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48 years old and starting Bass Guitar

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by hskerfan4life, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Well, I started last year after turning 47, but anyhow....
    Haven't been taking lessons since I bought my 1st bass, the every popular "cheapest bass on Amazon", and have toyed around with it, and been doing some training with Rocksmith 2014 on PS4. Recently picked up "Bass Guitar For Dummies", and sold my starter bass and picked up an Ibanez GSR 200.
    Been searching for good videos on youtube, and reading my dummies book and looking for any recommended videos out there to follow along with. I'm doing bass more as a hobby. I don't plan to start a band or be discovered, it's more of my "middle age" experiment. (I don't like the term midlife crisis).
    Any suggested links would be much appreciated. I got a poster that has different frets on it too which I am framing and will put up near where I practice too.
  2. MCF, design, bigbassmike and 3 others like this.
  3. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    Welcome. I have one of those $80 ebay basses and no one should be looking down their nose at them.

    I'd recommend Adam Neely's YouTube channel. Search for his "safe left-hand technique" and of course same for right hand. It's a good channel because it doesn't just talk about bass, but music in general.

    I hear good things about Rocksmith, but I'd also recommend a Spotify premium account to use with an app called Amazing Slow Downer which will a) help with learning songs at a comfortable pace b) expand your music listening horizons which imho is sorely neglected in teaching and learning.
  4. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    It's never too late to learn a musical instrument. I was a late starter (around the same age as yourself) too. I quite like the set of Youtube lessons below. Unlike most Youtube lessons (which are usually one off's...i.e. nothing comes before...nothing comes after..) these start VERY basic and each lesson builds on what went before. Simply jump in where you think is appropriate. Also dont forget to play some MUSIC !!! ;) Develop your ear by playing along to songs and working out the bass lines by trial and error...no tab.

    Best of luck with it.

    Learn Bass Guitar - YouTube
    bpmben and FatStringer52 like this.
  5. Perfect age. You have the patience and maturity to master the craft, and aren't likely to develop a distracting and potentially deadly heroin habit at this age. Well-timed. Well-timed, indeed.

    Start here: StudyBass - Free Online Bass Lessons

    Then go here when you're done: Online Bass Guitar Lessons | Scott's Bass Lessons. Pay the lifetime membership fee one time and you're done. There's new stuff added almost every day, from one-off lessons to courses to interviews with bass greats.

    Now go kill it!
  6. Welcome. Good answers already. Ditto on Dummies. The patterns on Dummies are what I still use. Look over this How to get started? I have several posts using the major scale box pattern, which I do recommend you get under your fingers and then we can get into songs. It's from Dummies.

    TalkingBass for videos or just ask Google and ole Google will pull up what you need.

    Welcome to the bottom end.
    fleabitten, Pocket4 and FatStringer52 like this.
  7. Good for you! If you're interested, Patrick Pfeiffer, who wrote the Dummies book, does lessons via Skype. I've been taking lessons with him on and off locally for well over 10 years and Patrick is the best.
    FatStringer52 likes this.
  8. Turbo Sparky

    Turbo Sparky Supporting Member

    May 14, 2018
    South Eastern U.S.
    Dang dude, you make yourself sound like your broken.
    Tons of great info on YT. One of the best, IMO, is "Talking Bass." One could almost just watch his YT channel, and get a complete life long series of lessons. "Scott's Bass Lessons" is another decent YT, but over the years he has changed his model on YT from consistent quick lessons, to that of one of entertainment with shepherding onto/into his website/lessons. Not that that is a bad thing, but more marketing ploy.

    Old schmold.
    As long as you're "getting after it" who cares.
    Best piece of advice, that took me a couple of years to finally realize is; learn/practice as close to perfect technique as possible, bad habits are a mofo to break, and WILL cause injury/discomfort.
    Good luck!
    skaine and FatStringer52 like this.
  9. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    Here's something that will get you some new skills to play with. This is just a McNugget, for sure not a whole chicken, but should be good stuff for you.

    If you haven't gotten your bass set up, you should. It will be much easier to play. Like night and day different. A reliable guitar repair place should be able to do that for you. They will make the strings a little easier to play bn lowering them closer to the fret board, and make sure the tuning is as perfect as it can be, etc...

    Always practice to a click. Like a metronome or something. Smartphones are great for that. There are a bunch that are free to download and will do the trick. This will help build internal timing and will build your ability to play smoothly.

    Don't be afraid to play something embarrassingly slow until you get it. Much of what we do is rooted in muscle memory. If you constantly flub because it's just too darn fast to play "at speed", you'll have a very hard time getting a line or a lick down. Repetition is what gets that done. if you play it differently each and every time because of a flub in a tough spot, the muscle memory can't come together. Play it slow until you nail it solid. then bump the tempo incrementally until you get there. Don't make jumps too big. and don't rush it. If you can play something at 60 beats per minute, but not 65, then go to 62 bpm. If you build a solid foundation by going slowly, it won't be long before you can play it any reasonable tempo.

    Arpeggios are great. Not sure if you know what those are, but just in case, essentially it's an abbreviated scale that represents the notes of a given chord. Know where the root, fifth and third are. Take a very simple tune of your choice and have a reliable guitar chart in front of you when you play along. Usually the Root (one) is the one named in the guitar chords. Play along and substitute the 5 (fifth) for the root (one). It will still work, but be a different feel. Take C fir example. The fifth note down the scale is G. If you see a C, play a G instead. The third is an E (as in C,D,E...). It will work out less often, but try it. If it its' a Cm (minor), then play an E-flat for the third. The guitarist would be playing the C,E,G simultaneously while strumming the chord.

    So, play all 3 options for any given note that comes up and see what you like for the tune you picked. Here's a hack for the 5th. If you (for example) play a C on the 3rd fret of the a string, the 5th below is right beside it one string lower on that same 3rd fret. E String third fret is G... The 5th above is down the neck two frets over one string higher to the 5th fret of the D string, which is also G, just a higher G.... (as a bonus) the octave is right beside that, one string higher, 5th fret of the G string is C.

    If you want a handy 3rd, it's always going to be one fret lower and one string higher. For our example, C, it would be that E on on the second fret of the D string. in the case of Cm, just "flat" the 3rd. by going one fret higher to the 1st fret of the D string, for the E-flat...

    Hope this helps. There is much more to this. but wanted to throw you a bone or 2 appropriate to the size of a TB post. - Something that has helped be a lot is Scott's Bass Lessons. Scott is a good online bass instructor, He has a (not free) Practice Accelerator course that is online learning. I think a teacher that you can see in person is probably better, but my schedule is crazy, and I have found this to be a great next best thing. The enrollment opens and closes on that course, so if you are interested, you may have to get on a list to enorll later, but I'm in it right now and it's pretty good in my opinion.
    design and FatStringer52 like this.
  10. Just turned 50, practicing since three months. The Scott's Bass Lessons' route I went.
    I take it slowly. My goal is to improvize and hence know my instrument but I use tabs right now to actually play some tunes: Money, Seven Nation Army, My Sharona, etc. I watch video and make exercises. I have FUN !
  11. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    :thumbsup: that's the ticket --- i'd snatch an ax like that for myself if i had the GAS! it looks like it could/should be real comfortable to play.
    00 images2b3.
    OP: better have some fun! :laugh: good luck! :thumbsup:
    Wfrance3 and FatStringer52 like this.
  12. Welcome. You are definitely not too old to learn. I came back to bass at age 63 after a 30 year absence and I play in church two to three weekends per month. I would strongly suggest you take some lessons from a local instructor if one is available to get you going in the right direction. Good luck and keep thumpin'. :thumbsup:
    12BitSlab and FatStringer52 like this.
  13. Wow, you sound like you took my route. Started at 48; used Rocksmith, YouTube, and other resources on the web; and my first decent starter bass was an Ibanez SR300.

    Second on getting your bass set up - it's invaluable, and if you find a good tech he'll give you more good information on the way.

    And, of course, listen to the TB geniuses, of which I am not one.
  14. JohnPaulSmith

    JohnPaulSmith Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2014
    You're a youngster! I started 5 years ago at age 54 and am having a blast gigging with a working band. I started with a local instructor which works well for me.
  15. 7615


    Nov 19, 2015
    Bass unlike guitar or piano is largely an accompanying instrument - get down the basics and seek out opportunities to play with others.
  16. And when you have the basics nailed down...listen to what this guy is layin down.
    design and FatStringer52 like this.
  17. RichardW


    Feb 25, 2016
    near Philly
    I started at 45, about to turn 60, and have been gigging for 10 years. Plenty of YouTube vids to look at. When I'm learning a song, I'll often search for the "isolated bass" on YouTube, which will either produce the actual isolated bass line or some decent covers. Pro tip: to go the Settings on the video and select one of the slower playback speeds. This will slow down the playback without affecting the pitch and is a great way to cop individual notes.

    Having said that, if you can afford it, find a teacher. Sitting down with an individual and learning the basics of good technique and music theory (scales and modes in particular) is invaluable. I worked with a good teacher on and off for about five years and it really helped a lot.
    Remoman and FatStringer52 like this.
  18. One of my top 3 influences! Mel created some excellent bass lines . . .
    eldorado2001 and OogieWaWa like this.
  19. larryatravis


    Dec 30, 2014
    Good on ya... I got my first bass when I was 49, but didn't play it until the next christmas, when I got Rocksmith 2014 as a present. 15 months later, I was in a band. A year after that, I was in two. I started out like you, just wanting a hobby... Bass players are in demand, so if anyone catches wind that you play, even a little, be prepared for an offer to join a band of some sort. It is really the only way to truly progress as a player. Beats the hell out of playing along to MP3s in your living room!
    markwrob, Remoman and FatStringer52 like this.
  20. frits51

    frits51 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    Heath, Texas
    Played guitar since high school. Started playing bass eight years ago at 60. Wish I'd started about 45 years sooner! I love it! I took about six months of lessons from the best teacher I could find and that was a smart thing to do. His voice still comes to me when I'm messing up, getting lazy or settling for less than what I should. Invest in yourself!

    Yes, good on ya and have fun!
    bholder, kohanmike and FatStringer52 like this.

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