Drummer wanting to convert to Bass

Discussion in 'Welcome Forum - New Member Intros' started by Brian189, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. Brian189


    Jun 28, 2016
    I've been playing drums for many years and I wanted to learn bass for a number of reasons:

    I've become bored of drums. I think I've plateaued due to this. But I would prefer to remain part of the rhythm section.
    There are way too many drummers (and guitarists as well) out there compared to bass players. Meaning fewer band opportunities.
    I'll soon be selling my single house and moving to an apartment where practicing drums will be out of the question.

    So I'm here looking for advice from experienced players, what tips you can give me on how to get started the right way and not use my practice time poorly (knowing that lots of practice time is a given here).

    Thanks in advance.
  2. tilt724

    tilt724 Not too old to learn...I hope!

    Jan 1, 2016
    I tyPE beTTeR thAn I plaY bASS. So YOu won't hEaR frOM me wiTH ADvice on THIS fOrRUM buT i Can fULLfill dutIEs as a TB GREETER. wElcOME AbOArD! :D
  3. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    You have to fire yourself first.. Then consult with the drummer about joining the band.
  4. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Do you have a bass and amp yet? Let us know in what part of the world you live and I'm sure that you'll receive teacher recommendations to get you started.
  5. Brian189


    Jun 28, 2016
    I'm in the Philadelphia suburbs.
    I have a bass, but not an amp yet. I'm open to recommendations on that as well.
  6. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    What styles of music do you like to play?

    I don't know of anyone in the Philly area.
  7. Brian189


    Jun 28, 2016
    I'm pretty much open to any style of music. Mostly classic rock, pop and dance kind of music. My last band was a metal band. Part of starting a new instrument may be to open up my tastes to other types of music as well. Particularly if it helps me learn better/faster.
  8. It is really important to learn some fundamental and basic skills 'really well'

    Holding the guitar in a way that is comfortable for you

    learning to pluck or pick the open strings at a slow tempo and keep the tone smooth and the time steady

    Then be able to develop that into a fundamental form like a 12 bar blues with a turn around and learning to fret the correct notes smoothly

    If you can do that consistently at slow tempo on root quarter notes and with a good tone in any one key and then transpose that to every key, you will be establishing a basic foundation and vocabulary that you can build on ...

    There are many people on this forum who can offer much more advice but we all have to start somewhere and learning to pluck or pick the bass e string is as good a place to start ....as anywhere ...

    And I dare to venture that all good bass players know and can play the fundamentals really well

    Think quality as compared quantity ...

    Think, when you were drumming, what made one bass player stand out from any other

    I would suggest, good time and good tone ...and leaving the drummer space to do the drumming stuff ...
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass!!!!!

    My advice? Get yourself a nice little mixer....maybe a Rolls or something like that.....which will allow you to practice with headphones and also jam along with music you like. In the next few weeks your tone goals will change several times. Buying an amp may just be a waste of money because you may want something different very soon.

    Practice the boring finger exercises you can find on line. Just like when you practiced the basic diddles and flams on drums, you have to learn the fundamentals before you break into a Geedy Lee style rock gawd jam. Six weeks of nothing but scales and finger exercises will help you develop the dexterity you need to move forward and start doing chord math in your head. Google "permutations". Anthony Wellington has some great material on them. Practice those boring exercises unplugged while watching TV or something so you don't drive yourself crazy and get bored and quit. Once you get that finger foundation under you, the rest won't seem so out in left field.

    I taught lessons for a decade or so and this seemed to work well for the majority of my students.

    Glad you're here! Best of luck with it!
    MalcolmAmos and Steve Ingram like this.
  10. Brian189


    Jun 28, 2016
    Thanks everyone for taking the time to give good advice. Seriously appreciated.
  11. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I know a drummer who decided to learn bass as well, I went with him to help him pick something out--I did try to steer him to some stuff, but he went with an Ibanez ATK--although he may find it heavy.
    Good basses though.
    He now has two.

    But there is good advice here.
    part of the fun is test driving basses & amps.
  12. Hello from the other side of the Delaware!
    I was a drummer long before I played bass. Although I'm probably not experienced enough to give stellar advice, what I did was got right to looking up how to play simple songs, and then learned more theory later (technically I did this on guitar, but it should be similar to bass) Of course, I learned how to hold the instrument first, and other basic technique stuff- it's best to get rid of bad habits before they begin.
    • Coming over from drums that rhythm thing comes over with you. That is hard for a new bassists to pick up. So a lot of the battle is behind you.
    • Amps - for practice any $125 15 watt amp will do for practice. Gigging is another story.
    • I use a VOX headphone amp when I do not want to disturb anyone. Yes, in the apartment those low frequencies will go right through the walls.
    • Most starter basses will play better than you for several years. I use a $350 Yamaha and it still does everything I ask of it.
    • Scales and arpeggios first. Why? So your fingers know where on the fretboard they keep the good notes. Plus your ears need to start recognizing the good sounds from the bad sounds.
    • Figure out the patterns that are on your fretboard, i.e. G major scale starts @ 4th string 3rd fret, A major scale starts @ 4th string 5th fret, etc. Want the C major scale - it like all the other scales starts at several places on your fretboard; 3rd string 3rd fret, 4th string 8th fret, or 3rd string 15th fret. Yes this is going to take some time and effort, but, well worth it in the long run.
    • Where the notes are and little memory pegs like; from any root note the 5th of the root is up a string and over two frets, or down a string same fret. The 3rd is always up a string and back a fret. Things like that helped me figure out where those good notes are hidden on the fretboard.
    • I found the major scale box pattern to be an old friend.
    • Run from tabs and modes. There are better ways to occupy your time.
    • As I use the major scale box showing the scale degrees in numbers I think in both A, B, C's and 1, 2, 3's. Because of that Nashville numbers became a friend. Do a Google.

    Most of what I talked about can be found at the getting started string in the General Instruction section. How to get started?

    Good luck and welcome to the bottom end.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
    Sgt. Rock likes this.
  13. Sgt. Rock

    Sgt. Rock

    Apr 10, 2010
    Rhythm and "feel" are more than half the battle, so competent drummers are way ahead of most beginners. And a lot of rudiments translate almost directly to the bass. With a little practice a decent drummer can become a serviceable bass player, and with a little more he can become a really good one.
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