TMBG Bass Camp 2014 – Day 4

The last two days of TMBG Bass Camp were so jammed packed that I am just now getting the chance to sit down and blog about them. Day 4 started out with a very informative session with Tim Smith talking to us about groove and feel. From there we moved into a discussion about our current practice habits and why it is important to set goals for ourselves to keep us focused on improving our skills. Next Tim had us play through the songs we will each play at the Rutledge, giving us tips to improve upon our playing. We finished up with some ear training exercises trying to play along with something Tim would come up with, without watching him play it. It was great to get some immediate feedback on the song I plan to play on Friday, and the ear training really made me realize that I have a some work to do in that regard.

Our second session of the day was with Roy and the band that will be backing us on Friday night, Tim McDonald, Dale Armstrong & Mike Valeris. Vocalist Alona Raevska joined us as we each took a turn playing the classic Aretha song “Respect”. Next we each got a chance to run through our song with the band, sort of a rehearsal for tomorrow night. This ended up being time well spent as we were able to work out our preferred tempo and song structure with the band, something we did not have the luxury of doing last year.

Our afternoon was spent with Anthony learning more about theory. We talked about intervallic distances between notes and the proper way to name and write them. Major, minor, diminished, augmented and perfect intervals were all discussed as well as the number of steps between notes and how to distinguish between them all.

Thursday evening was a free night for us so several of us decided to hit the town. The Nashville strip is pretty hopping, every other venue is a club or bar with live music. A couple of us got word that our teaching assistant from last years camp, Ian Eicher, was playing at the Wildhorse so we stopped in and caught his first set. From there we hooked up with a few other campers at BB Kings Blues Club and watched the house band tear it up. What a great evening of live music!



Roy Vogt’s Fantasy Bass Boot Camp – Day 5

Tim SmithMy last couple of days at Roy Vogt’s Fantasy Bass Boot Camp were so jammed packed that I didn’t have time to blog about it.  Fear not though, I have decided to pick up where I left off and finish out the week now that I am home.

Thursday our group spent the day with Tim Smith focusing on groove and discussing ways to get our hands and ears at the same playing level.  Tim is a great guy and superb teacher!  He gave us some practical tips on things we should be doing to develop our ears and suggested that we go back and review the earlier lessons of the Teach Me Bass Guitar course to make sure we haven’t forgotten some of the earlier concepts.  As a homework assignment, Tim suggested that we learn one new song everyday as a way to help develop our ears and hands.

For me Tim was the most down to earth instructor of the bunch and I really took his advice to heart.  I left my session with him with a better idea of what I need to work on to reach my goals.  Ear training is something I have known I need to work on and Tim made me realize the importance of doing so.

Thursday night was our night to perform on stage at The Rutledge.  After a full day of class we all loaded into the van with our basses and headed out to perform.  We arrived to find a nice crowd as several friends and family members came out to see us, plus Victor Wooten was there with his campers.  Roy and the TMBG band started the night off with a couple of tunes before it was our turn to play with the band. 

As a special treat, half way through the evening, camper Kevin Shoopman brought his wife Morgan up on stage to sing a couple of songs with the band.  Morgan has a great voice and Kevin did a great job at holding down the low-end.  The evening also saw performances from Victor Wooten, Adam Nitti, Tim Smith, David Crossman, guitar great Johnny Hiland and of course, Dale Armstrong, Shane Roberts and Tim McDonald of the TMBG band.  All of the campers did a fantastic job!  It is sure to be a night we will all remember for a very long time.

Tim, Roy, Adam