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Getting my bass soon and wondering..

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Demon, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Are there any common bad habits that i should try stay away from:)? Thanks.:hyper:
  2. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Read the stickies here in TalkBass. They'll cover just about everything technique-wise.

    Generally speaking, if it hurts don't do it.
  3. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Ok, ill try to keep relaxed also:) Dont wanna squeeze my necks to death or hurt my hand:D Also, any suggestions on easy tabs/basslines to start off with?:)
  4. MO542


    Jan 6, 2006
    The best advice I got on this forum was to get a good instructor. It is much easier to learn the proper way, rather than ‘unlearn’ a bad habit. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Just my $0.02
  5. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    Not only that, but the internet is filled with info. Too much info. When I started, I got overwhelmed and didn't even know where to begin. A teacher will give you a direction, so you won't be wondering "What should I learn next? Am I doing this well enough? Should I move on?"
  6. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Hm, ill see, but im 14 and lol cant afford a teacher anyways^^ And knows noone that can teach either. So what would be a good starting point? Just playing some basslines? Maybe learning notes/chords whatever?:p And also i do have a question, with my left hand, when i "push" the strings, should i do it inbetween the frets or ON the frets? and is this http://www.tunemybass.com/ good enuf to tune my bass?=) Thanks in adv.
  7. Schwaa


    Feb 25, 2006
    Yeah, I'm learning without a teacher and I'm an old fart :D
    us old guys don't learn so good anymores.

    I'm not knocking getting a teacher, it probably is the best way to go.

    I learned quite a bit from a beginner book at the music store, $15 and it explained the basics and had some partial songs in it to learn, Johnny Be Good, ect...

    You need to press the strings as close to, but behind the fret (as possible). On top of it you'll get a nasty rattle, too far back will result in the same.

    To start I'd say learn your fingerboard, where all the notes are. Most important is the intervals between notes.
    All notes are 2 frets apart EXCEPT B and C, and E and F.
    So on your E string (the fat one) open (no fingers on string) is E, the first fret is F. The 3rd is G.
    Play thru the notes as you say them, really learn where they are, if you search you can find a pick of the entire board.

    And work on scales some too. Just start with a Major scale.
    The thing with scales is you'll learn how to play notes i order across your strings in one hand position. Or you can play down the neck on one string.
    But playing across is faster and will let you change octaves more (higher/lower pitch). So you can play 2-3 notes on the E string, then on the A string you can hit the next 3, the the next 3 on the D string. That way you can play 9 notes without moving your thumb position.
    On one string you'll have to keep sliding up the neck, slowing you down and making it harder to hit the correct notes. You also have to jump up 12 frets to change the octave.

    I don't want to confuse you so I'll stop now, but those are good things to work on I think.
  8. common bad habits:

    1) "incorrect" picking hand technique - I won't go into this in detail, but check out www.cyberschoolofbass.com for some cool video lessons. That's bunny brunel's site, and he shows exactly the way I like to approach it :)

    2) Not using pinky finger on the fretting hand. - You've got 4 fingers, and ideally you should work to get them all to be as strong and agile as each other.

    3) Bad wrist angles/bass position - get your bass up fairly high so you don't have to bend your wrists to horrible angles. its easier and will help avoid injury.

    4) playing too fast too soon. - play everything slow to begin with. and get it flawless. then speed up bit, perfect it, and repeat until you reach the right speed.

    5) idolizing Flea from the red hot chilli peppers. - yes he's great, but he isn't god. I'm only half kidding here ;)

    stuff to start off with... Well really this is up to you. Definately work on scales and arpeggios as well as tunes. For tunes, pick simple stuff that you enjoy. Try and play tunes that use simple rhythms and work on getting them as tight as possible. Build up the foundations first.

    Its also a good idea, when learning from tab or recordings, to work out what key your playing in or what scales you're using. This is a good way to build up your music theory knowledge without it seeming unrelated to the music. Learning scales/chords/arpeggios is great but the important thing is to hear how they're used.

    Hopefully theres some helpful stuff there. If not, im new here so I can blame it on that :)

  9. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    So you mean if the Tab says 5, i should have it between 4th and 5th fret, but as close to the 5th as possible without touching the fret?
  10. tZer's most repeated recommendation:

    Have your bass set up by a good instrument tech/luthier. It makes developing a light touch and good finger, hand, wrist postion much easier if you do not have to overcome a poorly set up bass.

  11. Twiggy Jr.

    Twiggy Jr.

    Nov 17, 2005
    easy bass lines:
    creep by radiohead
    polly by nirvana
    sweet dreams (remake) by marilyn manson
    minute of decay by marilyn manson
    blister in the sun by violent femmes
  12. Schwaa


    Feb 25, 2006
  13. Twiggy Jr.

    Twiggy Jr.

    Nov 17, 2005
    (E) (F) (Fsharp/Gflat) (G) (Gsharp/Aflat) (A) (Asharp/Bflat) (B) (C) (Csharp/Dflat) (D) (Dsharp/Eflat)

    that's how your new alphabet goes...learn on the neck where every note is...after you get that down we'll teach you all the ways to learn octaves (much easier than it sounds)
  14. MO542


    Jan 6, 2006

    Is there anybody in your school that plays bass? I would ask him to show you a few things. Also, you might want to ask your parents if you could do some extra work around the house in return for lessons... Just a couple ideas.

    A good beginner book is ‘Bass for Dummies.’ It will cover many of your questions and it also assumes that you haven’t picked up a bass before. It comes with a CD that you can play along with. Good all around book.

    I’d also highly recommend picking up a metronome.

    +1 On getting your bass setup properly.
  15. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Noone, only 2 guitar players and a piano player:p
  16. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    There are many, many different books available to teach yourself bass at home. Many come with a CD or DVD so that you may play along. I used the Play Bass Today! series, which had two different levels of books plus a song book. All three books came with a CD.

    Here's a link to the first book:


    I have dealt with sheetmusicplus.com before and they seem reputable. I'm not sure if they will ship internationally.
  17. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    1. just remember that you're a musician first and a bass player second, and that your main task is to make interesting music, not necessarily to impress other bass players :)

    i.e. it'd be a bad habit to concentrate on developing technique without developing the mental musical framework that'll let you do something musically interesting with that technique

    basically your music comes through your fingers, not from your fingers

    2. play A LOT and always play things you enjoy
  18. Single best piece of advice I can give you: buy and use a metronome.

    I'm not joking when I say this, you don't really start learning to play an instrument until you practice with a metronome. I put in almost three years on the g**t*r before I got a metronome. I all but had to start from scratch when I did.

    It doesn't matter how good you think you are, you know you are, your mates tell you you are, or how well you can play with a drummer. A metronome is unforgiving, but it's always right.

    Sorry if I'm coming on a bit strong but I wish someone had told me this, back in the day, so I'm telling you. One more time: Use A Metronome.

    Cheers, and happy learning
  19. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    I have one that isn't. Drove me nuts until I figured out it didn't keep time properly.

  20. Asides from practice Practice PRACTICE! Just my 2 cents.

    Play scales and arpeggios to a metronome daily, while at times it may feel boring, down the line you'll really be thankful that you spent that extra 20-30 minutes going through them. Buy some books (Or freeload around stores like Borders :bassist: ), and programs like Guitar pro 5 don't hurt either.

    Once you get some of your fundamentals down, jam with as many people as you can, whether it be a guitarist, a drummer, or a pianist or whatever, you'll learn a ton, make new friends, and have alot of fun.

    Most importantly, never give up and push yourself to that new limit. :D

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