Sunday, August 27, 2006

Glossary of Common Bass Terms

Bass Guitar - 4,5,6 (or more) low frequency electric or acoustic guitar

Chord tone/notes - Note within a chord (G major chord consist of G, B and D)

Crescendo - Gradually get louder in volume

Flat (b) - Lower the pitch of a note by half step

Genre - Type of style of music (Jazz, Blues, Rock, Metal, Classical and etc)

Groove - Playing on time, creating a feel and rhythm to the music (Locked with drums)

Hammer on - Generate a sound of a note with the force of your fretting finger

Harmonics - Touch lightly on the strings or fret (Natural harmonic on 5th 7th 12th fret)

Interval - Distance between 2 pitches

Legato - Long note

Mute - To muffle or lightly touch the strings

Octave - Interval of 12 semitones

Open string - A string is played and not fretted

Pentatonic - scale made up of 5 notes

Pickup - Magnetic coil that transfer the signal to an amp

Pinced Harmonics - nice sharp harmonics (something like artificial harmonics)

Pluck - Use your fingers to play the strings (Pop is to pull the string)

Preamp - Increase the electric signal ( include bass, treble, mid, tone and etc)

Root - The first note of the chord (G is the root of a G chord) also know as the tonic

Scale - Notes that followed an interval formula

Sharp (#) - Raise the pitch of a note by half step

Slap - Using your thumb and strike at the fret to create a solid tone (or left hand strike the fretboard)

Staccato - Short note

Strum - Use your fingers and go through the strings (Just like guitar)

Tap - Hammer on the notes with your left hand and right hand (2 hand tap)

Thump - Use your palm or finger and strike accurately on the string

Vibrato - Waver the pitch of the note

Whole step - Distance of 2 half steps (2 frets)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Basic Slap Concept

Been messing around with some pentatonic scales lately. This slap concept is not exactly following the pentatonic runs but using the notes within the minor Pentatonic.
I used quite a bit of ghost notes in between to fill up the gap and also give a slight funk feel. This groove is done in key of A and plays around with the 7th in the beginning. Ending with a Asus to Gsus chord, making it a bit rock. Sorry for the not so good video quality and sound.

For those who are not sure about pentatonic scale, the basic are the major and minor pentatonic scales.
Just like the pentagon is a polygon with 5 sides, the pentatonic scale has 5 notes.
Take a look at the formula below:

G major scale - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 (G A B C D E F# G)
G major pentatonic scale - 1 2 3 5 6 (G A B D E)

G natural minor scale - 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1 (G A Bb C D Eb F G)
G minor pentatonic scale - 1 b3 4 5 b7 ( G Bb C D F)

Have fun!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

3rd Forward

To all enthusiastic bass conrades who want to play more. This exercise is what I called the 3rd forward.
By now I believe most of you already know your major scale. Playing the scale up and down can be a little boring sometimes although it is a good exercise.
This 3rd forward exercise is from the major scale but after you play the main note, it will be followed by the 3rd of the main note. i.e Press G then follow by B and so on.
This exercise is in G and should help widen your melodic thinking and hopefully increase your creativity.

You can also do double 3rd forward which means play each note twice. After you go down the scale, try to come up. Try to play in different keys and have fun.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Hair Band for bass?

Beside using your hair band to tie your hair, Victor Wooten used it on his bass.
He learned it from his brother,Regi Wooten, who does amazing things on the electric guitar. He uses it as a capo sometimes too.

So why did Victor put a hair band on his bass? Well I think most of you who read about him will know that it is to reduce vibration when doing the thumb up and down technique.
That is onlya temporaily solution as he said that we should practise using our left hand to control the vibration. You will feel handicap when using your friend's bass who might not have the hair band.

I got mine for 50 cents and it serve me well when I slap classical thump. Another bass player that follow Victor is Norm Stockton ( Grooving for Heaven).

When I compare the sound with and without the hair tie, I find that it sound brighter without the hair tie (Common sense? depends!)

Give it a try, no harm. You can watch Bass day 98 featuring victor wooten and also Victor Wooten & Cater Beauford DVD video to see more of the hair band mention.