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fiatcoupe432

The excersises that improved your playing

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Posted (edited)

Hi guys, 

Just wondering what exercises improved your soloing by a 1000 times? 

What did you guys practice? 

Thanks in advance 

Edited by fiatcoupe432

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By 1000 times...?

Best practice is playing along to the radio, whatever comes on, play along to it.

Learning songs all the way through rather than just learning 'signature riffs'.

Choosing a key and a scale and noodling in it over as much of the neck as possible, changing styles, tempo and the scale but NEVER breaking out of the key.

A good video on YT suggests playing a riff fast three time, then doubling your tempo for one time round, then back to normal and so on.

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If you want to improve your playing and soloing, learn your scales, modes and techniques.

Take lessons and put in the hours. That's what all the good guys did.

Improve your technique then you won't need to stretch!! Check them out, none of the good players stretch.

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Thanks everybody! 

I know all my modes and s ales pretty well all over the fretboard on 5 and string, I encounter the problem tho that when I'm soloing it just sounds like scales and not some nice impro 

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What musical style is this?

Have you done much transcribing?  This helps to learn the idioms of your chosen musical style.  
If this is straightahead jazz, I'd transcribe horns not bass players.
 

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1 hour ago, fiatcoupe432 said:

 

Thanks everybody! 

I know all my modes and s ales pretty well all over the fretboard on 5 and string, I encounter the problem tho that when I'm soloing it just sounds like scales and not some nice impro 

Listen to some funk and learn some nice syncopated rhythms, that's what I'm doing at the moment 🙂

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For me it was both the practice content, the focus on how I practiced it and the mindset I had when practicing it.

I always practice in the context of an actual song and practice Incrementally in dificulty and not moving on until i could play the current practice material through the song to tempo at least 3 times without mistakes.

For example:

- I'd take a tune I really liked and memorise the chord changes (roots only)
- Then play purely the triads through the changes staying in one position on the fretboard only (note - not with the chords written in front of me but from memory / ear)
- Similar exercise but staying in one direction on the fretboard so if I was on the first position and the first chord was Am7 and the second chord was D7 (one bar each) I would play G, A, C , E  and then carry on with the direction of travel but changing chord the next note would be F# A C and back down to the A again. (I have no idea if this makes sense but it' an amazing exercise to change chords without changing the direction of your line)
- I'd then experiment with adding chromatics in to the basic chord tones and see if I can start to 'Hear' which chord tone I'm aiming for

Other things I've practiced would be learning a whole solo by somebody I love to listen to and pick it a part to see If can integrate some of the licks into my own playing for various chord types.

I think the biggest thing I learned was in my mindset to practicing - Focus on the work and not on the results. The results will come naturally as part of the work. But if you focus only on the results I guarantee you'll become frustrated and likely give up.
I also limited myself to only sticking to one or two things when practicing otherwise I just practiced 10 things really badly.

Only my very humble experiences and I am by no means an expert! Hope at least some of that helps you my friend.
 

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On 28/05/2019 at 10:50, fiatcoupe432 said:

I know all my modes and s ales pretty well all over the fretboard on 5 and string, I encounter the problem tho that when I'm soloing it just sounds like scales and not some nice impro 

Check out books by Jamey Aebersold.

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I used to have a warm up. 

 

Two ocatve scales in all keys, major and minor. 

Two octave diatonic arpeggios in all keys. 

Fingerings patterns 1234, 3124, 4132, etc 

 

I think that was it. 

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I don’t do much soloing but I also have,  Two ocatve scales in all keys, major and minor.  and , Fingerings patterns 12343124, 4132, et, as part of my practice routine, also theres some great exercises and workouts in this book , that I’ve found really improved my speed and coordination 🙂

                

EEF8A0EA-249B-48F7-AF15-5B7414AEB8DF.jpeg

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Hey!  These 5 things are pretty tough but if you can stick with them they'll help you get along way! 

1) Transcribing - simply tunes at first (jazz, blues or funk) 

2) Take a one bar idea that catches your ear from the above, learn it and play it in all keys

3) Now create your own variation of the above and repeat step no.2 

4) Learn the 'Guide Tones' to Jazz songs (3rd and 7th of each chord and how they voice lead to the next chord) 

4) Sing your ideas! Scary but I've found that singing is more musical than letting my hands take over talk too much! 

Any questions let me know 🙂

Simon 

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Late to this thread but given how little activity there is on this channel, thought I'd throw this in. 

I found this Janek book really helpful. Lots of interesting exercises that have improved my technical facility, and new approaches that have sparked more ideas over standard progressions.. 

IMG_1018.jpg.e6323575583cf2ddacd6e8a0a2cc64c7.jpg

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5 hours ago, Drax said:

Late to this thread but given how little activity there is on this channel, thought I'd throw this in. 

I found this Janek book really helpful. Lots of interesting exercises that have improved my technical facility, and new approaches that have sparked more ideas over standard progressions.. 

IMG_1018.jpg.e6323575583cf2ddacd6e8a0a2cc64c7.jpg

Thank you

that looks interesting

gonna give it a go

Do you wanna, sell it or can I get it from amazon?

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On 28/05/2019 at 10:50, fiatcoupe432 said:

I know all my modes and s ales pretty well all over the fretboard on 5 and string, I encounter the problem tho that when I'm soloing it just sounds like scales and not some nice impro 

Best thing for this I have found is to forget you're a bass player for a minute (hour maybe) and learn / pick up top lines off any song (radio source say). Play them real-time. Vocal top-lines take you across intervals and through progressions that bass lines generally don't go. So doing this takes you all over the fingerboard and also develops your ability to create melodic lines, how to develop them, where to take them etc.

I think this is essential to worthwhile soloing because the listener doesn't want to count your notes or check your scales, they want music. I started doing this on fretless ages ago and it has made a very big difference. Not 1000 times, but substantial.

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We're doing 'Brute Force and Ignorance'. On the  live version Gerry McAvoy's bass line is basically improvised from about five bars in... impossible for me to follow.

It's a very simple song, mostly G D D G,  and the main 'character' is thumping down on a the root note at the right moments to keep the pulse of the song alive (and putting the brief chorus in the same place as the guitarist.

But the song demands that you change the dynamics and pace and that you vary the complexity according to what's going on. I want to play a combination of  some 'signature' riffs that work well over the verses with random in-key noodling.

I'm along way from happy with where I am but as hard and as satisfying to tackle  as learning a well-documented bassline.

My lesson learned from this is that there's an awful lot more to successful improvisation than scales. I can over analyse it (by claiming to be 'modulating between G mixolydian and D mixolydian) but that's getting close to 💩💩💩

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Posted (edited)
On 28/05/2019 at 11:50, fiatcoupe432 said:

 

Thanks everybody! 

I know all my modes and s ales pretty well all over the fretboard on 5 and string, I encounter the problem tho that when I'm soloing it just sounds like scales and not some nice impro 

Transcribe and learn your some solos. By this I mean learn the top line melody, the chords and then the solo. Then analyse how the melody and solo relate to the chords. You’ll learn tons more and become a better soloist much quicker than blindly performing scale exercises.

Edited by NoirBass
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Posted (edited)

- Learn the melody and make variations by changing the rhythm, replacing notes or leaving out notes.

(I also did this a lot with small parts I heard from other instruments. Take the idea, make variations, make it work on the other chords of the song)

- transcribe other instruments: horns, right hand piano, guitar,... etc
(check this out! https://basslessons.be/transcriptions.php?i=8  - variations on the melody and an excellent solo)

- re-harmonise: G7 - C  ==> Dm7  - G7 - C  ==> Dm7 - Db7 - C   etc

- use a melodic or rhythmic idea and try to make as much variations as possible.

And what a lot of musicians forget: silence ads to music too. One of the first exercises in Hal Crook's "How to improvise" is : Play 2 measures / don't play for 2 measures. (don't count those measures, try to 'feel' them)

Edited by ChrisDev
added info
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I quite like some of cover solutions videos, and this popped up , so I gave it a go, I was fine until 5.09 , then I struggled, I think I need more practice 😁

 

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1 hour ago, Reggaebass said:

I quite like some of cover solutions videos, and this popped up , so I gave it a go, I was fine until 5.09 , then I struggled, I think I need more practice 😁

 

Good one!

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On 28/05/2019 at 10:50, fiatcoupe432 said:

 

Thanks everybody! 

I know all my modes and s ales pretty well all over the fretboard on 5 and string, I encounter the problem tho that when I'm soloing it just sounds like scales and not some nice impro 

Gary Willis has various tips on this specific issue, two are:  1/ never play more than four notes sequentially before playing somewhere else 2/ start scales on the 5th instead of the root.

Edited by lownote12

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If you want to improve soloing, transcribe solos by your favourite players. Then analyse what they’re doing over the chords.

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