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About to graduate from college, need advice on musical direction

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Kevin V, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Kevin V

    Kevin V

    Mar 12, 2003
    Union, New Jersey
    Hi guys,

    I've been playing bass recreationally for 5 years now and at 21years old I'm about to finish off senior year at a really challenging university. I see the finish line, but all I can think is, wow, I really want some new bass gear to reward myself for putting up with all this endless work.

    This is kind of a fork in the road for me, so I can really use some advice, and I know a lot of you guys do not mind sharing your opinions - I appreciate it.

    When I graduate, I'm looking at service/volunteer type positions and then possibly going to grad school. I'm hoping to have more time to play bass, get better, and hopefully be able to play in more of band type setting - writing songs, playing covers, doing small shows, who knows maybe get famous ;).

    While I'm good at playing "stuff" and creating lines/riffs, my timing is not great and I have no grounding in music theory. As far as my gear goes, I have an Ibanez gsr200 bass, a Gk 400rbIII amp, a Gk backline 2x10 cab, and a 10Watt practice amp.

    As a graduation present for myself, I really want to buy a new bass. I'm thinking of a Fender Hoppus Sig, and then keeping my Ibanez as practice/backup. I also want to eventually get an Avatar NEO 4x10.

    Ideally, I want to practice and get MUCH better. Should I just practice along with my favorite music/tabs, or should I really try to get lessons? I've been good at balancing many responsibilities all my life, but now I really want to make bass/music main my passion besides my career.

    Again, I haven't been involved in the music world that much, so any advice on my best bets are highly appreciated. Remember, I'm out of college and not that well funded, although I am not afraid of making certain investments.

    Thanks for your advice.

  2. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    Take lessons, more gear can wait.

    If you want to get any gear, I'd say upgrade the amp first.

    If you can't afford lessons, get a metronome and learn to read music. See if there's an under grad basic music theory class where ever you go to grad school.
  3. Get the metronome first and start playing with it. If you want to play with a band, locking with the drummer requires you to be able to control your timing. Nobody likes playing with someone whose timing sucks. Its usually worse than you think it is. Stick with it, know that all of us were just as ugly at first. You get better fast. People slow down on hard passages, speed up on the easy parts. If you can't play something in time, slow the metronome down until you can play it in time. You need to get used to playing at a constant tempo. Speed something up only when the entire thing can be done at that speed, not just the easy parts.

    Lots of grooves require playing a bit behind the beat, or a bit ahead of the beat. If you don't know where the beat is, that turns into slowing down and speeding up instead of playing behind or ahead of the beat, but maintaining the beat.

    You'll get a lot farther in the music biz with simple, solid basslines and good meter. Most bands don't like a bass player doing lots of complicated licks even when they ARE done in time... if you land out of bounds all the time from these licks.... that's even worse.

  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Check out the link in my sig. for some info that you may be able to apply to your situation.

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