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Best way to learn bass technique?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by rockin982, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. rockin982


    Jan 27, 2004
    NJ, USA
    Hi. I'm new to the bass, and trying to learn, but here's where I'm at.

    I've been a drummer for abour 15 years, so I have a very good understanding of rhythm. I understand basic music theory, as well as a LITTLE chord theory, and I can read, although I can't sightread very well since I have no real practice in it. I also discovered a good while ago that I have perfect pitch. I can listen to a piece and pick out what every instrument is doing, although I only have the technical proficiency on drums to actually play any of it.

    That said, what's the best way to being learning bass technique? I can listen to most songs and hear exactly what the bass player is playing in terms of notes and rhythms, unless we're talking about something like "A Show of Hands", and I'm just starting to understand how a bass line is constructed (I think), but I don't know how to approach playing a given bass line in terms of fretting, fingering, etc. I'm also trying to figure out the best way to learn the notes on a fretboard.

    I want to start out learning how to play bass lines, but eventually I want to jump into melodic soloing, a la Michael Manring, John Patitucci, Victor Wooten, and others (although I know I'm years away from that kind of technical proficiency).

    I'm hoping to teach myself, but if I really need to take lessons, let me know that as well. Thanx!
  2. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    I'm a drummer also and have played for 17 years and started learning bass 14 months ago. Everything you said I am the same way, I hear everything! The problem is you hear all these things and it's just matter of learning how to do it. Get lessons, and books on the subject. Playing bass and music thoery are two different things. I started off tab (not recommended) and am learning thoery from an instructor. I found with my drumming background it was easy for me to play the bass, but difficult to understand and apply thoery so that should be your main goal. I mean you already have perfect timing, understand the drum and bass relationship, and have a devoloped ear so your way ahead of the game! So hammer the thoery, get an instructor definately! Start with 12 bar blues that will get you right into simple thoery and progressions, scales, and appregios. Keep in mind your if your right handed it seems to me especially in rock music, the right hand is hitting with the drums but the left is playing with the guitars so you are kind of the link between the two. Also if your going to do it, do it right don't be those hacks you see at the bar just filling or riding the E string, with your drumming background you should have no problem hitting at the right times. Learn some covers to develop your chops. Dont get all crazy start with something easy. Heck Jaco started off on the drums too! Now your on your way to be a total rythym section by yourself, congrats and good luck! :bassist:
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    In my opinion, nothing beats a teacher for learning fretting and picking technique. That teacher, by the way, doesn't have to be a formal instructor. It can be a bass player who is willing and able to demonstrate for you and to guide you as you attempt the techniques. He or she can help correct errors you make and answer questions you have.

    You are very fortunate in that you are already way ahead of the game. You have years of drumming, plus are gifted with perfect pitch. Still, you do need to know how to fret, maybe do some slapping and popping tecnique (which may come easily to you because of your experience as a drummer) and you need some help making bass lines.

    You can teach yourself with books, CDs and DVDs or videos, but I think the process will be faster and more efficient if you can have a real live human being help you at first.

    Welcome to the amazing world of bass playing.

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