has an interesting point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That’s what I’m aiming for is to play in a band again or even feel confident to even jam with people but I stopped playing for almost 20yrs and only recently picked up the bass again so it’s feeling like a back at square 1 at the mo but saying that I still really enjoy trying to play so that’s spurring me on

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love to be dealt with songs that when i first hear them i think there's no way i could play them. It takes a lot of time and effort in the beginning, sitting down, splitting the songs in sections, writting the notes down, play it over and over with it constantly sounding sh*t until comes that CLICK! and suddently the song is nailed. A great feeling in the end. It's what makes me move forward in my playing, if i'm asked to play a simple song that i know in my head and only has a basic line i don't even practise it, just pick up the notes and play it. Playing the hard stuff is where all the fun it at. I believe the last couple of songs i've learned that gave me this feeling were Sir Duke and Master Blaster.

Edited by Ghost_Bass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Slow the lines down to a speed that you can play. Work out short sections.

Gradually put the sections together and then speed up.

In many paces you don't have to play all of the notes, use short cuts. It's called developing your own style.

Everyone does it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the way to Carnegie Hall???


Practice, Practice, Practice,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1510334051' post='3405722']
Slow the lines down to a speed that you can play. Work out short sections.

Gradually put the sections together and then speed up.

In many paces you don't have to play all of the notes, use short cuts. It's called developing your own style.

Everyone does it.
[/quote]

I don’t know if I’m gonna get crucified for admitting I use “Rocksmith” to learn but it is good in the aspect I can slow the track down and reduce the number of notes then slowly add more notes and up the speed only problem is that it measures the amount of correct notes you play so trying to use short cuts and developing my own style isn’t possible but I spose once I’ve learnt it I can start adding my own style in

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Working out which bits you should play like the original and which bits you can alter/simplify/"make your own" is a real skill, and I don't feel like people talk about it that much. You have to learn to recognise the hooks and the iconic parts that make the song, otherwise it's can sound a bit half-arsed. It's the same for all instruments. There's a lot of genres where none of the bass parts are particularly recognisable. But if you try to play an iconic part like [b]Another One Bites The Dust[/b] / [b]Gimme Some Lovin'[/b] / [b]Money [/b]/ [b]Good Times[/b] in your own "creative" way, you're going to get funny looks.

Obviously if you're doing a cover in a radically different style, it's much more like writing your own parts for an original tune.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep I know how you feel. I’m too much of a sloppy player to do a lot of bass lines so I generally simplify but it can sound rather basic

One for example is boys and girls blur. I can’t seem to get the precision notes and I end up sliding all over the place in order to quantize to the beat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Jimothey' timestamp='1510334971' post='3405740']
I don't know if I'm gonna get crucified for admitting I use "Rocksmith" to learn but it is good in the aspect I can slow the track down and reduce the number of notes then slowly add more notes and up the speed only problem is that it measures the amount of correct notes you play so trying to use short cuts and developing my own style isn't possible but I spose once I've learnt it I can start adding my own style in
[/quote]

How about doing versions like [i]I Shot the Sheriff[/i] by both Bob Marley & The Wailers and Eric Clapton or [i]I Fought the Law[/i] by both The Bobby Fuller Four and The Clash?

I just noticed how both of those involve conflict with the authorities so kids... don't try this at home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Jimothey' timestamp='1510330860' post='3405693']
I don’t play in a band but i try to play along with backing tracks I struggle to play more songs than I can actually play but I’m really struggling with “the trooper” I just can’t get the gallops however hard I try I’ve tried two fingers and three fingers but after I do a couple it all goes to s**t

Was it just practice that made you master it or did something seem to just click and then you could play them?
[/quote]

Playing along to tracks is completely different than playing live with other musicians.

Be carful not to over estimate your abilities.

Blue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='blue' timestamp='1510337725' post='3405789']


Playing along to tracks is completely different than playing live with other musicians.

Blue
[/quote]

Quite right, usually because all those bits you worked so hard at to get perfect go out the window as soon as you realise none of the others in the band really know how to play it😂

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='blue' timestamp='1510337725' post='3405789']


Playing along to tracks is completely different than playing live with other musicians.

Be carful not to over estimate your abilities.

Blue
[/quote]

Sorry if you thought I meant that because I try to play along with backing track I think I’m ready to join a band I know my abilities and they are at the beginner level but my goal when I feel I’m ready is to try and join a band so I’m not really over estimating my abilities

I’m quite a optimistic person so I prefer looking at it as “don’t under estimate your potential”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My advice is, should you wish to learn these songs, find a teacher who can teach 'how to learn new material'. I'm pretty chuffed with my own students. I have a complete novice bossing Hysteria by Muse at the moment. Another has recorded Sir Duke not long after taking up the instrument.

For me, when I first started trying to challenge myself more, the band I played in covered a track called Metropolis Pt.II. It's a handy song but at the time I just couldn't seem to piece it together. I told myself it was outside of my capabilities and nearly had to throw the towel in. I didn't want to let the band don so I persevered. Needless to say, after some hard work we got it together and we received many compliments over our like-for-like version.

In short, don't give in :) You can do it! Maybe not today, but keep at it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two things:
1.Often taking a break from working on something you find difficult and then trying it days/weeks/months/years later seems to work for me as the OP suggests.
2.Most important for me is to RELAX and not try so hard.I'm pretty hyper and getting more and more tense and trying really hard usually ends up badly with loads of frustration and finally just giving up on the thing I'm working on and assuming it's impossible.But if I think back to all the songs or licks that I thought were impossible over all my 57 years of playing it puts things in a better perspective, sometimes I amaze myself at what I've been able to figure out and play.Of course there are virtuoso bits that only a few talents can play but with work a lot of things are possible and as others have said sometimes you just have to simplify a bit to make it work for you.This also has worked for me in my amateur athletic endeavours(ice hockey-I'm Canadian,and showing horses)where relaxing and going with the flow works well and thinking too much and trying too hard can cause problems.
I know at rehearsals if I feel a lot of pressure to get something new perfect too soon I start to get tense and nervous and it all falls apart.A deep breath and realizing the world hasn't ended really helps, but it does take time.
End of sermon,I'm going to play some bass.

Edited by Staggering on

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A well-viewed example of what can happen if one tries too hard. Warning: Not for family viewing.
 

 

Edited by Dad3353

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha ha i’ve got like that a few times where it’s not me it’s my hand that has a mind of its own

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching/listening to live versions can work as they can be different/simplified from the recorded ones - even by the original artists. I was working on 'Tempted' by Squeeze and I preferred a live Paul Carrack version with Nick Lowe on bass. Not particularly simpler but more varied.

[url="https://youtu.be/wH0icW_9tUI"]https://youtu.be/wH0icW_9tUI[/url]

I also remember learning Bowie's 'Let's Dance' and getting a bass line based on a number of versions including the version from The Serious Moonlight Tour. Simplify.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I've found is that you can always improve your playing. I've been gigging regularly for over 30 years and think that my playing and technical ability is better now than it's ever been. Songs that I really struggled to learn and play all the notes in time a few years ago, I can now play with ease and even think about nuance too. If you stick at it, without going overboard so that you get fed up & frustrated, it will come. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/11/2017 at 16:09, Nicko said:

There's a few songs I have tried to learn over the years that were beyond my basic skill level, and when the band first suggested them I tried and tried but just couldn't do it.

Some occasionally come back as a suggestion and I give it a another go. I didn't think that I had improved that much in the last 2 or 3 years but I can now play these things that were previously impossible for me.

Examples

When I come Around - Greenday - just couldn't move my fingers quickly enough
I predict a Riot - Kaiser Chiefs - really struggled with the structure, the individual phrases were easy enough
No One Knows - QOTSA - Where do I even start, structure, fills, panic
Somebody Told Me - Killers - I was all over the place.

Maybe being taken out of my comfort zone is a necessary learning experience. This is why I play covers.

I've seen bass players in bands play all 4 of them and not one plays them anywhere near. Most of the time they just follow the rhythm guitar, they'll drop fills, won't play 1/16ths but 1/8th notes instead...but they'll still rate themselves as really good bass players.

I can't get the fills in 'No One Knows' nailed, it's just too fast for me, my brain and fingers don't work at that speed. And it was only recently I could get the phrasing in 'I Predict A Riot' correct.

One song I cannot play is Paradise City by Guns 'n' Roses. It kills my wrist to play it...and as for the double speed part at the end,  just forget it O.o

Sometimes it's best to leave them alone for a while, come back to it. All told though, it's not the end of the world if you can't play these note for note.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd only ever played with backing tracks for my 18months to two years, then answered a bassist wanted ad in my local music shop. I turned up with a 15w amp and a list of songs I could play. The guitarist was unbelievable and could sound like any famous player he wanted while improvising. The drummer was unreal too. They liked my honesty and have a go attitude and realised I wouldn't try to take over and they took me on. I improved leaps and bounds by playing with better players. 

In short, don't wait until you think you're ready to play with a band, just go and do it! It will improve you far more than backing tracks ever can. Playing different stuff with other players and improvising a bit can help you bridge those gaps in your technical ability very quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...