Now that the NS/STICK is here, all the theories about what I was going to do with the damn thing must now become reality. I am very excited about this because I only tend to practice when there is something I want to do that I am unable to do at the moment. This new instrument presents a cornucopia of challenges and adventures that should keep me busy for quite some time…if not forever.
First up is learning my way around the instrument and this is where I’m bringing in my system of “geometric cyclic soloing.” This is, of course, not just useful for solos but for standard bass line construction as well as just plain learning your way around. My theory is based upon Gary Willis’s approach to learning geometric “shapes” when applying chord structures to the bass guitar. I’m taking it several steps further yet simplifying the entire thing. I don’t want to give away too many trade secrets just yet (can anyone say book deal) but I will state that this boils down most scales and modes into one system per chord. The chord is then divided up into linear and vertical “tours” on the instrument that gives the player access to important notes from any finger, any position, at any time. Mix in a little bit of chromatic theory and KABAM…instant badassary.
So today I finished half of the linear tours for the E minor chord. This is good and I can already see how my system will keep my lines and solos from sounding like I yanked them out of a scale and mode book. I hate that shit, and so much of what is played nowadays sounds like it. Especially in the prog-metal field.
I began composing a simple two-hand tapping ditty just to get the feel of things in that style as well. This is really what the instrument was designed to do…of course that is not at all why I bought it. Hahahaha.
Next week I will begin to incorporate “The Fin” into my learning process and pick up my three finger exercises with the metronome. Also, I have a pile of Six Minute Century bass lines to relearn using the NS/Stick as well as ones to write. I have two demanding solos to work up that must be recorded soon (one in Freed and a classical piece done with piano). Rusty Cooley (Outworld) has also asked me to lay down bass lines on the recording of his new project. This is really fucking cool as well but that is more stuff to learn. Damn…I have a lot of work to do.
But I like it.