Hi and welcome to the Bassbook blog. Here I'll be discussing musical ideas, concepts and exercises which will help you a better player, a better musician, or maybe just get you thinking.
For this debut blog, I thought we'd have a look at the myth and mystic of "technique" and whether developing your skills is really such a bad thing.....
Go on any internet musicians forum and you'll find the discussion of technique being discussed
for many pages. It's often seen as a dirty word,as if having a lot of technique turns you into a robot that just plays millions of mechanical notes with no emotion or sense of melody. In fact, there is an almost romantic notion that the non-technical will produce better, more honest music.
Technique is defined as "a procedure used to accomplish a specific activity" and when applied to our instrument it is exactly that - the procedure that allows us to play the music we want to play.
At the moment I'm sitting here with my laptop typing this. Using what? Yes, my typing technique. A technique which is, if I'm honest, not that great. As a result I make mistakes and have to correct things, and can't express the ideas in my head as fluidly as I'd like. If my typing technique was more precise I would be able to express my ideas more quickly and more accurately. Whether I decide to write a love poem or a technical manual full of long words, my typing will be up to the job.
And that is exactly how I see bass technique development – a way of allowing us to express the
ideas in our heads easily and effortlessly. If we then decide to play a slow ballad or a non stop flurry of notes at 400 beats per minute is down to our own sense of musicality, it has NOTHING to do with the ability in your hands. Our technical prowess is simply a way of realising the sounds in our heads.
Just remember that, no matter how much technique we have, we are trying to create music,not win the Bass Olympics.
Comments welcomed :-)