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Critique my playing?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Zephrant, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. Zephrant


    Dec 10, 2013
    Spokane, WA
    Hello- Fairly new player here, but really want to play well enough to join a band. Here is a 2+ minute video of my playing. Kind of a dry-run for a demo tape-

    Zephrant on bass
    (Be patient on the download, 40MB and it's coming from a server with a slow link).

    Any/all tips are welcome.

    Besides learning the songs better (practice!) Things I'm seeing:
    • I need to direct record audio to the camera, not use the speakers/mics.
    • I need to look more energetic.
    • I need to be more accurate on fretting, and hitting the exact timing.

    So, would you be embarrassed to share a stage with me still at this point?

    How I recorded: Klipsh 5.1 playing MP3, Berhinger BXL3000 for my bass, recorded with a Panasonic HC-V720 in HD/60. Stitched together in iMovie, then reduced in size by Handbrake.
  2. Well done. I'd say you are right on track for a newer player. 2 areas I would recommend focusing on.

    1). Sit down and play along with these songs without looking over at your lefty hand on the fretboard. You will hit bad notes, but don't worry, you will improve in time.

    2) practice alternating your index and middle finger on your right hand with every stroke. Do while playing scales, or when you are practicing songs, but trust me...this is a HUGE deal.

    Finally, aesthetically, I believe your aim would be better achieved if you played sitting down.

  3. Zephrant


    Dec 10, 2013
    Spokane, WA
    Funny that you mention sitting- I usually play with my feet up, and the bass angled back against me. It's comfortable, and I can see my fingering easier. But I was thinking that most gigs would be standing, or at least a stool, so have been working on that.

    I do practice playing with my eyes closed, but certainly need to do more. I'll work on that.

    Good tip on the right hand technique too- I'll work on that too.

    Thanks for watching-
  4. Cool! No need to close your eyes...just don't look to your left lol! This will force your fingers to 'find the note' and will become more natural the more u do it.

    The right hand thing is a BIG deal. I once took a lesson and showed my teacher a line I was having trouble playing. He pointed out that my inability to alternate my index and middle fingers properly was to blame. So I started doing excercises to improve my technique and it was a HUGE game changer! I think it is the most important technique to master! Here is a video that will help.
  5. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    You seem to be off to a good start. The one suggestion that I'll offer is to get the thumb of your fretting neck behind the neck. Wrapping it around the neck like you do in that video will restrict your movement.

    Talkbass member Adam Neely describes it well here:

    However, Fergie Fulton, another active member here, has some different opinions:

    I prefer the approach that Adam advocates, with the thumb pointing out, rather than up (the "bad" position that Fergie correctly identifies). Fergie has certainly put much more thought into ergonomics than most bassists, fwiw.

    Keep working, you're making good progress.
  6. Zephrant


    Dec 10, 2013
    Spokane, WA
    Thank you, I see what you mean. I've picked up a few bad habits already, so I'll be working on them.
  7. Camaro


    Sep 25, 2013
    Germany, NRW
  8. Eatapeach1965


    Nov 29, 2013
    Awesome thread...new to bass myself.