At last, my long awaited review of Lesson 10 of Teach Me Bass Guitar. Here we put the concept of slap bass behind us and move on to finger funk. I’ve always loved listening to a great finger funk bass line, and am excited to learn the fundamentals of this style. At just under 49 minutes, Lesson 10 starts out by covering the notes from the 12th to 15th frets and then quickly moves on to right and left hand techniques for finger funk style playing. Here, right hand plucking techniques are covered as well as left hand muting. I was pleased to find that I have been using most of these techniques for years, which should make this lesson a bit easier for me. Next we work on a quick power chord warm up, plucking each note, R-5-8, twice and moving it around the neck. Finally we cover each of the notes on the fretboard from the 12th to 15th frets, to wrap up the warm up for this lesson.
Once the basics are laid down, we move on to a couple of prep exercises before launching into the first “Jaco” inspired tune, “Florida Groove”. I’m a big Jaco fan and was eager to tackle this one. I am proud to say that I have no problem jumping right into it at 80 bpm’s and feel that I should be able to progress up to 100 bpm rather quickly. Broken down into small bits, it amazes me how simple some this stuff is. The second tune in Lesson 10 is a James Brown/Tower of Power type line entitled “Popcorn Popper”. This tune focuses on the art of motoring and Roy has us do a 16th note pedal while walking up chromatic scales as a warm up before setting us loose on the song itself. “Popcorn Popper” doesn’t feel as natural and easy to me as “Florida Groove”, but I still had no problem jumping into it at 80 bpms. I think once I get the groove and timing down on this one, everything else will fall into place.
It seems to me that we are into the advanced lessons now as Roy is starting to make assumptions about your playing level here. I guess if you’ve made it this far you should know a thing or two. The general pace of this lesson is much quicker than previous lessons, and a times it was not always clear to me what exactly Roy was going to play when he would count us in to play through a phrase. The on screen sheet music graphics appear less and less as well, making it difficult to follow along without the book or printed out sheet music in front of you. Towards the end I started watching a piece through first, without playing along, to get a solid understanding of what we were about to do. All of the necessary information is presented, it just goes by a lot quicker than before. Guess I’m in the big leagues now! Fortunately, everything just clicked for me with this lesson, and I envision getting through it much quicker than lesson 9. I feel like I am back in the groove, and hope to keep up this momentum through the end of the course. I have set a goal for myself to finish the TMBG course by the end of November. Right now I am really feeling like I should have no problem reaching this goal. As always, wish me luck.