Lesson 3 – Teach Me Bass Guitar

At long last, I am finally ready to report on Lesson 3 of the Teach Me Bass Guitar Course.  Sorry for the delay, I have a number of excuses but will not detail them here.  Let me start by saying that this was the first lesson that was a bit of a challenge to me.  I was a little surprised by this as that I have been playing for so long, but am at the same time enjoying the challenge.

Lesson 3 starts off with a brief introduction to picking.  Roy shows us the “Studio Grip” technique and then runs us through the 4×4 exercises using a pick.  He also gives some advice as to when to use a pick and when not to.  I myself am a finger player.  I started off using a pick but quickly transitioned to using my fingers and never really went back.  I can definitely understand why some players prefer a pick to get a certain sound, but I prefer to use my fingers.  That said, I did go through the exercises using a pick and was happy to learn the studio grip as that I never really learned how to properly hold a pick.

Next we move on to the theory aspect and are introduced to 8th notes and rests, followed by ties and dotted rhythm’s.  I had a basic understanding of these concepts going in, but now feel that I understand them more clearly.  I am really starting to like how Roy manages to connect the dots in my brain between the theory aspect and actually playing.  Lately I have been going to bed with these concepts floating around my head and have a greater understanding of how it is all tied together.

Major, Minor, Diminished & Augmented Triads are then discussed and Roy brings in a guest “student”. The student runs through the exercises somewhat chunkily and asks pertinent questions that new players may find helpful.  It is interesting to see Roy’s enthusiasm when the student plays the part correctly.  At first I thought this segment was a bit cheesy, but after watching it again I realized that it made me feel better about my playing and was nice to see someone else going through the paces.

We then move on to playing the first tune “Rockin’ Blues” which is a basic 8th note blues jam followed by an 8th note major triad section.  This is a great, basic, rock line.  I’ve played lines like this countless times and was even able to play it proficiently with a pick.  The next tune is “Impov:  You Play It!”, a Doors like tune that took me a little while to master.  the bass line is fairly basic, based on triads, but the rhythm is syncopated, containing the dotted notes we learned earlier in the lesson.  I got the first part down fairly easily, but the second part took me a little while to nail down.  I was a bit surprised that I was already having trouble on the 3rd lesson, but hey that’s why I started this course, to improve my chops!  I have had a lot going on lately and have not been able to practice as much as I would like, which added to my frustrations, but after 3 or 4 times I finally got the line down.  I must admit, however, that I mastered the line using my fingers, not a pick.

Okay, so far so good.  I will most likely jam along with the band utilizing the loop section of the DVD at least one more time before moving on to lesson 4.  Hopefully I can find more time to devote to this.  I do have one criticism at this point:  The written music in the book and on the screen do not always match what Roy is playing.  The notes are correct, but he is playing in a different position that the Tab portion is written.  For example, the Triad section in Rockin’ Blues has you playing the G on the E string then going down to the C on the E string and finally the D on the E string, when Roy plays it he plays the G on the E string, the C on the A string and the D on the A string.  I know it is all the same note, I just don’t understand why it is written different from what he plays.  I actually played the line the way Roy did as that it is more natural for me, and easier.  I quickly realized what was going on, but I am not so sure a new player would.  Anyway, just my two cents.

Until next time, keep on pluckin’!

To read this series from the beginning start here:  http://wp.me/pRvjK-h

3 Replies to “Lesson 3 – Teach Me Bass Guitar”

  1. Hi Stanton,

    Good to see your posting comments again. As I said before, as TMBG climbs its way up the search engines in the weeks and months to come I feel many students and prospective students will find your experience with TMBG most helpful. As for your observation that some of the notation doesn't match what Roy is playing, those are the ones that slipped by our editors (one of whom is Roy himself!). I know you have a busy schedule, but if you could make note of these discrepancies and, when you've finished the course, send them to me so they can be corrected in the next edition, it would be much appreciated.

    Thanks again, and play on!
    David Crossman

  2. Hey Stanton,
    Thanks for sharing your journey. Don't forget you can access me anytime at [email protected]
    BTW, thanks for the heads up on the errata (I know there's one in Chapter 14 as well). We're actively adressing those for future editions, but in the meantime contact me if you have any questions.

  3. Hey, great blog!. How do I subscribe to ensure I get notifed when you make new posts? Thanks

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