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Coming from guitar or another instrument to elec. bass

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Posted by Carol Kaye on September 07, 2000 at 14:56:34:

This is a subject that I tho't might interest here, this is my response to someone who was switching from guitar to bass, slightly modified:

>>>>When you're coming from another instrument, there are certain techniques
that one has to learn for the new instrument. So many think that bass is
just the same tuning as the bottom strings of the guitar (true, down one
octave). But it really is a much-different instrument than guitar - it
not only requires a lot harder technique, different fingerings, but also
an entirely different role and technique, just the opposite of when
you're playing guitar, laying down a foundation for the whole band to
play on.

You ordered some excellent items for your pop and jazz music for sure,
I'd still go ahead and get the Bass Video Course which aside from the
techniques, the music theory (and pick section too), it has many
multi-styled lines and demonstrations of them which can help you
tremendously (as well as the books with the tapes to them also if you're
not used to reading in the bass clef). This is not the cornball simple
stuff put out by Mel Bay etc. -- I don't believe in teaching anything
but the best useable lines that people can instantly start
the "Mary Had A Little Lamb" stuff teaches nothing but wanting to give

My tutors encourage and give the right experienced ways of learning and
creating with good lines, patterns, correct chordal theories (whether
it's the commercial: blues, rock, soul, gospel, latin-pop etc.) or jazz
(walking, soloing, functioning in chordal progressions, extended triads,
chord subsitutes, back-cycling, chordal scales -- not non-workable
note-scales that ex-rockers teach etc. -- real jazz was formed from
chordal tones, chordal patterns derived from the standards we all played
back in the 50s).

No, I wouldn't consider you a "total-beginner" on the bass, but in a
sense, technique and role-wise, yes you are a beginner on the bass and
the Bass Video Course (and all the tutors) will help you really get the
creative multi-styled lines and patterns together you need to be a good
working pro on the bass.....the stuff all works fine and you then have
the completeness of all the experience from the materials to draw from.

This was honed from not only dozens of top-years of recording in all
styles of music (see my student list: Dave Hungate, John Clayton, Jim
Hughart, Charles Meeks, Bill Laymon, Luther Hughes, Tony Sales, Pat
Smith, Roy Vogt, Alf Clausen, etc.) but also from live playing on the
bass (voted #3 in jazz elec. bass mid-70s when with Hampton Hawes Trio),
and dozens of years of teaching also. You get the benefit of it all
then. But there's nothing in tab, you do have to get your reading
together to read the books (the tapes help).

It's not hard to do that with the Music Reading Practice 2-video
set.....the studio musicians' way of sightreading, aiming for the
downbeats. This works. The 1-e-an-a ways and counting
1-an-2-an-3-an-4-an do NOT work - that's totally an obsolete
old-fashioned way of teaching reading and simply doesn't work -- you're
so busy counting you have no idea how the music goes. No studio
musician ever reads that way at all.

Doing it from this Video Set works and then you're free to read whatever
you want to read to further your education. BTW, even if you never read
on the job, the musician who is *known for reading* always gets the gig,
interestingly enough. You should do well with probably just the Bass
Video Course and 1 or 2 books with adjoining tapes for the multi-styled
lines you need to create with, plus the items (Jazz Improv For Bass -
new and honed from years of teaching jazz on the bass, most recently the
last 2 years at the prestigeous Henry Mancini Institute-UCLA, Standards
I for the walking, and Pro's Jazz Phrases, all derived from serious jazz
playing in the 50s and as such, are the real patterns all the finer jazz
musicians have ever used) you already have for the chordal jazz
functions, good choices.

There are also some hints and tips at my Playing Tips Page on my

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