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Can Hammer the Roots.........Now What?

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

  1. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    Where I am right now:
    • Play a 4 stringer, fingerstyle but know how to use pick
    • Jamming fairly regularly in a 3 piece
    • Our little "band" is just doing covers of songs such as Blitzkrieg Bop, Ring of Fire, Ball and Chain, etc.
    • My job is to hammer away at the roots
    • I am studying the fretboard so that I know where all the notes are
    • I'm capable of learning simple punk, metal, rockabilly type songs in a short period of time
    • My rhythm is okay but not great
    • I'm no longer a beginner

    My goals:
    • Be the guy in the band that can really hold it all together with my timing and rhythm
    • KNOW my instrument
    • Be able to improvise for fills and mini-solos if we decide to add them in
    • Be savvy at scales, etc. so that I can create original content that is musically correct....I like to create just don't necessarily know what is musically correct

    Okay......so.....I don't think I'm really a beginner anymore. Unfortunately, most content is written/produced for beginners (that I've seen anyway).

    I would love it if you guys could offer up suggestions regarding online lessons or books or practice regimens or what have you that could help me achieve my goals.

    Some would probably suggest live lessons. I have taken some for guitar in the past and in an ideal world of plenty of cash and time I would consider them for bass. I will say that at my current level, I feel like I can mentor myself pretty well with the right materials. Not an equal substitute for a good teacher but we all have to deal with life as best we can......Geez - that sounded dramatic.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

    EDIT: My musical interests are pretty diverse - Love punk, metal, rockabilly but am very much wanting to learn some funk, slap & pop, and reggae as I progress.
  2. ChrisPbass


    Jul 18, 2006
    Fairfax, VA
    God speed! Keep jammin' w/people.
  3. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    Thanks brother!
  4. Narrow it down. Pick one thing and work on that. When that is under your fingers pick another.

    That is the great thing about our instrument, there is enough to keep us busy for the rest of our lives.

    Have fun.
  5. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    Do you mean work on one genre at a time or do you mean work on one goal at a time? Sorry, only one cup of coffee so far today. Brain not at full power.
  6. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Study different bass players ... listen to their music and learn from them.
  7. hgiles


    Nov 8, 2012
    NEXT: Ornament the roots with octaves and fifths.
  8. One goal.

    Your goals:
    •Be the guy in the band that can really hold it all together with my timing and rhythm
    •KNOW my instrument
    •Be able to improvise for fills and mini-solos if we decide to add them in
    •Be savvy at scales, etc. so that I can create original content that is musically correct....I like to create just don't necessarily know what is musically correct

    I'd suggest starting with scales.

    Bass Patterns based upon the Major Scale box.

    Major Scale Box.
    G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
    E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---|4th string

    • Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7 Home base
    • Major Pentatonic = R-2-3-5-6 Leave out the 4 & 7
    • Natural Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 Major scale with the 3, 6 & 7 flatted.
    • Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 Leave out the 2 & 6.
    • Blues = R-b3-4-b5-5-b7 Minor pentatonic with the blue note b5 added.
    • Harmonic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 Natural minor with a natural 7.
    • Melodic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 Major scale with a b3.

    Let the major scale be your home base then change a few notes and you have something different. No need to memorize a zillion patterns. Let the major scale pattern be your go to pattern - then adapt/adjust from there.

    Get those patterns into muscle memory. Now as long as you run those scales in scale order you are just doing scale exercises and they will sound like scale exercises, next step is to use those notes and make melodic phrases from them. What notes make melodic phrases? Chord tones, the root, five, eight and the correct 3 & 7, are used in melodies all the time. Especially the 3. Long story.......

    Have fun.
  9. Rhon


    Jan 2, 2012
    for my own personal clarification the 8th is the octave right? and so the root, fifth, and eighth is a power chord right? thanks for the help
  10. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Start playing with more people. Those simple rock tunes aren't going to get any more challenging - find another group you can play with who do stuff that stretches your ability a bit further.
  11. Scales, will take you a lifetime to master. Play them at all speeds and all different rhythms. Play chromatic scales to increase your hand strength.

    Play with a metronome (sounds boring and long winded but that's practice for you)

    Starting with 40 bpm.

    Thats a great link and if you can complete that completely in time your well on your way to being a unmovable rock of a bass player
  12. Shakin-Slim


    Jul 23, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    That's right. Root and fifth can get you through a lot, but you can also connect your chords with chromatic movement. It takes knowledge of your scales, as well as a certain level of taste, to do it well. One basic run: from a I to a IV chord you can play 1, 2, b3, 3, 4 - played in quarter notes where you hit the 4 on beat one of that chord change. There are many variations depending on when in the I chord you want to start the run, the feel of the song, etc. You can also do descending runs or approach the root of the IV chord from below the root of the I chord. For examples sake, let's say you are playing in E. You could play E on the 7th fret of the A string and then approach the A from F# on the E string.

    These are only a few examples to get you thinking, and by no means should you feel confined to such textbook, although powerful, runs. What is called for will vary depending on the chord changes and whatnot.

  13. Zootsuitbass


    Mar 13, 2011
    major/minor triads,,
    3 inversions
    different fingerings for the arps
    run them in the cycle of fifths

    decide on rhythms to use and stay true to those.

    use a metronome on 2&4,,,, really slowly.

    practice so slow ,,,

    when and how you end the note is just as important as the beginning.

    practice with a musical tone.
  14. Ps you can also practice dynamics using a metronome.... :)
  15. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    Thanks for all the responses guys! Greatly appreciated. Glad I finally posted my request for help!
  16. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    My man, you just simplified scales for me by about a factor of 10! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
  17. viking power

    viking power

    Jul 5, 2012
    Ok, that video just blew my mind. Time to practice!
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