Natalie: Hello and welcome to Gigajam. This is the third lesson of the essential bass skills course part one. My name is right-handed Natalie Barrass, and this man, our tutor, is left-handed Terry Gregory. Terry, how are you today?
Terry: I'm very left-handed. How are you?
N: (Laughs). I'm very right-handed
T: Jolly good!
N: Ok, it's Gigajam. It means we've got lesson objectives. What are our lesson objectives for today?
T: Three objectives for lesson three.
N: You did that on purpose didn't you?
T: Amazing! And they are learning some new notes. We've learnt A and G in previous lessons
T: Today we're gonna learn a couple of new notes, C and D. So that's the first objective, learning new notes
N: Lovely, number one
T: Second objective is, those notes will be played on a different string to the notes we've played in the earlier lessons
T: So that means we're gonna have two strings live, as it were. Two strings to play now. And we'll need to change from one string to another. So then we'll need to develop some techniques to control those. That's called string crossing
N: String crossing. So that's our second objective.
T: That's the second objective. And the third objective is, as ever, putting it all into practice. To prove that we've got some knowledge,
T: we've understood it, and we can, you know, actually play with it. The later exercises in this lesson will be performance based. You know, playing some rock grooves .
N: The rock grooves again, yeah
T: using not only the notes that we've learned in this lesson, which are D and C. But adding in the notes that we've learned so we kind of get this progressive theme
N: Absolutely, building it up step by step, everything we learn we're using again. So we're practising and practising and practising
T: Yeah, otherwise we'll forget it. So let's put it all in, and use all the notes we've got
T: So the notes we learnt previously were A and G. So the final objective for today's lesson is playing rock grooves using A and G, and D and C. You up for that?
N: D and C. Okay well let's start, what shall we start with? Let's start with note C first of all
T: Yeah. Let's start with playing the note of C. Which we'll play with our first finger of our left hand
N: First finger, left hand
T: Very good, very good. And that's on the third fret.
N: One, two, three. Yes
T: Well done
N: And which string?
N: For me it's that one
T: That's called do you remember the name of the string?
T: That's the A string. Very good Natalie, yeah
N: Thank you
T: So first finger, index finger, of the left hand, fretting a C on the third fret of the A string. The A string is the third string, so not the thickest string, which is the fourth string, the E string. The next string, the third string, which is the A string.
N: Okay, and because you play it left-handed, it's obviously flipped around for me. But that's still the third string?
T: Still the third string.
N: Third string, so one, two, three for me. One, two, three for you
T: First finger, and that's a C
N: Let me here it
T: You ready for this?
N: I'm ready
(Terry plays a C)
N: That's a C
T: There you go, that's a C. So what we'll do is we'll use the Gigajam media files
T: to practise playing a C using quarter notes. We learnt about quarter notes in the very first lesson. Dividing a bar up into four quarters
N: Alright, so let's .shall we go straight in with the music?
N: Or would you like to watch the video first?
T: Let's have a look at the video
T: I fancy watching the video today
N: (Laughs) Alright I'll just click on the first icon there, for the video
T: Thank you. Let's see how this looks
N: So this is exercise one
N: Quarter notes
T: On C
(Video starts to play)
T: Very nice
N: Yeah, he's looking very relaxed isn't he?
T: He's looking very relaxed, you're right. Yeah. It's not as easy as it looks all this. That's why you've got to practise it over and over
T: So that it looks easy
N: And there's a very small amount of movement there as well
N: Almost like he was doing nothing at all
T: Almost as if he was miming
T: Which he wasn't. So to prove that let me have a go now and do that. I'll play that exercise, live. Four quarter notes on C
T: Using my first finger on the third fret of the A string, which is the third string
T: Here it goes, two, three, four.
N: One, two, three, four
T: That's it.
N: One, two, three, four. Alright, well let's do that with the Xtractor now
N: So you've got a bit more behind you
T: Thank you!
N: No problem!
(Terry joins in)
N: So I don't mean to distract you, but talk us through what you're doing as you're playing
T: I'm having fun playing with the virtual band
T: I'm playing exercise one. Just playing four quarter notes, C. Using my first finger on the third fret of the A string, which is the third string. A lot of information there, a lot of numbers
T: And I'm just try'na do what we observed on the video clip. Stay in the groove. Very consistent. No movement
T: Saving all my energy for concentration.
T: So I play all the notes on time, and in time. And keep going
N: Okay, well I'm gonna tell you to stop now
N: Cos we've obviously got more exercises to play
T: We have. So that was playing what, in this lesson, is a new note
T: C. So we're not content with just learning one new note
N: Oh no, let's push it on
T: Let's learn another one. It's not dissimilar to what we did in the previous lesson, where we learnt to play two notes, A and G
T: The A was at the third fret, and the G was at the fifth fret
T: Sorry it's the other way round!
T: The A was at the fifth fret, and the G was at the third fret. And so now we're pretty much the same thing, but up on the A string we've just learnt this new note C
T: On the third fret. And we're gonna learn another new note, which is called D. And that's on the fifth fret. But I'll just move my finger up as we did before
N: Alright, so always with the first finger?
T: At the moment, yeah that's all we're doing
N: Yeah. Counting it up one, two, three, four, five.
T: That's our new note. That's D. So we're playing a D with the first finger on the fifth fret of the A string
T: Do you wanna give it a try?
N: Let me hear what it sounds like
T: It sounds like that
(Terry plays D)
T: So there's our new note, D
(Terry plays D again)
T: And the exercise will give us the opportunity to practise that. We've got the video clip, and then the Xtractor. The usual process. So shall we have a look at the video clip?
T: That sounds good
N: I'm pushing that icon for you right now
T: Thank you. And that'll open up and show us a good illustration of quarter note D's on the fifth fret
N: And obviously we've got the diagram there as well on the screen where the red dot is, just in case you didn't get our description
T: And you've got the manuscript there, the notation showing you where D lives
T: on the stave, on the middle line
N: Yeah that's interesting isn't it? The sort of placing of the notes and things like that. Reading, actually being able to read the music and know where that note is going
T: Yeah it's a good thing about Gigajam, it's kind of got this, they call it multi-sensorial learning, where they show you, they present the information, in lots of different ways. Of course there's the text
T: Which you can read. There are finger board diagrams
T: There's the video. There's the conventional music notation, the music writing in the language musicians use. And of course they've got you and I sat here demonstrating things. So some people work better with language, some people work better with pictures, some people work better with images. So you can access the knowledge and the information in whichever way you are more comfortable and familiar with
N: Okay. Would you like to play it with the Xtractor?
T: Yeah, that'd be great. I'll play the exercise two
T: Which is playing a D, using my first finger on the fifth fret of the A string
N: Alright. On the count of three then
T: I'm ready
N: One, two, three
(Xtractor starts playing)
T: Thank you
N: Those are our four clicks. No problem
(Terry starts playing)
N: So this is the D note, fifth fret
T: On the
N: A string
T: Very good
N: I've been paying attention Terry
T: You have
N: Paying attention
T: I'm having a good time just playing
N: You're in the zone aren't you?
T: Yeah. In the groove. Try'na get that consistency and that accuracy. Mak sure all my notes are on time, and in time. A good length, and a good sound
N: How do you? How do you ensure, like a clean sound? You know, when you're striking the strings
T: Yeah I'm hitting it quite proactively
T: My hand's not moving, of course my fingers getting good purchase on the note
N: And you're not having to look at that note are you? When you're strking it? Cos you know where it is now
T: Yeah, you kind of, I mean obviously the more practise you do, you build up a kind of a kinaesthetic sense, a feel for where things are. Like you do, you know, you're awareness of everything else around you. Cos you do something habitually, you know, over and over
T: The band's quit
N: The band's stopped
T: Good. So that was playing four quarter notes on D
T: As you so rightly said with the first finger fretting on the fifth fret of the A string. What are we gonna do now?
N: I've got a sneaking suspicion
T: You know how we do things here at Gigajam
N: We take one bit, we take another bit, then we add it up together
T: Stick it together, yeah. So we'll do that now with the next exercise which is exercise three. Which is playing both those notes, C and D. One bar of each
T: Four quarter notes of C and four quarter notes of D. So let's remind ourselves of what's happening. Four quarter notes of C, we're only using the first finger
T: And we're only using one string, that's the third string, the A string
N: That one there
T: Very good. So four quarter notes on C, and then on the third fret, and then shift up to the fifth fret to play four quarter notes on D. So we know where both those notes are and both locations. It's a question of the movement from one to the other, making sure we get that nice and smooth and even and flowing, and keep time and keep pace with the band
N: And are you sliding along the string, or are you taking your finger off and then replacing it at the point you want?
T: Yeah this issue comes up a lot, especially with technology like this, which is recording, often, what we're doing. When we look back at our performance in the Analyser, if we've slid from
(Terry demonstrates sliding between two notes)
T: ...like that you can hear there's kind of
(Terry demonstrates sliding between two notes)
T: there's a kind of note in between. So the Xtractor and the Analyser will interpret that as my poor attempt at playing another note in between which I shouldn't have done
T: So I'll probably just, try and avoid doing that and do this
(Terry demonstrates lifting off between two notes)
N: So two very clean sounding notes then
T: Yeah, so if you hit it I'll go and I'll demonstrate the exercise
N: Alright, this is exercise three, playing both C and D
(Terry joins in)
N: So four quarter notes on C and then four quarter notes on D.
T: And there it is
N: So that's something I'm gonna let you keep on playing
T: Okay thank you
N: I'll let you keep on playing into the break
T: Until the sun goes down
N: Well, no, until we come back for part two
N: Which will be happening in just a few minutes time, as we go to this break. Join us back here in part two when Terry will have stopped playing C and D, and we'll be moving on to our future learning objectives. See you in part two
N: Hello and welcome back to part two of episode three. I'm still here, me being Natalie, this being our tutor Terry. Terry, let's recap that first part
T: It was good, wasn't it?
N: It was very good. I can't believe how quickly we're learning, sort of, you know, we've learnt two more notes today. Add those, you know, up to the other lessons, we're up to four notes that we know now
T: Yeah. You know what the two new notes are which we've learnt so far today?
N: C and D
T: Very good. And where do you find those notes?
N: On the third string, at the fifth and the third frets
T: And which one's which?
N: Oh, now you're asking me! That one is C?
N: No, ahh. That ones .
T: We should of rehearsed it
N: (Laughs) That's alright!
N: That one's D and that one is C
T: Absolutely, yeah. We're using the first finger and as you said, we're just playing that one string. So we've come a long way. So far we've been playing quarter notes
T: What we should do now to put all this new stuff we've got into practice, is use eighth notes like we did before in some of the earlier lessons
N: I remember them
T: So instead of counting one, two, three, four. We count
N: One and, two and, three and, four and
T: So it would be a bar of each still
T: A bar of C, then a bar of D, just as we had in the last exercise before the break. But this new exercise will have one bar of each, eighth notes
N: Alright, let's have a look at how it goes on the video
T: Yeah, good idea
N: I'll load this up for us there
T: Thank you very much. So we can see
N: Not a problem
T: .see how it's played, perfectly. Here it comes
T: Very good, yeah
N: It's quick isn't it?
T: Yes surprisingly isn't it? Surprisingly quick
N: This is gonna take more concentration
T: One and, two and, three and, four and, one and, two and, .
N: Yeah, obviously the
T: .three and, four and
N: the tempo's still the same, but because we're playing eighth notes there's more in there. That's why it seems quicker, right?
T: Yeah, yeah you mustn't feel rushed, but you do have to get a move on. But I think if you keep the one, two, three, four and maybe tap your foot, you know, and keep that kind of physical reference point
T: with the tempo, or the pulse as we call it. It'll be easier to subdivide that. Do you want to play that video again? Oh, you've closed it down, that's fine
N: When you're tapping your foot?
N: You tap it on the one, two, we don't tap it on the and, do we? On the eighths
T: No, it's an interesting thing this. We tap on the one, two, three and four, as you say, and that's the down beat, when our foot goes down. But if you think about tapping your foot, if you tap your foot down, one, in order to tap it on two you've gottta lift it up
T: So musicians talk about the down beat, or the on beat, and the up beat, or the off beat. So you can kind of use your foot to tap, obviously the one, two, three, four, but you can think about where your foot comes up as being one and, two and, three and. It's kind of like that alternating thing we were thinking about earlier
T: To help you subdivide or measure out the time and the pulse
N: No it's always good to have a sort of physical thing to represent what we're hearing musically
N: I think
T: So if I try and demonstrate that now, that exercise again, before we go the Xtractor. The last exercise was one, two, three, four, one, two, and this time I'm gonna go to one and, two and, three and, four and
N: Ah, so you're using the alternate fingers there as well
T: And that's the good thing about bass playing, and that right hand alternating thing. It takes care of that, and it helps you to track the notes
T: That wasn't very good
T: I was talking and got caught in there in the crossfire
N: It's alright, always remember to concentrate when you're practising Terry
T: Thank you
N: That's alright
T: So I'm just about ready I think, yeah, to play along with the band
T: Play on this exercise with C's and D's, eighth notes
(Terry plays with Xtractor)
N: One and, two and, three and, four and, one and, two and, three and, four and
T: If you look at my leg, I've kind of got a
N: You've got your groove going on there, haven't you?
T: I've got my strong down beat, but I'm also kind of subdividing that to give me the feel of the eighth notes. So I've got one and, two and, three and, four and. And that's on C and, two and
T & N: Three and, four and
T: D and
T & N: Two and, three and four and, C and
N: Two and, three and, four and, D and, two and
N: three and, four and. Good stuff
T: Thank you very much
(Xtractor stops and Terry stops)
T: Very nice
N: There we've got C and D
T: So that's C and D now playing eighth notes and making sure that I'm changing at the right time, and staying in time and on time, and I've got that consistency and that elegancy and that flow about it. And also making sure that I mark out the eighth notes
N: Mmmhmm. At the beginning of the lesson, in part one, we had our lesson objectives
N: One of those, I seem to remember, was reaching that rock groove?
N: What do we need to know to do that?
T: What we're gonna try and do, and this is what we're always doing here at Gigajam, isn't it, is accumulating, you know, putting it all together
T: So keep remembering what we talked about earlier the lessons, the exercises, and then trying to use all that knowledge and information to create even better rock grooves. So in this lesson we've learnt the notes of C and D
T: In the earlier lessons we learnt the notes of A and G. So the plan now is to put it all together
N: C, A, G and D?
T: Yeah, play an exercise with all those four notes in. So let's just remind ourselves what we're doing
T: Putting it all together here, we're playing G which is the third fret of the E string, the fourth string
T: And then A which is the fifth fret of the E string, the fourth string
N: Okay, so that was
T: And A
N: And A
N: G and A, yes?
T: And the new notes we learnt today were on a different string
T: So we've got a new problem, we've got to learn to control changing strings. We call that string crossing, crossing strings, crossing from one string to another
N: String crossing
T: So we're gonna have to learn to put that control in place, the technique again
T: So the other notes on this string, which is across or up one, is up on to the third string which is the .
N: Or down in my case
T: Or down in your case. Up in terms of sound, as it were
T: Cos we're going up to higher notes. So that's going on to the A string, which is the third string
T: And again placing the same fret locations, it's still third fret and fifth fret. So the C is on the third fret and the D is on the fifth fret. So the frets don't change. It's the same fret for both strings
T: It's the crossing of the strings
T: So it's kind of good and bad news. The good news is it's only the third fret
T: whichever string you use, and the fifth fret. The difficult thing is actually changing from string to string, crossing from string to string at the right time
N: Ah with your playing hand you mean
T: Yeah, so I could
N: as opposed to your fretting hand
T: Yeah good point, it's only the right hand isn't it, that has to worry about that? The left hand, you can kind of
N: Should we be keeping it in the same position then, so it always..
T: You can do, it's gonna make it easier isn't it? When we looked a Dave on the videos we noticed how economical and smooth and how little movement there was. So let's try and see if we can copy that and just pivot here so that our first finger covers, if you like, almost both strings at the same time
N: Which doesn't matter because we're only playing one string at a time
T: We're only gonna strike one, so provided we haven't got them both pressed down, I've kind of got, if I want the G, which is on the E string
T: I'll press down that, but I'll probably leave it just above guarding that other string
N: So it's there ready, you can feel it there
T: And then I can just drop it on, and when I drop it on I'm kinda pivoting and lifting. Does that make any sense, can you see me doing it?
N: Yeah I'm just trying to do it with this, so obviously for the right handed viewers
T: There you go
N: It's almost the tip of your finger
N: On there, for that one at the top, and then just rolling it down
T: Great, great explanation Natalie. Thank you, yeah
N: I should be a bass teacher, shouldn't I?
T: So if we look at where those notes are without any rhythm, just to locate the notes, we've got G
T: Which is the third fret of the E string
T: And then A which is the fifth fret of the E sting
T: And then that moves up to C which is on the third fret of the A string. And up to the fifth fret which is D. So they're the fourth locations. So you can see that little shape really, that little box shape almost
T: Of going from there to there, and then from there to there. You can kind of take a mental image, a mental photograph of that image
T: See where you've gotta be
N: Let's move on to our exercise then .Let's put this into practice
T: Yeah great. If you don't mind scrolling down to the next exercise? This is introducing string crossing and the exercise to help us practice that and put all that knowledge and our understanding of that knowledge into practice
T: Is written out there. Remember
N: That's exercise five, for those of you that are following the course
T: Thank you. Remember that it's eighth notes, so we've got to count one and, two and, three and, four and
T: So there's quite a lot going on here
N: And finger-wise are we doing one, two, one, two, one, two?
T: Very good, yeah. Alternating with the right hand, you see I'd forgotten that. There's so much to remember
N: There is a lot, yeah
T: You've got a lot to keep your eye on. So shall we have a look at the video?
N: Okay, let's have a look at the video
T: Yeah. Let's look at it, in progress
N: So if you talk us through this Terry
N: Which notes we're on
T: On the fifth fret. Down to G, and then across the string, and then back up to D
(Video fades out)
N: So it's going up chromatically isn't it?
T: Yes. Shall we try that again?
T: Have a look at that again, cos it was quite a short clip
N: Once more?
T: Yeah, thanks Natalie. See if it's worth it
(Video starts again)
T: Two and,
N: So this is G
T: three and, four and
T: Other way around
T: So if I pick up from there it would be..
(Video stops playing and Terry begins)
T: A G
T: Try'na remember what is saw. C And I'm also looking at the notation
T: G and, two and, three and, four and, C and, two and
N: It's like you're drawing a rectangle on the neck of the guitar
T: That's a great explanation
N: Alright. And you're reading this music as well. Obviously because you can see when the note's higher and lower, it's moving up and down on the stave
T: Yeah, over the years obviously I've memorised that stuff. I know where A is written on the base clef, and G and C and D. And I hopefully recognise those when they come up again
N: Mmmhmm. Alright, well I'm loading up the Xtractor now
T: Thank you
N: So you can play along
T: With the band
N: With the Gigajam band
N: And I'll check your technique out
T: Thank you. This is exercise five, string crossing using A, G, C and D
(Terry joins in)
T: G ..C .D .
T & N: A
T: and, two and, three and, four and
T & N: G
T: and, two and, three and, four and
T & N: C
T: and, two and, three and, four and
T & N: D
T: and, two and, three and, four and. A
N: There's so many things to be thinking about whilst doing this aren't there?
T: There are. Both hands
T: All doing different things
N: Yeah. Okay
N: I'm gonna stop the Gigajam band there, because it's now time to stop the Gigajam lesson sadly.
N: I know. Terry, we'll see you again next time for episode four
N: And hopefully we'll see you again for that episode four. Keep listening to get hold of your Gigajam course notes