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Evaluate me please

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Raman, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Raman

    Raman Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc

    So I'm not a skilled bass player. I'm not a pro. I've had classical training in music when I was a kid, but that was on piano and in a choir. I picked up bass much later in life, at around 21: because I realized that's always the sound that I love best on any track or in any concert that hit my ears. I love bass!

    So I have poor theory, but a great ear and a good vibe for music. Plus I just love my bass!
    Technically if you ask, I'd say I range between Adam Clayton, Peter Hook and Simon Gallup.

    So given all that... Please suggest a good learning method to follow, books, tapes or videos, considering the type of bassist that I am.

  2. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    So....let’s hear what you got bro!
    Kro, saabfender and Raman like this.
  3. Raman

    Raman Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    You want what, a recording? :)
    BassAndReeds likes this.
  4. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Yes! A video anything.
    You wish to be evaluated.
    I’m ready to evaluate !
    dan1952, Plucky The Bassist and 4dog like this.
  5. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Jouer de la base pour nous
    FrenchBassQC likes this.
  6. AboutSweetSue

    AboutSweetSue Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2018
    Lebanon, TN
    I like how 21 is considered much later in life. On that track, I’m knocking on the door of death here at 34.
  7. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Haven't heard you yet - excited to - but if you're an ear player like me, you'll benefit from learning scale and arpeggio patterns on bass. While it's good to know the fretboard in terms of every note name, you'll have a much better time if you learn patterns and intervals (you'll be able to apply this much easier). You don't really need to develop your musical sense, but you do need to develop your vocabulary on the instrument.

    If you're able to play by ear, learning songs will teach you some stuff, but you'll have a lot of holes - especially when it comes to improvisation and "speaking your mind", if that makes sense. Essentially, you'll be able to play stuff you heard without really understanding the fretboard or the instrument. (I did this. I still do this to an extent; I couldn't play bass if I were deaf.) You'll need to fill these holes by learning transposable intervals and patterns on the fretboard. Start with pentatonics and blues scale, then move to major/minor patterns. Do arpeggios as well, and tie this stuff to chord theory. (If you did choir, solfege might help here.) After that, do modes.

    If you're an ear player, you'll be able to match the patterns to what you're hearing pretty easily, and that should take you pretty far and get you playing and improvising quickly. You'll probably be supplementing this stuff naturally with the stuff you'd usually be figuring out - songs, melodies, other things. You'll know you're improving when you find you aren't "hunting" for notes on the fretboard as much.

    Looking forward to hearing you play.
    Kukulkan61 and Raman like this.
  8. Books, tapes or videos kinda depend on what learning style you bring to the table. I'm a visual learner so tapes would not be that much help for me, however, books and videos (so I can see what is being done) would help me. As I do not know you that well, I'd first need to know what learning style you bring to the table.

    My ear is old and made of tin, yours is not. I've played with several people that play by ear, which is good, however, they rely upon their ear and not what theory could help them with. So ---- I would think tapes and videos plus some home work on theory should be in your future.

    Theory - once I know the chords used in this song theory tells me what notes could be used in my bass line. The rest is rhythm and falling into a groove. Hearing what chords are being used, for me is hit and miss, so I rely upon fake chord sheet music or chord charts for that and this is where theory comes into the picture for me.

    After years of playing I can normally figure out what is going on, however, it is much faster to just pull up some chord charts and then play some of the notes of the active chord. Again that is where theory comes into the picture.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    Raman and Spin Doctor like this.
  9. Really... I was 50 when I started playing. Never even owned a bass before that. Malcom Amos is like what, 85?
  10. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I was 38 when I bought my first bass. I'm 46 now. I practice daily and play out almost weekly.

    You're never too old to learn something new. That's what keeps you sharp. You don't have to be a music major to play an instrument. You don't need to know anything more than what the next gig requires. Get a set list, shed the songs, and enjoy being a bass player.
  11. Your best bet is to get a good teacher. Videos and whatnot are ok, but videos can't explain things when you have a question. Especially just starting out, you want to build on a good foundation. After that, you can teach yourself. Which is ultimately the point of having a teacher in the first place...
    Dasgre0g, HolmeBass and lfmn16 like this.
  12. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    It's not either/or. You can have great technique, a thorough knowledge of theory and a vibe.

    The fastest was to get better as quickly as possible is to get a good teacher and practice hard. There is nothing wrong with books and videos, but a key component in learning is feedback and you get no feedback from looking at a book or video.
  13. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I was typing much the same advice at the same time as you. Great minds think alike!
    Raman and Spin Doctor like this.
  14. We do!
  15. The thing is that in today's environment, you can take lessons with any number of the best bassist on the planet though Skype. It's an amazing time... There's honestly no excuse not to have a good education and take advantage of the information people like Anthony Wellington, John Pattacucci or Rufus Philpot can provide.
    ELG60 likes this.
  16. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    The problem with instructional materials, broadly, they don’t teach you how to learn an instrument. They can be a fantastic resource if you already know how to teach yourself an instrument.

    Ever taught someone else to play? You’ll need to do the same thing to yourself. It’s a skill. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to tool up to learn one instrument.

    An instructor can show you what you need to focus and work on. There’s all this *stuff* on the Internet. Without help sorting it out, you’ll waste a gigantic amount of time trying to put it to use.

    I’m sure you have a life now, unlike a lot of us starting out as teenagers who had essentially unlimited time to work on music.
    lfmn16 and Raman like this.
  17. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Redding CA
    I started at 16, I'm now 60 and I still suck.:D
    MCF, Inky13, Goatrope and 6 others like this.
  18. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    With that statement and your avatar, I am detecting something of a gloomy demeanour...
  19. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Exactly! I recently started getting serious about my keyboard skills and found a great teacher on Youtube and now take Skype lessons from her. I was able to watch a bunch of her videos to make sure we were on the same page. She's able to teach me and refer me to her videos for a more in-depth explanation. It's really the best of both worlds.
  20. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Don't downplay the value of consistency!
    JGbassman, Dubsly, ktedrow and 2 others like this.

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