Okay, I’m finally ready to move on to Lesson 5, but thought I would do a quick recap of the first 4 lessons to discuss what I’ve learned thus far.
Lesson 1 gives us an overview of the bass guitar and it’s components as well as introduces us to the musical alphabet and the notes on the fretboard. Roy gives us a couple of different exercises to work on to get used to playing and learn your way around the bass. I personally benefited from some of the info on left hand technique. There is definitely some great information here for total beginners. The exercises gave me something to focus on while practicing and have helped me to improve my technique.
Lesson 2 starts us playing in the first position and we dig a little deeper into the musical alphabet and how it works. We start to learn the major scale as well as some simple rhythms and the 12 bar blues form. From here we learn a couple of tunes and get to jam along with the band on the video, with and without Roy’s bass. In this lesson I really started to understand how scales work and why they are important. I went into the lesson thinking, “Oh no, music theory!” and finished it up by thinking “Wow, I think I’m starting to get it!”
Lesson 3 introduced us to the pick, explaining why it is a good idea to know how to play with both a pick and your fingers. We get a little more theory and talk about triads and improvisation. We learned a couple more tunes, the second of which was a little tricky for me to master, but once I did it seemed so simple I couldn’t figure out why I had been stuck on it.
Lesson 4 moves us down to the fifth position and fills our brains with a lot more theory. We revisit the Major scale as well as learn the Natural Minor, Harmonic Minor, and Melodic Minor Scales. We are presented two more songs to learn, which proved to be a bit of a challenge for me personally. I especially got hung up on the “Bach to Bass-ics” song as that I was trying to play along while solely looking at the tab, but quickly realized that I was missing the rests and note durations. I definitely gained a new respect for reading notation and can understand why it is such an important skill to master.
So, with the first 4 lessons behind me I can say that my practicing is more structured and productive. I used to just screw around playing a few riffs and then play along with songs I liked. This got old fast and it was almost a chore for me to get my bass out. Now I feel more invigorated and creative and am eager to learn all that I can. On that note, lesson 4 really inspired me to work harder on music theory. Part of the reason that it took me so long to get through the lesson is that I went on a bit of a music theory tangent and started looking online and at books that I have for more information. I have a copy of Robby Garner’s “Essential Music Theory for Electric Bass” that I bought back in 1996 and never got past page 10. Now I feel like I am looking at it with new eyes. This course has really inspired me to learn all that I can about the bass and music in general. I can’t wait to see what Lesson 5 has in store for me.
As for this blog, I will keep writing and am hoping to start posting updates more often, if only to report on my progress or to discuss things that I have learned along the way. As always, if you have any specific questions feel free to ask them and I will do my best to get you an answer in a timely manner. Cheers for now.
To read this series from the beginning start here: http://wp.me/pRvjK-h