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Getting a New Bassists Started

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Mud Flaps, Oct 14, 2003.


  1. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    On Oct. 13, my bro had his birthday. I gave him my old amp and my parents got him a Squire Jazz Bass. I did all the basic maintenaince on it first: I tuned it, broke in the strings, adjusted the truss rod, and tightened the loose knobs. I taught him some basic technique and theory too: the names of the open strings, how to read tab, and a lot of things which I take for granted. I can't remember how I first started to play. I am primarily self taught, I didn't start to take lessons till last month, he'll probably start soon too.

    I guess my main question is: What can I get him that will help him progress and eliminate the bad habits which form from self tutoring?

    This thread does seem rather self-contradictory since I mentioned the bass teacher, but answer anyway please.
     
  2. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    bump

    Maybe this should be moved to General Instruction/technique
     
  3. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Well, of course, the first thing I'm going to say is why are you teaching him how to read tab? He would benefit more if he learned all the notes on the fretboard and then went on to reading music. You said you have just started taking lessons so maybe if you don't know how to read music yourself yet it would be fun to learn together and something to mention to your teacher that you would like to learn how to read music.

    You said you taught him basic technique...what did this involve? I always say in threads that a good teacher will help you clear up bad habits in technique, so I am also saying that here. I don't think books and videos can show you that. It's better to be face to face with someone who can look closely and correct mistakes.

    That's great that you are showing your brother how to play, just make sure you aren't overdoing yourself, showing him things you may not know yourself. No offense intended on this of course and I don't know how long you've been playing bass for. Maybe your brother can take a few lessons with your teacher as well?
     
  4. Sure this is theoretically the best way to start learning, but I think this kid probably expects to learn how to play along with the songs he hears on the radio or whatever music he listens to. Probably the fastest way to do this is looking up that tab online. Learning songs that he's familiar with will probably help him stay motivated to continue to learn. For example, the first song i tried to learn on bass was Around the World by Chili Peppers. Sure, i was no where near playing it at speed, but at least i knew the right notes :bassist:
     
  5. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    The fastest way is not always the smartest, or best, way.
     
  6. runamuc

    runamuc

    Oct 16, 2003
    It takes alot of effort to forget the bad habits learned from messing around.Learn the notes and the fret board.I like books with a CD.Learn with your ears your eyes your mind.
     
  7. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
     
  8. oh yeah, i wasnt clear on why learning familiar songs faster is good. The main thing is maintaining interest. It's really easy for people his age to get really excited about something like playing bass, but drop it after a short time. If he can't maintain interest even while playing some familiar songs, then maybe he's not ready for bass, or bass just isn't his thing. But yeah, you'll never ever learn good technique if you quit. The parent post mentioned taking lessons, which is probably the best way to avoid learning bad technique. So my advice is, take lessons, learn proper technique, read tabs if you want to learn some easy popular songs. something like that
     
  9. tolson36

    tolson36

    Oct 20, 2003
    Instead of tab, I recommend learning (using) just the chords. Going from root notes with an appropriate beat, then mix in lower and upper 5ths, then 3rds, octaves and gradually learn how to connect the chords with passing tones--both within and out of the scale.

    After awhile you can hear the notes that sound good as passing tones and you start to hit them automatically and in harmony with what other intruments are doing.

    Vital (for me) was learning the notes (starting out especially the first five frets). Then later, those higher up. Also learning basic scale patterns to develop muscle memory.

    I think that maybe learning tabs can be a crutch and get in the way of a better understanding of how bass lines are constructed and improvised.

    Tabs are sometimes helpful for learning a special "signature" riff.
     
  10. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    Just to clear up some confusion,

    I know music theory very well IMO and I have good technique, or that's what the other bassists tell me. I taught him the notes on the fretboard. But now the responsible for me is lifted because he's going to take lessons from my teacher too.
     
  11. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    I have been playing for a year self taught off tab. I play in a cover band and have a lot of fun. I just started taking thoery lessons three weeks ago. I am learning to read music, notes on the fret board, scales, technique etc. Honestly, if I had not started to play and learned off tab I don't think I would be sticking to my lessons. Three weeks of scales and drills is boring and not fun. Realistically it will take me months if not years to grasp and apply what I am learning, but I am willing to stick with it since I can already play and it will make me one of the best bassists in my area in time. I am not saying this is the best way to go it may be the worst since I have to start from scratch and correct some bad technique. But it kept me interested enough to stick with it doing it this way, it's up to the individual and what will work for them.
     
  12. theautarch

    theautarch

    Mar 18, 2003

    I played self taught for about 6 years...then i started to take lessons...i've learned more in the past 3 years with lessons than i have the previous 6.

    so don't worry man....the grueling "boring" stuff pays off much sooner than you think. My teacher had me go through a methodology that took me about 18 months...ALL DRILLS. NO SONGS..NOTHING.....did it suck...YES!! do i regret it...HELL NO! i am a much bette player because of it....:cool:
     
  13. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    That's what figured in the long run it will pay off huge! But the key for me is I can already play so I know it will make me a phenominal bassist in time.