After taking a week or so off from playing I jumped back into the game by starting Lesson 11 of Teach Me Bass Guitar. Coming in at just under 40 minutes, Lesson 11 is one of the shorter lessons we’ve had in a while. First off, we finish learning the fretboard, covering frets 17-20. Although many basses have more than 20 frets, a standard Fender has only 20, which may be why we stop here. Plus if you’ve gotten this far and still need help learning the notes on the fretboard you’re in way over your head! To reach these notes on a bass with a bolt on neck, Roy suggests that you park your thumb on the body where it joins the neck. I found this technique works well for the most part; it seems my pinky is too short to reach the 20th fret on the E string so I have to pivot a bit and get it with my ring finger.
Once we learn the frets we move on to the meat of the lesson, chords and triple stops. For this we return to the 10th intervals we learned in Lesson 8. After a quick review of the intervals Roy brings in one of his students, Kodi, to work through the exercises with us. Again, I feel it’s a nice touch when Roy does this as that it lets you see somebody react to the material, giving you a broader perspective. Along with Kodi, we are guided through a variation of 3 note chords, with chord names and fingerings being pointed out along the way. Roy then gives a nod to Chuck Rainey and Roscoe Beck as being two bassists whom employ this style of playing.
Austin Bound is the name of the first song we work through in this lesson. It is a 12 bar blues number which utilizes open strings and double stops to great effect. The concepts for this number were fairly easy for me to grasp, but hitting a 2 note chord (double stop) high up on the neck is something new for me and will most likely take me a little while to get the feel of it under my fingers. The song has a nice groove to, so once I get the technical part down it should be pretty smooth sailing.
Our second song is called The Trouble With The Truth, and is the first song we’ve learned that has a vocalist. Roy brings in Nashville legend Jonell Mosser to help illustrate how not to step all over the singers part, an important skill to have if you want to be a working bassist. The song cruises along with some funky 8th note work, saving the chordal phrases for the later part of the tune. This one seems pretty straight forward as well, once the technical aspects are learned. Some lessons feel more natural to me than others and this one definitely falls into that category. It sure would go a long way in the motivation department if I could master this lesson fairly quickly. We’ll see how it goes, and of course, keep you updated as I progress.