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Bassist to be needs help!!!!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Dream, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. Dream


    Jun 26, 2004
    What's up, guys

    Soon, I'm going to buy an amp and bass. When I start playing I do not want to develop any bad habits whatsoever. I would love to take lessons, but I'm tight on money right now, so I can't afford them.

    Could you guys offer me some tips on what kinda stuff to start off on? What all should I learn that will benefit me down the road as a bassist? Any and ALL tips that would get me off to a good start would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!

    Also, if any of you know of a really good beginners instruction DVD/VHS, please include that!
  2. Seraph


    Jan 3, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    im by no means an expert, hell i started a little bit ago, but i started taking lessons after messing around on the bass a lot and i had a ton of bad habits. first remember that you have to alternate your index and the long finger for hitting notes, it'll become second nature after a bit. also, i was taught to put the thumb on the pick up when i was playing the E or D , when i start hitting an A, i move the thumb against E, mainly cause its easier for me to hit them and it mutes the E string. theres no sound uglier than two low frequency strings vibrating at the same time when they're not supposed to. also i move the thumb to between the E and A , so i mute both of them when im hitting the G. it was very annoying for me but i quickly found myself playing a lot cleaner once i got used to it . as for the hand, i've always been taught to use a 1 fret = 1 finger scheme, and i've gotten pretty used to it by now. it was hell on the wrist at first though :s i dunno what else too say, cept have fun and good luck :smug: :)
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I'd suggest saving up a few extra bucks and taking at least one lesson at the beginning. There are a lot of things that would be hard to explain in writing that only a teacher would be able to show you. It's also important that your bass is set up right. If it's not, you may become quickly discouraged because your bass may be a lot harder to play than it should be. I should take my own advice on the Double bass. I've got one sitting around in my house doing nothing pretty much because I'm too cheap and too lazy to get myself a lesson on proper technique and see if it's set up right. I'm pretty sure it's not cuz it's torture to play. The first bass I ever played was set up horribly and I think I wasted 10 years on guitar because of that.

    It's also important (if you want to play properly) that you start off with the proper technique because once you develop bad habits they're really hard to break. One thing I see a lot of new players doing is plucking the strings with their right fingers. You're actually supposed to use more of a sliding motion from one string to the next, and not get under the string. A teacher could show you that real quickly. Left hand technique is another important thing. There are ways to hold you wrist and hand that miminmize the amount of movement you have to make. Watch some really great bass players left hands (assuming they're righties). Looks like they're doing nothing while lots of sound is coming out of them. Then watch a guitarist turn bass player, or inexperienced person - their hand and wrist twist all over the neck. a lot of extra work.

    Just want to add that I don't actaully think the latter is a bad thing - people can come up with some pretty cool styles on ther own. I'm pretty sure flea doesn't play properly, james jamerson had his own technique, and I for sure never got it all down - you expressed a desire to do it right though, and if you really want to, then i'd suggest taking a lesson.
  4. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    My tip would be if you can't afford lessons yet try MusicDojo.com I really, really like them from so far.. ( a week into Jazz improv 1 ). 50 dollars and you get a lesson every week day for 4 weeks. I'd direct questions to the sticky thread about MusicDojo.com
  5. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    I would say jump right in with both feet and attempt to figure things out for yourself for a month or so first...

    some of the most thrilling times for me as a bass player were right at the beginning, where I was starting from absolute zero.. the sheer wonder of picking up the bass, plugging it in and making a sound, any sound..

    you know how a baby bird bonds with the first thing it sees and thinks whatever it sees is its mother? well i think u need to bond with your bass for a while in private :)

    then go out there and soak up and much information as you can !