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Deep Thoughts

by Chris Tarry
Tape yourself

When you gig, tape yourself
When you practice, tape yourself
When you listen, tape yourself..???
It will tell you everything you need to know...but mostly it?s the things you didn?t know that will become the most obvious.


Famous quote by saxplayer, ?Man, I just can?t seem to finish my solos correctly!!?
Answer..?Just take the horn out of your mouth!!?


Sometimes when you pick up the bass to practice, it can feel like an albatros hanging around your neck. Keep it fresh by trying to learn something new musicaly every day, even if its just something small.

When you?re not practicing, think about bass and what you might practice. When you are listening, make a mental note of a particular item you might like to transcribe.

When all else fails, it?s ok to take a little time off. Sometimes I sound the worst (to my ears) when I?m practicing all the time. If I take some time off, everything is fresh when I get back at it.

Restring your bass.
Take a long walk with the dog.
Go shopping for CDs
Wallow in self pity.

Your time feel

Time is like a train. Some people like to sit in the back by the caboose, while others like to drive. As a bass player, you should be able to walk from one end of the train to the other, keeping in mind that the train is moving forward at the same speed.

If the tempo is too fast try feeling it in half time

If you find yourself getting lost, try and feel the music in 4 bar phrases.

Practice feeling the time in large incriments. eg: maybe just count on beat 3 or maybe every 2 beats, maybe try hearing 1 beat every 2 bars.....maybe just don?t count, just listen.


All bass players at every level are our friends and comrades. You can learn somthing new from everybody.


There is no one method to learning music. Check them all out, then use what makes sense to you. (And forget everything I?ve just told you!)

Look at everything in great detail. Break it down into its lowest common denominator and it?ll make a lot more sense to you.

Why read music?

Because it?s there!!...Seriously, if you can read music, you open up to a whole world of opportunities you would otherwise miss.

The five guy concept.

I used to ask ?How come when I go hear so and so on drums playing with the guys he grew up with, in the band he?s been playing in for 15 years he sounds great...Then when I do a gig with him a week later it feels awful...??
Answer, ?You can?t beat the sound or feel of five guys hearing it the same way.?

Be aware of this when you are playing with people. Try and relate to what the other guy is thinking or how he/she is approching the music. It may help the music


No one sounds quite like you!

This lesson taken from "The Bass Players Companion" by Chris Tarry

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