IIB: Music Theory for the Bass – Lesson 2

You ever feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do what you want to do?  I’ve been feeling that way a lot lately.  First let me say that I am really enjoying the International Institute of Bassists Music Theory Course, but I was totally unprepared for the amount of time, and work, that I would need to put into it.  Cliff Engel provides a wealth of information, in an easy to understand format.  I look forward to each new lesson and go to bed at night with theory concepts running through my head.  My main area of difficulty is finding the time to read through it all, work through the exercises on my bass, and keep up with my lessons in Teach Me Bass Guitar.  Okay, enough of my whining, on to Lesson 2.

Lesson 2 of Music Theory for the Bass introduces us to Triads.  What they are, how they’re used, triad sequences, and triad cells.  Coming into this I was familiar with the term, Triads, and had a basic understanding of what they were, but wow!  I had no idea what sequences or cells were, or how important triad are in music.  Definitely an eye opener for me.  I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the entire concept, but I’m getting there.  Additionally,  Signs and Terms are covered in lesson 2, which turn out to be very important when sight reading.  Next up is note studies on the fretboard between the open and 3rd frets.  Here we start to break down the task of learning the notes on the fretboard a little at a time.  This is followed by working through a series of rhythm studies and ends with a bit of ear training with triads.  A lot of information for one lesson to say the least.  I’m starting to get how the flow of this course is working, but need to devote more time to it if I want to succeed.

On a sad note, tonight I received an email from Cliff informing us students that he would have to delay Lesson 3 for a week or two as that his Father has past away.  Having lost my Dad this past August, I know, first hand, the emotional impact this causes.  My heart goes out to Cliff and his family in this very difficult time.

One Reply to “IIB: Music Theory for the Bass – Lesson 2”

  1. I’m currently on lesson 2 . The practice skills suggestions from lesson one really helped me with the sight reading . In 5 days I’ve seen real improvement . The triad sequences are quite challenging when you get into inversions .

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