Beginner has gotta question

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by peruvianshifty, Jan 22, 2002.

  1. I am a relativly new begginer to this and i am trying to teach myself to play. I was wondering what are somethings i could do to help move me along quickly into learning. I know to practice everyday is one of them but i was wondering waht are some easy songs to learn or maybe a good book or two? Anything would be greatly appreicated.
    Thanks, Glen
  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Hi, Glen! Welcome to TalkBass!

    A suggestion, if I may. The search function is very powerful - beginning bass is something that's been covered in detail many times. I recommend reading some of the past threads in the archives for starters. Then, if you have any specific questions, ask away!

    Again, welcome!
  3. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    ill chime in and lend a helping hand here.

    IMO you should learn things such As: proper finger positioning, alteration between your picking fingers, Theory, site reading, all the major and minor scales, their arpeggios, etc.

    a couple of good books imo are:

    The Bass Guitar Scale Manual
    Ed Friedlands: Building Walking Bass Lines

    its ok to learn some covers when your doing these other studies, but I highly recomend that you make the theory behind it all priority one. You'll save yourself alot of headaches down the road.
  4. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    This is my number one piece of advice: Get a teacher. They cost money, yes, but BELIEVE ME, it saves you much wasted time in the long run. Even if you don't want to shell out the bucks for regular lessons, at least pay for one or two as you start, so the teacher can at least point you in the right direction. They can help you with finger positioning, posture, reading, and all those things. I think if you go to one or two, you'll end up going to many more after that! I also thought that I could teach myself, but teaching yourself something you don't know leads to nothing but confusion. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I learned more at one lesson than I did with six months of noodling around with a book. But that's just me.

    Good luck!

    go to lessons print it all, put in 3 ring binder and read it for about a half hour to an hour everynight. you don't even need to touch your bass for about a week, but when you do you will have a much stronger knowledge of the bass;) Good Luck
  6. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2000
    I agree 100%, a good teacher will be extremely helpful in learning. The other thing that I found extremely helpful when starting out was playing with a simple drum machine or even a metronome. This will help you develope a sense of rythm and time.
  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    A word about practice: This is advice I actually read in a golf book. It says, "Practice is only good if you are practicing correctly."

    Thus playing major, minor and pentatonic scales hour after hour is hardly useful if you are fingering badly, your timing is off and you have no idea about the context within which the scales will be used.

    That's why at least a few good sessions with a teacher will do wonders for you because the teacher/coach can see and hear immediately if your technique (left or right hand) needs attention, if your timing is flawed, or if you have other problems.

    Also, even learning to play simple songs will be better if a teacher can hear you play, again for timing, for attack (loud, soft, consistency), best choice of fingering, etc.

    A teacher can actually speed up your learning by pointing out what areas you need to improve, what areas you are doing well and lead you to the next level.

    Here is a caveat. Some people do not like to be coached and do not respond well to advice or constructive critiicism and are discouraged rather than motivated by a teacher's guidance. If you are one of those, at least buy a good book/CD set or two and follow it through from beginning to end without rushing. Master one section before you go to the next and don't jump around.

    Here's a couple excellent choices:

    "Mel Bay's Complete Book of Blues Bass (with CD) by Mark Hiland."
    Even if you don't play blues, this book will give you a solid basis for rock, pop, R&B, reggae, jazz, and gospel.

    "Fingerboard Harmony for Bass Guitar" (with CD) by Gary Willis

    "The Gig Book of Bass Scales", every scale in every key. Does not contain comprehensive explaination,though. Is an excellent reference tool.

    Lastly, you might wish to buy a "fake book" which has many, many songs. There are dozens of fake books. You might prefer one such as "One Hundred Biggest Pop Hits of the Last Decade" or similar titles.
    Most fake books don't have the bassline (though some do.) But you will have the key and chord progression. That way, you can play your own basslines along with the song.

    Guitar World magazine has about five rock songs each month with basslines. Check out recent issues. Their selection tends to be more along metal lines most of the time.

    Good luck in your endeavor whether or not you eventually choose a teacher.
  8. I agree with all of this but thats why I told him to not pick up the bass. I can't see paying someone 30 bucks an hour to teach me modes when I can get them for nothing. Your right about the mechanics of bass if you learn it wrong first it's going to take 5 times as long to learn it corectly.

    I say read all the lessons in libster and get a fairly good understanding of scales, modes, timing, get familier with the notes on the fretboard and then go take lessons you will save yourself a couple hundred bucks. Then when you realize how gratefull you should be to me for saving you all this cash you can send half to me:)
  9. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Welcome, you will find a wealth of information here. Just dont go downstairs until you have cut your teeth.


    :D :D :D
  10. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    i agree with you on this to some extent. Ive been learning the modes, intervals and stuff like that on my own from this site. Its a great way to learn yes, but a teacher teaching you it im person is always better imo, as you can stop and ask him a question right on the spot. Ive found that alot of times its hard to ask a question or give a proper answer when you have to type it out. Somethings just need to or are better explained face to face in person.
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Different strokes, I guess. But my personal experience tells me that I progress at an EXPONENTIALLY higher rate when I have a teacher than when I don't. And as far as I am concerned, my progress is worth a hell of a lot more than money to me....but that's just me. YMMV.

    Keep in mind, I am a professional music teacher and player, so you can always argue that I'm just trying to drum up business. But personally, I hope to continue taking lessons (even if they are spaced further apart than they used to be) until I'm too old to pick up a bass. No matter how good I get, I can always find someone who's got some @#$% down that I want to learn. Rufus Reid still takes lessons for this very reason, and I admire him for it.
  12. er.....what does 'exponentially' mean?:confused:
  13. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY


    ex·po·nen·tial (ksp-nnshl)
    Of or relating to an exponent.
    Containing, involving, or expressed as an exponent.
    Expressed in terms of a designated power of e, the base of natural logarithms.

    expo·nential·ly adv.

    Translation: way, waaaaaaaay better progress in this case.
  14. um....rightio then. thanks.

    why oh why does my username provoke such ridicule? why did i not simply use something sensible like.....well anything better than spit of camel. and, more importantly, why is it not possible to make something foolish out of chris fitzgerald? any ideas anyone?
  15. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    You just have to use your imagination. NOSEBLOW "Tofu" TABEVIL made me pass most of a bean burrito through my nose once when he addressed me in a post as FSCOTCHTAPE. I'm still trying to recover from that one.

    Feel the Farce, Luke.


  16. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss

    Jiz OnesizeFitzall

    Thats gotta hurt. I have removed alot of things from body cavities, but never a burrito.

    Alpaca Phlegm

    Beware the Clan Tabevil.