Hi my friends! First of all, thank you for the positive feedback about these lessons!
In this issue we’ll continue on from our past lessons… but instead of using Major 7th chords, we will replace them with Minor 7th chords!
Before beginning, I want to repeat the purpose of these exercises. Many of the younger players do not seem to understand this work. Like all musicians, we are the product of what we practice. If we strongly practice chord structures, not only will we increase speed and dexterity, but we will develop a great knowledge of the fingerboard, and we’ll be able to quickly transpose it in a musical context. Remember that 99% of bass playing is related to chords…check MTV if you don’t believe me.
Okay! We all enjoy our particular bass heroes, and as far as myself, I tend to play in a rather unconventional style. But I think that before we aspire to be heroes, we need to build a strong basis to work from, and strive to be able to play in any musical context. I have several young students with INCREDIBLE chops, and yet they are not able to navigate through some chord changes.
I strongly recommend that you try and learn what’s been featured in this column. I know you all enjoy working on your chops, techniques, and tricks, but make sure to put time in on the more serious aspects of playing as well.
Now it’s time for homework…
Example 1. Take a Cminor7 two-octave arpeggio up and down (C Eb G Bb C Eb G Bb G Eb C Bb G Eb C). Force yourself to play it very slowly, and without a metronome. Say the name of the notes while practicing. REMEMBER: No groove… Nothing! Only you and the notes! Now start to practice all the notes using only one 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. This is also one of the secrets to enhancing “the art of improvisation.”
If you have a multi-string instrument like myself (5/6/ or 7 string) the same method applies for extra strings! I hope you enjoy this challenging exercise!
Thank you very much, my friends… Andrea