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Re: Bass keys and chords

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Posted by Mike Ellison on May 02, 2001 at 09:11:39:

In Reply to: Bass keys and chords posted by Will on May 01, 2001 at 20:58:55:

: Ok here is how it goes i've been playing for almost a year know and i want to start creating my own stuff. The stuff i play is heavy metal and hard rock. i Have been going to lessons but it is going a little bit slow. the teacher said to learn the chords and keys. I was wondering if any of you could help with a list of all the chords and keys for bass. I also would like to learn how to play by notes not by tab. Thanks

I would go to your local music store and take a look at the bass books. There are all kinds of books that take different approaches. I've found that the key is to find a book that matches your approach to playing. Obviously you'll want one that has greater emphasis on the dots than on tab.

What you need to look for is a book that at least teaches you to:
* Know the neck. It takes quite a while but ultimately you need to be able to look at the neck and "see" the notes as clearly as if you were looking at a piano keyboard. I neglected this for far too long but with frequent practice and exercises I'm getting there.
* Know the major and minor scales for all the main keys: C G D A E B F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb. Learn more than one way of playing them so that you don't end up by programming your fingers with a fixed pattern - you need to "know" where you are intellectually rather than playing a finger sequence robotically and you need to know more than one finger pattern to get to the notes you need as easily as possible without pause for thought.
* Know the major, minor, 7th, major 7th, minor 7th, and diminished chords. If you know the notes that make the chords, you'll soon figure out the finger patterns.

Some of the Jazz books deal with this sort of thing better than rock books but they can get a bit too technical. You may end up trying several books before you find one you like but they won't be a waste of money because you can then go back and breeze through the stuff you already know and at the least it will be good sight-reading practice.

Try to be patient with your bass lessons. If you're unhappy with your current tutor, find another one who may be better suited to meeting your needs.

Practise every day, even if it is literally only 15 minutes. That is better than 5 hours at the weekend. I have a bass in the walk-in closet so that I don't have to trek all the way down to the basement if a few minutes come available.


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