I have been passionate about music for a long time. I played the trombone (and a few other instruments) through Jr. High and High School, performing in Concert, Jazz and Marching bands. Unfortunately the college I chose to attend did not have a music department and I didn't have much opportunity to continue playing. Since then I have discovered and spent a lot of time listening to many different types of music and musicians. I find new music all the time, and I gravitate towards the creative and authentic, mainly focusing on rock and roll, jazz, world music and overlapping variants of each. Intricate rhythms, distinct melodies, and improvisation all inspire me.
So...the 20% Project is supposed to have elements of "knowledge, play and making" in it and I want to make some music of my own. Several years ago I was gifted a student-version bass guitar and amp, and I have never made the time to sit down and really learn it. I've toyed with it here and there, and I know how to tune it, but I don't know the basic chord structures or how to play any specific songs.
Clearly there's lots to learn and any number of musical avenues I could venture down, but I need to focus my efforts so that I have a clear goal and measurable outcome for the small time available. So here's a few questions to help guide me over the next dozen weeks or so.
What are the basic musical stuctures or theories I need to know to play the bass?
How do the various settings and knobs on the bass and amp affect the sound that is produced?
How does the bass fit into the "picture" of a song?
What musical documentation is needed to learn a song? Tabs, sheet music, video instruction?
What are examples of songs (in genres I enjoy) with distinctive, yet simple, bass lines that can be learned relatively easily?
Where do I find the materials to learn those songs?
How long will it take to become proficient playing those songs?
How will I measure success?
I've started forming some initial ideas to explore, so watch this blog to see how things progress. And please chime in with any thoughts or insight.