Global Bass Online November 2000
Check out the GiveAway from BASSIX Studio
Do you find yourself wasting valuable gray cells and precious time in bands that you just hate? Or perhaps you're in a very productive and satisfying musical situation where each note you play is cherished and savored.
In both scenarios and everything in between a certain amount of your time is spent, never again to be reclaimed. This being the case it's extremely important to make the most of the time away from ones gigs and routine musical endeavors.
In this age of high technology we are blessed with the ability to always have a good quality recording device at our beckoning call whether we are at home, or in a hotel room thousands of miles away.
The key is to get into the habit and regimen of recording your practice sessions, compositional sketch's, and even inviting fellow players to plug in for impromptu jam sessions. Once it's no longer a novelty hearing yourself in a playback, you will be much more confident in higher pressure scenarios when every note counts.
Some players are a bit apprehensive about hearing themselves exposed, out of the realm of ensemble. Fair enough. The bass can be rather edgy lumbering along in a track by itself, however after enduring this for a relatively short time your brain begins to administer changes in your touch, attack, and general poise on the instrument.
When you go back into an ensemble you notice from the very first tune you are playing with a much fatter sound, cleaner articulation, and ultimately even your time is improving.
Duets with one's self can be an amazing journey into your imagination, not to mention quite beneficial to your ear training and honing your skills at composition.
friend Percy Jones has an instructional video out on Warner Bros. that begins
with him playing a most intriguing duet with himself.
The screen is split showing his hands playing each part. You can tell this is something Percy has done for a good long time as he moves through the piece. Bass duets are quite beautiful due to the pitch and timbre of the instrument.
I suggest investing in a portable hard disk recorder that gives you the option of dumping your most inspired moments onto an outside source for archiving. Sure almost everybody has some sort of cool machine and maybe even a CD burner, but using the recorder on a daily basis is another story altogether.
trick is to make a habit of not just recording the session, but spending some
time evaluating what you've done in the hopes of improving your playing. Don't
be shy, it only hurts for a minute.
After you've invested some time at this the rewards far outweigh having to endure hearing one's self play clams. That's what the erase button is for. Learn from the clams and save the good stuff for a point of reference.
Some cats use these recorders just as sketch pads. I feel this is falling short of the potential these devices provide the modern day bassist. In my opinion there are no excuses for missing out on the opportunity these machines give us to excel as musicians.
Also for those that are living under the veil of denial about how they truly sound, it's a splendid reality check.
a healthy dose of fear is all it takes to overcome ones false pride. Then and
only then can a player get down to investigating, monitoring, and improving
their overall bass persona.
...and of LightWave Optical Pickups, Dann says,
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