Hi my friends,
Last lesson we discussed diminished chords. I hope you’ve learned all the voicing’s in all keys. In this column, I want you to remember that we’re working on one of the biggest problems in bass playing; bass fingerboard knowledge. This is the purpose of this series of lessons.
I notice that the best players seem to have incredible fingerboard knowledge. We have to remember that our fingerboard is not like a piano, where you can easily identify all the notes! We learn the chords, we study all day long, we own a great bass and a great amplifier, and we’re ready to blow away the audience playing some new ideas…. but what happens, poor lines and poor solos. That could be because most of us have a problem playing freely up and down the neck. I notice that with my students. Many of them simply don’t know where are the notes are on the fretboard. This is a major problem, and many times inhibits a good musical performance. I know students that have fantastic chops, but unfortunately use only a small portion of the fingerboard. Remember that the purpose of this course is to work on mastering improvisation, but if you want to be a good bass player and a good improviser, you have to master your neck.
Today we’ll work on the Cminor/maj7 chord. This is a very interesting chord. (For the written chord tones, please check first lesson)
Ex.1 Take a C- maj7 two octave arpeggio (C Eb G B C Eb G B G Eb C B G Eb C) up and down the fingerboard and force yourself to play it very slowly, and without a metronome. Say the names 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 (when possible), then two strings, then three strings, and finally four strings! Practice this over and over again until you’ve absorbed the information, and your fingerboard has become your best friend. Then you can increase speed and take it to a faster level. This is a great way to learn your fingerboard, as well as your arpeggios and scales. I suggest you sing along with all notes while you’re practicing, to open up your ears.
Ex.2 Review all past lessons!