DB-17 Playing Parisienne Walkways Melody on Bass

This is lesson, DB-17 Playing Parisienne Walkways Melody on Bass, and is a continuation of my journal of things I have learned as an adult double bass student.

I have wanted to post a lesson about some simple melodies that you can play on the double bass so I decided to just post something that interests me.  And at the moment I am into the late Gary Moore….an incredible blues-rock guitarist.  I absolutely love Gary’s performance of Parisienne Walkways.  The intro to Parisienne Walkways contains the hook and while at first due to the passion with which Gary plays it appears complicated or difficult, by analyzing it you discover that it is actually quite simple.

The song’s tonality is Am and begins with three downward glissandos of A, E (from the octave on the A and E strings) and C (on the E string).  The melody begins on E or the 5th of the Am scale and descends to F or the 6th (two steps below the root A) and then repeats the pattern by returning to the E above the root briefly but begins the downward series of notes by dropping one step and starting on D and going down to E below the root.  It repeats this pattern until it lands on C below the root A and finishes as it started with the three downward glissandos of A, E and C before going into singing the first verse.

After the three glissandos at the beginning, start playing with your 4th finger at E on the G string.

The basic melody written out in bass clef is show below.

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Parisienne Walkways Bass Melody

 

DB-14 Introducing the Korg MA-1 Metronome

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This is lesson DB-14 “How to Use the Metronome”, and is a continuation of my journal of things I have learned as an adult double bass student.

See the video for a few pointers about using the metronome.

Be sure to check out my Double Bass Lessons page for a complete list of all of my lessons!

Getting used to practicing with a metronome is really important. It will help improve your rhythmic abilities and improve your consistency of playing at a given tempo. And the more you practice with a metronome, you will find that you start hearing a metronome in your head at other times. You just become more tuned in to timing issues.

Make sure you can HEAR the metronome clearly when you are practicing. Either put it as close to you as possible, or connect it’s output to your amp or headphones, if you are practicing through headphones.

Be sure to get a metronome that is digital or allows you to change the tempo in very small increments. The Korg MA1BL Visual Beat Counting Metronome – Blue available on Amazon.com is a very good one.

Korg MA1BL Visual Beat Counting Metronome

If you don’t have one like this there are many metronome apps out there (“There’s an App for that!”) that work on the iPhone or other smartphone. If you have a smart phone you should have no trouble finding a metronome app. One that I use is the “Pro Metronome” by EUM available on the iTunes store.

By the way, the metronome measures tempo by beats per minute (BPM), therefore 1 click per second = 60 BPM.

DB-13 Beginning to Finger Notes on the Double Bass

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Updated 08/02/2016:  Added link to lesson video!



This is lesson DB-13 Beginning to Finger Notes on the Double Bass, and is a continuation of my journal of things I have learned as an adult double bass student.

See the video for a few pointers about fingering of notes.

Be sure to check out my Double Bass Lessons page for a complete list of all of my lessons!

Today is a review next few sections of Simandl.  Half position through the octave.  (ie. 1st through 12th)  Pages 11, 14 and 18 (see pics below)

Key Points:

  1. We’ve already gone over playing notes on the open strings.
  2. Next, let’s finger some notes.  Due to the size of the bass, the most you can cover in one position are three semitones using the 1st, 2nd and 4th fingers.  Unless you have really large hands.  I don’t!
  3. Starting on the G string, the notes are open G, (and this is what  Simandl calls ‘Half position’….but I think of as 1st position) G#, A, A#.  Going down we use flats:  Bb, A, Ab, G.
  4. If you look at the Simandl book, he forces you to learn every accidental that can be applied to a given note.  I.e.
  5. The benefit of Simandl is that his method is so granular that you learn every note plus accidentals in every position.

Simandl Pg 8 Simandl Pg 11 Simandl Pg 14 Simandl Pg 18

Bass Lessons Update

Just a quick news release to update you that I have not forgotten about continuing the double bass lesson series.  My last lesson post was on February 26th.  I was preoccupied and/or traveling for business (I have a full time day job other than music to keep me busy!) for most of the month of March.  Then in the first week of April I managed to break my thumb!  And I’ve been struggling with the VA healthcare system ever since trying to get properly treated. (See “Dear VA – Sorry, but you still suck” post for details!)

Broken Thumb

Anyway, stay tuned because once the thumb is better I will be continuing the DB series of double bass lessons and videos.  The next lesson will be on beginning to play open string notes, learning to control the bow and then moving on to fingering notes from, as Simandl calls it, the “usual” or “half position”, or as I call it from the open strings through the third position (equivalent to the 3rd fret on the electric bass).