any tips for learning bass when your blind?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ivanfeg, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. ivanfeg

    ivanfeg Guest

    Mar 15, 2012
    Hi, I use to play guitar for years, put it down, and now I'm just picking up a 4 string bass guitar. I deffonetly love it way better than playing guitar. lol. But I was just wondering about the proper way to play. Beeing plind, I've never seeing if you hold the bass same as a guitar, stuff like that. I'm also trying to grasp the consept of fillers. Are you suppose to fill and move around on the same string, or are you suppose to jump from string to string as you would when soloing on a guitar?
  2. ivanfeg

    ivanfeg Guest

    Mar 15, 2012
    by the way I also forgot to mention I learn only by ear.
  3. Juggo

    Juggo Guest

    Dec 29, 2006
    Sorry to go off topic a bit but how can you type letters and read on this forum if you are blind? Yeah you hold it the same way as a guitar.
  4. germ_77

    germ_77 Guest

    Jul 16, 2011
    There is a lot of software that reads the screen for you and speech to text and vice versa software out there for that.

    It is not as uncommon as you think.
  5. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    You can certainly hold a bass just like you hold a guitar. As for creating bass lines on the same string or crossing from string to string, there is no one way that you are supposed to use. But, being blind, I would think that crossing strings would be easier than changing positions on just one string.

    That said, you will need to change position to some degree, but you can more easily increase the overall range of the notes you play by crossing all four strings rather than moving up and down on just one or two strings.

    I play mainly fretless and I often play with my eyes closed to reinforce my hand-eye or hand-head memory. Even though you can't see, the position of your hand relative to your brain will provide a strong foundation that your body will remember. Best of luck!
  6. smallatom


    May 13, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Euphonic Audio & Thomastik-Infeld Strings
    Yes, like FretlessMainly hold a bass like a guitar. Are you playing with a pick or with your fingers on your right hand (assuming you're right handed)? If you're playing with a pick, I'm sure you have it covered because of your guitar background. If you're playing with your fingers, rest your thumb on the pickup for now. I usually rest my thumb on the E and A strings for muting purposes, but it's hard to describe that technique in writing. So anyway, you would rest your thumb on the pickup and alternate your first 2 fingers on your right hand to play the strings. If you are playing on your A string, your fingers will hit against the E string after each note...they will rest there, it's actually called a rest stroke. that's the angle you want. I hope that helps, it's hard for me to describe it.

    Some other things...

    Relax your fretting hand and concentrate on playing cleanly. If you are only playing C on your A string (3rd fret), you shouldn't be hearing the E string ring out. If your hand is relaxed, try to use one of the free fingers to mute the ringing string. Try to use that muting technique for all strings.

    You mentioned fills. You can certainly stay in one position and utilize string crossing, but also be aware that a C on the 3rd fret of your A string sounds different than the same C on the 8th fret of your E string. The C on your E string will be much fatter sounding. Also, open strings are thinner in general which may be good or bad, depending on the sound you're going for. These are just things to consider depending on your stylistic preference. Also, if you want to slide up to a low C for a fill, you may want to slide to the 8th fret on the E string because the slide is longer and sounds fuller...there are many factors.

    You mentioned that you play by ear and that will help you with all of this. Listen to records and check out some basslines and fills. Try to play them exactly like they are on the record and you might be able to tell (if you listen closely) where they bass player is playing the notes on the neck. it's hard at first, but it becomes easier.

    If you have any trouble with these mechanics, I recommend taking a couple lessons with a bass teacher. He or she will be able to instantly recognize any bad habits or technical problems and set you on the right path. I hope some of this info is helpful to you. Good luck and have fun playing your new instrument!
  7. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada
    i'd rather loose my site than my hearing or fingers/ hands i've thought about this occasionaly .....the more you play the more you're hands/ ear will know where to go when moving from string to string.....the tougher thing about lack of site would be a large positon shifts up or down the neck....but if you keep playing enough your hands will know exactly where to go from string to string in a given position...

    it's a matter of time and practice! i wish you the best!
  8. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Yup, playing without looking is what a lot of upright players do.
    They mentally know where they are all the time.
  9. bherman

    bherman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    Where are you located? Might be good if an experienced TB member could get with you and give you a quick orientation. I'm near Denver, if that helps...
  10. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Well, the secret to the upright is that the neck gets thicker and your hand feels that as it goes up the neck.

    I was thinking about this and maybe some narrow strips of tape on the back of the neck at strategic points so that your thumb will feel where you are on the neck for the different positions. If not, you'll still get used to moving on the neck just from experience. It's a feel thing and you'll get it.

    Also, yes you hold the electric bass like a guitar. I would suggest getting a strap and setting it so that the bass is in the same position whether you are sitting or standing. This will help you by having the same reach when you play.