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Using ballads as a practicing tool can be a very effective way to expand you’re knowledge of harmony upon the fingerboard. We’re all so often caught up in playing fast, which scale to use, is my technique clean enough and such thoughts that we’re often our own worst enemies. By practicing at slower tempos it strips much of that away and leaves us with questions such as, are we using space effectively within our bass line? Are we playing dynamically? Are we representing the harmony well enough with our bass line as the chords pass by. Essentially, it gives us time to think!
I don’t think I can express how important this was to my progression as a bass player and musician and I urge you to use this approach in your own practice time. Whatever chord sequence you’re working on, try it at a slow tempo for before you start to play it up to speed. I usually work on things for around 1 week before cranking up the speed.
As always, see you in the shed!