bored of playing easy bass lines

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by jazzbassist, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. jazzbassist


    Aug 1, 2005
    been playing for five years, but now im struggling to find any suitable sheet music to play. i dont want instructional books anymore, and most band music is too easy. so im looking for a really challenging bass book. any recomendations would be great! thanks
  2. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Are you looking for solo pieces or busy basslines to play with a band? For solo tunes, this book will keep you busy for a looong time.

    For demanding basslines, I think this one will be enough for a while.

    Hope this helps.
  3. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    Try "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" for some groovy stuff to play with a band. Lots of transcriptions of tunes ranging from easy to VERY HARD. If you can site read, Home Cookin, For Once in My Life, Bernadette, or How Long has that evening train been gone, than you should be trying to transcribe the stuff yourself. They're good songs, too.

    There are many more good ones besides the ones I just listed, and lots of great reading on one of Bass' all time great players, too.
  4. jazzbassist


    Aug 1, 2005
    the "best of victor wooten" looks good, ive never heard his stuff and im not sure if the book comes with a cd, this might be a problem, but i might as well order it anyway and find out
  5. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    No. It doesn't come with a CD. In that case it's a good idea to get his solo CDs (you can get them at A Show Of Hands, What Did He Say?, Yin-Yang, Live In America and Soul Circus. The book has songs from the first two albums, plus some stuff from his work with Bela Fleck And The Flecktones. I highly recommend you to get the double live CD "Live Art" from this band and the AMAZING DVD "Live At The Quick". Excellent material from an excellent band (and superb bassist).
  6. zillo


    Jun 5, 2003
    Adam Nitti's Finger Funk workbooks provide quite a workout.
  7. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    Read through Todd Coolman's The Bass Tradition. You won't be bored with that.
  8. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Pick up a copy of the Bach Cello Suites - that'll keep you busy for a while. Also, you could try the Charlie Parker Omnibook, in bass clef.

    I must add this, though: Easy basslines very often aren't. To really nail a bass line, the simple ones are often the hardest. Like a great drummer friend of mine says "I don't know who came up with the idea of calling it 'playing simple', cause it ain't!"
  9. jazzbassist


    Aug 1, 2005
    i dont see how thats constructive. and for a start there is such a thing as simple bass lines, ones which are not technically demanding and require little skill can be classed as simple (theres no easy way around that). All i mean is i want to go forward on my bass, i dont want to playing the same chilli peppers songs ten years down the line!

    p.s. thanks for the suggestions guys, ordrered a book of amozon which should keep me busy for a while
  10. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    It *is* constructive. He recommended books and gave you good advice. In what universe is that not constructive? Don't be so cranky when people are trying to help you, especially when you're getting the advice for free.

    Part of what I think Pac wa saying is that as you get to be a better player, you often start finding subtleties and difficulties in things that you might have been tempted to brush off as easy. For example, perhaps you think that you've got something totally nailed, you record it, and then a year later listen to it again and find that you didn't play it as well as you remembered: you now hear that you couldn't maintain a consistent volume then, your eighth notes were uneven and limping, and your time was nothing more than a magazine. In other words, when held to a higher standard, you *didn't* really have it nailed. Most of us, if we're honest, can say we've been there, so this is not a slam on you.

    Even things that appear to require little skill to play often require more skill than you think to play *well*. This means that they're less simple and easy than you think they are. It sounds like the simplest thing in the world to play simple quarter notes, one to the beat. Try doing it at a tempo of 40, or 300, and do it with consistent tone in great time. It's not so easy then.

    I'm in no way saying don't stretch yourself technically, nor, I'm sure, was Pac. Just don't be too quick to write off the development possibilities in supposedly simpler stuff, don't assume you've mastered something just because you can play it OK, and don't fall under the delusion that more is necessarily better.
  11. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    i dont see how thats constructive. and for a start there is such a thing as simple bass lines, ones which are not technically demanding and require little skill can be classed as simple (theres no easy way around that).

    With all due respect you're completely missing an important lesson. Probably one of the most underappreciated lessons in getting work. Sure there are simple bass lines but how you play them, how on the beat you are, where you put that beat, what feel you impart to them is what it is all about. And THAT is not easy.

    It reminds me of a story about Dave Hoftstra a terrific NYC bassist who was very in demand when I was starting out. He played a lot of jazz, a lot of rock, a lot of sessions and was popular in the downtown avant garde scene that centered around the Knitting Factory in NY. A guitarist I know played a gig with him and was raving about him. A lot of the music they played was half notes and whole notes, no embellishments; there was nothing fancy about the bass playing but my friend kept talking about how there was absolutely no doubt about where the one was throughout. Hofstra could play circles around most players and had a very advanced harmonic concept but what made him so poplular with some very challenging players and composers was how he played even the simplest parts. If you want to move forward in a BIG way keep that in mind while you're playing through all those books everyone has recommended.

    The cat gave you some very constructive advice; run with it. :D
  12. Take Five - Dave Brubeck :p

    It's the simplist group of notes you could ask for ... try and play it perfect every time through. It'll take you years to get it down. Some guys might never. It's about the nuances ... not the notes. :eyebrow:

    The best players I know, play the "simple" basslines best. Because they understand "nuance" (feel). :D
  13. Ooopps ... I forgot to mention the cello thing. Playing Bach cello suites on bass, will certainly improve every aspect of your playing. And open up your relationship with other related instruments. Pretty cool for someone serious about moving up the skills ladder. :cool:
  14. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Maybe what you need to do is get out play more and play more with people that are playing at a higher level than yourself. This will advance you more as a player than anything else.
  15. Right on the money like he says when you play a note you MEAN it held for the duration whether its legato or staccatto with the same precise tone and with feeling nothing more to be said
  16. They are a blast to read too! My Jazz is actually tuned CGDA right now because I've been playing them a bit today! You wanna throw your brain on a trip? Play 5 years of standard bass and then tune in 5ths! It hurts a bit. You can play the suites with standard tuning if you have a 5 stringer (low B) though.

    If you want a challenge, look no further than Bach!
  17. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I was going to post something like this, but Phil put into a succint little package.

    Your profile isn't really filled out - are you currently playing with a group?
  18. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    If you're really a "jazzbassist," then you shouldn't be doing anything less than constantly challenging yourself and playing at and pushing the very limits of your abilities. That said, the Charlie Parker Omnibook in bass clef will keep you busy. For a long time. Good call on that, Pacman.
  19. chilliwilli


    Aug 17, 2005
    Yea you should really hit up some Jamerson lines

    I 2nd the Standing in The Shadows of Motown reccomendaton. Start with the easy-medium difficulty ones because the harder ones will be some of the most demanding bass parts you'll ever play.

    "Come Round Here" by Smokey Robinson was the one i started with. I'd consider it medium difficulty because of the fast sixteenth note figures. Not incredibly difficult, but still impressive and those licks will be sure to turn heads if played right.

    Jamerson was also a jazz bassist himself before Motown and he applies alot of what he learned from that in his motown playing
  20. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Perhaps if you are bored you should look to challenge your ears a bit. Learning difficult basslines by ear can be very rewarding and benificial to your musicianship. Transcribing those basslines can also be challenging and interesting. Books are quite helpfull but, IMO, players should dedicate some of their practice time to listening as well.