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Can't keep up.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by truecanadian04, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. truecanadian04


    May 4, 2011
    What do you do if your band wants to. play a cover that's just out of your skill level? Or, if you join a band that has a few song recorded and you can't play the bass lines they have written or what they want you to play.
  2. Practice like an animal!
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, that's about all you can do...practice like an animal.
  4. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Practice to the music. It can be the most rewarding experience for you to force yourself upon the material. The songs I used to doubt myself on usually became the most fun to play.

    Get to it.
  5. Cycho


    Nov 30, 2010
    You CAN play it. Slowly. So do that, over and over until it seems easy. Then speed up a little. Use a metronome so you don't start playing faster until you're ready.
  6. Chatdawg


    Jan 26, 2013
    As the others have said. PRACTICE it. Do NOT give up on it.
  7. FerK

    FerK Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2011
    Download Audacity (it's freeware) and slow down the song (it doesn't affect the pitch), and start at 25%. When you realize it's already too easy go to 35%. Then to 50%. That's how I learn all my most difficult covers.
  8. What's REALLY rewarding is putting in the time to get a song, riff,passage that you struggled with - and playing it months later, thinking back how hard it seemed, and now its easy:D
  9. DanAleks

    DanAleks Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult

    Mar 5, 2009
    This is excellent advice.
    Use the metronome to slow you down.
  10. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Simplify. Roots on "one" at first. Learn some music theory so you understand which are the "important" notes, and make sure you always hit those, even if you are forced to omit some of the "decorative" notes. Learn to play through mistakes, so even if you get crossed up in one measure, you hit the downbeat of the next measure.

    If you are keeping good time and supporting the harmony and structure of the song, then any band should consider themselves lucky to have you, in my opinion. :)
  11. gard0300


    Jan 10, 2011
    Vandalia, Ohio
    Muscle memory is key. Everyone's muscle memory develops at different rates. I play some Mighty Mighty Bosstones to build up my stamina and speed. For me it's fun and enjoyable music to play with. Good luck.
  12. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Push yourself.

    I also recommend audacity for training. (I use transcribe, it isn't free)
  13. PipeRain

    PipeRain Operator Of Pointy Basses

    Dec 4, 2012
    Get Transcribe, it's well worth it and then some.

    Use it.



    "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast."
  14. tmntfan


    Oct 6, 2011
    Edmonton canada
    +1, all this is great stuff.
  15. vince a

    vince a

    Jun 13, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    Practice, practice, practice. I once had a cover song that had five, eighteen note solos - all sixteenth notes, all on the 14th through the 21 st fret - and on an already up-tempo song. I think I'm a fairly "OK" bassist, and got most covers that I have needed to learn.

    This one, however, kicked my tail . . . it took about a week of constant practice on that solo to get it . . . persistence is what it takes! Learn the song, practice it until it is muscle memory!
  16. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    Practice is always a simple answer to give someone. But sometimes it's not enough. Like someone said, you can start slow and speed up over time. You can also change technique, like instead of using your fingers, try a pick and vice versa. You can also not play it exactly and try to add your own cool parts that sound just as good.
  17. m0ranwad


    Jan 29, 2013
    As others have mentioned, Transcribe! Software is incredibly useful.

    You can loop those tricky licks, select playback speed, and even isolate the lower frequencies.

    Couldn't believe how perfect it was for practice.
  18. Is it a mental or physical holdup?

    On physically hard passages, I make sure I start with the same fingering pattern and gradually increase speed until I can't mess it up. Stamina will come with time. Not sure if there is much else you can do for that.

    If its a Mental issue, get your theory up. (Assuming you can count in the time signature, If you're timing is off, that is where you need to start)

    Songs are easier to learn when you understand why they do what they do. Knowing chords in a key, chord patterns and so on helps here.

    Sound quality of your practice gear could be a factor. I spent about a few months trying to play along to the crap speakers on my computer. My Bass drowned it out when it was low and I got lost often and couldn't even tell what the original bass was supposed to do because I couldn't hear what was going on clearly.

    So whats the song your struggling with??
  19. TOOL460002

    TOOL460002 Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Santa Cruz CA
    Just play it live at 30bpm.
  20. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    i used to sing on the songs i couldn't play:)

    with all of the tech available today you should be able to figure something out, don't give up

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