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First time Bass player

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MistaCool, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. MistaCool


    Jun 16, 2004
    Alright, I'm new to bass and new to these forums so let me summarize for you my whole situation: I am 17, today is the first day I have ever played bass, I can kinda play the intro to Guerrila Radio and Californiacation, I want to learn more...

    Four things I've learned:
    1. I suck
    2. Bass makes your fingers hurt like a bitch
    3. My hands seem to be un-coordinated with eachother
    4. 17 year olds can still cry from physical pain

    Four things I want to learn:
    1. How to position my hands
    2. How to make my weakass fingers stronger
    3. How to actually play
    4. What is my purpose on this earth

    I don't expect anyone to answer the fourth, unless you're some astral being, but I would like to know a lot more about this crazy instrument.
  2. birdsg


    Dec 18, 2003
    Birmingham England

    We all suck when we start and the hurting of the fingers and pain is part of the process of improvement. I know its cliched but the 'practice makes perfect' saying is true on bass as in all walks of life.
    I think you will find that although at this moment you are struggling there will come a time maybe in a day or week or month when something clicks and you think 'hey, I dont suck as bad now'. Of course a few weeks later you will suck again but compared with where you are now you will be much better just its a long journey and you sometimes dont notice the improvements as they are so gradual.
    If you can afford it I would think about lessons. A good teacher will correct any bad habits you have and give you focus. In answer to your questions number 1 I recommend a teacher as stated. Number 2 practice a little every day. Rather than play 4 hours one day and then not play for a week play 30 minutes every day (or until the point that the pain comes in). Number 3 is practice practice practice - read some of the great threads on this and other forums, there is some great advice from some great musicians here and you are so lucky to have access to this information.
    Cant really help you with number 4 but I guess its to develop as a human being living and listen to your heart for guidance.

    Hope this helps :D Keep plugging away. Its good for your soul ;)

  3. 1. Tutor books will help, but a teacher will make sure you do not start wrong, or fall into bad habits.
    2. Just playing will toughen up your fingertips, but playing too much at one time will give you muscle pains. Also, when you get tired, your accuracy falls off, and you sound worse. Finally, as you start to learn, you are nervous, and you will press down on the strings more than you need to, which will tire you sooner. Try to relax as you practice, and take breaks when you get tired.
    3. See 1
    4. Either you exist due to a completely random set of events, or you are part of something that has a system behind it. If the former, you have no purpose: if the latter, your purpose is defined by your faith in whatever system you think you are in. :eek:
  4. What a cool answer to Question 4? I don't want to hi-jack the thread but that observation seems airtight to me.

    Fair balls to you, Mottlefeeder ...

  5. 1. Yes, get a teacher

    2. Play, play, play, play, play, play, play, play, play. Play. That's all you can do. Try not to overstress you fingertips and get blisters, because then you have to give that finger a break to heal. Muscular pain is a good thing. Just like with any exercise, you don't want to take a break just when you start to get fatigued. Joint pain is very bad. Take a break when this starts. Don't try to play through that.

    3. To quote Mottlefeeder, see #1. Also, start playing with others as early as possible. Don't wait to get "good enough." Just do it, and you'll get better.

    4. To learn the way, then show it to others. Your way may vary, depending on factors.
  6. UnsungZeros

    UnsungZeros The only winning move is not to play.

  7. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    The questions you ask MistaCool, are the questions that a teacher answers, it's just almost impossible to answer these questions online. Perhaps I know someone in your area, where do you live?
  8. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    1) Position them in the way that is most comfortable to you
    2) Play more
    3) Play more
    4) To live and die

    ... and play more
  9. MistaCool


    Jun 16, 2004
    Thanks for the suggestions, bros, I'll try to practice as much as I can. I also live in Irvine, CA if you guys now of any teachers around and if you know of any easy tabs to play to get a feel of the bass then let me know about them.
  10. MistaCool


    Jun 16, 2004
    You guys didn't forget about me, did you?