I love borrowing from classical music for the electric bass – especially in the technique department! Classical music looks at hundreds of years of teaching and working out getting the fingers strong and coordinated; this presents lots of data to draw from: how to best do and how to best teach technical proficiency! In this Talking Technique Episode – originally published on notreble.com – I present you a quite comprehensive technique workout that involves a so called “mordent”. Have a go at it and let me know what you think.
A mordent (singular for mordents) –
most likely something you have never heard of if you are an electric bassist – is an embellishment. It looks like this in the score:
A mordent signifies a quick alternation of the principal note (in this case the C2) with the note above or below.
It requires coordination, finger strength and precision so as to not sound sloppy and classical musicians pratice a detail like that meticulously, and for good reason, because it is good shedding for your expression and good shedding for your technique. I remember practicing those tiny little figures on the piano quite a bit as a kid. And they can be really handy for the bass, so follow me down the path of mordent practice!
It sheds one-finger-per-fret in the process as well, and is quite the muscle workout. This episode is, as so often, multi layered, as we are also practicing scales up a string in the process! It is important to go slow and stay relaxed. Enjoy!
My bass is a Consat by Marleaux
Sound by wolftrackaudio
Fretwrap by gruvgear
Strings: SR 2000 by Dean Markley