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! :)

Brand new to Bass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by TurboChiken, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. TurboChiken


    Jan 7, 2013
    Hey guys I just recently decided to start playing bass, its the first instrument Ive played, er. decided to START playing.. lol and I'm just looking for advice on what to do and what not to do so I don't develop bad habits right out of the gate.. after practicing for almost a week with a game I picked up for my 360, Rocksmith, I feel I'm making progress but I'm having a hard time with switching from string to string, and from fret to fret seeing how I'm watching for the notes on the TV, I try not to look down too often, but that's one of my minor problems, just wanting any advice on how to correct my problem with switching strings? :help: and anything else that can help someone brand new to playing any kind of instrument :bag: Any help you guys can give me is very much appreciated!
  2. progrmr


    Sep 3, 2008
    Columbus, Ohio
    I've got Rocksmith - it's not bad but there's a lag from on-screen indication of when you're to hit a note and that note coming out of the TV. That said, I think the game is better suited to bass than guitar.

    As for learning bass I'd say your best bet is to get an instructor to show you the basics. Practice regularly - study some basic music theory along with learning new stuff you like and re-playing things you already know.

    Get a metronome and get in the shed :)
  3. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Get a copy of the book Bass Guitar for Dummies. It will have all the fundementals you need to get started, i.e. how to hold it, how to tune it, how to get sound from it, and how to mute some of the sustain. The patterns and visual aids are some of the best out there.

    The Internet site www.studybass.com is also another area you will want to spend some time.

    Now going from string to string. A lot of what we do is play roots of a chord, i.e. roots = the name of the chord, or the first note or root of the chord. See a C chord you play a C note on your fretboard. This leads to playing Root - five of the chord. Root note on beat 1 and the five on beat three, R-5. Where is the fifth of our root on the fretboard? Up a string and over two frets. So there is your first string to string exercise. Scale notes C, D, E, F, G, A, B. C is the root, D is the second degree of the scale, what is the fifth of the scale? Yes it's the G. Where is that on the fretboard? Up a string and over two frets. In relations to the root the fifth is always up a string and over two frets. http://www.studybass.com/lessons/common-bass-patterns/roots-and-fifths/

    Check out the number 6th exercise 1.

    What to do with that? Find some fake chord sheet music and play just root notes right now - to the chord changes.
    OK find a C note on the 3rd string. How about the one at the 3rd fret. Where is there a G note? Right below the C on the 4th string. Where is there a F note? Right above the C on the 2nd string. Yep this is not rocket science. Place your tonic root note on the 3rd string and your chord changes become a simple matter. Most of the time.

    Hap-py is a two syllable word as is birth-day so they will get two beats or two notes each. The word "to" gets one beat or note as does the word "you". But on you we change notes to the G note. Where is the G note? Yep right below the C note you have been using. Drum Roll............ Keep sounding the G note till you get to the second word "you", change back to the C note. One note per lyric syllable. Keep going with this new C note till you get to the next chord change word which will be the word "Dear". Chang back to the G note for one beat and then quickly change to the F note. Where is the F note? Right above the C. Keep going and you will have played your first song.

    When that flows, in a couple of weeks, add the fifth to your root and see how that goes. Hap-py = root-5. Birth-day = root-five. The word "to" gets one C note and then you change roots to the G note. Now Hap-py again gets a root-5, but, this time it's the G note and the D note. It'll take some time, keep trying.

    Have fun.
  4. TurboChiken


    Jan 7, 2013
    Ok, awesome major thanks to both of you, Ill have to get me that book, and find someone maybe at the local guitar center who teaches bass, after practicing tonight i feel im getting better, slowly but i can see somewhat of an improvement, still a little trouble on the strings though, and missing frets as i play different ones, such as, but not limited to, over shooting 5th fret and landing on 6th.. due to watching the notes on screen. o_o anyways, thanks for your help and advice!
  5. Einherjar


    Dec 1, 2012
    Lakewood, CO
    Don't feel too bad about over shooting the frets playing in rocksmith. I got that game for Christmas, and I do it too. Except I've been playing for 12 years. Just got back into playing two months before getting that game after a three year hiatus. The real downside is when watching the notes you cannot adjust to make it read as if you're watching someone else play. However, I find the inverted display better, because then it reads like tablature.

    Studybass.com is a great resource. Make sure you develop a disciplined and regular practicing routine. Most of playing any instrument is muscle memory, so the more often you do it, the better you get.

    Definitely get a teacher. A good teacher. Before signing up make sure you talk to them about how long they've played, their accomplishments, and influences to make sure you're being taught the direction you want to go. Hell, ask if you can sit in on a lesson with one of their students that's been with them the longest.

    Also, buy a drum machine (personal recommendation is the Alesis Sr16) so that way you have something to play along to where you have total control of the rhythm and speed you're playing at. It helps to go slower when you're first starting. And when you lock in you can make it faster, and faster, and have precision AND speed.

    Hopefully those suggestions help. Best of luck to you.
  6. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    We've all been there, it just takes time. Getting an instructor is a good idea and will save you a bunch of time.

    Again, have fun.
  7. Find easy songs you really like, find the tabs, and play along. Many people will tell you not to use tabs at first, but as long as you develop reading skills later, I believe in using them to learn to play, get immediate return to keep you interested, and have the advantage of learning songs. What type of music do you like?
  8. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    The first book I had was the old school Hal Leonard Electric Bass by Dan Dean. It was super dated, but I practiced with the tape copy I made of the plastic record (yes, record) that came with it religiously. Then to help keep me motivated I started trying to learn covers like Black Sabbath and early Metallica. I wanted to play with other people as soon as I could; it always ups your game, even if its with one other person and they suck.

    I can't tell you about using videos, I never used them. I do have a super bad habit of staring at my fret board.
  9. I'll second that. Great book, to me. I took bass up again a few months ago, and got that book just for the amount of information it has in one place.

    Other than that, just keep practicing. Your hands will learn.
    Work on stuff you like. Either find tabs, or better yet, IMO,
    find videos of people playing covers of songs you like and(as long as you can hear and see everything) learn by watching and listening.
  10. The lag on the game is fixable, it's all in how you hook it all up to whatever PC/Game console you're playing on. On my PS3, I have the PS3 HDMI output to the TV, and the A/V audio out to to my stereo, with the TV sound turned off. Audio output on the PS3 is set to split the signal between the two. The lag is imperceptible with this setup. Plenty of info on this at the Official Ubisoft/RockSmith forums.
  11. Sorry to say as it will be frustrating, you are going to either look down while playing or sit in front of a mirror. Get a metronome and play at slow speeds slow enough to move around without hitting dud notes, eventually you will get faster and start to know your instrument.

    Ps. We all have to go down to slow speeds for new stuff (like the tapping i'm practicing at the moment, slow at first but worth it in the end!)

    + Congrats on choosing Bass as your first instrument, your in for a whole loada fun!
  12. Balog


    Mar 19, 2009
    Bothell, WA
    MalcomAmos, that was the best description of that I've ever seen. You should be a teacher. :)
  13. TurboChiken


    Jan 7, 2013
    Thanks for all the help from all of you! i appreciate it very much, anything helps!
    well i mainly like punkish type music, Rise Against is my favorite band, has been since middle school, stuff like them, sum 41, blink 182, i also like heavier stuff and older stuff as well, ac/dc, motley crue, def leppard, parkway drive, coheed and cambria, just about anything rock
  14. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    Play a lot. Your ears are far more important than your fingers.
  15. Einherjar


    Dec 1, 2012
    Lakewood, CO
    There's a lot of easy-ish punk stuff out there. Blink-182 is a perfect example. Also the Ramones. The Misfits. Green Day has SOME easier stuff but Mike Dirnt writes some pretty busy bass lines (can't speak for their stuff post 2002 because I haven't listened to it). If you're feeling like a challenge, learn some Rancid or Descendants/All. There's also a lot of really fun ska-punk bass lines out there though many may be beyond your level at this point and could be discouraging. But it's something to look forward to!