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Bad Habits: List Em All

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by -executor-, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. I have been reading stuff from the newbie links and everyone always says self-teaching develops bad habits. Many people do develop these and posting here will help those who already have the habits as well as those like me who are just beginning and trying not to develop bad habits. So if anybody has or had bad habits that they think are common for anybody who plays DB please list them and also the right way of doing things.
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    BAD HABIT #1 - thinking that you can best deal with the physical approach to the double bass by typing to a bunch of strangers on the internet instead of being in the same room with a living, breathing person.
  3. BGreaney

    BGreaney Guest

    Mar 7, 2005
  4. YEAH!! nice. get a teacher. anyway. a couple off hand... holding the bass like a baseball bat, no arch in both hands/arms, resting elbow on the back of the bass, drawing the bow crooked(never mind holding it in a decent fashion) just for starters..
  5. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
  6. GirlBass


    Jul 31, 2005
    New York
    really executor, why the aversion to getting a teacher?
  7. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Speaking for myself, I think my only bad habit is allowing my left shoulder to tense up.

    When I want to go on autopilot and not worry about consciously thinking about this issue, I'll usually grab a stick of gum and chew it while I'm playing or practicing. That completely eradicates my shoulder tension.
  8. Think of everything that could possibly be involved in playing an instrument. Now think of how all those things could go wrong. Multiply by 50.
  9. My teacher's constant list:
    Right Hand:
    1. Bow closer to bridge.
    2. Bow not a balance point.
    3. Bow not parallel to bridge, tip high, tip low.
    4. Right hand too tense.

    Left Hand:
    1. Too tense
    2. Knuckles below finger board, especially in thumb position
    3. Proper stretch with 1st finger

    1. Listening to pitch.
    2. Measuring shifts
    3. Tapering ends of phrases
  10. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Off the top of my head:

    Left Hand/arm:
    1. Hand at the wrong angle
    2. Fingers not curved enough
    3. Hand collapsing during shifts
    4. Thumb in the wrong position
    5. Too much pressure with thumb
    6. fingers not supporting eachother
    7. fingers not covering positions correctly
    8. Hand not forming the proper shape (like a C)
    9. Elbow collapsing
    10. Poor fingering technique, especially during shift
    11. Fingers drifting to far away from the neck when not in use.
    12. Etc. etc.

    Repeat 1-12 for Thumb position

    Right hand/arm (pizz):
    1. Not loose enough
    2. Not transfering enough energy from rest of body to fingers
    3. Not enough finger meat
    4. Fingers pulling at the wrong angle
    5. Fingers not pointing into the fingerboard
    6. Fingers not fast enough since string tension is higher and physical approach not good enough to play fast
    7. Thumb not in the right position against fingerboard
    8. Need to play through the string
    9. Pulling at the wrong place on the string
    10. Not pulling at the right place depending on where the left hand is.

    1. Feet not balanced
    2. Standing in the wrong position relative to bass
    3. Bass not rest on the right body parts
    4. More I can't think of.

    That's a fast list. I don't have many of the habits above but I definitely had to consciously address them at some point. I didn't even mention stuff for the bow for myself. So If you don't know what half of what I've listed above, you got no business teaching yourself. Just getting help from a pro with the fingering is worth the $$$, much less everything else.

    I'm not going to bother listing the solutions because you won't know what I'm talking about unless you've been taught properly. The real solution is to find a teacher and have them show you how it would work for your body. DB is very physical and 99% of the point out there can't even stumble through all this correctly by themselves.
  11. This is my favorite reply to this thread.
    You go, KUNG FUQUA!:D
  12. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Listing errors means you'll focus on them, rather than on the postive factors one should keep in mind. "Keep a relaxed left hand" is better than "don't tense up"!
  13. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Bad Habit #1: Not Practicing

    Bad Habit #2: Not Practicing Enough

    Bad Habit #3: Finding Excuses For Not Practicing.
  14. Bad habits:
    · Talking to loose women on break.
    · Watching TV during solo (thank god march madness is over).
    . Putting drippy drinks on speaker cabinet.
    · Picking nose and/or scratching on stage.

    Good habits:
    · Going home at end of last set.
    · Cleaning off fingerboard when done.
    · Smiling.
  15. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Damn. Why did I take this gig anyhow...
  16. ellen28


    Jan 23, 2006
    London, England
    I picked up a bad one a few years ago, and immediately got told off. If my thumb got tired of hard bowing i'd move it to rest underneath (french bow), so my fingers then moved to the top. It didn't look or feel correct, but it made my thumb hurt less. Luckily I stopped that! It annoys me if people can't hold their bow correct, so why contradict myself?
    I also have a bad habit of watching the stage (in musicals) whilst playing. Bass parts are so easy and predictable these days and i tend to take my eyes off the music.
  17. I've done that. It seems like it's no big deal until you miss a cue.
  18. MtnGoat


    May 7, 2000
    One thing I did wrong was to play EUB first before buying a good acoustic bass. Now I'm trying to unlearn position markers, the light touch of the EUB, and many other things.
  19. bassbaterie


    Dec 14, 2003
    Houston Texas
    Director, Quantum Bass Center
    #1) Letting anyone (including your teacher) tell you what bassists 'can't' do.
    #2) Forgetting who you are without the bass in your hand.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    True there is no better way than a good teacher, and no broader road to septic playing than a bad one.

    "Double Bass - Cheaper than a Red Convertable [sic], Less complicated than a New Wife."
    I woudn't begin to question that even as I drag my hung-over, rock&roll ass out of bed at 5.30 am, take the day off work, empty my bank account and drive 200 miles each way in my 330,000 mile van to take a lesson...plus, it's a **** of a bigger rush, and it lasts longer. Why 10x more people don't do it (or do it, and treat it like a job) is a mystery. They don't know what they're missing.
  20. Extending my pinkies on my bow hand and my left hand in thumb position.

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