June 11th, 2009

playing bass

Interesting bass lesson today

Me: Sigh, I know could really be good on the bass if I only practiced. Well, crank the metronome to 96 and give me a scale.

Steve: Eb. Mixolydian.

Me: I said a scale, not a mode. What is Mixolydian again - dominant 7th?

Steve: Yes. Go.

Me: (Plays scale, correctly)

Steve: Good. Now write a melody based on that scale.

Me: WTF??

Steve: Just do it, don't think about it.

Me: (Attempts to plunk out something resembling a melody, trying to use only the notes in that scale.)

Steve: Keep going. (Yanks open door, runs out of room, and retrieves staff paper) Now write it down.

Me: WTF??? I don't remember how to write longhand anymore, I always use Sibelius.

Steve: Just do it.

Me: (Slowly attempts to write out notes before I forget what I just played)

Steve: (Impatiently takes pencil from me and finishes transcribing)

Some time later...

Steve: OK. You just wrote a song.

Me: No I didn't, it was a collaboration.

Steve: I only wrote those two measures. I was the transcriber, you wrote it. Now take it home and add a melody line to it.

Me: (Big sigh) OK.

Steve: Now why did I have you do this?

Me: To improve my improvisation and composition skills? (Pause) To get me to stop whining and just do something?

Steve: Exactly.
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