Friday, April 11, 2008

A Bass Players Musical Voice.....More than just notes.

I seem to run across a lot of bass players in Forums talking about being frustrated with being able to create there own original bass lines or their own "Musical Voice". My inspiration for this blog post came from thumbing through the Tony Levin book "Beyond The Bass Clef". He talks about not just practicing notes, but hearing every note you play. Sounds simple right? You say "hell I hear every note I play". Do you though? I think a lot of players think if they just spend time practicing of any kind they are getting better, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Ever find yourself practicing in front of the TV? That could be the worst thing you could do to create your musical voice. You are really only making playing scales a "visual" motion. You are not really programming the sounds of the intervals into your personal "music program". Another practice habit that accomplishes the same thing is not playing through an amp. I know we have all done it, practicing late at night and not wanting to wake other people in the house. Well, that is what headphones are for. Especially the low volume of the low B and E strings make this a bad habit.
Now lets go to the other extreme. What kind of practice technique is it that creates a real musical voice. I won't try to explain it I will just say check out the video I have included with this post. This is Richard Bona. Forget that he is an bass player, he is an amazing musician with an amazing "Musical Voice".


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1 comment:

allenf said...

Ya, you hit the nail right on the head. Sometimes we (I) spend to much time praticing the mechanics and time and never listen to the musical voice of what we are playing. Great post. I think of this the next time practicing,watching tv and surfing the internet.

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