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> Victoruk Mtp Thread - June
Bogdan Radovic
post May 31 2010, 11:55 PM
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Hey Victor!

Welcome to your first bass mtp! This is going to be fun. Please write me a bit about yourself and how you feel about your bass playing, goals you have with mtp and if you want to focus on something specific. I like to conduct my mtp program in a form of "Bass Course" covering all things you need to know in order to be able to play and think like a bass player. So we would start with techniques and basic improvisation/bass line construction, groove and similar topics to give you tools and new perspective on the instrument.

I'll post your first assignment tomorrow (1. june).
We'll have 4 assignments (weekly assignments that require audio and/or video submission) each month and a REC take that will be suitable to techniques/concepts we covered during that month! If you complete assignments faster, I will post new ones - that way you'll have more time to focus on the monthly REC take which we'll set right after the first assignment (once I have more insight in your playing).

Let me know if you have any questions, I'm looking forward to working with you! smile.gif


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 1 2010, 04:42 PM
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While I'm waiting for your introduction etc, let me post your first assignment. Since I know you are guitarist starting out with bass - let's do the classic technique building exercise to teach you some concepts regarding bass fingering. This will also be very useful to assessing your skill on the instrument etc...

Weekly assignment 1:

Technique and timing workout

Lesson to practice: http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/technique-exercises-1/

Goal : To be able to play all 6 exercises without mistakes on various tempos and all over the fretboard.

Purpose : Develop proper right and left hand technique and posture + work with a metronome to gain better time keeping skills.

Instructions :

Start tempo: 60 bpm
Target tempo: 120 bpm
Time to practice: 30 minutes daily

You should start by playing quarter notes (meaning one note per metronome click). After you successfully master the tempo of 120bpm (in quarter notes) switch to playing 8th notes (meaning 2 notes per metronome click). You need to play each exercise continuously over whole fretboard. In practice that means - you want to start an exercise on 1st fret, do the exercise ascending and descending and once you finish the pattern immediately move the whole thing one half step higher starting now on 2nd fret and move up the neck that way. For successful practice you need to be able to get to the 12th fret without mistakes on each tempo you practice on.

Rules of the practice:

1. Fretting hand will be fretting 1 finger per fret. You fretting hand thumb should be behind the neck - giving support.
2. Picking hand will be doing alternate picking. When picking notes alternate strictly between index and middle finger. Keep alternating even when changing strings you are playing on. Playing two notes in a row with a same finger is considered as a mistake when doing this kind of practice.
3. Picking hand thumb should be anchored on a "string above" the one you are playing on. If you are playing on E string, rest the thumb on the pickup. If you are playing on G string rest the thumb on D string - you get the concept.
4. Do not go to a higher tempo until you are comfortable on the previous one regarding all aspects mentioned.
5. Making mistake in alternating, fingerings or thumb positioning will restart your exercise. Pay attention to ALL the points mentioned. Do not go to a faster tempo if you can't maintain perfection in all three aspects (alternate,thumb position,fingering).

Requirements :

Post updates on your practice daily if possible, describing what have you done. On which tempo have you started and ended up. What part of the exercise (technique) is challenging etc...
In the end of the week I want you to record the 6 patterns, each in one position only against a metronome beat (or drum backing track) played in 8th notes. Record it on a tempo you are comfortable with and not sloppy so if its really slow that is perfectly OK. I guess 80-100 bpm would be great. You can submit recording in audio but if you can record it in video that would be much better (so I can see your hands positioning etc).

Deadline to complete: 7th of June

Good luck and remember to post your questions and progress!

We need to complete 4 assignments + REC take this month so try to be on time with submissions (earlier then deadline would work even better!) smile.gif

P.s. If you need the drum backing track/metronome click track - I can supply you with one just let me know on which tempo you want it.

This post has been edited by Bogdan Radovic: Jun 1 2010, 04:44 PM


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 1 2010, 05:23 PM
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QUOTE (VictorUK @ Jun 1 2010, 06:20 PM) *
Well as a guitarist ive directly transfered my skills as a guitar player to the bass, this means i find it hard to tree pick etc.. and i need to improve on that, i think my slapping and popping is quite good so i need some advanced training for that too.


I see. We can work then on the technique mostly if you want (fingerpicking and slap)? I have posted your first assignment. Please read through all the rules of the exercise for that practice since you will be learning 3 very important techniques at the same time (one finger per fret, alternate fingerpicking and movable anchor).


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 1 2010, 06:00 PM
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QUOTE (VictorUK @ Jun 1 2010, 06:34 PM) *
Btw i edited my first post cause i have a question, i also have another one about the anchoring of the thumb... since i have a 5 string bass and these are 4 string bass lessons i find it easier to just anchor my thumb on the top 5th string or the pickup instead of alternating the thumb position.

edit: i find this easier because i have a double jointed thumb on my picking hand. (my thumb can move really far back)
you think that could make a difference bogdan?


I have one question too, what do you exactly mean when you say term "tree picking" ?
If your question was about where to pick in relation to the bridge I would say somewhere in the middle where string tension is not too high nor to low. Picking closer to the bridge will sound sharper and will require much more power and picking closer to the neck will sound boomy and bassy and strings will have less tension. If its a jazz style of bass (two single pickups) - anchor over the pickup closer to the neck.

Now let me explain a little bit about the movable thumb technique and why you should be practicing it. It doesn't matter if the exercise is for 4 or 5 or 6 string bass (please transpose it to your 5 string by adding the same pattern on the 5th string).

You want to practice movable thumb technique for two reasons :

- To be able to MUTE strings with your right hand (thumb anchor mutes the string you are anchoring on). This is the most important aspect.
- To play in economy of motion. When you use movable anchor your thumb and picking fingers will stay in one same angle on all the strings.

If you don't do movable anchor your angle of attack for each string will change.

I understand that this technique is new and challenging for you but you should do it for the sake of practice. You don't need to play all songs with that technique BUT it will find its own way into your playing when you want to play cleaner and faster - but it will only happen if you invest some time practicing it.

Just try it a bit and let me know how it works for you smile.gif

This post has been edited by Bogdan Radovic: Jun 1 2010, 06:04 PM


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 2 2010, 02:10 AM
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QUOTE (VictorUK @ Jun 2 2010, 02:13 AM) *
hi bogdan, when i try to anchor my thumb to a different string i always have the tendency to pluck the string with my thumb unless i stop between each string to place my thumb. is that normal?


Hmm I can't really say its normal but it may seem logical somehow to have such tendency. Generally that movable anchor technique is not that strict. You don't have to move the thumb at the precise same moment when you switch plucking to different string. Usually you would pluck the first note on a new string and then let the thumb slip down to the more "comfortable" position and to mute the previous string played. You want to really anchor weight of your hand on that thumb so try to relax your hand and let the thumb do the stabilizing task. I guess once you put more weight on it it won't have tendency to pluck. Idea with all this is to go really slow, let the metronome click 60bpm, play at start quarter notes and slowly get used to the completely new technique. Its always kinda "weird" at start but later on you can't do it differently smile.gif


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 3 2010, 09:41 PM
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QUOTE (VictorUK @ Jun 2 2010, 02:13 AM) *
hi bogdan, when i try to anchor my thumb to a different string i always have the tendency to pluck the string with my thumb unless i stop between each string to place my thumb. is that normal?


Hi Victor,

how is the bass practice going? Are you getting hang of new techniques presented? smile.gif

Let me know how it works for you! smile.gif


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 6 2010, 07:46 PM
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QUOTE (VictorUK @ Jun 6 2010, 06:14 PM) *
Ok thanks for letting me know.. should i just upload it as a mp3? also its way too easy btw i need something alot harder.


Well its not that easy if you follow all the instructions about practice (including movable thumb anchor position) + speed on which you practice it will change level of difficulty too... Those are exercises everyone does all the time (pro player included). Idea is to work on technique and to push your speed limit and only way to practice this is through these and similar exercises.

Yes you can upload mp3 - your playing against a metronome beat.

If you can record video that would be much better in order for me to see your hands positioning and if you are following strict alternating + movable thumb anchor.

Generally it would be a good idea for you to record video for first assignment so I can assess your bass playing and level so we can focus on some certain techniques etc.

This post has been edited by Bogdan Radovic: Jun 6 2010, 08:05 PM


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 6 2010, 08:59 PM
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QUOTE (VictorUK @ Jun 6 2010, 09:35 PM) *
Well i can do the movable thumb technique but i know for me fixed thumb is the best cause i have a double jointed thumb, now im not just trying to use that as an excuse but seriously its the best for me and i can pick all 5 strings all the same at the same angle cause of my thumb.

i dont know if its cause im using a 5 string but yeh...


Ok Vic, no problem you don't have to practice that aspect of playing technique (and yeah I know its not easy at start) but you may be lacking control and muting options later on when the need appears (being able to play cleaner etc).

Regarding angle I mentioned, well openness of your hand changes with each string so you basically need to practice 4 (or 5) different picking positions and that may be less economic if you want to play fast.

Generally with this first task I need to see you playing and technique so we can set proper tasks for future assignments. Also this is basically a speed drill to get you your fingers moving so feel free to expand tempo range don't stop on 120 bpm if that is too easy for you.


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 7 2010, 10:45 AM
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QUOTE (VictorUK @ Jun 7 2010, 05:16 AM) *
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9FClITbrag

Just wondering... i show in the video me changing my hand closer to the strings a further away... but which is the best way? (for me closer to the strings is best because it allows me to mute the strings alot easier)


I'm glad you shot this video! I would suggest one important thing regarding your picking hand. You are plucking strings upwards (like on acoustic guitar) and you should go with your finger through the string and let it stop on string above. Try to keep your last joint of the plucking finger stiffer and let the whole finger go through the string plucking it and then stopping on the string above (if you are plucking on A D and G strings). It will be much easier to play that way and the sound will be much much better (attack and speed etc)...
Move your whole arm upward and let your thumb really rest on the pickup (or strings) and take the weight of your hand/arm and stabilize it.
Your hand position you had in this video was good for slapping but you can't play fingerstyle bass this way (you can't get the proper sound).

For better understanding this and seeing it in action check out videos 2 and 3 of this lesson: http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Bass_F...tial_Technique/

As a result of this positioning sound was not good and consistent and it was somewhere near the sound of pop (slap technique), also at this speed many notes didn't come out at all.

Don't worry about this its easy to fix and all guitar players tend to have the issue when they pick up the bass.

Regarding question, which hand you meant about getting closer to the strings. Generally for both hands its cool to have em close when picking/fretting.

EDIT: After seeing this video I really think you should focus on the technique for the next week too (similar exercises, I'll give you a new set) since I don't see much point on working on other things before we set up proper technique to work with do you agree?


This post has been edited by Bogdan Radovic: Jun 7 2010, 10:52 AM


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 7 2010, 09:40 PM
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Let's continue on technique setup. Here is the next assignment. There is theory assignment in there too. If you are familiar with that topic, little refreshing and a test won't do harm? smile.gif

If you manage to practice this and be able to record a video of your playing sooner then deadline - do that so we can work on new assignments. Please concentrate on your picking hand positioning and movement.

Weekly assignment 2:

Technique and theory workout

Lessons to practice:

Technique: http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/technique-exercises-2/

Theory: http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/misc-less...ls-bass-lesson/
Reading: http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...?showtopic=3285

Goal : Further extend technique by playing a new set of exercises this week and being able to play faster(bpm). Learn and understand theory about intervals.

Purpose : Develop proper right and left hand technique and posture + work with a metronome to gain better time keeping skills. Learn a basic theory topic - intervals. You really need to understand them well for future progress.

Instructions for technique exercises:

Start tempo: 60 bpm
Target tempo: 120 bpm
Time to practice: 30 minutes daily

You should start by playing quarter notes (meaning one note per metronome click). After you successfully master the tempo of 120bpm (in quarter notes) switch to playing 8th notes (meaning 2 notes per metronome click). You need to play each exercise continuously over whole fretboard. In practice that means - you want to start an exercise on 1st fret, do the exercise ascending and descending and once you finish the pattern immediately move the whole thing one half step higher starting now on 2nd fret and move up the neck that way. For successful practice you need to be able to get to the 12th fret without mistakes on each tempo you practice on.

Rules of the practice:

1. Fretting hand will be fretting 1 finger per fret. You fretting hand thumb should be behind the neck - giving support.
2. Picking hand will be doing alternate picking. When picking notes alternate strictly between index and middle finger. Keep alternating even when changing strings you are playing on. Playing two notes in a row with a same finger is considered as a mistake when doing this kind of practice.
3. Picking hand thumb should be anchored on a "string above" the one you are playing on. If you are playing on E string, rest the thumb on the pickup. If you are playing on G string rest the thumb on D string - you get the concept.
4. Do not go to a higher tempo until you are comfortable on the previous one regarding all aspects mentioned.
5. Making mistake in alternating, fingerings or thumb positioning will restart your exercise. Pay attention to ALL the points mentioned. Do not go to a faster tempo if you can't maintain perfection in all three aspects (alternate,thumb position,fingering).

Instructions for theory practice:

I want you to you read the material in my spoken video of the lesson about intervals. You also need to read the Andrew's thread about intervals as its more elaborated and covers more material. Try to understand the intervals, what they are, how are they built, how to name them etc....Try to get into the material and understand it, not just read it. It is a very important subject you need to master for your future progress.

Requirements :

Post updates on your practice daily if possible, describing what have you done. Regarding technique exercises - which tempo have you started and ended up. What part of the exercise (technique) is challenging etc...

Regarding theory part.Go through all the materials (you don't need to actually learn my video lessons bass line, just the theory about intervals).By the end of next week I will post a little intervals test for you to fill in and check your knowledge.

Deadline to complete: 12th of June

Good luck and remember to post your questions and progress!

This post has been edited by Bogdan Radovic: Jun 7 2010, 09:40 PM


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 7 2010, 09:57 PM
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QUOTE (VictorUK @ Jun 7 2010, 10:42 PM) *
Ok thanks for the great info on picking... just one question about anchoring the thumb again.. when i anchor the thumb ascending up the strings (to the fattest string) i seem to use the back of my nailand laying my thumb flat to mute the strings instead of re-anchoring to the my thumb, it just seems esier that way and more efficient.


That approach of not actually anchoring is called floating thumb approach and yes it has advantages in muting - but your hand is lest stable. You can do that, but generally it should be easiest and common to re anchor your thumb when you are picking more then few notes on certain string for increased stability.


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 9 2010, 12:15 PM
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Hey Vic,

Any particular lesson you would like to do for your June REC take?


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 10 2010, 08:14 PM
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Just to remind you of 12. june for the assignment 2 submission deadline.

Regarding REC take for June : http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/misc-less...ck-bass-lesson/

I think this lesson will be good for you. Its not easy on the picking hand. You should start working on it as soon as possible.

Let me know if you have any questions or need any help?


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jul 1 2010, 03:15 AM
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Any news man? How are you doing? smile.gif


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