As a musician, I’ve come to really appreciate and marvel at guitarists. In Nashville, I’ve met some really talented guitarists and have just fallen in love with the instrument. So, in honor of my love for the guitar, here is moonchild89 covering “Cliffs of Dover” by Eric Johnson.
One of the top trending songs right now is “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk. Not only is it a totally cool song, it has an awesome bass groove. Here is Valter Kabas covering “Get Lucky.”
Muse has a lot of bass driven songs, but my all time favorite is Hysteria. The song has crazy bass riffing that goes on for the WHOLE SONG! My hand would be killing me! Check out 1423gre covering “Hysteria.”
This song has one of the most fun bass lines to play. It’s very simple, but people would recognize this bass line anywhere. So, here is “Hotel California” cover by infusion26
I’ve come to the conclusion that every bassist needs a flanger pedal. Well, maybe not everyone, but I do. Also, “need” is kind of a stretch. I just want one really bad.
If some of you are reading this and are like, “What would she use a flanger pedal for?” The answer is “very little.” However, can you imagine how cool it would be if all of a sudden, there was flanger in the bass?! Even if someone in the audience had no idea what Flanger was, they would be like, “Hmmm….that was cool.”
I personally feel that using a flanger is much like how I use overdrive. I use my overdrive scarcely (unless I’m playing hard rock stuff) and usually for just a few seconds of a song. That’s how I would use my flanger. Flanger is good in moderation and could become a very cool staple during a song. Even if you’re no soloing, it could definitely add a cool little twist.
I don’t really know how to describe the flanger sound in words, but if you listen to the intro of “Barracuda” by Heart, you can get a taste of what it sounds like. Also, you can watch this demo video below!
P.S. I’m sorry this was such a silly post. :-)
Technology truly amazes me everyday. Today, at random, I decided to search for an “Ear Training App.” Behold, I found 3 free apps for iPhone/iPad. How cool! Here they are!
1. “Ear Trainer Lite” by Dev4phone
This app contains exercises with interval comparison, Chord identification, Chord progressions, and scales. You can also view the statistics page to see your progress. This app also allows you to control the tempo of the exercises, control what the sound or instrument is, and you can control what keys the exercises are in. I was impressed and tried it out. This app has many exercises, is easy, and very clear-cut. Of course, because it is a “lite” app it is missing some of the more in-depth exercises.
2. “Play By Ear – Ear Training” by SuperNonstop.com, inc.
This app is a lot more basic. You can change the tempo and how the intervals, chords, and melodies are played, but there is no way to track your progress. What I especially love about this app is that it requires you to play back the interval, chord, or melody. So, after hearing the interval, you have to sing back the interval and it will tell you if you are correct. Or you can play the interval on your instrument. While the app heard my bass just fine, it was hard to read because it’s in treble clef. Maybe there will be an update soon .
3. “GoodEar Melodies – Ear Training” by iMobilTec
This was probably my least favorite of the three apps that I downloaded. This app just plays a melody to you and you have to play the melody back on the piano the app provides. The app isn’t as customizable as the others and it wasn’t as effective. The app moves on to the next melody before I could even comprehend what intervals I was guessing. This is probably a good app for someone that has good ear training and just wants to exercise their abilities.
At the end of the day, I saved the first two apps. I love that the first app is mostly just recognition. The second requires a play-back so it is more challenging.
If you want to try these apps out, they are in the app store (I’m not sure if they are made for Android) and are completely free! Let me know what you think!
A few days ago I wrote a post, “Pros and Cons of Five String Basses“, and a lot of people liked it, so I figured I would write “Pros and Cons of FOUR string basses.” I especially think that this post is important, because I only play four string basses. So, here goes!
I personally think that a four-string bass has a lot more punch than any other bass. I also feel like you can get a better “slap” tone out of a four-string bass compared to a five-string. I really prefer the punchier, brighter sound of a four-string compared to a five-string.
My hands are small, but my fingers are long. Because of that, I couldn’t really get used to a five-string. In a five-string, the neck is wider and the strings may be closer together. So, for me, a four-string feels more natural for my hands. Of course, playing the five-string is probably something that you have to work on and acclimate to.
A four string bass works for pretty much every genre. If it’s not low enough for the type of music you play, you can put it in a different tuning and still get the “four-string punch.” I think the four-string is the most versatile bass.
The fact that you have to tune down the whole bass if you wanna play in a lower key, can be extremely annoying. And it can be pricy. Some people who are on big name tours don’t have time to tune down their bass before the next song. So, they buy several four string basses and tune each one to a different key. That can really hurt the wallet!
2. Hand Movement
I’ve heard people say that “If you can play it on a 5-string, you can play it on a 4-string. You just have to be more creative.” I completely agree with this statement. However, this may call for more hand movement. On a 4-string, you’ll most likely need to jump between different octaves and move your hand more. On a five-string you can almost stay in the same hand position for a whole song.
It’s not hard to see (or hear) that a five-string bass has more options. With an extra string, it’s easier to come up with really deep riffs. Playing chords with a five-string also sounds nice, because you do have those extra notes. Some feel very limited with a 4-string.
Ultimately, you have to play the bass that feels right for you. I’ve tried many five-strings and I just can’t grasp it. That’s fine, too. Every bassist is different.
Sometimes, I feel that the five-string bassists and the four-string bassists are so divided. Like we have some bone to pick with one another. So, I figured the topic of five-string basses would be a perfect topic to talk about.
Five string basses are extremely versatile. Bassists that primarily use four-string basses fall into the problem of having to tune down for some songs. We constantly have to tune to Drop D, tune our whole instrument to Eb, or C#, or even as low as C. It can be a real hassle and an extremely annoying problem.
Every five-string I play has extreme warmth. Every note is smooth and warmth. If you get a five-string with a maple fingerboard it’s actually a little more punchy and bright (it won’t compare to the punch of a four-string, but whatever). This warmth sounds extremely good on heavier music, because of the smooth low notes.
Five-strings are great basses to have, because you can play them in any genre. If you play a song without the B-string, you’ll have a pretty good 4-string sound. Fun fact: When I saw Jason Aldean last July, Tully Kennedy played 1 five-string for the whole show. So, if you’re playing a lot in lower keys, a five-string might be for you.
Finding a really good five-string bass can be expensive. Most five-strings have to be built well and have enough power to punch that low B. Most of the five-string basses I’ve played have been in the thousands (Lakland, Sadowsky, and Fender mostly). Of course, I’m sure you can find a five-string bass that’s good and not $6,000. I’ve heard that some Squire five-strings are quite good.
This could probably be filed under expenses as well. Not all amps are designed for the low B. In that case, you may have to find an amp more suitable for five-strings. This could add up under expenses.
3. Neck Width
This is a huge con for me, considering that the neck on my four-string is sometimes too thick. When you add another string onto the bass, the neck has to become wider to compensate for the added string. So, if you have small hands (like me) the five-string bass may not be for you.
To conclude, five-string basses are great! They definitely make great additions to your bass collection.
For me, as a bass player, I rely very much on my look. I mean, before I even play a bass I have to have that, “Oooo! That’s pretty!” reaction. I like every aspect of my playing to look good while I’m on stage; it’s very important. One of things that, I feel, has to look good on stage is my guitar strap. The Guitar strap should compliment the bass itself and my personal style. However, a guitar straps has to have ultimate comfort for when I play those looooooong sets. So, I did my research and found an AWESOME guitar strap company.
Guit Straps Guitar Straps is a custom guitar strap company based out of Austin, TX. This company creates handcrafted straps that are specific to the guitarist in question. They can accomplish most everything for a completely custom and a completely comfortable strap. The maker of these fine guitar straps was a professional musician, so he gets it. He knows exactly what musicians need for a comfortable strap. You can even get your straps made with strap locks!
If you’d like to know more about Guit Straps Guitar Straps, you can check out their website. There you can find out your options if you’d like to order a custom strap. You can also see pictures of the work they’ve done. You can also go to the following links to find out more.
Guit Straps Twitter.
Guit Straps Facebook.
So, I’ve been away this weekend visiting family. Sadly, my bass would not fit into the car and I had to go almost 5-6 (I don’t remember) days without practicing. So, since I’ve gotten back, I got back into a practicing schedule. In honor of that, I thought I’d blog about my practice schedule.
I believe that practicing an instrument is much like a workout: You must warm-up and cool-down. Most of the time, I practice for a purpose. Sometimes it’s my homework from my lessons, sometimes it’s learning new songs for my band, etc. However, I ALWAYS start my practice sessions off with some scales. It’s nothing major (no pun intended), just some simple scale running over a metronome. This helps my hands loosen up for the real practice time. You can improve upon this exercise by singing along with the scales. This helps with ear training . I do this exercise for about 10 minutes.
Many people say that you should exercise for at least an hour a day. Same goes for practicing. I believe that an hour a day is a good minimum for practicing. An hour allows you to cover whatever is you need to do and if you have left over time, you can run scales again or work on ear training. When you give yourself an hour, you could divide the hour up into the categories that you want to cover. 20 minutes of ear training, 20 minutes of song learning, 20 minutes of homework (this is just an example). Something along those lines. An hour can go by fast, so make the most of it!
Finally, remember to cool down. If I’m practicing and doing a lot of things like ear training, pentatonic scales, etc., I like to cool down by playing a fun and easy song. This helps my mind relax after a taxing practice session and it helps my hands return to normal (especially after doing exercises with a lot of stretching). Ultimately, I just like to have fun while practicing. Playing just to play is always fun and it helps me relax!