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Fell off the (musical) wagon, need to get back on.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bushfire, Aug 15, 2007.


  1. Okay. So it's been a while since I've touched my bass or my acoustic guitar in any seriousness (essentially 2 years in the bass's case), and I really want to give this music thing a decent shot.

    The thing is, I'm not really all that keen on starting from the very top again. I have some basic (call it 'fundamental') general music knowledge, and some prior experience playing, so I don't want 'the first string is the G string...', sorta stuff again. I am now a starving first year university student (undergraduate in computer science, btw) so lessons or even new books (and definitely new equipment!) are completely out of the question.

    I'm thinking I would like to start at correct finger positions and everything, then move onto...what? This is where I am unsure; should I move onto standard notation - just try and pick basslines out of songs? What worked for anyone in a similar situation to me?

    FYI, the styles I'm leaning towards is good solid rock bass with a healthy (make that very healthy :D) dose of groove/funk. (And in terms of the acoustic guitar, I'm going for folk - think Bob Dylan/Nick Drake sorta thing)

    Thanks for any advice - I want to do this right this time.
     
  2. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    Just grab a handful of CD's of music that you love, pop them in the stereo and jam along until you can play the basslines in your sleep.

    It's not the formal way to learn, but it's effective, doesn't cost you time and money for lessons, and you'll develop your own style based on what works for you.
     
  3. Pruitt

    Pruitt

    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    Go to www.activebass.com and use their Free Lesson resources. You can learn a lot with just that and it doesn't cost a thing. ;)

    Best of luck and have fun!! :bassist:
     
  4. grovest

    grovest

    Feb 26, 2002
    Between responses 2 and 3 you have a lot to work on. The most important thing is to just keep playing a little every day.

    One thought, "I want to do this right this time." ... IMO ... there is no one right way in playing the bass, just like any other art form... water colors, sculpture, or poetry.
     
  5. Deacon_Blues

    Deacon_Blues

    Feb 11, 2007
    Finland
    IMO, a good technique (note I chose the word "good" over "correct", there's no such thing as correct technique for electric bass guitar) is essential for being able to express yourself freely, i.e. to play what you hear in your head.

    To play music, you need at least some knowledge in music (theory and stuff) and technique. So what you should do is:

    - Practice technique (check the new exercise sticky in the technique forum for a few technique exercises)
    - Play along to songs. And don't forget to groove!
    - Study theory and play scales, arpeggios etc. Always use a metronome. There's nothing as important as playing in time once you've gained the most basic skills
    - Listen to music. It will give you new ideas and keep you inspired
    - You also need to build up an ear for the music. It will come by itself when playing along to music, but if you start transcribing music (write down the bass notes or chords at least) it will come much faster

    The're the most important things to become a good bass player (but I probably forgot something). Oh, one more thing: Find a band to play with. (IMO, preferably a covers band). That will make you develop much faster than you otherwise would.
     
  6. Thanks for all the responses guys. I think step one is going to be to draw up some kind of practice timetable. I'm absolutely amped about this; it's been so long since I've picked up a musical instrument and done more than just noodled.
     

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