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Jazz Bass Lessons: Basic Sound Production

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The coordination of our left and
right hands has a lot to do with
how our sound gets projected.
Sometimes, musicians, when they're
dealing with rhythmic music such as jazz,
they become very right hand oriented.
And they feel as though that their right
hand is the most important thing and
they might be neglecting to
realize that the left hand
has a lot to do with
the tone that you produce.
The weight that you get from your
left hand makes the note sustained.
See how the note is ringing
because I'm holding onto it.
The left hand also helps
decide the length of the note.
If you wanna have some space between
the note
Picking our fingers off subtly.
See what I'm doing?
I'm lifting them up.
There's also dampening strings,
dampening strings,
sometimes you can do it
with your right hand.
So we do, play a note,
you notice what I did with my right hand.
I stop the note even if I
keep my left hand down.
And stop the note with my right hand.
You can do the same with your left hand,
follow through with the right,
just pick up your left hand.
So you can control
the duration of the note.
And also
sustaining the note and
then the transition to an open string.
Let's just say we set up down here and
we play an open A,
our open A string and we play,
and note E on the D string,
remember the D string, D, E-flat, E.
This sound on the bass is called a fifth.
In our theory section,
we're talking about intervals
So that's a fifth.
We can transition between
playing that open A string and
the closed note, and
control how long the note should be.
Whether it sustains and
the general color of the note by bringing
your hands down at the same time.
That E,
we have to be intentional about that.
The right hand and the left hand need
to go down at exactly the same time.
If the left hand goes down first.
And the right hand doesn't
go down at the same time,
you can sort of have
a note that doesn't ring.
When you have the notes going
down like this, they ring.
The transition from the low A
to the closed E here
when you switch
from the A to E on the D string,
you wanna make sure
that the A gets dampened by the right
You see what I'm doing?
I'll break it down into three steps.
Low A
dampen, [SOUND] Note E, note E,
low A, low A, dampen E.
Or we can choose to let the fifth ring,
remember I told you about the fifth?
Here's the fifth ringing.
That's also a good sound.
So, when we sustain notes or cut them off,
we change the character of the note.
When we deal a little later
on with the two feel and
swing and four four walking and
triplets and fills, we'll be talking
a lot about the duration of notes.
You get used to controlling the note by
having a good coordination of the hands,
the hands go down together.
And we focus on holding our hands in
a good position and we play in tune.
The notes ring better, and
the bass speaks clearly.