Essential Secrets 14: Know the Jargon
Know the Jargon
Speaking the musical language
The ability to use specialized language separates insiders from outsiders in every setting, from social groups and associations to industries and academic disciplines. Music has its own vocabulary, and there is jargon specific to the bass. You need to know this jargon to be on the fast track to mastering your instrument.
Knowing the specific vocabulary used by musicians speeds up the learning process. You’ll have a better understanding of the instructions your bass teacher gives you. This means you’ll get much more out of every lesson. And, the explanations and content in the videos, software, and music books you use (including this book) will make more sense. Sometimes these learning tools define terminology for you, but often they don’t. Without understanding musical vocabulary you actually cut yourself off from much of the helpful information available to you.
Musical jargon also helps you speak more effectively and succinctly with other musicians. This insider communication is a valuable time-saver at rehearsals! Often a very short phrase will make a point that a non-musician would need many minutes to explain.
Make sure you’re familiar with these types of music vocabulary:
· Parts of your instrument. Start with the names of the strings, and make sure you know as many of the parts of the bass as possible.
· Basic music theory. You can’t learn it all. (There are encyclopedias filled with this stuff.) But, know some basics—especially note names and intervals like thirds, fifths, and octaves.
· Counting. Learn the most common ways of counting eighth notes, sixteenth notes, and triplets. (For instance, “one-and-two-and” for eighth notes.)
· Specialized vocabulary. Know the words musicians use in your genre or sub-genre of music, including slang.
Without knowledge of musical jargon, you’ll find yourself struggling to understand everything you’re trying to learn. You don’t have time for that kind of struggle. Instead, become a musical insider by learning the vocabulary used by professional bassists.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET