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Beginner question

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MarshallNole, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. MarshallNole

    MarshallNole Supporting Member

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    Hello, new to the forums and the bass guitar. I am such a fan of Tool that they are the sole reason I got into bass. I am trying to learn their songs and was told Sober is relatively easy to learn. Unfortunately, I am at a snag at the very first part.

    g--7-7---------7-7-----------------
    d--0-0---------0-0----------------- x7
    a--5-5-x-x-x-x-5-5--x---x-x---x-x--
    d--0-0-x-x-x-x-0-0--x---x-x---x-x--

    Is there any technique/tips/advice out there that will help me pick across multiple strings? Whenever I come back up the 4 strings with the pick it sounds like pure garbage and I usually miss the D string on the way back up for some reason.

    I've only been playing for 2 weeks... maybe my pick technique simply isn't good enough yet.
  2. eriky4003

    eriky4003

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    You may want to check to see if the Tool bassist uses picks when he plays. He may be using fingers.
    The only other thing I can think of is a thumb pick but that won't really help you skipping only your higher D string.
    Good luck!
    BTW, welcome to Talkbass!
  3. Tomkat8

    Tomkat8 Supporting Member

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    Not sure what he's doing exactly, but I know what your getting at.. Sometime with this type of thing I use the fingernails from my fingers like a pick brushing across strings, then on the way back up I use the thumbnail in the same way.. Note I keep my fingers and thumb touching. It's like strumming with a pick.. Only. No pick. Just nails.. Hope this makes sense.

    After doing some searching ,he apparently uses a pick. Anyway this is a altenative
  4. Nick303

    Nick303

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    Paul D'Amour often played a Rickenbacker with a really tinny tone, which suits the tune, he also strummed this riff like a guitarist. You're probably doing the right thing but get the tone right on your amp. Also, the position of your strumming really alters the harmonic tone of your 'rhythm' notes - nearer the bridge will be thinner and sharper, nearer the neck will be 'woolier'.
    For tips on this YouTube would be better probably, there's loads of cover lessons there.
    Welcome to TB though, welcome to bass in general and hi 5 for liking Tool. Not easy stuff though!
  5. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

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    What thickness pick are you using? A lighter pick might make things easier for this stuff (.60mm, or maybe even .50mm). Trying to plough through four string chords with a thick pick (1mm+) could be tough as a beginner.

    You could also try just playing the lowest notes of the chord to start with, just so you can get into it and start jamming along with the record sooner, rather than getting frustrated. Be aware that Tool can be pretty complex stuff to get around at times - but really fun once you get it!

    There's a couple of good videos on YouTube of people covering this song on bass. There's one in which the guy is playing a Rickenbacker, and that one shows pretty good right hand technique.

    Keep working at it, you'll get there.
  6. MarshallNole

    MarshallNole Supporting Member

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    I'm using a 1mm pick because Chancellor uses 1mm :) I realize that it was Paul that did this song, however.

    Guess I will just keep practicing.
  7. Jason Wilson

    Jason Wilson

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    Hey
    Are you sure the tabs are right? They are very often wrong.
    I don't have bass or the CD close by, but I actually thought he played a power chord, playing the 7th fret on the D string as well?
    We played this song yeeeeeears ago and I think I played it that way. Well, put it this way, if he didn't, no one ever came up and said I was playing it wrong. Sounded close enough.
    If he is just playing octaves, you will need to mute with your first finger on your left hand, kind of barring the string, just not actually pushing it down, muting it

    Good luck!
  8. MarshallNole

    MarshallNole Supporting Member

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    I'm pretty sure those tabs are right. They are the same I've found across multiple tabs.
  9. Jason Wilson

    Jason Wilson

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    Ok, well, get your muting underway.

    Actually, as it is a D chord, it should make no difference if the open D rings as long as you mute it for the muted strums??
  10. MarshallNole

    MarshallNole Supporting Member

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    I am not sure. Like I said I have only been playing 2 weeks :)
  11. Lownote38

    Lownote38

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    Try finger picking with your fingers instead of using a pick.
  12. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

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    Sounds like you have jumped off into the deep water before learning how to swim. I can understand you having problems.

    Stop what you are doing and start over. Here is a good place to start. www.studybass.com Start on screen one and just read what is being said. Here is a study guide for this site. http://www.studybass.com/study-guide/

    You will find that 95% of what we do deals with the notes of the active chord in the song. So that there is a light in the tunnel here is what you will be working toward. http://www.studybass.com/lessons/bass-chord-patterns/about-bass-chord-patterns/ Notice we play the notes of the chord one note at a time. We normally do not start off strumming - yes you can use a pick if you like, but, let's go back and start at the beginning.

    If you, are like me, and need to hold a book and make notes in the margins I'd recommend the book Bass Guitar for Dummies it is an excellent book for beginners. Here again start on page one and speed read till you have to slow down. If you are near a large public library you probably can find a copy there.

    Best advise I can give is get a live instructor. Nothing beats sitting knee to knee with someone that knows how to play the bass guitar. Four weekly lessons should get you started on the right foot. If you want more after that help yourself - my point - $100 (US +/-) for four lessons will be money well spent.

    Good luck.
  13. Jason Wilson

    Jason Wilson

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    + 1000
  14. MarshallNole

    MarshallNole Supporting Member

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    Doesn't look like much fun but I will try it.

    I am not an aspiring musician. I am doing this as a hobby.
  15. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

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    Most of us do this as a hobby. Most musicians have a day job.
  16. robd

    robd Supporting Member

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  17. rogerb

    rogerb

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    D chord! Actually it is 4 D notes! Just need some more practice it sounds like, 2 weeks is not a lot to tackle almost any song.
  18. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Supporting Member

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    +1. EQ counts for a lot when you're chording on bass. When you say it sounds like crap, it's either that you just need to keep practicing your picking technique to hit all the strings evenly, or that you've got too much bass in your EQ and it's coming out mud. Roll back you bass and boost your mids and treble and see how it sounds.

    A lot of the time, different websites just copy-and-paste the same tab, regardless of whether it's right or wrong. Always trust your ears first, professional transcriptions second, and tabs... somewhere down the line. They can be useful for figuring stuff out, especially when you're starting, but only take them as another amateur's suggestion for how to play it.

    Yes, but do you want to improve or suck?

    Ha ha just realized this looking back at his tab. It is just 4 D notes, two of them the same D on different strings, plus a low and a high. By the way, to the OP, did you notice to tune your bottom string to low D rather than the standard E? That might also be another reason it sounds wrong to you. By the way, since it is all just D, you could probably get away with just playing a single D, or 2 strings, until you get more comfortable strumming across all 4. It won't be quite as "heavy" but it should still work with the music.
  19. MarshallNole

    MarshallNole Supporting Member

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    Now THAT is a response I was looking for!

    A couple responses to you.

    I do tune to Drop D when playing this song. Also, I spent 2 hours on that studybass.com website. Learned a lot about muting/finger picking, but they do not address pick technique AT ALL!
  20. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Playing bass is like most other hobbies: It becomes more and more fun as you get better and better at it. And trying to start with Tool lines without first learning proper technique and other basics is not a good way to get better. You might make a little progress on some things, but will quickly hit a wall that you can't get past, and then you'll get frustrated and lose interest.

    Imagine trying to learn how to ski by starting on the expert slope. Before long you'll get tired of falling down every 10 feet, and you'll never make it to the bottom of the hill. Start on the bunny slope and be satisfied with gradual progress, confident in the knowledge that this is the best way to get to your goal the soonest.

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