1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Beginner , share some tips man

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by the_vza1, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. the_vza1


    Jun 15, 2004
    ok, ive been playing bass for about a month, ive been getting taught by a guitarist friend

    so far, i know the g major scale, and some songs, mostly easy punk, and some rage against the machine

    but when i practice on my own, i want to progress on my own, but when i practice i end up doing what i practiced with my guitarist, any tips on what i can practice? or maybe something i can read up on?
  2. z4knerd


    Jul 1, 2004
    you could just pick a song, find a good tab for it, and learn it on your own
  3. jimjwl


    Oct 2, 2004
    See if you can find that g major scale anywhere on the neck (hint 1: there are about 5 different patterns for major scales; you can learn them... hint 2: the patterns are on this site too)
  4. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    Find a good bass teacher as soon as you can. It will be worth your time, money and effort (if you find a good one that is).

    Your guitarist friend might be a great guy who's doing the best he can, but he almost certainly cannot help you progress as fast as a good instructor of the electric bass can.

    I played bass for six years with weak technique - I didn't know any better!

    Finally, in the past year, I've made big strides in my mechanics (I've finally focused on it) and it has done a world of good. Much of my learning has come from this site!

    Also, pick out some songs you like and start learning them by ear. This can be difficult work, but it's well worth it for the ear development you'll experience.

    I'm not against tab, but I feel that a bassist should refer to tab only after he's put a fair amount of effort into learning the song by ear.

    Good luck to you. Bass playing can be a lot of fun!
  5. Get good at that scale, and get your friend to teach you a minor scale or something. Then try playing it up and down the neck starting from different frets. For a "major" scale the pattern never changes. You basically shift everything up whatever amount of frets and play it the same way. Just play as much as you can, even the old songs you always play. Just get comfortable on that thing.
  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    You don't say if you know your fretboard. That would be an excellent task to assign yourself if you are not already familiar with your fretboard. For example, have your guitarist friend point to any fret on any string and see if you can name the tone. Another thing is figure out where every G is on your fretboard...as you are working with the G major scale.

    Another thing is play the root of the G major scale, then play its fifth, in every place you can find the G. Then play the octave of every G you can find on the fretboard. Then play the root, third and fifth of every G you can find. Play "games" like that.

    You also don't say if you know anything about chords. You are playing a major scale, but that scale has chords built into it. Learn what they are, what purpose they serve, and how to play them, playing one note at a time. Learn the formulas for chords.

    You also might want to explore other scales besides major and minor. Major and minor pentatonic scales are very useful in music.

    With such tools as having an understanding of various scales, chords, and keys you will be able to create your own baselines, other than just "riding" on root notes.

    Listen to favorite songs over and over, trying to hear the bassline, then try to play it yourself, with and without the music. Be prepared for much trial and error. This activity will help you develop "music memory", the ability to hear music and remember what you just heard.

    Also this is excellent practice for learning the structure of songs...verse, chorus, solos, bridges, etc. Once you can recognize the different parts of songs, you can actually learn songs faster.

    Some things will come faster, some will come slower. Take your time and really enjoy the process of becoming a bassplayer.
  7. the_vza1


    Jun 15, 2004
    thanks for all the advice , i got another small question, for all the time i can remember, ive been listening to mostly hip hop and latin music, would that make it very difficult for me to start experimenting with my own rock bass lines once i get to that level?
  8. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Nope, you'll be looking at the same thing from a different angle, that's all.

    Learn and memorize where the notes are on the fretboard...Start easy -

    E A D G - open strings
    G C F Bb - 3rd fret
    A D G C - 5th fret

    Another good thing to memorize right off the bat is spelling the chromatic scale -

    A - A#/Bb - B - C - C#/Db - D - D#/Eb - E - F - F#/Gb - G - G#/Ab

    The note names together with slashes refer to the same pitch and are called enharmonic spellings. Here's a bass neck map without sharps or flats, you can see what I mean by looking at, say, the E string second fret. That pitch can be called either F# or Gb. Knowing where all the notes are on the neck really helps. Particularly when you're doing some of the other things already suggested, like playing a scale in different postions, or finding all the spots for a certain note...
  9. jimjwl


    Oct 2, 2004
  10. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Lots of good suggestions so far.

    Learn songs, and play along with records. You only know a song when you can play it from start to finish along with the record without making a mistake... getting the right notes in the right order is not enough.
  11. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    :eek: Good God stay away from tab if your trying to actually LEARN something.