|Ask Willis - December - 1999|
Why can most of the bass players (including you) bend their thumbs backwards, why is that? Is it a signal from god that that person is a "Natural Born Bass Player"?
About soloing and improvising, how can I do it? I don't know i think my soloing sounds weird, I listen to your solos and they are so cool! What is the secret?
Last question, what can I do about my girlfriend, she thinks I care more about my bass and my band than about her (and she is wrong) what can I do?
The Secret's Out! Finally...until now, only the anatomically gifted were able to make their mark on the bass world. Now, you too can rise above the non-double-jointed gene pool and bend your way to bass immortalitly!. We're talking about the Thumb-Bender™ . Bend your way to greatness, hurry while supplies last, not sold in stores-makes a great Christmas gift!.
Nevermind the chord-scales-arpeggios approach to improvisation. Anatomic-musicoligists have recently discovered that the thumb joint's carpometacarpal articulation between the trapezium and the proximal end of the metacarpal bones #2-#5 are directly related to the creative note-choice improvisation sector of the brain. In other words...get the Thumb-Bender™ and learn to blow.
3rd, if your girlfriend is capable of supporting you and your musician lifestyle, then definitely do your best to convince her that she comes first, otherwise, borrow 20 bucks from her, get the Thumb-Bender™ and start looking for a chick who has great job security and understands and appreciates the sacrifices you have to make for the music.
If you use a lot of 3 notes per string then you're probably playing a lot of scales. I hate scales...Anymore, I try not to demonstrate my 3-finger technique using a regular scale because it makes it look like I use a 1-2-3 pattern. It just works out that way on a scale. If I play a chromatic scale then I use 1 & 2 on a string until it's time to cross to the next string and then I'll use the 3rd. That's the system I use (3rd finger used for crossing strings) so it's not really a pattern. The hardest thing to do on bass is to cross strings going up so I'd recommend working on string crossings and maybe stay away from patterns, since you could end up without an effective arrangement of fingers for string-crossing.
hi i was wondering if u could send me the chords and notes of a bass such as like 4 fingers on the A string would be i would apreciate it i played bass for a while but i forgot the stuff.thank u
Sure, here's the notes in the1st 5 frets on the bass. Any note in between is either a sharp or a flat, depending on what you want to call it.
The basics of Jazz harmony tell you that F#ma or C#ma are wrong and I'm assuming your playing over a C7 to get to that F7. But really, you can get away with a lot, especially over a blues. It's definitely taught that you can play F#lyd. dom. (dom. scale with a #11) over the C7. That amounts to "altering" the C7. I never could learn to improvise coming from a book or a concept first. I always had to hear it and hear it work before I could ever begin to incorporate anything into my playing. Books can be valuable if they can work towards getting you to imagine sounds and not just think of notes.
Something musical must have inspired you to invest in all that great gear and become a bass player. 'Cause I know it wasn't to get the chicks..otherwise you'd be a guitar player. So whatever music inspires you, learn it...get some similarly inspired players together and play it. Write stuff like it. I'm a product of everything I've ever liked. Imitate freely, the more of other players' styles & ideas you internalize, the more you can put different things together and create on your own.