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Jazz Bass Lessons: Introduction to Beginner Electric Bass

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Jazz Bass with John Patitucci. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Jazz Bass Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

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I'd like to welcome you
to the basic section.
I really struggle to use that word with
it because foundational technical things,
foundational musical issues on
the bass can be utilized and
should be referred to all through
your life playing the instrument.
Because it's possible to,
as I've experienced in my own playing,
go for a while and develop some bad habits
and forget some foundational things that I
knew and need to go back and
unlearn bad habits.
Particularly because the electric
bass is such a young instrument, and
there's relatively very little in
the way of systemized pedagogy for
teaching the instrument,
fingering schemes much different
than the acoustic bass which has hundreds
of years of pedagogy attached to it.
So, even if you've been playing for
a while,
I think you'd benefit from looking
at fingering schemes and finding
different fingerings based on sound that
you wanna achieve on the instrument.
These things will help anybody
at all levels, I believe.
And if you're just starting, hopefully,
we'll get you started off right.
We'll start with the basics
of sitting correctly,
holding the bass,
setting up your bass right.
So, that you think about how your action
and all the way you get the bass set up
affects your sound and
affects your ability to be expressive and
have a dynamic range by
the height of your action.
That's just one example.
We'll work on the left and
the right hand positions and
how we produce a really
good sound with our hands.
And the sound that we hear in
our head that we're going for,
we want that full sound,
a thick bass sound.
And how you get that,
it's a technical thing.
But the technique,
once you work on it, and
you work out the way you touch the
instrument, the way you gain flexibility,
and you learn the neck, the fingerboard.
And you learn some coordination between
the hands and the string crossings and
being able to strengthen your left hand
having dependence of your fingers.
All these things have to do with sound
production and then ability to be free.
And play more music and
play stronger rhythmically because
the technique doesn't get in your way.
You'll learn how to use the whole neck.
You'll learn your majors and
minors, your scales.
You'll learn your arpeggios.
You will learn about music.
You'll learn some styles of
music in the jazz umbrella.
And you will learn how
to improvise over time.
And you'll learn some of the theory of
music too and how that all relates.
And hopefully,
if you don't read music already,
you will start to really learn
how to read music as well.
Please take advantage of
the ArtistWorks Video Exchange approach.
It's something they came up with,
which is wonderful.
You know, you'll be working on the
curriculum, you're working on something,
you have a question.
All you have to do is
record yourself playing.
And before you send yours, watch some of
the other video exchanges on this site
on the topic you're interested
in getting information on.
Maybe, somebody's already
asked this question.
Chances are, many questions that come into
our heads have already been dealt with.
So, look at those first, and
you can learn from them.
And then, if you still feel like
I really need to send a video,
to create a video exchange on this topic,
send it to me,
I'll watch it, I'll make notes.
And I'll get back to you
with some ideas to help you
work on the particular roadblocks that you
might have encountered, help build you up,
encourage you, and
give you the tools to get better.
And hopefully, point out some things that
you might not have even noticed, and
to encourage you to bolster up and
shore up those areas where
you need to get better, and encourage you
about the things that are working well.
So, you can send these videos to me,
and I'll answer you.
It's also okay, I know a lot of
players who've been on the site for
a while in the acoustic bass side already,
that they don't send videos very often.
But they do send me messages
every once in awhile saying,
boy I really enjoyed this exchange, and
I enjoyed this part of the curriculum.
So, it has to be a thing where
you feel comfortable doing it.
But I will encourage you to do it because
it's a great way to learn faster,
with feedback.
And I welcome you sharing what
you're going through with me.
That's why I'm here.
Part of what all these years
of playing had done for
me is it helps me to be someone
who can diagnose issues and
try to help because I've been
having to self-diagnose for years.
But I've also had some very incredible
mentorship from my older brother,
Tom, who's a great,
he was my first teacher.
And Chris Paler, another amazing
mentor I've had my whole life.
So, mentorship is important.
And the video exchange is a way
to access that mentorship.
So, thanks for joining us.
Enjoy the site.
I think you're gonna encounter like
minded bassists who encourage each other,
and I think you're gonna find a home here.
So thank you, enjoy the site.