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Electric Bass Lessons: Ear Training

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want to talk a little bit about developing
your ear or ear training, or
how important our ears are to what we do.
First of all, we want to be in tune.
But once we are in tune, we want to listen
to everything that's going on around us
when we're on the band stand so that we
can react and play so.
One of my beliefs is that everyone is born
with perfect pitch,
but there's not really a way unless you,
unless somebody is testing you that you
know that you have it, or develop it.
And then, if you don't have perfect pitch,
relative pitch is something that becomes
very valuable.
Where you can hear, for instance, a G
know that a fourth up from that note is C.
So, if someone says, okay,
what note is this?
You'd know that it's F,
because of its relationship to G.
So, what happens, primarily is when you go
to pick up your instrument,
I think you remember what the notes sound
like, but we don't really test ourselves,
so one of the things I like to do is
before I play one note on the bass,
I like to sing it to myself to think, to
imagine what it would be.
So, for instance, [COUGH] I just picked
the bass up to tune it.
And I know what G is, and I'm going to
sing la,
la, now I already know because I've given
the note away,
but try this, you know, the next day or
every time you pick up the instrument.
But before you play the note, sing it to
and see how close you can get to it.
It's a fun exercise.
And I like to do it just to develop the
ear, and
you'll be surprised at how close you can
get, and once you do, once you do that,
it will give you so much of an advantage
over many players because you won't,
you won't have to ask what key a song is
in when your jamming.
Or when you hear a note, or
when you're thinking of a note that you
want to play, it's in your brain already.
So again, sing the note that you're gonna
play before you
play it on the instrument, just as a
little test to see.
So, D for instance.
And E.
It's early morning.
And so, these are good exercises, again,
for training your ears.
Whatever you can come up with to keep your
ears in, in shape, it's recommended.
And so we've learned the names of the open
strings and
I'd like to go over the names of the notes
that are in the first position.
But before I do that, we'll talk a little
bit about enharmonics
because you'll notice that sometimes it's
called an A-sharp and
the same note can be called a B-flat.
So depending on what key you're in,
usually determines what you call the note.
But you do have notes sometimes that will
be, for instance,
you'll see a B-sharp which is actually a
So, don't get too bothered with the names
one man's G sharp, is another man's A
flat, and so here we go,
we'll over the names of the notes, under
the first position left hand.
I just want to go over all the notes,
starting with the lowest note on the bass,
which is the low E.
And if we go up chromatically.
What I like to do is just position a
finger over each fret,
so we have all those notes covered.
So we start on the E.
Up to the F.
To the F-Sharp.
To the G.
We switch over to the A string, play the A
then the B flat, then the B natural,
C, the C sharp, D, E flat, E, and
then, we've done an octave now.
And if we want to continue with all the
under these fingers we'd go to the F,
[SOUND] and
to the F sharp, [SOUND] to the G, [SOUND]
A Flat,
[SOUND] A, [SOUND] B Flat, [SOUND] and B.
So, these are all the notes under the left
In your first position of the, of the
The object will be to know where all the
notes are on the whole bass.
And that just takes practice and, and, and
to where you can learn if somebody
says okay, let me hear the E flat on the A
string you'll know right where it is.
[SOUND] So, what we want to do is learn
all the notes.
[SOUND] And practice playing those evenly.
Now, intervals are relationships between
the notes of the string.
So, for instance, if I'm on a low G, the
for instance, would be five steps up from
So you've got [SOUND].
So that's the interval of the fifth.
So now we'd.
We have to learn all the intervals so the,
we have that half step.
Which would be the G-sharp.
The A would be the second.
And the B would be the third.
The fourth would be the C.
And then the fifth is the D again.
The sixth is the E
And then the F sharp would be the seventh
And then the octave.
So these intervals,
everywhere you are on the bass.
There's the 5th.
There's the six, and there's the seven,
and there's the octave.
everything is really based on intervals.
And if you know you intervals, once again,
if someone says, okay,
what is, what is an F sound like?
Well, you knew that G was here, and we
know F is one tone
down from that, so you'd know that the F
would be la,
or la, so just learn your intervals, and
it will definitely help you develop your