Here we will take a look at the lessons in Teach Me Bass Guitar one by one, to give you a better overview of what you will get if you decide to purchase the course.
The first lesson with Roy Vogt is fairly basic but brief enough not to annoy experienced players. It starts with explaining the different right-hand techniques. The three common techniques are finger style, using a pick and slap bass. The first and the last one are the most common ones and this lesson focuses on finger style. It focuses on proper coordination between both hands and strings and how to position your fingers properly on the fret board. It is very important that your thumb and the rest of the fingers are in proper position so you can play comfortably for a couple of minutes at a stretch without hurting yourself. This lesson shows you how to position your thumb and other fingers and also how to properly hold the guitar.
After the basics, it goes straight into some basic pattern playing for you to understand the frets and also the different note positions better. You get introduced to the 3 finger and 4 finger techniques with a little more emphasis on the 4 finger technique. This one also prepares you for the next lesson that talks about time signatures by laying out some simple exercises that you are to play along with a metronome. The first lesson concludes with a finger stretching exercise and also encourages you to let the basics settle in completely before you are ready to move onto the next step. The finger stretching exercise is important because on the bass guitar, strings are fatter and the frets are usually a bit father spaced out. That calls for some extra effort and the stretching exercises help ease out the fingers. The first one is of around 45 minutes duration.
The second lesson introduces some music theory in an easy-to-understand fashion. You get to learn about time signatures in this lesson. This might be a bit overwhelming for beginners, but if you take the time to understand each and every piece of information, it wouldn’t take long for the entire concept to settle in. Time signatures are important because they teach you how to play in sync with the rest of the band to a particular rhythm.
Apart from time signatures, the second lesson also teaches you how to read notation and also how major scales are formed. In this one, Roy Vogt actually plays all the major scales starting with the flats and ending with the sharps to not only help you understand what major scales are but also prepare you for the next lesson that differentiates major, minor, augmented and diminished scales. This one also introduces the concept of triads, how the 1-3-5 triad forms the major scale and also how to play the 1-4-5 progression.
This module also gives you a real song to play along with. This one is called “Keep It Simple Blues” and the loop section of the DVD allows you to play with the band in studio settings – first with Roy on the bass guitar and then gradually with you alone as the bassist. The entire second lesson is about 1.5 hours long and prepares the ground for some more music theory in lesson 3.
The third lesson introduces playing with the pick. Even though this is not considered to be one of the most preferred ways to play a bass guitar, it does create a certain sound (mostly used in metal music) that some players prefer under certain circumstances. In this lesson you get to learn the “studio grip” technique through a couple of 4X4 exercises. This one also tells you when to use a pick and when to avoid it. After some basics on how to use the pick properly, you get introduced to another important aspect of time signature – dotted rhythms and ties. The eighth notes and rests are also covered.
The second lesson talked about the concept of triads and also how the major scale is formed; in this lesson the concept of minor, diminished and augmented triads are also discussed. Each one of them is very slightly different from the other, but it’s that subtle difference (of notes) that completely changes the taste and in some cases even the genre. This lesson features a guest student session too. A guest student goes over everything that has been taught so far and also raises pertinent questions that are answered by Roy through demonstrative playing. Sometimes, too much theory can clog up the mind and the listener often does not know what questions to ask. The guest student session pretty much clears up the common doubts and also implements music theory into practical playing.
After the guest session comes two training exercises in the form of two different songs that focus on the theory offered in this lesson. The Rockin Blues song is basically an 8th note jam and the second song called Impov: You Play It focuses o triads and dotted notes.
The fourth lesson is definitely a bit more advanced compared to the last one but it’s definitely a gradual transition. This one clocks in at just over an hour and starts with a finger exercise called Hazard by Steve Bailey to give your fingers the work out necessary for some advanced training on “Movable Shapes”. The journey starts with understanding the notes and sequences in the fifth position. Every note occurs several times in different positions across the fret board over several octaves. The player has to choose a particular position (on the fret board) for playing a particular note or a sequence depending on how easily he can access the next set of notes in the same fret area without moving his hand too much. That is what “movable shapes” is all about – playing the same stuff in different positions so you have more flexibility. Apart from flexibly, movable shapes facilitate more musical versatility.
The fourth lesson covers everything you need to know about movable shapes and also introduces the concept of the harmonic minor scale and the jazz melodic minor scale. Here also, the basic difference between each of these scales is just a note or two, but that is enough to change the entire texture of the music. In this lesson, Roy also shows the basic difference between the natural minor scale and the other two minor scales. Just like the other lessons, the grammar part ends into some practical playing.
The first practice song is Mid Neck Blues that is centered on fifth position playing and the second song is Bach to Bass-ics, which is a classical song that features a melodic minor. The last lesson is challenging and beginners are expected to be able to master it only after a couple of hours of thorough practice.
Filed under: Teach Me Bass Guitar Review
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