Alright, I've bought a bass..

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by home, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. home


    Apr 7, 2009
    Well, after a bit of research I went ahead and purchased a bass today. A Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass to be precise. And, well, I'm very pleased with it. From what I can tell (and this isn't much), it appears to be well-made - not to mention, good looking.

    Also picked up a el-cheapo Behringer Amp (45 watt) which should get me off the ground.

    Anyway, I guess my question is: where do I start?

    I've got limited experience with both the Piano and Saxophone, but this is my first guitar, or even stringed-instrument venture.

    Unfortunately, I'm not in a position now where I can afford tuition (I'm a full-time student, etc.). However, I'm willing to put in the hard yards and teach myself as much as I can.

    What I"m afraid of is, if I teach without guidance, I will most certainly pick up some bad habits, which, may be difficult to break later on.

    So, how should I go about this? Are there any grail-like textbooks going around? Online tutorials? Etc.?

    I'm at a bit of a loss as to where to start, so I thought I'd ask you guys. In the meantime, I'll have a proper search around this site..

  2. Absentia


    Feb 25, 2009
    Follow the stickies at the top of this forum and the one in the technique forum.
    Lots of information there.
    The site I like the most is Studybass it's really easy to follow.

    as for books believe it or not bass guitar for dummies is a great book and pretty much anything published by hal leonard is good.

    There's only one book I can say is the holy grail to anything and that's Slap It, it is the holy grail for slap in my eyes.

    Also you might want to check out Bassmasta it's a tab site which can help get your fingers moving at least, but don't rely on it.
  3. tapp01


    Apr 10, 2008
    Wilmington, NC
    Play with the radio. Even the most respected players had awful technique sometimes. And the piano is a stringed inst.;)
  4. MStrianese


    Jul 26, 2008
    New York
    +1, great info there.

    If this is your first stringed instrument make sure you're using more than one finger on your fretting hand to play, use them all but steer clear from your thumb.

    If you're playing with your fingers anchor your thumb on top of a pickup, a string etc. try not to let it float too much.

    LEARN SCALES! Trust me you will never regret taking some time out from the start to learn scales.

    Also, youtube has some great instructional videos that you can check out for free (not expert village:rollno:).

    I know you mentioned that you have played other instruments but I recommend brushing up on your theory,, it has great ear trainers as well as lessons and much more.

    If you have any specific questions just shoot me a message.
  5. +1 Ed Friedland has a swell collection of books as does Alfred Publishing. MI and Berkeley schools and National Guitar Workshop have good solid books out under various publishers. Stumbled across The Bass Handbook by Adrian Ashton which might be a good overall book for you. The Bass Grimoire shows probably more than every scale you'll ever need. I recommend looking at them in a bookstore if you can to see if they fill your needs.

    Hey, Home: Welcome to The Bass and welcome to TalkBass.
    Unlike the Dark Ages previous to the 1990s, there are TONS of information out there on how to approach this fantastic instrument. Take it slow, focus on accuracy and applying what you learned on keys and wind; build for speed later on. Reach for the horizon but always come back to the basics and work on them. The best guitarist I know practices scales while he watches TV and it shows when he plays.
    * Never forget that the bass is a supporting rhythm instrument.
    * Learn to WALK on bass.
    And HAVE FUN.
  6. home


    Apr 7, 2009
  7. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    This is where I started.

    The lessons are great.

    I did this for the basics and, like you, I was afraid of bad habits so I found a teacher. He primarily teaches tabs but I can read music from my trumpet and piano days.
  8. Cabazon


    Jan 20, 2009
    I'd say it's fairly important, especially if you're going to be teaching yourself, as a lot of books out there are in standard notation.
  9. bass player 48

    bass player 48

    Nov 17, 2008
    Good choice on the VM Squier. Perfect... and very wise choice to get a little instruction and avoid bad habits.

    When I started, a good player (who later became my teacher) told me that if you can't take lessons, carefully work through this book:

    I felt it served me well, and gave me a solid foundation. Mostly to get your mechanics together - it sounds like you already understand muisic a bit.
  10. Parrot-Head


    Jan 16, 2009
    That's exactly where I am starting with the same book. It is really good and I am learning to read music too! You can't go wrong.
  11. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    or it is a percussion instrument?
  12. Gab124

    Gab124 The path is greater than the destination

    Dec 30, 2006
    I would do some research with the benefits and drawbacks to the anchored thumb technique mentioned and really compare that to the floating thumb. I have played 20 years and I am now actively trying to retrain myself from anchor to float and I find there to be many more benefits to the float. (understanding that a hybrid approach is also very good) Read up on the two before you really solidify one technique to the other - they both have their benefits. Also, if you plan on someday playing in a band make sure your posture when practicing is close to a standing posture. Ex, wear your strap even when sitting, and try not to just rest the bass on your right thigh - this will keep you from having problems when you go to the standing postion and your fretting arm is suddenly straining to reach places. And, as mentioned make sure you use all four fretting fingers right from the start!