Playing with Inflection

When you're playing the bass, you want to make it so that the line that you're playing has feeling and groove.

There are a couple of ways that you can phrase and manipulate any note to get more out of it.

One of those ways is through Dynamics.

What are Dynamics?

Dynamics are basically the volume at which you play a note.

There are a lot of different ways to notate dynamics, but basically you can play from as hard and loud as humanly possible or as soft and quiet as a mouse.

Learning to play things at different dynamics is important because it allows you to play with the feeling of a piece in different ways depending on the mood.

You wouldn't want to be Slapping a hard funk riff during a soft ballad, correct? (Although........... :)

It's up to you how you play something, just try to make it so that what you're playing fits the mood in volume.

Two other ways that you can affect a piece of music is by changing the duration (Length) that the notes ring. Either by playing Staccato or Legato.

Staccato is when you play a note short and generally with a sort of punctuation. The value of a note that is played Staccato is about half of what it normally is played. (i.e.. A quarter note played staccato is sounded at about the same value as an eighth note)

Legato is when the note is played as long as possible for the full duration of the intended pitch. (i.e.. A Quarter note is played as a Quarter note).

Try playing a lot of different musical phrases both Legato and Staccato in order to get a better sense of how to "feel" them.

Also remember to play them loud, soft and everything in between to feel the full range of what is capable on the bass and in music from an inflection based point of view.

Return to the Playing the Bass page from the Inflection page

Return to the Homepage