Friday, January 21, 2011

Bass Lesson 1: Learning the Bass Neck: Notes on the Neck, Sharps and Flats

If you want to play bass, you need to know your bass neck thoroughly, and you need to be able to identify key changes and chord changes by ear and react instantly.

Let's take a look at the bass neck.  In the diagram below, the red notes depict open strings; the blue numbers depict the frets, and of course, the black notes are what you are playing.

Here's the bass neck showing only the major notes from the nut to the 12th fret:

If you move up the neck from left to right, you call the "in between" notes sharps (#) and if you move down the neck (from right to left), you call the in between notes flats (b).

Here's the bass neck, showing the sharps between major notes.

Let's get oriented. If you are playing a right-handed bass, you play the above notes with your left hand and pick the strings with your right hand. Looking down at your bass neck, the bottom string in the above graphic is actually the top string, the thickest of the four strings. That's the E string (so called because when you play that string "open," without any left hand fingers touching it, the note is E). The string below it is the A string, then the D string and finally, the G string.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Two Good Examples of a Great Country Sound

Our band does two great Patsy Cline songs, "Crazy" and "Walking After Midnight."  Here are two videos of a professional group performing them.  I would love to attain this level of professionalism.  We move in that direction with every practice.

Note especially how this performer sings with passion and feeling, what we call "soul."  It isn't enough just to sing the words, you need to sing them as if you believe them.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Practice Session of Sunday, January 16, 2011

I have started filming our practice sessions.  I am posting the best of these sessions here.

This first post features our new lead guitar player, Lorraine Lewis.  Lorraine's guitar riffs add an important new element to the band.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Recent YouTube Videos of the Band

Here are some recent videos of my band playing gigs.  To hear my bass you will need to listen with headphones, as small computer speakers cannot reproduce the sound.

Played at a Christmas Party, December 14, 2010, VA Hospital in Palo Alto, CA


Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Videos of the Band -- Taken July 2010

These videos were taken at the Livermore, CA VA Hospital in July, 2010.  We had lost our female singer and our guitar player had to carry the day by singing all the songs himself.

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay