This made my day… (quoting)

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Quoting one of my readers

Theory for the Bass Player Book, InstructionOne of the greatest things that have happened for me since I wrote Music Theory for the Bass Player is that I get emails from bassists from all over the world. I love hearing about bass and life stories – some even tell about how music has saved a life- and many share their learning stories. Thank you for writing in,

 

 

 

This morning I got this, which expresses better than I ever could why I think Music Theory is worth learning:

I’m amazed at how theory gives ‘meaning’ to the music I’ve been playing all my life.

I sat down the other day and started playing a song I haven’t played in 20 years (Skin Tight, by the Ohio Players).
When I got to the bridge, which I’ve always had trouble remembering, I looked down at the fretboard and the path lit up for me and led me to the notes to play:

I walked from C to F then G to Bb, using the triad shapes as the basis of succession (C,D,E,F) (2,4,1,2 fingering) then G,A,Bb (4,1,2 fingering).That’s the part that lit up like a runway for me!
Then chromatic down from F to Eb and E,F,F#/Gb as the 10th to the D.

And the chords are C,F, Bb, Eb, D.

I heard it, saw it, felt it, anticipated it…cool beans!

I giggled like a little school girl!

Hilliard Scott, Bassist (from an email, used with permission)

Comments(9)

  • Jesse Perez
    April 11, 2016, 12:31  Reply

    Hi Ariane, I just got a chance to check out your seminar this past weekend (SBL Live) and wow…just some great material to shed and add greater depth to my understanding of music theory and bass playing. Can’t wait to shed this.
    Jesse

    • April 11, 2016, 16:47

      Hey Jesse, very cool 🙂 Thumbs up (funky thumb, that is)

  • Dave
    April 11, 2016, 16:44  Reply

    Hi Ariane, I have been enrolled with SBL and was at the seminar last weekend. Found what you said very interesting. Thanls! I just ordered your book too. Dave

    • April 11, 2016, 16:46

      Nice to hear from you David. Thanks for your note!

  • Dave
    April 11, 2016, 17:24  Reply

    Welcome. I was interest perked up when you said “Music Theory and putting it on the fret board”.
    I may have missed something in the seminar but had the question of why do you feel a delay helps in practicing scales?

    • April 11, 2016, 18:13

      If you set the delay pedal as I describe you can turn practicing scales into a very musical, fun sounding exercise that really drives home the sound of a particular scale. Makes practicing it all over the fretboard fun and inspiring you to use the tonal material. You really get the effect of the sound of that particular scale practicing that way. Great for modes and stmmetric scales

  • Dave
    April 11, 2016, 17:25  Reply

    Oops a typo – should read My interest perked up…..

  • Markus
    April 12, 2016, 08:51  Reply

    Ariane, you are a genius teacher. I also just saw your SBL live seminar. You have a gift to make things easy to remember (the traffic finger!!!). My problem with music theory isn’t that it’s hard to understand, it usually isn’t. But I find it near impossible to remember it, because most theory books / lessons etc don’t bother to explain how and why the disparate factoids all connect. Example, I know the bass is tuned in 4ths. I know the open string notes. And I have looked a the cycle of 4ths/5ths for years. Never could remember the order beyond the first three notes. It never occurred to me that it’s necessarily the same as the order of bass strings. So the cycle is, in order of 4ths, C on top and F top left, then the order of a 5-string bass in flats, repeat in plain notes, and here it is, the cycle is memorized in 10 seconds. And how to form a scale from the cycle, in order of 5ths, play one – skip one. Memorized in another 10 seconds. And I have never seen this pointed out, not to mention it never crossed my own mind when it should have been obvious (shame on me). Amazing. Same goes for reading music btw, 5 lines and 4 spaces, there must be a logic to it … but I don’t see it and theory books just tell you what the notes mean, not the logic of the notation system. I will now order your book.

    • April 12, 2016, 13:05

      Markus, wow, thank you very much. It is comments like yours that make it all worth it. I do think about that stuff almost obsessively, to be able to connect things in a way that make sense, are engaging and help one remember it. Nothing is as satisfying as to hear it’s worked. Appreciate you writing.

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