a bass beginner routine.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Girl_Bahista, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. Girl_Bahista


    Jul 17, 2013
    hello all! im a newbie here. I find this site very helpful.im loving it here already. It has a been dream come true when my awesome nephew lend me his 3y.o yamaha rbx374 bass(but used it only once) since i cant really afford it and good thing that i bought a Boston AK60GB 60 watts amp ( a cheap,low-end amp brand, probably unheard of,lol) anyway,bass and music is something that im really passionate about.I dont really have a musical background and from what i know,if you want something you have to work hard for it.

    anyway, i did a few research and i write in a piece of paper and paste it in room as my everyday routine.. i know that some of the terms could be wrong but i hope you guys get what i mean since im not familiar with technical terms.

    bass routine:

    wrist/thumb/hand exercise- 5mins
    warm-up exercise- spider exercise, 1234 finger exercise( with metronome)- 15mins
    pick up a major scale and played it with metronome(use drum machine online) this is to develop my groove.
    pick up piece of a song and played it by ear, and try to perfect it. ( right now, my major influence in music, is gospel reggae genre, such as christafari songs.)
    my question is, is this ok? is there anything you guys would like to suggest for my routine? :)

    Oh, and also do you know a site or link/resource that i can study and memorize the so called FAMILY CHORDS? please, that would be a big help when i try to use played by ear songs.haha. soory for my english btw. Look forward for your replies! Thank you so much! :)
  2. BassNStrings


    Jul 15, 2013
    I started to get serious about learning the bass 2 weeks ago. From one newb to another, learn bass notation. It has helped me with my exercises. And it's less time that I have to think about what note I am about to play.
  3. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    I dont know how anyone can not know tab since it is pretty self explanatory but I would start working with the bass clef staff and standard notation AS SOON and AND OFTEN as u can. First of all 99% of tab is not written with the correct time signature values(songster is the one exception) and secondly there is an infinite amount of material out there that already exists in bass clef for u to play and if u ultimately want to be a professional then reading is almost a pre requisite. How many thousands of people have said I wished I started earlier as compared to any who say "I wish I started later" or "not at all"????
  4. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    By Family Chords I hope this is what you mean. However beyond running scales I think you should be in a programmed progression of study as a method book or studybass.com would provide
  5. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Just a quick comment on this. IMO the spider exercise should only be done after you are well warmed up. It should not be part of the warm up. The 1234 exercise is a good one, but do it above the fifth fret. Any lower could be to much of a stretch, which if continued could cause injury. A great way to warm up is to do gentle stretches before you pick up the bass. Here is a clip showing warm up exercises.

  6. I do not know of any instruments that we do not start with running our scales, so you are on the right track here. Scales let our fingers know where the good notes are and our ears begin to identify the good sounds from the bad sounds so yes keep doing scales.

    You asked about chord families. OK hang on.
    Most of what we end up doing is following the chords in a song and playing that chord's notes one note at a time to the beat of the song. So I would suggest you get some chord tones into your practice. Be able to see a chord coming up in the music and your fingers know what bass line notes go with that chord. To do that I suggest you run your chords the same way you are running your scales. Here are the notes (scale degrees) that make up a chord. http://www.smithfowler.org/music/Chord_Formulas.htm

    OK - which chords; Chords in that key's family. Here is a site that will give you the notes in each scale, the chords made from those scale notes and the chord progression you will normally find in songs using that scale/key.

    After looking this over, ask questions and we can go a little deeper.

    Welcome to our World.
  7. BassEnvy78


    Jun 28, 2012
    I picked up the bass last week after playing the guitar for a loooong time.

    What I got from my guitar practice is that it is way better to spot a song that includes the exercises you want to work on rather than working on isolated segments. This way you apply them in a musical way right away.

    example: practicing the "1234" is fine I think to warm up...but I would rather work on Herbie Hancock's Chameleon for instance. You get the "1234", some string skipping and a groove!

    Speaking of reggae..."Your house" from Steel Pulse has a sick bass line.
  8. Girl_Bahista


    Jul 17, 2013
    thanks guys.
    @ jhengsman. thanks, i visited the studybass.com and im currently reading the book of bass for dummies.lol

    @fearceol. after playing bass few weeks ago i think ive been suffering from cramps every morning when i woke..:/anyway, thanks!

    @MalcolmAmos- thanks so much.. haha, i will still check it out further, and i will going to ask question if things get too blurry for me haha. :) thanks again.

    @BassEnvy78 thanks. i check it out it was go0d. love the fat tone. xD
  9. BlackRussian

    BlackRussian Padawan Learner

    Jun 30, 2011
    Cary, NC
    I consider myself to be a beginner in terms of skill but intermediate in terms of music understanding. Lots of good thoughts here. I can say that developing an "ear" is crucial for being able to express the music in your head with the instrument. I'm just starting to develop that now.

    Here's some food for thought from Victor Wooten: Music as a Language

    Good luck!

    BTW, BG4D (Bass Guitar for Dummies) is awesome. Check out the companion "workbook" Bass Guitar Exercises for Dummies (BGE4D).
  10. insomniazoo


    Jul 24, 2013
    I have tried timing my exercises in the past and it usually resulted in a boring unfocused practice session.

    After picking up the bass again recently, I found it beneficial to set goals and apply the “Rule of Ten” This is where you play the piece through 10 times correctly at a certain BPM before adjusting to a higher BPM or moving on.

    For me, I schedule practice time each day and begin moving through some pages in books. I find it fun and rewarding to have more jam time after completing a goal sooner than I previously expected.
  11. BassEnvy78


    Jun 28, 2012
    Some other quick tips:

    -Metronome: if you have to learn a piece at 90bpm and feel like you are struggling after learning it slow and building up to the desired tempo. Make sure you try the same lick/riff at 110bpm. This will be harder but then try to play it at 90bpm (your original goal). It will be much easier!

    -ear training: try to sing each note you play. close you eyes and play a random note on your bass and try to guess it. Listen to your favorite songs and try to find the key just using your "note memory/tone imprint".

    Why is this important? If you have worked on a couple basslines (and few variations) in minor AND major. you will be able to apply them in any jam session.

    The key is building chops, developing your ears and groove....but also your confidence playing the instrument.

    Last tip: when practicing at home ALWAYS practice standing up. You will be gig ready in no time!
  12. Girl_Bahista


    Jul 17, 2013
    @ BlackRussian- thanks for the advice :)
    @insomniazoo- oh thats awesome, i am always clueless to what i do with metronome. thanks for the info.

    @BassEnvy78- that quicktips is very helpful. I will include it in my notes :) thank you.

    keep them coming guys xD
  13. shatner


    Sep 22, 2004
    Isle Of Wight, UK
    Learn songs, songs and more songs. In all styles. Get compilation albums of different styles and work them out if you can and get the sheet music/tab if not. As a beginner this is essential for developing your ear.

    Also devote some time to learning to read music and spend some time reading every day. As basic as you can to begin with. That will boost your overall playing more than you can imagine. There will suddenly be a world of written music available to you and in the long run you'll be on the road to becoming a pro. Its no different to devoting time to learning a spoken language. You can get by without reading but its better if you can. And imperative if you want a job.

    From a more technical standpoint, learn:
    Intervals -major, minor, perfect, augmented and diminished
    Scales - major, modes of the major scale, harmonic minor, melodic minor, pentatonics, blues to start with
    Chord construction basics which allows you to learn:
    Arpeggios - triads, 7th chords, added note chords, extensions, altered extensions, suspensions
    From these basic principles you can learn more about functional harmony and other aspects of theory and see how things relate when you learn chord progressions.

    Of course, you don't really need to learn anything like this to just enjoy learning to play but it sounds like you want to be quite organised with practice so it's worth getting serious.
    Ear training is also important but don't worry about it for now. Learning lots of songs will help that side of things no end.

    Out of everything i'd devote the least time to techniques like slapping and tapping. I wasted my time in spending most of my first few years trying to show off doing all that stuff. Its fine to do it but don't spend 'all' your time trying to play things you'll hardly ever use on gigs and certainly not in a pro capacity. In the last 20 years I've been paid as a sideman to play about 3 songs that use slapping and none that use tapping.

  14. Girl_Bahista


    Jul 17, 2013
    @ shatner-thank you for that outline. thats exactly what i need =).

    I practice songs in my mp3 list, it is really awesome. But i admit that i get frustrated when i cant play it decently.I would record myself and got to see whats my weakness and work a bit for it..there are times i think that though music is my passion it seems as if music is not "into me" as the same way im into "him"(music). you know, im feeling its like one sided-love.haha. but i dont think im giving up..

    My friends told me that music is both science and art, you can study/memorize everything from theory etc, but the application is the most difficult part of the journey.
    this is was epiphany to me.
  15. Hiya. Shatner was my old username and I as accidentally logged in on my ipad.

    Don't lose heart when you feel like you're not getting anywhere. You'll go through ups and downs and it can take a while to start seeing progress but then you'll suddenly hit a really productive period when everything seems to click and make sense.

    My old bass teacher did a great lecture for a group of us bass players at university that was all about the psychological peaks and troughs in your practice. If you picture a sine wave going up and down then that pretty much matches your state of mind towards your ability. You practice hard and feel like its a bit of mountain, but productive all the same and then you hit a peak when you feel like your playing is where you wanted to get to through that practice. Then you start to slip down the mountain as you become used to the ability you've acquired and feel like you aren't being as productive. This continues til you hit a bit of a lowpoint that spurs you into renewed optimism and the pattern starts again. It's basically just ups and downs. Just have faith in the process and try not to get frustrated.