Page 11 - bass

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Ba s s L ev e l 1
Ban dwa g on Mu s i c S t ud i o s
Here are some clues to help you change between
notes. These hints can be used from the most
basic to the most difficult of note changes so
become familiar with them and always keep them
in mind when you play exercises and songs.
Overall you should aim to be economical with your
finger movements - move directly from one note
to the next, and don’t let your fingers travel too
far up and off the strings.
1. Thinking Ahead
. Always be mentally ahead of
where you are playing so that each new note is
sorted out in your head before you play it. When
reading music you should be watching one or two
bars ahead of where you are playing. Memorizing
songs helps you to concentrate on playing only.
Start to memorize songs straight away.
2. Finger Control.
Keep your note hand fingers
at all times around the front of the guitar. Don't
let any fingers hide under or behind the neck.
Also keep the fingers close to the strings. When
changing notes your fingers should be gliding
across and along the strings. Try to actually keep
them lightly touching the strings. You have
probably heard the “whistling, scraping" sound as
guitarists change notes. This means they are
doing their changes with good technique.
3. “Cheating” Between Notes.
Because it is so hard to change between notes we
often cheat when changing.
The main reason we cheat is so that the rhythm
of a song does not get interrupted. You can keep
the picking hand going like a machine and by
cheating the note hand finds it easier to keep up.
It is bad to stop the rhythm of a song to wait for
the note hand to change to its new note.
Remember rhythm is more important than notes.
Another reason we cheat is because the
beginning of any new note is a million times more
important than the end of the previous note. It is
no use having the last little bit of one note
sounding perfect but have the beginning of the
next note sounding awful.
Also the beginning of a bar is much more
important than the end of a bar, and most note
changes come at the beginning of a bar. So it is
more meaningful to have the beginning sounding
good. People are listening harder at the beginning
of bars than they are at the end of bars, and are
also listening harder for new notes than they are
for old notes.
There are two ways to cheat when changing notes
1. The last one or two picks of a note are with
your note hand fingers in mid air as they prepare
for the next note.
2. The last one or two picks of a note are with
your note hand fingers sliding along the string so
they move to the next note easily and in rhythm.
This cheating is so common that it has become an
accepted sound of modern bass playing and is
widely accepted. In fact for some songs if you
play with a perfectly sounding last and first pick
when changing notes it can sound stifled or rigid,
and actually detract from the song.
The cheating note is rarely shown on music but it
is “taken” that you will do it. Often though you
will see in TAB the last pick is either an open