I'm back in Nashville this week for Roy Vogt's TMBG Bass Boot Camp and we had a stellar first day. Roy, Adam Nitti & Anthony Wellington gave us each a quick evaluation this morning to get an idea of our skill levels, then quickly split us up into 3 groups of 4. From there each group split off with a different instructor to work on a variety of topics.
My group started off with Roy where we had a cool discussion on gear. We talked about different types of basses, electronics, fretless, basic maintenance, amps and effects. Roy showed us how to get different sounds from our bass using the basses tone or EQ knobs as well as the pickup blend knob. Next he demoed a few different effects and discussed how and when they would most likely be used. I'm a bit of gear head so I have to admit that I always love geeking out on equipment.
After a short break we reconvened with Adam for a discussion on technique and timing. Adam ran us through several timing exercises having us each play along as a group as well as on our own. Timing is an area I have been wanting to focus on and now I feel I have a few new exercises and tools at my disposal to utilize to this end.
Lunch was followed by a theory lesson from Anthony. It is mind blowing to me how Anthony can break down music theory in such a logical way that I can easily understand it. I'm still having a little trouble digesting it all, but I do know I am making progress. The way Anthony breaks everything down to it's simplest form is pure genius.
For our final session of the day we found ourselves back with Roy discussing the importance of learning how to read music. I am finding that I am getting pretty good at reading notes and knowing where to play them on the bass. Roy helped to take this to the next level by showing us how to look for repeating phrases. We all played along to a backing track working our way through a piece of music until we were comfortable with it. The session was capped off with a quick discussion as to why we should learn to read at all.
At the end of the day we all got together as an entire group for an open discussion with Roy, Adam an Anthony as well a a group picture. All in all I have to say it was a great first day!