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Palen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, January 21, 2008


The PMC Quick Note is a weekly service provided to all area directors.  It is part of our mission to support the lives of band directors across the Midwest.  The weekly Quick Note contains helpful tips and suggestions from area directors, spotlights on area college and university band programs, calendars of upcoming events, advocacy articles promoting music education, links to helpful web resources, and much more.  Comments, suggestions, ideas, and articles are always welcome.


Looking for help on a particular topic? Be sure to check out our Quick Note Catalog of back issues.

Beginning Bass Mega-Resource!
Click to visit studybass.comFor many directors, equipping a jazz band with ample brass and saxes is not a problem. There are usually a handful of drummers who have been begging to play drumset since they started in band, and it is not hard to find a piano player to at least play a written chart. One of the difficulties is to find a bass player who can play at all...especially in junior high groups or in smaller high schools. Very few teachers have the knowledge base to teach bass, even if they have the equipment and an interested student. The good news is that there are wonderful web resources to help.

The site we are going to highlight is The tool on their site that is particularly helpful is Scale and Chord Tone Printer. To see the chord tones in a particular key, choose the "chord" tab, then select the root and chord quality. In the example below, we will choose "F" and "dominant 7th".: (Note: You must have Flash already installed on your computer.)

Click to try the Scale and Chord Tone Printer

You will then see the following printout of the fretboard:

Click to try the Scale and Chord Tone Printer

The beginning student can look at the fretboard, see the notes, and locate where they fall on the bass fretboard. This can be done to show scale patterns as well. The student can then print out the image for further study.

Another really cool thing on the site are the exercises. You can see the pattern, the notes, and even listen to the example:

Click to try some exercises

You can even subscribe to an RSS feed to be notified of new lessons and other information added to the site. For some further reading, check out an article on common mistakes beginning bass players make.

Contact Your Local Palen Music Center

Can we assist you with anything?  Please contact your local Palen Music Center school road representative for all of your music education needs.


(417) 882-7000
Bob Hopkins, Mike Brown, Jeromy Pope, and Jim Wilson
  Springfield North (417) 862-2700 Burl Williams
  Columbia (573) 256-5555 Robert Pitts
  Joplin (417) 781-3100 Wayne Blades and Zach Houser
  Liberty (816) 792-8301 Ken Crisp and Dick Murdock
  Broken Arrow (918) 770-6827 Mackey Amos and Mark VanVranken
If you would like to submit material, make changes or corrections, give comments, or wish to be removed from this mailing list, please contact Eric Matzat.