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RUFUS REID EVOLVING BASSIST PDF

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Rufus Reid - The Evolving Bassist - Free ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online for free. bass technique. Rufus Reid's revised edition of the classic "Evolving Bassist" is a literal tour de force and a must have for all bass players regardless of what level of proficiency . The Evolvi ng Bassist by Rufus Reid A Comprehesive Method ln Developing A Total Musical Concept For The Aspiring Jazz Bass Player.

This edition will mark twenty-six years in publication, as the industry standard for bass method books. Through the years since this book was first published, Rufus began to feel that a major revision was needed. The fundamental material has been kept intact because classic concepts do not change. It is not just walking quarter notes. The individual creativity needs to be nurtured without diluting the job description of a jazz bassist. My experience from performing and teaching has taught me that there were more things that needed to be addressed and stated more clearly.

Every bass has a different "sweet spot," sothis is a great feature. AMT makes two bass micro-phones. One is dedicated to the live performancewhich is more focused directionally and helps blockout the drums and surrounding instruments. Theother one is for use in a more controlled settingsuch as a recording studio. They both have thequality of a fine studio microphone.

Bl ffi,l'j,T"'. Power in ampliiers is not used iust to make thingslouder, but to produce a clear sound in the entirerequency of that instrument. Small amps with 'l50watts of output seem to be sufficient in most jazzsituations. However, I suggest an amp that will pro-duce at least watts. I am prepared for all situations. Some peo-ple feel that you get better efficiency with two 12inch speakers' Remember, it is the power o theamp that eally makes the difference. How do you ind a concept?

You have to reach a cer-tain level o technical ability to play any style well'Then branch out to suit you own taste' conceptcan be aained by listening to records, by listeningto live performances, by listening to the radio andtelevision, and by asking questions. None o theseconcepts will sink in unless you work at it. However, themusic you grew up with will probably come easy toyou.

At least the concept will be there. How do you practice? Most people are lazy. There is somuch to pract ce, it seems diicult to get started. This is not always easy, especially if you haven'tbeen playing very long.

Scales and exercises arenot the most stimulating mateials to play. Some catch on ast, while othershave to work very hard. Many students waste time playingthings they can already play, and never take time tobreak down the problems that inhibit them from pro-gressing. The primary role of a jazz bassist in a group is tosupport harmonically and rhythmically, and mostimportantly, to "swing.

You must practice "walking" all the time so that yourrhythmic pulse is consistently strong. The groupyou play with depend on you to do this. Theyassume you can do it, even i you haven't beenplaying for very long. Not terribly fair, but true. Now you must learn the chord progressionsound as quickly as possible. This is your priority. No matter what level o proiciency you acquirethere will always be some sort o problem you muststruggle with.

Do not waste time playingthings you already can play. When you practice really depends on when you arethe most productive. For me, it is when I first wakeup in the morning' l you practice a half hour everymorning before you shower, you will be amazed atthe results. First, make up a weekly calendar outlining whatyou wish to accomplish that week. You, alone, candecide this. Second, choose what scales? What tempo? What tune? What register?

Being truly connected to yourinstrument is the ultimate goal and it will allow youto concentate more on your immediate surround-ings. Take advanlage o this time. Break up yourpractice time so that you don't become frustrated orbored. I try to warm up with the bow playing longtones and scales. The long tones are the best todevelop bow control. Then I move on to some read-ing material.

After that I will practice the same11material without the bow Next I may try to tran-scribe a bass solo from a record and attempt to playit the way it is being played on the record. This isthe real ear training. Get friendly with the piano!!

I usually spend some time at the piano trying to playthe chords to some tunes. The piano or keyboard isan absolute must to learn more intimately lhe soundo chords in general and the chords of tunes thatyou are working on. Being knowledgeable of key-board harmony will make your bass lines and thelearning of the tunes come togelher faster.

As youand your playing mature, you will find that the play-ers Who you admie usually have unctional knowl-edgeable o keyboard harmony.

As bass players,this knowledge is our lie line. As you see, there aremany ways to utilize your practice time. Good luck! Becording a good bass sound requires two basicelemenls. The first being your sound, and the abili-ty o the engineer to capture that sound with amicrophone.

The acoustic propertis o the bass iswhat the recording engineer is looking for. Thesound of the bass is very diferent a few feel awayrom the instrument than the Way We hear playing itup close. Your bass should not have any extrane-ous sounds, such as buzzes from open seams,squeaks from endpins, rattles from bow holders,etc. Duct tape does wonders here! The micro-phones pick up any and all sounds produced by youand your bass' The more ocused your left and righthand technique is, the more focused sound will beheard.

Two microphones are generally used to cap-ture the bass sound. One is low at the level of thebridge, but NOT at or n6ar the "F holes," which willnot be clear.

The second one should be higher anddirected toward the fingerboard to capture the high-er requency that is being produced'l the recording is a live two track recording, the twomicrophones ae mixed and cannot be changedater being recorded if you don't like it. The pickup, which couldbea thlrd track should only be used as back up infor-malion. The ultimate control would be to have thebass isolated from the other instruments. The studio onvironment andknowledge and abiIity o the engineer is What Willmake the difference' l possible, always be ealy inthe studio to have adequate time to set up andacclimate you and your bass to lhis environment.

Have good rhythmic feeling. You are the pulse oany ensemble. Have good constructed bass lines based on thechord progressions. Listen and connecl with;a. Watch the piano players lett hand. Know thekeyboard well visually. Keep eye conlact with all the musicians at alltimes.

Be sensitive to all dynamics. Learn to adjustinstantly Without losing the enegy or thetempo. Be Authoritative. Be Deliberate. Be alert at all times. Do not jusl play anything' HaVe a rasonfor everything you play. Always be on time to all playing situations. Youalways will need extra time to s6t up yourequipment and warm up.

Listen to as much live music as possible. Liston to the recordings of lhe geat players. Join the lnternational society o Bassists. Try to always play with people who are moreadvanced than yoursel or at least on yourlevel. Your stance should be as relaxed as possible. Stand with your feet almost in an "L" shape. See aside view photograph. Notice that the bass is slight-ly tilted toward the body and the side of the bass isnot touching the stomach area.

DO NOT accommodate the instrumentby turning the side flush against you. The proper angle of the bass can beachieved by drawing the bow on the E string so thatthe arm just passes the body without moving thebody or the bass. Now, when playing on the upperstrings in this position you must lean into the instru-ment. Notice the left shoulder in the photo of therear view. Move into the instrument so that you cansee what you are doing. Practice moving up anddown the fingerboard.

Slide the left hand up anddown. Don't worry about playing any particularnotes at this time. The reason for this exercise is tosynchronize the left arm and hand motion with thebody motion in playing up and down the bass. Asyou slide up the fingerboard, gradually shift more ofyour weight onto the right leg by leaning fonruardand pushing your right hip backward.

As you slide back towardthe scroll of the bass, synchronize your hip motionwith the left arm by pushing the bass back in itsoriginal position.

As you slide up and down the in-gerboard, do not let your arm rest on the shoulder ofthe bass. This can develop into a very bad habitand will inhibit your facility in the higher register asyour playing matures. Side View Stance Front View Stance - PizzicatoRear View StanceIt may seem insignificant, but if you can balanceyour bass with a relaxed body, you have begun toovercome the awkwardness o manipulating theinstrument. The bass is leaning slightly into thebody with the inside of the left knee against thebass back acting as one of the balancing points.

The other balancing point is angled against thelower abdomen where it joins the leg. There is a Germanand a French bow. I encourage you to experienceboth before choosing because only then will youknow the real differences. The one that you adaptto the quickest will no doubt be the one that you willplay.

The one that enables you to produce the bestsound is the one you should PlaY. The French bow isheld with the right hand perpendicular to the stick ofthe bow. Place your hand on top of the bow so thatthe stick fits into the break of the middle fingers atthe knuckles.

French bow hand position preparationNow, keeping your wrist level, bring the thumbunder the hand and place it at the edge of the frog. This will place your thumb approximately underyour second or longest inger. Now wrap the fingersover the stick. DO NOT grab orgrip the bow. Just hold it enough to keep from drop-ping it. The weight of your arm and the rosin on thebow is all you need to start the string to vibrate.

Toomuch pressure will keep the string from vibratingfreely which is necessary for a good full sound. The German bow is held quite differently than theFrench bow. See photographs. The frog is muchwider than the French bow and is held in the palmof your right hand. There are three areas of thepalm that the bow can be held. The first area isclose to the thumb. Place the butt of the frog snug-ly into the fleshy section. The end of the bow isextended over this fleshy section. Arch the rest ofthe fingers keeping them together and positionthem on the side of the bow and let the thumb laynaturally over the stick extending toward the first fin-ger.

The second area is pretty much the same, onlythat you shift the butt of the frog into the middle ofthe palm where the hand bends.

The Evolving Bassist

Keep the other fin-gers the same. Notice how the hand is not as tenseas in the first area. German Bow Palm ViewThe third area is again similar, only that you shift thebutt of the frog toward the fingers. Open your handand place the butt end so that the side of the frogaway from you its exactly where the fingers bendfrom the palm.

The stick of the bow should be lay-ing across the first knuckle bone of the hand. Closethe hand, keeping the fingers together and some-what curved. DO NOT tense up and don't grip thebow. Just hold it. This position, lfeel, will gain youthe best control. However, experiment with allthreeand choose the position that is the most comfort-able for you. French bow hand Position15German Bow At FrogWhichever bow you choose to work with, practiceholding it and getting it comfortable in your handbefore you pick up your bass.

Extend both armsdirectly out in front o you at the same level, lettingthe tip of the bow rest on the first inger o the lethand. This simulates the string. Do not lock yourelbows. Relax the right hand as much as possiblewithout dropping the bow, but still keeping the fin-gers in the same position as previously discussed. Slowly lower your arms approxi-mately one and one half feet keeping them levelwith each other. Remember, do not lock yourelbows, and relax.

You should be fairly close to theGerman Bow Drawn Toward Tipposition you would be in if you were holding thebass.

Beore picking up the bass practice bowingup and down strokes by keeping the left hand sta-tionary to simulate the string. Relax and try toachieve a flowing type of arm motion. By doing this you can walk around theroom and still be learning to be comfortable withyour bow.

A relaxed hand is o utmost importance. Practicing in ront of a mirror is an excellent way tosee i you are doing things correctly. The correct height for bowing isdetermined by extending your arm without lockingthe elbow and placing it comfortably midwaybetween the end of the fingerboard and the bridge.

Are yourelaxed? Close your eyes and completely relax sothat you can concentrate on just the weight of yourarm. Do not press down hard on the string. Theweight of your arm and the rosin on the bow is allyou need to produce a good sound.

Relax anddraw the bow toward the tip of the bow in one com-plete motion with a pulling sensation. Don'ttense up. You should have noticed that it was a little more dif-icult to produce a tone at the tip of the bow.

This isbecause the distribution of weight is of balance atthat point. To compensate you must apply moreweight of the arm so that you can get enough lever-age to start the bow moving. Ater starting thestring to vibrate, release that extra weight you need-ed to get started and let the rest of the bow contin-ue as before.

The object is to obtain the samesound, up and down bow. Continue this process onall the strings. Each string is a different size whichwill require you to learn the sensitiveness needed toproduce a good tone from each string. Keep the bow level and perpendicularto the string at all times. Most importantly, we wish to capture the lis-tener's ear. To achieve this requires a ocusedapproach. First of all, I would like to mention that Ichoose to use the traditional term, pizzicato, or lackof a bette term.

I pull the string. You mustpull the string to produce a big fal sound. Thee areonly two types o bass pizzicalo sounds' here isthe "thumpy" style, and the smooth" style. Thethumpy player sounds like a doo-doo-doo-doo-sound. The smooth player sounds like a doom-doom-doom-doom-. Notice that the "m" soundsseems to sustain much longer. The latter approachis the more modern sound. The long sound isdesired by most jazz players. To help these tech-niques work best, your bass should be set up prop-erly to allow your instrument to have a ree andopen sound.

The lowestthat one should go is no lower than lhe thickngss oftwo business cards. The cards should it iusl snug. Any lower and the string will be laying on the in-gerboard and cause an irritating buzz. Be careul when filing. You can easily file a it-tl away, but you can't put it back afierwards. The distanc betwoen strings should be uniform. HoWeVer' you should experiment With What eels themost comfortable. The adjacent photo shows lhedistance on my bass is l inch from the centerof the string lo thg centr o the next string' l findthis to be a good measurement.

String crossing willbe more difficult i the spaco is too Wide. Notice the phoio for positioning ofthe notches in the bridge. Slring height is definitelya personal preerence. As your playing dovelopsand matues, you Will ind What works best for you'Just make sure the sound is your priority.

The combination of strings and electronic pickupshas brought lhe Virtuosity o 'azz and classicalstring players to the foreground. The pickups available have enabled the players to play wilh thestrings extremely low and still be heard. Obviously,the higher the string, the more vibration, the louderthe bass. Generally, orchesiral playrs t6nd to playwith very high strings to produce the maximumacoustic sound.

Obviously the effort needed topress lhe string down would b6 mor6. HoWeVe, lhis energy cannotradiate unless a cortain amounl of engrgy is put inal the outset.

Personally, l preer to sacriice someof my technique or energy and sound. Remember the lower lhs string, the moretechnique, the less sound and vice versus. Noticethe photo for the measurement of the G string onmy bass to be al 'll4 inch above lhe ingeboard. Place as much of themeat of the finger on the string as possible. Seesequence photographs below. Before actually let-ting the string go, pull it to the point where you canfeel the tension. Now, in slow motion, let the stringroll off the finger by slowly pulling the arm and fin-ger at the same time.

The motion of the arm shouldbe close to the body with a downward stroke. You let the string go atprecisely the time you want it to and not before. Notice you must keep close to the board to achievethis. After executing one string let your finger con-tinue onto the next string below. Continue thisprocess all the way across the bass. Do not just pullonly with the finger. The finger is weak when usedalone. Use the entire arm to gain stamina and con-trol of your sound.

Notice in the photo that the hand is almost ata right angle to the fingerboard. To achieve thebiggest sound possible with this technique, youmust keep the hand and arm close to the bass. Donot pull upward. Pull across with a downwardstroke from string to string.

Notice the photographs. To obtain dexterity and facility with the two fingerwalking technique, practice alternating the fingers. The second finger is not as strong as thefirst. The execution of this technique is done exactly thesame as previously discussed. However, the soundwill not be quite as full as the one finger technique.

Many jazz players of today employ this two fingerwalking technique. A phenomenal amount o tech-nique can be achieved i you work at it slowly anddeliberately. This technique is used extensively inclassical guitar playing. See photographs for handand finger positions.

What doesthat mean? To me, that means many things at thesame time; a full-bodied tone, the particular notesthat are played, where these notes are placed, theintonation of these notes and the feeling projected.

The most important is the consistency of all thesethings combined that make up that great sound. The creative improviser's greatest asset is the abil-ity to manipulate the harmony. The harmony iswhat makes people listen constantly to you.

This is a very common prob-lem. All of us want to be able to move around thebass with the greatest of ease, but you must havesome idea of what you would like to sound like inthe beginning.

Listen toand or every nuance imaginable and you will beginto understand what is involved to produce thatsound. This is truly how you get started pursuing agood sound.

Take advanlage o this time. Break up your l think the best Way is to have some idea o how you practice time so that you don't become frustrated or would like to sound and what you would like to play. I try to warm up with the bow playing long This is not always easy, especially if you haven't tones and scales. The long tones are the best to been playing very long. Scales and exercises are develop bow control. Then I move on to some reading material.

After that I will practice the same not the most stimulating mateials to play. We all l you are Iust beginning to get into. This is the real ear training. Get friendly with the piano!! I usually spend some time at the piano trying to play the chords to some tunes. The piano or keyboard is an absolute must to learn more intimately lhe sound o chords in general and the chords of tunes that you are working on. Being knowledgeable of keyboard harmony will make your bass lines and the learning of the tunes come togelher faster.

As you and your playing mature, you will find that the players Who you admie usually have unctional knowledgeable o keyboard harmony. As bass players, this knowledge is our lie line. As you see, there are many ways to utilize your practice time.

Rufus Reid - The Evolving Bassist | String Instruments | Double Bass

Good luck! Know the keyboard well visually. Becording a good bass sound requires two basic 4. The first being your sound, and the ability o the engineer to capture that sound with a microphone. The acoustic propertis o the bass is 5. Keep eye conlact with all the musicians at all what the recording engineer is looking for.

The times. Be sensitive to all dynamics. Learn to adjust up close. Your bass should not have any extraneinstantly Without losing the enegy or the ous sounds, such as buzzes from open seams, tempo. Duct tape does wonders here! The micro- 7. Be Authoritative. Be Deliberate. Two microphones are generally used to cap- 8. Be alert at all times. One is low at the level of the bridge, but NOT at or n6ar the "F holes," which will 9.

Do not jusl play anything' HaVe a rason not be clear. The second one should be higher and for everything you play. The pickup, which couldbe a thlrd track should only be used as back up informalion. The ultimate control would be to have the bass isolated from the other instruments. The studio onvironment and knowledge and abiIity o the engineer is What Will make the difference' l possible, always be ealy in the studio to have adequate time to set up and acclimate you and your bass to lhis environment.

Always be on time to all playing situations. You always will need extra time to s6t up your equipment and warm up. Listen to as much live music as possible. Liston to the recordings of lhe geat players. Join the lnternational society o Bassists.

Try to always play with people who are more advanced than yoursel or at least on your level. Your stance should be as relaxed as possible. Stand with your feet almost in an "L" shape. See a. Notice that the bass is slightly tilted toward the body and the side of the bass is not touching the stomach area. DO NOT accommodate the instrument by turning the side flush against you.

The proper angle of the bass can be achieved by drawing the bow on the E string so that the arm just passes the body without moving the. Now, when playing on the upper strings in this position you must lean into the instrument. Notice the left shoulder in the photo of the rear view. Move into the instrument so that you can see what you are doing.

Practice moving up and down the fingerboard. Slide the left hand up and down. Don't worry about playing any particular notes at this time.

The reason for this exercise is to synchronize the left arm and hand motion with the body motion in playing up and down the bass. As you slide up the fingerboard, gradually shift more of your weight onto the right leg by leaning fonruard and pushing your right hip backward.

As you slide back toward the scroll of the bass, synchronize your hip motion with the left arm by pushing the bass back in its original position. As you slide up and down the ingerboard, do not let your arm rest on the shoulder of the bass. This can develop into a very bad habit and will inhibit your facility in the higher register as your playing matures. It may seem insignificant, but if you can balance your bass with a relaxed body, you have begun to overcome the awkwardness o manipulating the instrument.

The bass is leaning slightly into the. The other balancing point is angled against the lower abdomen where it joins the leg. There is a German and a French bow. I encourage you to experience both before choosing because only then will you know the real differences. The one that you adapt to the quickest will no doubt be the one that you will play.

The one that enables you to produce the best sound is the one you should PlaY. The French bow is held with the right hand perpendicular to the stick of the bow. Place your hand on top of the bow so that the stick fits into the break of the middle fingers at the knuckles.

Try to relax as much as possible. DO NOT grab or grip the bow. Just hold it enough to keep from dropping it. The weight of your arm and the rosin on the bow is all you need to start the string to vibrate. Too much pressure will keep the string from vibrating freely which is necessary for a good full sound. The German bow is held quite differently than the French bow.

See photographs. The frog is much wider than the French bow and is held in the palm of your right hand. There are three areas of the palm that the bow can be held. The first area is close to the thumb. Place the butt of the frog snugly into the fleshy section. The end of the bow is extended over this fleshy section. Arch the rest of the fingers keeping them together and position them on the side of the bow and let the thumb lay. The second area is pretty much the same, only that you shift the butt of the frog into the middle of the palm where the hand bends.

Keep the other fingers the same. Notice how the hand is not as tense as in the first area. Now, keeping your wrist level, bring the thumb under the hand and place it at the edge of the frog. This will place your thumb approximately under your second or longest inger. Now wrap the fingers over the stick. The third area is again similar, only that you shift the butt of the frog toward the fingers. Open your hand and place the butt end so that the side of the frog away from you its exactly where the fingers bend from the palm.

The stick of the bow should be laying across the first knuckle bone of the hand. Close the hand, keeping the fingers together and somewhat curved.

DO NOT tense up and don't grip the bow. Just hold it. This position, lfeel, will gain you the best control. However, experiment with allthree and choose the position that is the most comfortable for you. French bow hand Position. Whichever bow you choose to work with, practice holding it and getting it comfortable in your hand before you pick up your bass.

Extend both arms directly out in front o you at the same level, letting the tip of the bow rest on the first inger o the let hand. This simulates the string. Do not lock your elbows. Relax the right hand as much as possible without dropping the bow, but still keeping the fingers in the same position as previously discussed. Slowly lower your arms approximately one and one half feet keeping them level with each other.

Remember, do not lock your elbows, and relax. You should be fairly close to the. Beore picking up the bass practice bowing up and down strokes by keeping the left hand stationary to simulate the string. Relax and try to achieve a flowing type of arm motion. By doing this you can walk around the room and still be learning to be comfortable with your bow.

A relaxed hand is o utmost importance. Practicing in ront of a mirror is an excellent way to see i you are doing things correctly. Pick up your bass and put the bow on the D string near the frog. The correct height for bowing is determined by extending your arm without locking the elbow and placing it comfortably midway between the end of the fingerboard and the bridge. Are you relaxed?

Close your eyes and completely relax so. Do not press down hard on the string. The weight of your arm and the rosin on the bow is all you need to produce a good sound. Relax and draw the bow toward the tip of the bow in one complete motion with a pulling sensation. Don't tense up. Now with a pushing feeling move. You should have noticed that it was a little more dificult to produce a tone at the tip of the bow.

This is because the distribution of weight is of balance at that point.

To compensate you must apply more weight of the arm so that you can get enough leverage to start the bow moving.

Ater starting the string to vibrate, release that extra weight you needed to get started and let the rest of the bow continue as before. The object is to obtain the same sound, up and down bow.

Continue this process on all the strings. Each string is a different size which will require you to learn the sensitiveness needed to produce a good tone from each string. Keep the bow level and perpendicular to the string at all times. What constitutes a good sound is very subjeclive and perhaps there is no absolute answer.

Most importantly, we wish to capture the listener's ear. To achieve this requires a ocused approach. First of all, I would like to mention that I choose to use the traditional term, pizzicato, or lack of a bette term. I pull the string. You must pull the string to produce a big fal sound. Thee are only two types o bass pizzicalo sounds' here is the "thumpy" style, and the smooth" style. The thumpy player sounds like a doo-doo-doo-doosound. The smooth player sounds like a doomdoom-doom-doom-.

Notice that the "m" sounds seems to sustain much longer. The latter approach is the more modern sound. The long sound is desired by most jazz players. To help these techniques work best, your bass should be set up properly to allow your instrument to have a ree and open sound.

The adjacent photo shows lhe distance on my bass is l inch from the center of the string lo thg centr o the next string' l find this to be a good measurement. String crossing will be more difficult i the spaco is too Wide. Notice the phoio for positioning of the notches in the bridge. Slring height is definitely a personal preerence.

As your playing dovelops and matues, you Will ind What works best for you' Just make sure the sound is your priority. The combination of strings and electronic pickups has brought lhe Virtuosity o and classical string players to the foreground. The pickups avail 'azz able have enabled the players to play wilh the strings extremely low and still be heard.

Obviously, the higher the string, the more vibration, the louder the bass. Generally, orchesiral playrs t6nd to play with very high strings to produce the maximum acoustic sound. Obviously the effort needed to press lhe string down would b6 mor6.

The lowest that one should go is no lower than lhe thickngss of two business cards. The cards should it iusl snug. Any lower and the string will be laying on the ingerboard and cause an irritating buzz. Be careul when filing. You can easily file a ittl away, but you can't put it back afierwards. HoWeVe, lhis energy cannot radiate unless a cortain amounl of engrgy is put in al the outset. Personally, l preer to sacriice some of my technique or energy and sound.

Remember the lower lhs string, the more technique, the less sound and vice versus. Notice the photo for the measurement of the G string on my bass to be al 'll4 inch above lhe ingeboard. Place as much of the meat of the finger on the string as possible. See sequence photographs below. Before actually letting the string go, pull it to the point where you can feel the tension. Now, in slow motion, let the string roll off the finger by slowly pulling the arm and finger at the same time.

The motion of the arm should be close to the body with a downward stroke. Once you know. You let the string go at precisely the time you want it to and not before.

Notice you must keep close to the board to achieve this. After executing one string let your finger continue onto the next string below. Continue this process all the way across the bass. Do not just pull only with the finger. The finger is weak when used alone. Use the entire arm to gain stamina and control of your sound.

The two finger pizzicalo technique is pretty much the same with the exception of the position of the hand. Notice in the photo that the hand is almost at a right angle to the fingerboard. To achieve the biggest sound possible with this technique, you must keep the hand and arm close to the bass. Do not pull upward. Pull across with a downward stroke from string to string. Notice the photographs. To obtain dexterity and facility with the two finger walking technique, practice alternating the fingers.

The idea is to make both fingers sound exactly the. The second finger is not as strong as the first. The execution of this technique is done exactly the same as previously discussed. However, the sound will not be quite as full as the one finger technique. Many jazz players of today employ this two finger walking technique. A phenomenal amount o technique can be achieved i you work at it slowly and deliberately.

This technique is used extensively in classical guitar playing. See photographs for hand and finger positions. To really excel as a bassist, you must like the way you sound. I'm speaking of sound YOU control, not the sound that is controlled by any kind of amplification or electronic devices.

Too many make the mistake of thinking that the amp will make them sound better. Remember, you must like the way you sound before anyone else does. Use a tape recorder when you practice. They don't lie. When you begin to sound good to yourself rom the tapes, good things are beginning to happen. When one speaks of someone who is a great player, they say they love his or her sound. What does that mean? To me, that means many things at the same time; a full-bodied tone, the particular notes that are played, where these notes are placed, the intonation of these notes and the feeling projected.

The most important is the consistency of all these things combined that make up that great sound. The creative improviser's greatest asset is the ability to manipulate the harmony. The harmony is what makes people listen constantly to you. This is a very common problem. All of us want to be able to move around the bass with the greatest of ease, but you must have some idea of what you would like to sound like in the beginning.

Listen to and or every nuance imaginable and you will begin to understand what is involved to produce that sound. This is truly how you get started pursuing a good sound. Perhaps you like the harmonic concept of one, the intonation of anothe the energy and creativity of another, the technical dexterity of another.

Begin to put these elements together and you have begun to create another great player -you! These ingredients are quite essential. You should also practice with the amp. You must always be in control of what comes out. Assimilate your working conditions with the amp. Try to match the amp sound to your acoustic sound as best as possible.

A good pickup will amplify all extraneous noises and finger nciises. Acoustically we don't hear these noises so easily, but they are present and can be eliminated only by practicing with the amp on. Use the bow too. When the bow sound is clean with the amp on, it's really clean.

The amp can relay that energy, but cannot create it. Working With Open Strings Practice slowly with a metronome at all times. Concentrate on quicker response than others. Every bass is differyour sound quality.

When playing across the bass ent, so make the adjustments when necessary. Watch your right arm motion to create the corret pulse while pulling the string.

When reading, move your eye to the next measure as quickly as possible to be able to react to the proper rhythm before you. Pay close aention to these open string etudes as they will increase your sound and reading abillty. When you add the left hand, you will be able to get into the music much sooner.

Two eighth notes played in the time given for one quarter note. Do not continue until you can honestly play the rhythms perfectly. Start slow and be precise. Be as precise as possible crossing over two strings. This can only be achieved by watching very closely what the right hand or the bow has to do.

You must now play four sixteenth notes in the same amount of time as one quafter note or two eighth notes. Count out loud to yourself if you are having problems staying in time with the different rhythms. Eighth note triplets: Three notes played in the space of one quaner note. Quailer note triplets are to be played in the space of two quarter notes or a half note.

Concentrate and be very deliberate and precise. Don't be afraid to play in different signatures. However, you must keep your concentration level high at al! This measure shows syncopated rhythm. Remember, these can be played with or without the bow and on the electric bass. The idea is that you control your fingers to do what you want them to do at any given time.

Concentrate on not letting your fingers and knuckles collapse as illustrated below. Practice this eeling on a tab]e or any flat surface. Keep the wrist as straight as possible. Freeze the fingers and move the entire arm. However, it can be minimal if your concentration is on the weight of the arm, not just the fingers alone.

Probably the most common of the left hand problems would be the collapsing o the knuckles at the palm of the hand which will break the flow of stability needed from the entire forearm.

After the practice and application of the claw technique as suggested, move to a sltting position with your bass and concentrate on gettlng that same feeling in the hand. Press down the G string without uslng the thumb as shown below. Keep your wrist straight and watch the orm in your fingers. You should eel the energy coming from the shoulder. Remember the entire arm and shoulder are working together as one. Practice sliding up and down the ingerboard as illustrated in the sequence photos, but this time without your thumb.

Move in slow motion at first to make sure you keep the form and proper motion at the transition area as shown in Frames 3, 4, 5. As you move up the ingerboard, imagine a pushing feeling and a pulling back feeling when moving back to the lower position. Continue this process now with the thumb, but only use it or stability.

Do not apply any dlrect pressure. However, in the standing position, the thumb is absolutely necessary in the lower positions to keep the bass stable. You will notice that wlth a combinatlon of the angle of the bass and the proper balance, the thumb need only be there to help produce good tone. Too much pressure between the fingers and the thumb will result in a cramped hand and the abllity to move about freely ls stifled.

Use first finger, then second inger, then all four fingers up to the transition. The thumb and the third finger is then employed as you continue up to the end of the fin-. Remember to lean into the bass as you move slowly up and back.

Notlce my visual contact with my left arm. Become totally into what you are doing. Watch in a mirror to adjust hand and body posture. Practice both pizzicato and arco on all of the strings. Do not be impatient with this.

Only through repetition will this motion ee! Frames 3, 4, 5 illustrate the crucial part of the transition' Study it carefully' ln Frame 4' the third inger extended is G, an octave higher than the open G string. Notice the thumb is still back on the neck. As you shift your arm, release the second and third ingers and keep your first finger down and slide it quickly to A with no resistance from the thumb.

Concentrate iust moving the arm into position. Don't worry about the thumb at this point. Continue this process to the next octave. Practice slowly the entire ingerboard. Use a mirror if possible to watch the orm o your fingers and position of your arm as it moves up the board. Study these photos carefully.

Practice until you can do it accurately with your eyes closed.

Rufus Reid - The Evolving Bassist

A tactile feeling is very important to develop on any retless, stringed instrument. Use the bow to clean up intonation. Remember to keep your elbow up and concentrate on the "claw" feeling.

Conirm pitch with the piano or tuning fork. Play the open G string and. On the fretted instruments, it would be the first ret or G sharp or A lat. Adjust the inger if it doesn't sound correct, and remember that spot. The second finger depressed approximately an inch away rom the first is playing the note A or the second ret.

Keeping the hand stationary, stretch the hand and place the fourth inger down approximately one and one hal inches from the second inger or on the third ret' Place the third finger down also. Repeal this process on the lower strings keeping the hand stationary and only moving across the fingerboard in a straight line.

With a step by step process up the fingerboard, shift the hand up slightly so that the istfinger is now where the second finger was. Continue this process across the strings and up the fingerboard until you reach the octave of the string. Beore the notes and their locations on the ingerboard. This is important. See on the bass. Notice that the have played a chromatic scale. A chromatic scale distance between notes become smaller as the is made up o semi tones or tones with an interval notes become higher.

As you gradually get highof an hal step. On all fretted guitars, the interval the hand accordingly and truly listen or clarity o between a fret is a hal step. Learn the sound' on pitch.

The notes are much wider lf you work carefully, you will notice where the same apart and you must be able to hear whether or not note appears on another string. Repeat this exeryou are pressing in the right place. To learn to read and know the hand. The ingering sequence is very easy to noles is an easy process. Etude 2 is for that pur remember, but do not go on automatic pilot. Begin pose. Be patient and be consistent. That is the key to really listen to the sound that you are producing.

Remember that your left hand is your sound, the right hand is the sound producer. The ingeing pallem and the photo illustratg the lasl four notes o lhB c scale.

You wi l notice that tha irsl inger plays thg note A aler placing lhe thumb on the G, which is the exacl sama place as the G hamonic. Look at lhe dislance of the thumb to lhe irst finger. Use ths G harmonic as your ocal point. All o the ntural harmonics are located in the sams place on each string. Trust that this will never change, and that "A' will also not change, and on up respectively. A visual and tactile sense o this focal point is essential.

Try playing the sequence with your eyes closed. You'll ind that this will give an open door eeling into thumb positions. Honco, your confi-. Now press the string down keeping contact With all ingers except thg little inger.

Tryio distribute the weight o lhe am evenly through thumb and fingers. Keep the orm and try to not let the ingers collapse. Practice sliding up and down on all lhe strings in one smooth slow molion so you can concentrats on sxactly what the hand and arm are.

Repeat lhis up and down motion many times to get a smooth liquid eeling. You will nolice as you move ove to th lower strings, you must lean the let shoulder more inlo the bass and pivot on the thumb in order. Your conidence will grow as you ae more consistent With these concepts. I cannot stress this enough. Now, let's go to work on those scales. Next, we praclice the chromatic scales in one octave linking up these pattems. The chromatic dence Will become more solidiied while playing in scal is made up of all semitones, sometimes called hal sleps.

The only As the photo suggests, position the thumb and tirst xception is between B and c and E and F. These three ingors on the string.

Do not pess down. You literally play all of the notes on Do not buckle fingera. Relax and let the control the ingerboard when you play chromatically on all come from your arm. NoW, Without letting the sting of the strings. Nxt, qqickly undestand what the body must do to be slide slowly up and down on the string. Do not comfortable wilh ihis large instrument.

Just ride immediately taught how to stand and physically. Remember, you can forget what you memorize if it isn't kept in your mind and under your fingers. The next etude is a fool-proof approach in constructing a good, strong bass line. My concept is that we as bassists should be able to play completely alone and relay the essence of a song by the construction of our bass line alone.

We don't need the keyboard to clarify the kind of chord. We don't You should be able to swing and radiate energy all alone. When we add a pianist and drummer, who are not dependent on you, it should be easy.

Our basic iob description is to embrace the ensemble with the clearest harmony and rhythm possible and not lose our role as the foundation. Good choice of notes and their placement and pitch will really make the entire group swing and feel good.

Just as you shift 'intoPrepare position, do the same in the upper posilower. Be sure to practice on all of the strings, as each string will require a slightly different physi-. Move the enlire arm to put the hand into the cal requirement.

When playing on the A and E position needed. Keep your fingers arched. Do strings, be sure to pivot the entire arm so that you not move the fingers aimlessly around searching can keep the arched posture in the Left hand.

Get that arm there and the difficult Play slowly untilyou are able to make the transition smoothly and accurately. Practice and concentrate on the positioning of each and every eeling. Remember to keep your elbow up and concentrate on the "claw'' eeling. The notes in the brackets are played in one position. You should not have to move or shlft your arm.

The only movement ls done with. Notice how many notes can be played just in this one area. Practice on all our strlngs.

Now practice connecting with the transitlon by playing two octave scales. Th notes inside the brackets are played in one lnternalize all o these sounds. Soon you will be position. You need only to be concemed with the able to use these ingerings starting on different last note o one bracket to the irst note of the next notes chromatically' which will put you in diferent bracket.

Practice keys. The only difference as you move into the slowly at irst. Watch and ligten to ind exactly thumb positions, is the thumb replaces the little inwhere you are shifting to.

Use the metronome and ger. Keep your fingers arched and glide smoothly concentrate on your pitch. Memorize these scale and swittly on the strings when shifting. One String Only, Please Double bass players tend to play in little "ingering boxes'' in the lower area and then requently only on the G string as they go into thumb position.

Bass guitarists tnd to play in those "boxes'' also, but all the way up the fingerboard, because it is iust easier to execute. Let's try to liberate you to be free to use the entire fingerboard. Do not play a sloppy glissando when shifting. Concentrate on the symmetry of sound throughout the fingerboard. Play slowly at irst and keep those tingers arched.

Remember the smooth fluid motion on all of the strings. Practice playing slowly and then speed up the shift. Your glissando now becomes louder.

Try playing difierent dynamics in this etude. Always pivot the left arm over to help the hand stay well into the ingerboard. The combined weight of your arm and hand is what keeps those notes ocused with pitch. Remember, the Left hand is your sound. The Right hand is the sound producer. Play at slow tempo at irst to let your body understand what it must do.

This page is or the D string only, please. Now that you have become all loosened up playing the glissandos, try playing all your scales on one string. Pick one scale type to practice each and every day for only 5 minutes. Never just start playing. Always have a specific tempo in mind.

Decide how you are going the scales. Decide whether to play in one or two octaves, using quarte1 eighth, or sixteenth notes. What will be the dynamic? Will you use the bow or pizzicato? Believe me, you will become more productive and successful in your efforts.

Five minutes is a very long time when doing one specific thing, but great strides can be made if you develop a good practice habit. Now, start playing your walking bass lines on one string.

After you have been successful in playing the various bass lines I have written for you, start alternating with your own creations on one string only, please. Next, staft alternating your lines with my lines, first on one string, then using all of the strings. The ultimate goal is to sound good with connected articulate bass lines in all three circumstances. Listen intently to make your lines satisfy the progression and the execution is smooth from the one string technique to all strings.

The listener. We begin with the simplest; roots and octaves, roots and fifths, and roots, thirds, fifths, and octaves. Members of your ensemble depend on you to always "be there," no matter what happens.

When this happens properly, the resulting music and feeling is absolutely wonderful. We bass players are not allowed to make a mistake. Bassists have the unique ability to sabotage any and all ensembles if they are not truly focused on their primary role. Your primary role is found in most to keep good time with good swinging bass lines.

You must now learn the sound of each of the chords above and particularly the significant notes shown by the arrows that make each a different chord. Constructing Good and Functional Bass Lines ln A "TWO" Feeling While reading this exercise, remember to keep fingers arched while also watching and listening to close watch of your left hand posture.

Keep your the sound the right hand is producing. Roots only. Go to the piano or keyboard and get familiar with no matter how simple, will be satisfying to the listhese sounds. When you understand the sound of tener. Remember that your irst listeners are the what you are outlining as a bass playel your lines, people with whom you are playing. This progression, commonly called a minor ll - V Play on the piano and on your instrument to interprogression, is one of the most important sounds nalize its sound so that these two chords become you will encounter literally in every kind o song.

When no chord symbol is shown for the second one sound by using more notes rom the scals that measure, it is generally accepted to be the same represent that particular sound. Think o the two measures as. We now explore the important ll - V - progression. Play these chords on the piano. Play the respective scales and arpeggios for each chord on your Notice how this sequence takes you through many different keys, or tonal centes.

When you begin to be more experienced playing tunes, you will notice that they all go through various harmonic tonal cen-. This is the same ll - V - I progression with a slight spatial difference.

Notice how the last chord still. These tonal centers will become much easier to understand through repetition. Here are three eight measure phrases using three minor modes; Dorian, Aeolian, and Melodic Minor. Play these chords. Listen to the different qualities that each scale gives as they move diatonically. Notice that each of the eight measures are all one sound. Don't think of it as eight separate measures o Dm7. Notice the linear use of the bass line. The line should depict motion even though the sound.

Playing on "one" sound requires close attention when constructing your bass lines. Use the identical approach when you play in a Major mode as well. Satisfy the sound! Ghord Sound Alteations These are alterations of the basic chords. Notice that in these irst our measures the progressions are labeled diferently.

Howeve1 they mean and sound exactly the same. Sometimes this fact is misunderstood. They are unctional notes of the chord. They also could be implying passing chords that don't actually exist here, but sometimes could be played.

Remember that you are not always obligated to play every chordal note. As you become more proficient with your keyboard harmony and on the bass, eventually your lines will become more sophisticated. I cannot stress enough or you to become unctionally riendly with the piano and jazz harmony.

Functional knowledge o the iazz vocabulary and grammar is essential or your continued growth as a jazz musician. They ar essentially the same, but are just written differently. Play these, listen to them, and become familiar with them. I am sure you have heard these sounds before. Remember, be as clear as possible at the outset as We are building a oundation for the listener to hang on to. This process will work. I want you to be concerned about what notes you choose to play or a particular phrase.

You should always have a reason or playing any given note or pattern. When you have conviction in your playing, you will project that image which is quickly noticed by others. Prolection of your intent is very powerful. The bass lines I have written are to give you ideas to create your own. This will be the only time in your playing career that you will have the opportunity to ponder and change anything you don't like or want.

You get what you get and move on, like it or not. Play through all of the lines several times to digest each sound. There is no such thing as a perect bass line.

This process has six steps and will work on any kind o song or composition that is giving you problems. The ultimate goal is to help you truly listen and hear critically what is coming out o your bass. The end product will consistently build your confidence in what you do. Here is the process.

Write the. Write down a simple quarter note bass line with no embellishments away omthe bass' When inished' check or careless errors. Next play the line on your. You must be totally satisfied and feel good about what you have created. Play lhis draft With authoity and conviction. Use the second chorus to include rhythm embellishments. Recod the bass line and ]isten back and be critical o the sound, eeling' and content.

This process really does work, but you must work diligently in the process. As your playing matures, you will be able to employ various other patterns that will be functional in outlining the chord sound. Below are examples of how you can start a strong you give it some thought. Practice at various tema chord symbol.

You will notice the line will change color. Note Remember these following lines are only a few of that your shifts must be fast and precise. Stay close hundreds of combinations that can be applied once to the ingerboard and keep those ingers arched. Remember, always think o the entire phrase as When you phrase in this mannel you are projecting one complete sound.

By doing this you are able to symmetry, which will help the musical development. Even though there urations. The end result which is the five chord to C minor. The slower the tempo, Measures 10 and 11 illustrate the use of the Dorian scale and the Harmonic Minor scale in measures the more these patterns will sound truly ditferent.

Experiment with all of lhese various I think you should think in four or eight measure possibilities when writing out your lines. Use dynamics, especialand the rhythmic variations undr your fingers. Notice the total sound o this modal line in Cm is exemplified throughout.

The chord symbols in parentheses illustrate the implication o other harmonic possibilities. These also aid in the clarity and resolution of the phrase. When you honostly can play all of these bass lines in ETUDE 12, go back and repeat each one and alternate with your own I also suggest that you tape record yourself and listn critically to your sel.

Are you able lo hear clearly What you think you are playing? Do you want to pat your oot to what. Are your rhythmic embellishments clearly executed? When the answers are yes, you are definitely on the right track! You have now finished my concept and thought The rhythmic variations you play should enhance process in constructing good, solid bass lines. Too often your technical ations that you can create if you put some thought to it. Take any tune and use this process until you are able to do it spontaneously.

Write your bass lines down, away rom your bass if you can.

GOLDA from Oklahoma
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