Roger Fairhead Certificate JMT Certified

It’s all about the Bass (3)

Reach for your Reward.  

When I listened to the song we were going to learn next and listened to the bass line, my jaw dropped and I listened in admiration, and then I remembered, “I am going to have to try to play that!

This particular piece had so many elements I would have to master; syncopated rhythms, very intricate fast moving passages, and slap bass!  “Where do I even start!

I discovered that the secret is found in the words of H. Jackson Brown:

“Two rules of perseverance:
Rule #1 Take one more step.
Rule #2 When you can’t take one more step, refer to Rule #1”
~ H. Jackson Brown

I had been working through some online lessons using the website from the awesome bass guru Scott Devine at ScottsBassLessons and this new song brought renewed determination to master at least some of these new elements of playing to do justice to the original.  

To make this come alive I had to make out a path of progression, and I drew inspiration from each successful step along the path towards a credible performance.  I discovered that the most effective route was to make each step exciting along the way.  I haven’t yet completely mastered the bass line of the song, but I am getting better every time we play it!  

To reach for your reward you have to do something NEW – that’s your Next Exciting Win.  The Next Exciting Win is a challenge found in the Inspiration Zone that takes me towards my PRIZE.  (For more about the PRIZE and the Inspiration Zone, see previous posts: Its-all-about-the-bass-1 and Its-all-about-the-bass-2.)

So to learn the new piece I had to find ways to make a progression through a series of NEW tasks that brought excitement and reward with each step.  For me, the first step was to figure out what was being played by working out the chords and the rhythm of the main verse and chorus and then to replicate that.  My wife Sue was my delighted audience having to sit through a spirited performance of each successive improvement. 

All great masters are chiefly distinguished by the power of adding a second, a third, and perhaps a fourth step in a continuous line. Many a man had taken the first step. With every additional step you enhance immensely the value of you first.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Having started to master the main elements of the piece the next was to attempt to learn the fast parts and the slap technique.  For this, I enlisted the help of a friend that is an awesome bassist that I met up with on a vacation trip.  When we met I discovered that he had released a video tutorial of that very bass part, so I added that to my library to work on when I returned from vacation. 

The mastery of these two elements still eludes me but I have managed to substitute something that works well in their place for now, and I look forward to mastering the part completely one day.

The key is to try to make each step exciting and to celebrate the win.  It’s when each step becomes a drudge that progress becomes dreary and motivation wanes.  The key to success is to keep doing something NEW.

“Everyone faces difficulty when working towards a dream. And if someone fails he can make excuses for what went wrong, how the unexpected happened, how someone let him down, how circumstances worked against him.  But the reality is that the external things do not stop people.  It’s what happens to them on the inside.”
~ John Maxwell

About Roger Fairhead

Roger is a Leadership specialist and uses the PRIZE Winning Leadership model to help leaders improve their effectiveness and that of their teams, through remote and on-site delivery of keynotes, group training events and individual coaching sessions.

He is the author of several books including "PRIZE Winning Leadership" and “Personal Productivity Planner”, a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Director of the Global Leadership Network UK with extensive experience in Project Management and Sales.

“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.

Roger also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.