Originally Posted by oniman7
Look for a digital interface. An M-Audio fast track will take one cable from your bass and then a USB cable to your laptop. It will be used as a soundcard (meaning you won't have to worry if yours is good) and should come with Pro Tools light. Then you can set it to monitor. You will probably need headphones with a quarter inch jack, but this is the fastest solution to what you want with the least amount of hassle. If you want to play over backing tracks or covers, you just need to have that file and then you can open it in pro Tools and play
This is how I do it. I use a POS lexicon interface, into my laptop. I run Reaper for a DAW.
It works great for headphone, at home practice.
Some other things I do: once the mp3 is imported into reaper, I open a eq I plug-in. I the notch out as much of the bass on the mp3 as I can. I do this because it makes it easier to hear my playing.
Next I open a new track, this one is for my bass. At this point I can play with any of the plug-ins, in real time. Most of the time its just a amp modeler, but it can be anything.
The best part of practicing like this is once you have learned the song. You can record your bass part, as you play to the mp3.
I know I have learned the song, when I play the mp3/bass track back, and its sounds like the original mp3.