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Extremely New Bassest.

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Tyran, Jan 1, 2001.

  1. Tyran


    Jan 1, 2001

    I just bought my bass 3 days ago.. and ive been fooling around with it quite a bit...
    I can play little things.. like Darth vaders theme.. happy birthday, and jingle bells... stuff like that....(with difficulty :) )
    I am just wondering... what kinds of things i should do for practice.. i dont know anyone who plays the bass, so i went right to tabs the second i got my guitar... is there something i should be doing.. or do i just keep tabbing away...

    Thank you :)
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Depends how far you see yourself taking this. If all you envision is amusing yourself with little ditties, the tabs are fine. If you want to go somewhere with the instrument, get a teacher or a beginning instructional video/cd & book.

    Without stopping, try playing up from the first fret to the 12th fret and back on each string using all four fretting fingers in succession as you pick with your first three fingers in succession, (eg, 1st fret, left hand, index finger - right hand index finger/ 2nd fret, left hand, middle finger - right hand middle finger, etc). It's not easy. This is the kind of boring stuff you typically start off with but pays off big dividends in due time, whereas, sticking to tabs without guidance will let you develop a lot of bad habits that you will probably regret when you get bored of one-dimensional playing and try to break them.

    Unless you're blessed with an innate sense of time, getting a metronome will help you get off on the right foot (hand) or an effects unit with a built-in metronome can take some of the tedium out of mastering the basics since you can goose your sound.

    You sound like you're trying to do this right. That's better than the way I began over 30 years ago, the school of hard knocks. Best of luck!!!
  3. Tyran


    Jan 1, 2001
    Thanks Rickbass1

    This excersise is already driving me insane!!!... but Ill keep plugging away... i am getting there...

    Geddy better watch his back... lol
  4. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Hi Tyran,

    If you can anyway afford it, it really would make sense to get a couple of lessons from a teacher, just to get the basics in place. Bad technique can, in a worst case scenario, actually damage your wrists, so it's important to get it right from the start, and the best way to do that is see a teacher.

    As for things to practice, a lot depends on what you want to play. Working with tab stuff is a good way of getting started on playing tunes straight away, but you might have as much fun finding chord progressions on the net and just playing the root notes in time with a drum machine, metronome or the CD. Then as you learn more theory, you can add other notes.

    Pick a bassline that you know so well in your head that you can sing it and try working it out, one note at a time. Use the pause button on the CD player! :oops:)

    Rickbass's suggestions sound fun, though using three fingers on your right hand isn't neccesary. If that works for you then great, but two is generally easier, and won't limit you in what you are able to do. if you feel like adding a third finger at some later date, that will probably be easier than struggling with three at this stage...

    If your hands start to hurt when you're pracising, stop! Don't play through the pain barrier, take a break, flex your hands, get a drink and then come back to it. If a stretch feels really hard, try pivoting your hand rather than over-stretching your hand.

    Oh, and as soon as you can, get playing with other musicians - find a guitarist who's learning and get together to jam and have fun!

    Good luck - bass is a great instrument, and I'm sure you'll have great fun,



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