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Raymondo

Technique ignorant

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Prompted by the "Bass ramp" thread

I have been a member on here for years. I have played bass since 1972, and you know what? I've never heard of these.

I don't ever think about how I play. I never analyse anything.... I was once asked if" I meant to play all those ghost notes"?....I had and still have no idea what ghost notes are. 

I learned ,from here, that I must use the "floating thumb" technique whilst playing, but have no idea how...I just play that way.

I don't understand what "left hand muting" means, I don't have any interest in using effects pedals.

I just plug in and play ….learning to play covers by ear and making up my own lines by feel.

I have enjoyed myself, played loads of gigs and just let things wash over me.

Am I the only one?

Edited by Raymondo
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And similarly it doesn't hurt to learn more about techniques that help your playing - whether that's understanding the language to describe ones you already use or expanding your playing by learning new ones.

Ghost notes is a good example. 20 years ago my wife decided get some singing lessons at an evening class at ACM in Guildford. So I thought, "I'll enrol in the class that runs in parallel." We both then went on to do some 1-2-1 courses after that.  My tutor looked at my playing and said, "You know, you never ever use any ghost notes." "Don't I? What are they?" So we spent a few weeks working on them and since then they've been a really central part of how I play too. I love the effect that they have on a line or a rhythm. But I use them completely naturally and unconsciously now.

I kinda think of it like learning to drive. "Left foot down, ease off the gas slightly, move gear lever out of slot, move it into new slot, lift left foot to bite point, slowly lift left foot while increasing pressure on the accelerator..." Once you've learned to drive you never actively think about the process, you just instinctively change gear. And again, you could happily get through life referring to the "left foot pusher", "middle slow down foot pusher"  and "right hand side go faster foot pusher".  So much easier though when you call them the "clutch", "brake" and "accelerator" pedals.

Edited by TrevorR
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12 minutes ago, Jazzmaster62 said:

If you enjoy what you're doing and it does no harm, keep doing it!

Indeed this. I've taken on students who have been playing in bands for say, 15 years maybe more and loving it, but similarly have no idea what chords, keys or time signatures actually are. We have an incredible aptitude for being able to figure stuff out without the "on paper" theory.

Yes, its fine to go on without but there's no harm in arming yourself with "the knowledge" - and it won't sanitise your creativity by understanding a bit more. In terms of technique, generally everyone I have taken on has been "ok" though in some cases I have had to spend considerable time undoing some bad posture that had taken its toll. 

You certainly aren't in a minority though and as per the quote, keep doing it and loving it :) 

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I’ve no idea of what techniques I use or don’t use, but I can play what I need to and more importantly imo, keep good time with whatever drummer I’m playing with. If I were pro I’d have looked into all of this a lot more and learned what each was but st my level I’ll settle for the ham-fisted technique.

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I’m always looking and watching for anything that can improve my playing, whether it’s theory or technique , if I think it’s beneficial I’ll work on it, I’m forever adding things to my practice routine, sometimes too many 🙂

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As a corollary, I can't slap.

I'm not at all fond of the sound of slap bass, so I've never learned.

Unless lacking a particular technique leaves you wanting, I'd say please yourself - call it your style if you fancy :)

 

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40 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

I’ve no idea of what techniques I use or don’t use, but I can play what I need to and more importantly imo, keep good time with whatever drummer I’m playing with. If I were pro I’d have looked into all of this a lot more and learned what each was but st my level I’ll settle for the ham-fisted technique.

I agree 100% with Loz196.

I've been playing 'ham-fisted' bass in bands since 1968.  Had a few 'Bouquets and Brickbats' over the years ....... but more importantly I thoroughly enjoy playing bass guitar, and that's good enough for me.

Chris

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I'll be 32 years playing come Christmas this year and although I did a bit of reading on double bass when I was in my teens I know nothing of chords, keys etc.

I just play what is right and have never worried about not knowing certain things. It's never held me back or prevented me from participating.

Also, I have never been in a scenario where I have been required to slap other than doing the hammer-on pops in We Are Family. Oh, there you go, I do know a type of style technique thingy if "hammer-on pops" is actually a thing  :crazy:

 

Edited by Delberthot
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I already know that my knowledge is very limited, but education and learning has lead me to use some very useful tools (like understanding notes, chord progressions, solfege, music software etc.). My honorable teachers have given me their time to enhance my abilities. Everyone of them has known the old truth, that I need to do at least as much as they have to reach their level. After all these years I am still on the way...

I enjoy - no - I love playing bass. I think that any tool or any piece of knowledge helps me to take those little steps towards better playing (this certainly is something else than plain technique) and to the music that is sometimes larger than life. And I love being part of it.

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I had to look that one up.

What Is Solfege? Solfege is a method of naming pitches. It works by assigning a syllable to each note of the musical scale. So rather than, say, naming a C major scale as C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C, you can name it as do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do.

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When I started playing a year or so back two of my friends who have played for years took the mick because I'm as interested in the theory and the why as much as the playing and the how. Knowing my very academic nature they reckoned I would be fabulous at theory and only able to play The Chain.

About a third of my lessons end up as music theory.  It's fun and interesting, and rather than practicing someone else's song as a means to get my muting better I have to, for example, write a walking bassline over a set of chords and then practice that.

Of course my muting is still lousy, I'll never get a job in a covers band, and as a point of principle I've not learned The Chain 😉

Edited by Richard R
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59 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

I had to look that one up.

What Is Solfege? Solfege is a method of naming pitches. It works by assigning a syllable to each note of the musical scale. So rather than, say, naming a C major scale as C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C, you can name it as do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do.

Does that make a D major scale re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do-re?

I have written a song that is the first four notes of G major so I assumed it was in G. Apparently it's in D. *shrug* I should really learn why, it may help with a lot of my writing.

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Guest oZZma

I only try to learn techniques I need, I don't have all that interest in learning multiple techniques. I have abandoned fingers because the pick sounds better to me, so I stay focused on that. I haven't ever heard about "bass ramps" either 😁

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10 hours ago, Raymondo said:

Prompted by the "Bass ramp" thread

I have been a member on here for years. I have played bass since 1972, and you know what? I've never heard of these.

I don't ever think about how I play. I never analyse anything.... I was once asked if" I meant to play all those ghost motes"?....I had and still have no idea what ghost notes are. 

I learned ,from here, that I must use the "floating thumb" technique whilst playing, but have no idea how...I just play that way.

I don't understand what "left hand muting" means, I don't have any interest in using effects pedals.

I just plug in and play ….learning to play covers by ear and making up my own lines by feel.

I have enjoyed myself, played loads of gigs and just let things wash over me.

Am I the only one?

I am exactly the same. I love playing and gigging more so. If you like and enjoy what you play, and others want to be in bands with you then whats not to like. I dont play to be technical or clever I play what I feel fits the song. For me music is emotion or feel if you like, and if it feels good to me it is good.

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6 hours ago, Si600 said:

Does that make a D major scale re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do-re?

I have written a song that is the first four notes of G major so I assumed it was in G. Apparently it's in D. *shrug* I should really learn why, it may help with a lot of my writing.

No, you need to start at the very beginning. It’s a very good place to start. When you read you begin with ABC, when you sing you begin with doh - re - me. The first three notes just happen to be, doh-re-me.

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I look at this the other way. I’m a reasonable player / bass line writer but I do absolutely everything from a mathematical standpoint. What key is the song in, what are the chords etc. Then I can use notes from the relevant scales to create my lines. Although to be honest I mostly stick to chord tones and take the odd passing note from the relevant mode.

Im happy with my sound / style but Ive always been in awe of more ‘natural’ musicians... A life long friend has absolutely no idea which intervals create which chords, I’m not even sure he could name the notes of the open strings... But he is a wonderful classical guitarist. I’ve not seen such a unconscious ability to write complex chordal pieces with little melody lines over the top played simultaneously. Wonderful stuff I could never have come up with myself.

Takes all sorts this music lark 😊 I’m happy the theory framework is out there to learn as it’s given less naturally gifted players like myself half a chance of sounding good!

Edited by CamdenRob
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I’ve been playing (self taught) in a gigging band for well over 30 years and for the last 6 months whilst our drummer was dealing with a back injury I decided to get some one to one bass lessons to brush up on theory and technique.

To be very honest it’s been a revolation, I’m enjoying playing and practicing more than ever before and everything just seems to make a bit more sense. Also songs we’ve been playing for decades are now so much easier to play.

A side benefit has been that I’ve almost totally lost my “gas” for other equipment. I think that I’ve been chasing gear to make me sound better when I now believe it was me not getting the best out of the equipment i already have. 

On the back of this I’ve recently enrolled in to Scott’s 26 week technique accelerator programme, we’re only on week 3 but I’m really enjoying it. 

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1 hour ago, DJpullchord said:

Are there any bass lines that don’t contain the note (tonic???? I dunno) of the key, within the song? Guess there must be loads......

There's plenty of music which is atonal.

Also, there's things like the start of "Birdland" where the root isn't played until the 4th bar of the song.

But normally, if you define a piece as having a key, the note the bass is playing very much defines which key the piece is in, so its not going to happen.

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On 19/07/2019 at 10:12, Raymondo said:

Prompted by the "Bass ramp" thread

I have been a member on here for years. I have played bass since 1972, and you know what? I've never heard of these.

I don't ever think about how I play. I never analyse anything.... I was once asked if" I meant to play all those ghost motes"?....I had and still have no idea what ghost notes are. 

I learned ,from here, that I must use the "floating thumb" technique whilst playing, but have no idea how...I just play that way.

I don't understand what "left hand muting" means, I don't have any interest in using effects pedals.

I just plug in and play ….learning to play covers by ear and making up my own lines by feel.

I have enjoyed myself, played loads of gigs and just let things wash over me.

Am I the only one?

You've just described me from beginning in 1981 up to this day lol

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I know nothing & I'm blissfully happy in my ignorance :)

Also, slap bass is evil >:(

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On 19/07/2019 at 16:34, Happy Jack said:

I had to look that one up.

What Is Solfege? Solfege is a method of naming pitches. It works by assigning a syllable to each note of the musical scale. So rather than, say, naming a C major scale as C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C, you can name it as do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do.

And fans of the Sound of Music will recall the song which helps you remember:

Do, a beer, a mexican beer

Ray, a bloke who buys me beer

Me, a blike I buy beer for

Fa, a long way to the bar

So, I'll have another beer

La, la la la la la la

Ti, no thanks I'll have a beer

Which will bring me back to do do do do ...

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6 hours ago, paul_c2 said:

There's plenty of music which is atonal.

Also, there's things like the start of "Birdland" where the root isn't played until the 4th bar of the song.

But normally, if you define a piece as having a key, the note the bass is playing very much defines which key the piece is in, so its not going to happen.

Interesting. I’ll try and compose summit tomorrow. 

Would it be hard to determine if it’s in relative 5th type thing if the root isn’t played?

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