Please scroll down to the bottom to download the examples to go with this lesson
Hi my friends…
Last lesson we discussed various chords. I hope you learned all the voicings. In this column we face one of the biggest problems in bass playing, bass fingerboard knowledge.
I notice that the best players have incredible fingerboard skills. We have to remember that the fingerboard does not layout like a piano, where you can easily identify all the notes! This is a BIG problem.
Ok…we’ve learned chords… we’ve studied all day long…all night long…. and we try to play some new things, but what happens, most of us still have problems playing freely up and down the neck. I notice this in my students regularly. Many of them still don’t recognize where the notes are, and this is a major problem that can obviously inhibit a performance.
Today we’ll take a strong look at that problem!!
The purpose of this lesson is to strengthen improvisation, but if you want to be a good improviser, you have to master your fingerboard! We’ll work on one chord at a time, starting with the major seventh chord…
Ok, let’s start the homework!
Example 1. Take a Cmajor7 two octave arpeggio up and down (C E G B C E G B G E C B G E C) Force yourself to play it very slowly and without a metronome. Say the name of notes while practicing. REMEMBER: No groove… Nothing! Only you and the notes! Now start to practice all the notes using only a string (where possible), then two strings, then three strings, and finally four strings! Practice in this way over and over until the fingerboard becomes your best friend. Then you can increase the speed and play it faster! This is a great way to learn the fingerboard and learn many ways to look at arpeggios and scales. I know this exercise is hard to do… but…. no pain, no gain!
The first time I practiced these exercises, I wanted stop playing forever. It killed me.
This time, only work on C major7, but if you feel motivated, you can try it over other keys as well.
Example2: Review all past lessons.
I hope you enjoy these exercises my friends!
Click below to download the examples to go with this lesson