Lately I have come to realize that I have trouble practicing effectively. I have every good intention to practice, but tend to procrastinate before doing so, looking for any excuse to delay my start. Of course this is a terrible thing to do as it cuts into my already limited practice time. Part of the problem is that I don’t really have a regular practice routine. I think about things I need to work on, and may start on them but typically end up playing along to songs I already know. While some of this is justified as “homework” for band practice, mostly it is just the easy way to fool myself into feeling like I had a good practice session.
The official student prep work has begun for Roy Vogt’s Fantasy Bass Boot Camp, which I am excited to be a part of this July. Back in December Roy Vogt and the good folks at The Learning Dock and Teach Me Bass Guitar, sent out a survey to us campers to learn a bit more about each of us in order to help craft the lessons/music for Bass Camp. While we’ve been waiting for our pre-camp materials, we have received a few housekeeping emails to keep us informed along the way, as well as tips and suggestions on what we need to bring with us, such as a strap, cables, a headphone amp, and of course, a bass!
It has been a long time coming, but here at last is my humble review for Lesson 13 of Teach Me Bass Guitar. Coming in at just under an hour, Ashley kicks us off by telling us we will learn all about Diatonic Modes, how to use them, plus how to transpose into any key. From here Roy shows us a new warm up exercise which consists of tapping notes and pulling off, starting on the 5th fret. This warm up is similar to the 4×4 exercise we learned early on, but with a bit of a twist.
As you may have noticed, I have slowed way down on my progress through the Teach Me Bass Guitar course. While I admit I have been a bit lax as of late on my studies, I am indeed still working on my lessons, specifically lesson 13.
A few months ago I decide it was time for me to get out of the woodshed, and as such, went out and joined a band. While it has been a great thing and I am definitely seeing some marked improvement, it has, alas, cut into the limited time I have to practice, or blog for that matter. As would be expected, as I progress the lessons are getting more and more difficult. Furthermore, I realized a while back that I was pretty much just zipping through the lessons, learning the example songs for the given lesson then calling it a day and moving on. I came to realize that in doing this that I was really short changing myself, and not fully learning everything that I needed to learn before progressing. Now I am trying to take my time through these lessons and really absorb what is being taught. In lesson 13 for example, I am taking the time to work through the scales and concepts presented, in every key, not just the two or three Roy uses in his examples.
Here’s a clip of me playing along to the backing track for the tune “Turn Down” from Lesson 12 of Teach Me Bass Guitar.
Funny thing happened to me while studying music theory, after a certain point things stopped making sense to me. I was fine with Intervals, Triads, Seventh Chords, and have even improved my music reading ability, but when I started studying modes I began to feel lost. After reviewing modes a few times, and still not really getting it, I decided to crack open my Teach Me Bass Guitar book to remind myself what Lesson 13 had in store for me. You may recall that upon completion of Lesson 12 I had decided to take a break from TMBG to go back and shore up my music theory knowledge via the International Institute of Bassists Music Theory course as well as a couple of other books that I have picked up along the way. Well, low and behold, what you know, Lesson 13 of TMBG is all about the Diatonic Modes!
Recap – Lessons 9 – 12
The good news is, I’ve past the half-way point, having more lessons behind me than in front of me. Which is a great feeling. The bad news is, these four lessons were tough on me. It took me more than a year to complete them and I must confess, I freaked out a bit towards the end. Fortunately I managed to pull it together and get through it, coming out stronger on the other side.
In an attempt to get myself to hunker down and get a handle on music theory, and to break myself from some bad habits that I have developed, I decided to revamp my practice routine. As you see my primary focus will be on learning and practicing the foundations, while continuing to work on Teach Me Bass Guitar. As always, this will be a work in progress, allowing me to tweak things as needed. I’ve already gone through this routine a couple of times now and am realizing that I know more than I gave myself credit for. My hope is that this more rounded routine will keep me on track and allow me to advance in TMBG while continuing to work on the basics.
Well, I feel like I am in the big leagues now! Lesson 12 of Teach Me Bass Guitar definitely falls into the advanced category, and is a tough nut to crack. My first time through I got lost in the initial exercises and it took me a while to wrap my head around what was going on. Roy starts off by showing us a variation of the “Hazard” exercise introduced in an earlier lesson. This exercise is downright painful for me to do. After my first attempt I felt it was physically impossible, but after working through it a couple of more times I can do a feeble approximation of it. From here Roy talks about swing feel and how it relates to the drummers ride cymbal and then launches into a somewhat brief explanation of the “Cycle of Fourths”.
Looking at today’s date I feel like I should be writing about Lesson 11 of Teach Me Bass Guitar instead of Lesson 12. I am glad to say, however, that I have spent the last week working on Lesson 12, working through the video as much as I could as well as reviewing the material in the book. I did run into a little difficulty with the material but cannot say for sure if it is an error in the book or if I somehow missed something. I have posted a question for Roy on the Thunder Row forum and plan to review the video again more thoroughly.