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Don't know where to start

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by M3kw, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. M3kw


    Feb 7, 2013
    I've been playing bass for around 7 years, we play covers for 60s 70s 80s rock. But for some reason I still suck. I can't improvise much beyond the A-E or the major scale.

    I need some pointers on what I should do to start playing like a non parrot.

    Pissed! Confused.
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    How much do you know about how chords are constructed? Know any theory? Can you read? If not, I'd suggest finding a teacher well versed in theory and jazz and start learning it. Call your local college's music department and ask if they can recommend anyone if you don't know of anyone. Quickest route to being a good improviser out there.
  3. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    I think you want to play what you want to hear. With bass a lot of times you can hear this from what the guitar and and vocals are doing, then you want to play that for some fills. Can you play the fills in your head? Then there's always the standard sort of fills.

    Sounds silly, but can you play any nursery rhyme songs? Can you figure out Happy Birthday without reading?
  4. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Learning a little theory is the best way to break out of a rut. And a little theory will usually lead quite logically to a lot of theory.

    To start with learn the major scale. Then learn about triads and how chords are constructed. Then look at how you can make different triads from the notes of the major scale, and you'll get some understanding of how chords relate to eachother and start to get a better idea of what you can do on the bass to link them together or change the feel of a song depending on the movement of the bass part. You should also look at the circles of 4ths and 5ths and you will spot them in use in pop music all over the place.

    Just a decent understanding of those few points would make you a better bass player than most. And bear in mind the knowledge you pick up from that can be used for any scale.
  5. Volpe25


    May 5, 2012
    First of all if you don't know much basic music theory e.g chord construction, then consider getting a teacher or pick up a book if you don't want to pay for a teacher.

    Secondly, scales, practice, practice, practice! Play them until you don't have to think about them! And don't just only play them going down across the strings, play them on one string, then the next, and so on, until you know them inside out across all strings. If you know your scales (as simple as they may be) you'll find yourself relating the notes to one another easier.
  6. You can find tons of lessons on YouTube
  7. M3kw


    Feb 7, 2013
    Thank you all very much! I will do those theory and scale practices and come back here to tell you sensei my results!
  8. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    I wouldn't trust Youtube nor 90% of the net for any real valuable info just because everybody can try to teach or give info which is questionnable at best.

    I would search for a teacher from your local music university or one of their students. You would have much more valuable info. Even an official theory book ( the older the better if you ask me ) would be 100% better than Youtube or even here ( there is a lot of misunderstanding and arguing which may confuse more than help ).
  9. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Get a teacher. If not, check out Scott's bass lessons online. They're free and well thought-out.
  10. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    Scotts and MarlowDK are both excellent Youtubers
  11. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    The most important thing would be to decide what you DO want to sound like.

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