"Experienced" Bass Player looking to become a musician

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by omie, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. omie


    Apr 5, 2011
    So.. Long story… short. I’ve been playing bass for 20 years now.. self-taught (more or less) and struggling with a non-existent understanding of theory, an unreliable and untrained ear and other deficiencies known and unknown. I’ve been playing for a long time and I’ve got some chops and can technically move across the fret board as long as I’m playing covers or inside my extremely narrow comfort zone. I want to make the move from ‘hack bass player’ to ‘Musician’.

    My options being limited to bass lessons for daddy or horseback riding and dance lessons for my girls have led me to consider purchasing self-study coursework. There's always been some reason why I didn't take more lessons, but I've got do something.

    I've been looking at some of the books online and I'm extremely curious about Carol Kaye's products and style. I know that Ed Friedland is highly regarded but I think I'm interested in Carols approach. My question is if Carol Kaye's system is geared towards people with a working knowledge of theory? I don't have that, but I'd like to start the journey.

    I’d love to hear from other bass players that have been in my position and escaped years and years of mediocrity. A passion for the bass guitar and time on the instrument are all I've got right now and I want more.
  2. Doley50


    Sep 4, 2005
    I would suggest to go to Anthony Wellingtons thread in the ask a pro. Anthony is a top notch teacher and is a really nice guy. Also check out his web site http://www.bassology.net/

    He does lessons via Skype and one lesson with him will have you busy for a long time .

    Good luck.
  3. Sounds like we are about in the same boat, however, finally after years of trying, I think I've cracked the theory nut; the basics at least. It was Edlys' book that got me over the hump -


    I would explore some of the free, online resources before plucking down any money. It seems to me that there are some good sites out there.

    Tell me, can you play a Major scale on the bass? If so, in my mind, most of what you need to know is right there. You just have to crack the code.
  4. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Are you dissatisfied with the music you are playing? Assuming you can get your playing to the level you have in mind, what do you plan to do with it? What music would you like to play?
  5. omie


    Apr 5, 2011
    If do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do is the major scale... Then yes, I can play it.. I can beat it up and then wank on it for an hour.. and then play the sound of music song :). But I can't figure out how to use it in a musical context.

    I'm not at all dissatisfied with the kinds of music I like to play, I'm dissatisfied with my lack of musicality ... my inability to find a pocket on the fly(if I can find it at all) and then work through chord changes.. and back to the beginning. I don't connect dots or achieve any deeper concepts between the hundreds of songs I've ever learned and composing original bass lines. Not to mention that I'm not even sure if I what I'm saying even makes since.
  6. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Here is what i have found in the very experienced, but theory deficiet players i worked with........they cannot recognise exactly how much they know.
    So you need to gauge what you know, you need to know if it is just small bits of info that ties large bits of info that is missing...so you never make the conections. Or is it large bits of info missing...full stop?

    The phrase that got my attention was "extremely narrow comfort zone".
    No one and i mean no one learns anything meaningfull within their comfort zone, all that means is you are working within what tou know and understand.
    So you need to get out of your comfort zone, feel lost, slightly over whelmed, then work it out slowley step by step till you get the idea or lesson that took you out your comfort zone.

    The feeling you get from learning it opens you up to learning more outside your comfort zone because it teaches you not to be scared of the un-known....because it is not un-known because it is in books, DVDs, lessons etc...so it is a known quantity.

    Find a music teacher in your area and take some music lessons, or look on line for music lessons, do not look for bass lessons. Music theory applies to all instruments and the best place to learn it is on paper..not the instrument...the best place to apply what you learn is on the instrument...not on paper.

    Enjoy the journey and i feel you will be surprised at exactly how much you actually know once you get into it. :)
  7. Start with the 4 main chords as they are the foundation of pretty much all popular music.

    In C major = C F G Amin
    - understand the terms 1, 4, 5, 6 (or I, IV, V, VI).
    - learn it in the 12 keys.
    - spot them in songs you know.

    (Sorry if you already know it).
  8. SteC


    Mar 20, 2012
    New York
  9. G Major Triads 001.JPG
  10. omie


    Apr 5, 2011
    That is mysterious to me... Is it magic?
  11. the jpg image represents the G major scale (in red) and the different locations of the various notes on the fretboard;

    Surely you already know the chromatic scale? C-C# . . . . . . B? (12 notes all in all)
  12. omie


    Apr 5, 2011
    Ok.. so its not really magic..

    I just didn't know what I was supposed to do with it. Now I know... I've been 'jamming' on the gmajor triads and aminor triad, one after the other, mixing them together. I see that they skip a note. Extrapolating that out I can play the same pattern with B and C... Did I learn something?
  13. Yep, transposition my friend.

    All the scales can be transposed using the scale figure;