Clocking in at just over 45 minutes, lesson 5 starts out with a quick chord arpeggio warm up exercise before jumping right in with four note chords or Sevenths. We learn a Major 7th, Dominant 7th, Minor 7th, a Half-Diminished Chord, a C Diminished and an Augmented 7th. Once again, a lot of information here in a short amount of time, but Roy does a great job at explaining it all and gives us the tools, along with the book, to work on and learn them on our own.
Next we move into Syncopations or Mixed Rhythms. Roy shows us the foot tap method to assist us in playing on the down and up beats. We then run through a few exercises to get a feel for the three basic combinations of Syncopations. I myself have no problem playing syncopated lines in a band setting but I must admit that I was having a lot of trouble trying to follow along with Roy, especially when using the foot tap method. I finally realized that I was thinking too much about what I am trying to play and not enough about what I am actually playing. When I moved on to the play along with the band section I found it much easier to lock in with the groove. This leads us in to a discussion of playing with a drummer and what parts of the drum set to listen to to lock in the groove. We learn that in General 8th note music we should listen to the set from the bottom to the top, while when playing swing or jazz we should listen from top to bottom. I have played with many drummers in my time and never really thought of it in these simple terms but I would have to agree with this assessment.
We get to play along with two songs in this lesson. The first is a James Brown inspired number entitled “Gettin’ on the Good Foot”. I have always been more of a rock player so it took me a little while to get the hang of this funk style bass line. I found that breaking it down into parts helped me to grasp it a bit easier, but I still need to work on this one a bit before moving on.
The Second number, California Pop Tune, is a Carol Kaye inspired bass line. This was a little more natural for me to play, just a bit busier than what I would normally play. I got the general feel and groove down on this one pretty quick, although I still want to give it some more attention to nail down the finer details.
I find it interesting that in this lesson we are reminded to keep working on the exercises from the past lessons and to really spend the time to learn the lessons before moving on. More than once we are told not to “Lesson Hop”. For me this is interesting as that I had pretty much come to this conclusion during lesson 4. I could see that each lesson is building on the previous and if you skip over something you may regret it later on in the course. This is why I spent so much time with lesson 4 and will probably spend a good amount with lesson 5 as well. Sure I could blow through the lessons, trying to get through them as quick as possible, but at the end what would I have learned. I am really enjoying myself with this course and can definitely see improvement in my playing as well as the whole way I look at music now. I plan on absorbing as much as I can from this course and hope to take my playing to a whole new level.
To read this series from the beginning start here: http://wp.me/pRvjK-h