Thursday, 8 November 2012

Practising Melodies

An essential weapon in your arsenal as a bassist is the ability to play a melody as well as any trumpeter or pianist can. To play it with feeling and emotion, in the most beautiful way that you can. As a bassist this opportunity probably won't come along very often but when it does you need to be ready for it. The other benefit of this is that it will positively affect the way that you solo by bringing a more melodic and passionate version of what you could have played out of your instrument.

When I work on playing melodies I try to pick something I know well and something that really strikes a chord with me when I hear it. For this exercise I used 'What's New' by Wes Montgomery. Whilst learning the tune try to isolate the parts that you like to listen to the most and find out what is being played that makes you like it so much. For me on this tune it's the way Wes alters the rhythms of the repeated sections. Sometimes bringing them in half a beat early and sometimes delaying it by half a beat. In my video of this tune I've tried to match them as close as possible to the original but it probably still needs work!

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