Okay, trying to get back on track here. I realize that it has been a bit since I have written a blog about my progress with Teach Me Bass Guitar, and I apologize for that. Fear not, I have not given up. Lesson 7 took me a little longer to master than I had anticipated, plus I have been super busy at my day job. I actually started Lesson 8 a couple of weeks ago but have not had a chance to write about it until now, so here goes.
The DVD segment for Lesson 8 of Teach Me Bass Guitar comes in at just under an hour and focuses on putting everything we have learned so far together by “Connecting the Neck”. First we return to the “Hand over Hand” warm up exercise we learned all the way back in lesson 1 as Roy shows us how it relates to what we will be learning in this lesson. Next we learn how to tie all of the notes from frets 1 to 12 together using “L Shapes”, Octaves” and “Triads”. As we work through these exercises Roy shows us a technique he calls “Weight Lifting”, which helps us increase our speed by playing just outside of our comfort zone.
Before getting into the tunes for this lesson we are introduced to “Double Stops”, “10ths”, and “Power Chords”. I have been using some of these for years, but never knew what they were called or that they were real musical concepts. I especially found it interested that a strumming technique I just happened upon a few years ago is actually called a “rake”, and here I thought I made that up!
Stanley’s Secret is the first tune we learn, which is a Stanley Clarke inspired number in the vain of “Silly Putty” & “Lopsy Lu”. If you haven’t listened to Stanley before, I definitely recommend you check him out. This number is full of double stops and power chords and even has a minor pentatonic run it which can be a bit daunting to play at tempo. I really dig this song and found it fairly easy for me to play on the first try. The only weird thing of note is during the “Play with the band” portion the band only runs through the first half of the song at the slow tempo. They play the whole song at the faster tempo, so I’m not sure if it is an error on their part or if it was meant to be that way.
Mountain Goat Blues is the second song in lesson 8 and I am finding it a bit harder to wrap my head around this one. The first part of the song is really just connecting two octave patterns, but man it is getting the best of me. The second part is a Chicago blues type shuffle that I have no problems playing, but the first part is just a bear. Roy say’s he will play it slowly with the metronome set at 1/4 note = 60 bpm, but man it sure seems fast to me! After working on it a bit I am starting to get it, but I know I will be spending some time getting this one down.
As always, Roy gives us some more great cool down exercises to do at the conclusion of the lesson. I for one really appreciate the fact that Roy takes the time to do this at the end of each lesson as I feel that it is a very important skill to learn in order to stay healthy.
Well, things are definitely moving faster now, but I am not having as much trouble keeping up as I did in Lesson 7. I am finding that as the lessons progress I am needing to spend more time working on them, but when I break them down into smaller chunks I am able to work them out a measure at a time and then put it all together. I have also been finding great inspiration on the Thunder Row website interacting with other bassists working on the course. Thanks for keeping me honest and giving me that extra kick I sometimes need to stay on top of things. As always, thanks for following and feel free shoot me an email or drop a comment.
To read this series from the beginning start here: http://wp.me/pRvjK-h