Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: Rolling the dice to learn fretboard position

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    39
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Rolling the dice to learn fretboard position

    The other day I was using Elmeaux's 'phone number' method to memorize all of the notes
    on the fretboard and wondered how I could find the specific fret position more quickly.

    I then remembered that I had a collection of dice of different configurations and thought I could use
    those to help quiz myself in finding fret positions.

    I took out a 12-sided die and I would roll it to get a random number and then try to quickly find
    that fret on my bass. That works great for the first twelve frets, but I have 24 frets on my bass
    and wanted to go further.

    I didn't have a 24-sided die, but I did have a 30-sided die, so I started using it and just
    re-rolling the die if it comes up with a number greater than 24.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Winnipeg, MB
    Posts
    7,171
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default

    I have used unusual methods to learn the fretboard, too. Especially when I was new. I'd turn off the lights and try to find the fretboard places in the dark. Look for patterns of a visual nature, etc.

    If you keep up with Jeff Berlin on Facebook, you'll find he doesn't approve of these sorts of things, but I tend to enjoy them. As a beginner, if the lights are off and you're looking for your Es on the fretboard, not only do you appreciate the actual MAP of the fretboard, but you start to get a feel for what an E really sounds like in different octaves.

    Jeff Berlin suggests (if I understand his point) that the only way to understand music is to study MUSIC in its entirety. He did a video post once that I thought was very impressive in terms of total understanding of music. It would be the equivalent of someone saying, "This is my book," in English. Then the teacher says, "now say it as if the book owns YOU". Because we have a "command" of the language itself, it's not that hard a task.

    Remember in school, when you learned language skills? Conjugating verbs, etc? In Jeff's video, he has a student play a sample piece in 4/4 time... then he says, "now play it in 3/4 time". The idea is that if you understand music as a whole, you can make the switch. I tried his method to play a piece I know, and was able to play it in either 4/4 or 3/4 time, but only on a very simple piece.

    I guess Jeff might poo-poo my idea of hints and cheats, and maps and charts... or MuicLover's dice, but I think we all get to where we need to be in a way that works. I happen to think the dice thing is very cool. It's just an exercise on the way to becoming better at the bass in general.

    http://www.thunderrow.com/showthread...=helpful+sheet

    Did y'all get my OTHER little charts? The multi-coloured one has a correction, so make sure you read the thread to get the corrected version.

    Keep the brainstorming coming, ML! I love it!


    - low life -

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    72
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default

    That dice trick is kind of cool.

    As for what Jeff Berlin might say, take it with a grain of salt. While I am not a master of the bass or music theory, as a nurse I have spent more that 20 years teaching people complex things on a variety of subjects. People learn things in different ways, and it is important to be able to relate the material in an understandable way. There is no "one right way" to learn things. The only people that will tell you otherwise have something to gain by selling their method to you.

    As for me, the greatest teaching ability of the products like Rocksmith and Band Fuse is their ability to teach the fretboard. While watching the note highway, or tablature move across the tv screen, there just isn't time to be looking at the screen, then the fretboard then the screen again. As a result, I'm pretty comfortable with my fretboard up to about the 19th fret. My problem comes when all 4 strings get involved and I need to get up and down the neck quickly.
    Ibanez SR1200
    Ibanez AFB200
    Carvin MB210

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Winnipeg, MB
    Posts
    7,171
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Noel1983 View Post
    As for what Jeff Berlin might say, take it with a grain of salt.
    Never. Not with a grain of salt. Jeff is a bass master and everything he says on that topic earns respect. I may not agree that his method is the ONLY method, or that it is the right one for everybody, but I won't brush it aside as not worth listening to.

    Somewhere in the back of my mind, I only WISH I could meet the standards of men like JB or Roy (to name a few) and be the kind of student who earns THEIR respect.

    Lol... now sit down and face the blackboard!


    - low life -

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    72
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Elmeaux View Post
    Never. Not with a grain of salt. Jeff is a bass master and everything he says on that topic earns respect. I may not agree that his method is the ONLY method, or that it is the right one for everybody, but I won't brush it aside as not worth listening to.

    Somewhere in the back of my mind, I only WISH I could meet the standards of men like JB or Roy (to name a few) and be the kind of student who earns THEIR respect.

    Lol... now sit down and face the blackboard!
    I stand by what I said. I didn't say to brush aside what Jeff Berlin says or how he teaches. I said that there is no ONE way to learn things, and the people who say that there is are motivated by one reason or another for getting you to learn their way.
    Ibanez SR1200
    Ibanez AFB200
    Carvin MB210

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Peak District
    Posts
    316
    Blog Entries
    28

    Default

    There is an interesting column by Jeff Berlin on this very subject in the February 2014 (100th) edition of Bass Guitar Magazine. Erudite, thoughtful and controversial as ever in response to a reader's specific question.

    Jeff uses much the same "vested interest" angle, though from his perspective, to comment on teaching methods.

    Worth a read, if you get the opportunity.

    On a related subject, I am intrigued by the whole "telephone number" fretboard learning approach. I am a predominately "left brain" person (if you'll forgive the use of this lazy myth), that is, logical, analytical and (by both tendency and training) unusually numerate. I can readily see and appreciate the tidy arithmetic involved in Elmeaux's (and latterly Musiclover's) workings.

    What I can't understand though is how this helps in learning the fretboard. I perceive the overall objective to be one of linking music notation and sound to kinaesthetic knowledge, to a point where this becomes instinctive. That is, read score (and/or hear note), place fingers, play note, confirm aurally. As a further simplification, fundamentally then the task is to go from "read note" to "place fingers", the rest being an automatic consequence of getting these first two stages right.

    What then is the benefit of introducing a further stage into the sequence? That is, read note ("middle line on staff, it's a D" - though actually one no more does this after a while than reading "cat" by noting the existence of "a" as the middle letter), convert to a number ("E string 10, A string 5", etc.), place fingers, play note.

    I can see that, in isolation, telephone numbers would help locate each individual position of a particular note on the fingerboard. But then so does linking the position via its sound, the musical score, scales, or anything else with a direct musical association that is practised sufficiently, and all of these have ongoing benefit.

    I'm missing something, aren't I?

    (I'm also slightly worried I sound a bit like Jeff Berlin...........)
    Last edited by PaulUK; 01-20-2014 at 10:39 AM.
    Shine on you crazy diamond.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    New Liskeard, Ontario
    Posts
    503

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulUK View Post
    (I'm also slightly worried I sound a bit like Jeff Berlin...........)
    In language, some, but with a different accent. On the bass...I haven't heard you play but I am prepared to be really, really impressed.

    Brian

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Winnipeg, MB
    Posts
    7,171
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default

    Nah, Paul, you aren't missing a thing.

    The charts, drawings, maps, etc, are of no value musically.

    I originally mapped them so I could get a visual appreciation of how beautifully and symmetrically designed was our fretboard! They aren't designed to replace proper musical involvement in the learning process. Just (as you said) a way to see the mathematical logic in it.

    Roy uses a similar "mental chart" when he describes the two-up, two-over rule for octaves. A beginner's aid to bring a visual aspect to a highly aural experience. Like you, Paul, I think the best way to learn the fretboard is to learn the notes through musical correlation. No student is ever going to master music through telephone numbers.

    BUT... it does have the possibility of engaging a new student - with no musical training - by making the formidable fretboard something he or she can relate to in familiar terms (and then possibly embrace with less intimidation). The patterns can be absorbed subconsciously as the student continues with musical instruction.

    As you progress through the TMBG lessons, you will rely less and less on maps and charts, because they will have been buried in the back of your mind. I have fretboards drawn on white boards. I have long strings of numbers (like MusicLover's list) on the wall. I have printouts of scales all over the place. I don't cheat with them, but I see them every time I walk by, and they manage to weasel their way into that place in my brain that keeps them just warm enough to remember.

    Most of us who have chosen TMBG as a method for learning bass have done so because we very much appreciate the visual way in which it is presented. The moving fretboard, the loops of visual play-along... we appreciate something we can SEE.

    Bottom line is that I want to learn music, but I don't want to join the marines to get there. I admire those who can complete the "Parris Island" approach to musical instruction, but that's not going to be me. Charts can be a nice comfy place to fall once in awhile. They make me happy.

    I'm too fat and old to be a marine, anyway.



    - low life -

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Peak District
    Posts
    316
    Blog Entries
    28

    Default

    Brian,

    I am a left-handed 54 year old man, with limited free time and less natural talent, learning to play right-handed bass.

    You should actually prepare to be really, really underwhelmed, if anything............

    I do though thank you for your encouraging words, they made me smile.

    Paul
    Last edited by PaulUK; 01-19-2014 at 05:32 PM.
    Shine on you crazy diamond.....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Peak District
    Posts
    316
    Blog Entries
    28

    Default

    El mo,

    What you say about wanting something you can see made me realise that I have changed the way I approach TMBG.

    When I first started, I was an absolute beginner on any musical instrument and I always used the song loops and followed the animated fretboard.

    For the last two or three lessons though, my approach has been to use de-tabbed Sibelius scores alongside mp3 versions of the songs. Although I watch Roy's performances as part of each lesson I don't play along with the band via the DVD anymore.

    I think this is because I now consider that I am simply learning a song from a musical score, rather than trying to follow a fretboard animation on a screen, and also I can listen better without the visual distraction of the band.

    Now I think about this, it feels like enormous progress in my musical education. I'm sight reading - how about that!

    (Very, very slowly incidentally, but still.........).

    This has been a great day!

    Thank you!
    Last edited by PaulUK; 01-19-2014 at 05:45 PM.
    Shine on you crazy diamond.....

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •