Good music doesn’t start with getting sprinkled with magic fairy dust at birth like some people think. It starts with the fundamentals of knowing an instrument.
“My mom might create better bass lines than me in her head. But she can’t make them come out of an instrument, so we will never hear them,” Anthony Wellington tells his students.
If you don’t develop a ‘knowing’ of your instrument to the degree you don’t even have to think about it, how will you ever get the music in your head to come out of your instrument?
You won’t. Or, it will take way longer than it should, maybe to the point that you won’t even ‘hear’ your idea in your head anymore.
There is nothing more ‘fundamental’ than knowing ALL the notes on your instrument—from the open strings to the fret closest to the bridge.
Picture this: you’re on stage, and the band leader shouts, “go to the 6!” Let’s say you even know how the 6 sounds because you took Bassology’s The Best Ears Are Fast Ears clinic! And you know you’re in E Major, and the 6 of E Major is C# minor. But…
You just noodled around with some cool fill that you always do above the 12th fret. You have 2 seconds to get to the C# minor because the tune is 110 beats per minute! But you don’t know where C# minor is up there! You have way less time to get there than it just took to read this paragraph!
So, you guess. And you guess wrong.
And, thanks to Bassology’s The Best Ears Are Fast Ears, you don’t have any doubt about that! And your sax and keyboard guys did their homework a long, long time ago. So they know you got it wrong. And the singer just shot you a dirty look, so you know she knows you got it wrong. And the drummer just gave you a “don’t you pull that ‘blame it on the drummer’ ” look, so even he knows!
We have a word for that. And that word is ‘unemployed.’
And, for most good bands, add to that ‘unemployable.’
All because you didn’t learn ALL the notes on your bass or guitar. (Or mandolin or banjo or ukulele)
You probably had ten years to learn all the notes, but you didn’t.
By the way, the keyboard player and all of the horn players learned the notes on their instrument in their first week!
Not knowing the notes on your instrument is one of the key areas that keep good players from getting meaningful work.
Anthony has observed that musicians are the only ‘professionals’ that brag about not knowing stuff. Can you imagine an accountant bragging about not being able to count?!
And of all the musicians that brag about not knowing something, bassists and guitarists are the WORST! Many not only don’t even know the notes on the instrument that they claim to love, but they will also argue against it or be satisfied with merely knowing the notes on the “money end” of their instrument.
Subconsciously, those musicians only have a ‘physical’ relationship with their instrument.
That’s like saying you’re in love with somebody but not even remembering their birthday or knowing their middle name or favorite color.
And honestly, for anybody who doesn’t know the notes on the instrument that they say they love, it comes down to one thing: a lack of discipline.
you might have guessed…
Bassology developed an efficient, logical, tried-and-true method for learning allllll the notes on your bass or guitar! (or mandolin or banjo or ukulele)
Anthony Wellington is happy to share that method with you! Not for $85, like a private Bassology lesson, but for $26.
Why? Because we want to listen to better music than we are hearing on the radio these days! Anthony wants to give people insights into understanding what makes that happen and give them tools for doing it.
The cool thing is, an electric bass guitar has a G string. A ukelele has a G string. A banjo has a G string. An electric guitar has a G string. A mandolin has a G string. And for any instrument with a G string whose frets move up in half steps…, the 9th fret of that string is an E. Not some of the time, not most of the time, but all of the time!!!
So, Bassology’s approach to learning the notes applies to any stringed instrument.
As we already said, not knowing the alllll the notes on your instrument is one of the key areas that keep good players from getting meaningful work.
Don’t let yourself be one of them!