Bass Boost- Jasmine Wong
Dean P Nutt – Great job Jasmine, nice clean sound and timing. Great to also see you adopt the one finger per fret technique, although I can see you cramping up now and again. I’m not sure if that is because you have not warmed as well as you should before recording this video, or the angle you are holding your left arm. But over all, great groove, technique & choice of track. I’m sure James Jamerson would be proud, keep up the good work!
Danny Fox- Well Jasmine, I thoroughly enjoyed that! It’s nice to hear you play with authority and there’s such a sense of ease about you, it’s great! Technique wise, everything looks quite comfy. Sometimes there’s a bit of bunching in the left hand, but you don’t struggle to make the stretches you need to, when you need to, so no problem really. I’d love to hear you play some Jaco finger funk ala ‘the Chicken’ or Jamersons bassline on ‘Ain’t no Mountain High Enough’. If ever you’re stuck for ideas for what to study, drop me an email at [email protected] I’d be happy to help you out, I’m a big fan of self educated players!’
Stewart Mckinsey-Wow! There really isn’t much I can contribute here. My favorite things are in evidence: you are playing with great joy and confidence! This is a great tone for the tune and one I never hear from a Music Man bass. Well done! Your time is flawless and you really understand the demands of this style of playing. Again, fantastic! If I am to make any kind of a comment that isn’t absolutely glowing it’s that I worry that your hands could be a little more relaxed when you play. Do you always warm up before you start playing? I would hate to see you suffer an injury. Other than that, I may be seeing you for some lessons!I adore this!
Sarit Black- I think you seem really confident with the parts and you have nice tidy finger work and very fluid with it. All I can really say is if you want to push yourself a bit more, maybe try experimenting with the sound coming from your right hand, you play very much right over the pick-ups, (which I what I tend to do most of the time), but try out your different sounds by playing nearer the finger board for a thicker sound or closer to the bridge for a tighter sound. Also try practicing standing up as it feels totally different to playing sitting down. If you’re playing in a band you want to be able to play as fluid stood up as you do sat down. Plus you’ll probably find that being able to move around and play is much more fun than being limited to a stool! Keep up the good work!
Max Esquivel-Hello Jasmine. I think you’re phenomenal. You look like you’re enjoying yourself while playing a solid, well placed groove. You’re right hand seems to be well worked, you’re alternating your fingers and you have good technique. Your wrist is comfortable when straight, yet you don’t seem stiff, which is great. You’re tone is nice and warm, and punchy. You sound great on that Musicman. Also, you know the line completely and you groove the hell out of it! You don’t overplay and I really like that you know the tune so well, you just enjoy yourself when you’re playing it. Great work.The only thing I think you need to work on is left hand technique. I noticed that you bend your wrist a little bit too much when reaching beyond a certain number of frets and/or strings.
I think this can be solved by placing your thumb in the middle of the neck instead of reaching around and placing your thumb on top of the neck. Also this placement will enable you to use your thumb as a pivot when you reach for bigger intervals without hurting your wrist. Lastly, putting your thumb in the middle of then neck is going to widen your fret reach. I think at the moment your reach is around three frets comfortably. You should try and practice the one finger per fret approach while placing your thumb on the middle of the neck.
Arran McSporran – Fantastic playing Jasmine! Your sense of time is great and your tone also – it really punches through and drives the track along! Like Max and the others have said, I’d like to suggest a few things about your left hand that should help you play with more ease, fluidity and dexterity.
As you can watch yourself playing back on the YouTube video (and in any video you make of yourself playing), try to be critical of how your hands look – does it look efficient? There are a few moments where your little finger is moving a long way away from the fretboard, then a moment later you have to stretch your hand out to a one-finger-per-fret section. Try to be aware of when your hand does this – the key point I notice it is on the first note of each descending passage where you are only playing with your middle finger (0:21, 0:24). When I play, I try to keep all my fingers very close to the fretboard and relatively straight – that way whatever note you want to reach next, on whatever string, is within easy reach. If your little finger is bunched up in your hand and a long way away from the fretboard, it will take more time and more effort to straighten your hand and move it towards the fretboard to play that next note.
Also, the section where you are playing on the first fret (0:26) you begin to bunch your hand up with your thumb over the neck. This is very tempting, but try to avoid it, as you suddenly need to open your hand again to play the very next passage after only two notes with your thumb over the neck. Finally, the section starting at 0:07 seconds – could you play this with less hand shifts? Think about whether it’s necessary to move to the Bb and Eb notes at the end of the line with your index finger – could you play these with your hand in the same position you are using to play the following Ab that finishes the phrase?
As an exercise, I’d like you to try to play the whole song in the position your hand is in when you play the section starting at 2:00 (3rd-6th fret). This is an exercise to improve your fretboard knowledge and as there are no notes above or below this portion of the neck, it can be played without moving your hand once (apart from a a sneaky E), so give it a go!
Again, fantastic playing! Make sure you can play the whole thing standing up too (setting your strap length so your bass hangs at the same height it is when you are practicing on your lap should make sure you never struggle with a bass that’s hanging too low to be of practical playing height!). I look forward to seeing you progress – you already have so much potential, with a little bit of polishing of your left hand technique you should be able to play anything!
Simon Sammut – Hi Jasmine, well done on your playing!. I can’t add much that hasn’t already been said by my colleagues and even because there is not much to say about your playing. You seem to be moving along the right path. You manage to get a nice tone out of the Musicman and your timing is also up to scratch. Like the others have said, pay a bit of attention to your left hand technique. At times you tend to bunch up your fingers. At other times your one finger per fret seems to work well even though you have have small hands. Therefore, only a bit more attention is required. Otherwise, keep enjoying your bass playing.
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