Instructor:   Norm Rooke

Course Description:

Level: 2 – 3  (see Playing Experience Level descriptions at the bottom of the page)

The level 2-3 course will employ a Bass Camp approach in that you will have established a foundational knowledge of the upright string bass or acoustic guitar bass. You should know the notes on each string up to the 5th position and be able to follow a one/five three chord progression in 4/4 time.  From there the course will explore walking bass lines and how to ‘tie’ chords together as you ‘underpin’ the lead instruments. You will learn Bluegrass, Swing, Rockabilly and folk styles.

More advanced students will be asked to play in minor keys and explore the ‘colour’ notes available to the tasty bass player. A strong emphasis will be given to playing in solid time and rhythm.  However, for bass enthusiasts who may not yet have reached Bass Camp in your climb to master the instrument, you will be welcome as well and time will be allotted to help you achieve a foundational playing and jamming ability.

What you’ll need:

  • your bass!
  • a tuner
  • a music stand
  • a pencil and paper
  • a stool if standing for long periods is difficult and
  • chord/lyric sheets of particular songs you may wish to explore. For class purposes please keep selections reasonably simple.  Avoid Jazz please!!

NOTE:  This class is open to amplified acoustic basses.  You will need to supply your own small portable bass amp. Please see our Amplifier Policy for further information.

Norm Rooke

Norm began playing a Fender bass in blues and country rock touring bands back in the day and then spent a few years with a Las Vegas style show band based in Vancouver.

Opportunities in Edmonton led to studio session work, producing and composing alongside such great names as Tommy Banks and Gaye DeLorme before choosing a different career as an airline pilot.

For the past many years Norm has played in Calgary based projects of various genres ranging from  Bluegrass to Celtic rock to German traditional to Folk and nowadays can be heard with ALLAN and ARNELL  playing his favourite music of all, Old Time/ Swing Country.


Playing Experience Levels

These guidelines aim to ensure that all camp participants have an enjoyable experience. They represent what your playing capability should be before you take the class (prerequisites).

Classes are generally designed to pace themselves to match the participants' abilities. Level 1 classes aim to proceed at the pace of the slower students in the class. Level 2 and 3 classes aim to move at the pace of the majority of students in the class. Level 4 classes are designed to push the capabilities of all students and will target the pace of the more capable students  Class descriptions that show a range (Levels 2-3) means the material presented is broadly applicable across that range.

LEVEL 1: You are new or relatively new to your instrument. You may be able to play basic chords or scales slowly. You want to learn the basics of the instrument. You have very little experience playing with others.

LEVEL 2: You are competent with basic chords and/or basic scales. You can keep rhythm and/or play basic melodies and/or sing and play at the same time if the song is familiar. You generally need the chords or melody to be written out in order to play along. You have some experience playing with others.

LEVEL 3: You are reasonably comfortable with most chords, basic major and minor scales, and can play at an appropriate tempo for songs. You are aware of time signatures, song keys, and know that there are chords called 6th, 7th, 11th, etc even if you can’t play them all. You are comfortable maintaining good rhythm and are willing to taking breaks while jamming with others, even if the breaks don't always turn out the way you planned. You may be hoping to take your playing up to the next level of performing with a group or band (beyond jamming) and you want to further improve your technique and speed.

LEVEL 4: You are skilled on your instrument and have a good understanding of musical concepts including scales, arrangements, harmonies and some improvisation. You play lead and back-up with a steady rhythm and can play skillfully with others. You know there is life further up the neck on your instrument and have some capability in that world. You have performing experience, can hold a tune, and can harmonize.