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Getting out of the "cover only" zone...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by BXBss, Jun 9, 2017.


  1. BXBss

    BXBss

    Jun 8, 2017
    Puebla, Mexico
    I started out as a bassist because in my school band we needed a bassist (how stereotypical).
    I´ve become quite Ok-ish just after almost a year, yet I feel that only covers is not the way to grow on the instrument. I´ve just recently downloaded a book of scales and modes and started watching Scott´s Bass Lessons Youtube channel (great advises and lessons).I think this is a good start but what else would you recommend?
     
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  2. fearceol

    fearceol

    Nov 14, 2006
    Ireland
    Assuming by "covers" you mean rock and pop music. IMO playing along to songs and working out the bass lines by ear will prove more beneficial in playing either original or covers, than practicing modes. Better as a bassist, to concentrate on chord tones (see link below..the site itself is one of the best).

    Chord Tones Are Primary | Bass Chord Patterns | StudyBass


    As well as Scott's lessons, another great site is : www.talkingbass.net
     
  3. BXBss

    BXBss

    Jun 8, 2017
    Puebla, Mexico
    I mostly play RHCP songs and now I have been trying some new styles, like soul and a tad bit of jazz.
    I have heard that jazz is what makes a bass player (or guitar player, or drummer)a real musician
     
  4. Let's examine the term "covers" for a moment:

    If you are playing something someone else wrote, you are doing a cover.

    That goes for scales, exercises, and sample practice pieces.

    To be brief, I learned everything I know by covering something else that either inspired me to learn and play by ear or something someone told me to learn because it was good for me (or the band).

    If you're motivated to take formal lessons and learn more formal principles such as sight reading and theory, go for it. But it would be difficult and counter-productive to avoid covers.

    Some of the most talented bass players in the world got that way from playing covers and eventually amalgamating their knowledge into something creative and unique.
     
    BXBss likes this.
  5. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    As most of what we do is based on the chords a study of harmony would be in order, i.e, why is the chord there in the first place, what function does it play? That should open many doors.
     
    BXBss likes this.
  6. BXBss

    BXBss

    Jun 8, 2017
    Puebla, Mexico
    I have been thinking on private lessons but I really dont have time or money to spend on private lessons.
     
  7. BassChuck

    BassChuck

    Nov 15, 2005
    Cincinnati
    Your school band needed a bassist? Can we assume then you were in the band playing another instrument? If so, you should be at least a little familiar with scales and reading music. Perhaps getting a beginners level instruction book in bass clef would be a good place to start, since you might already know what the songs in the book sound like (even though those are songs you want to play in public, the experience in learning to read on bass will serve very well in the future). Also, your band instructor might know where to go for some lessons so you could save some time working out scales and how they apply to the music you want to play.
    Just because the instrument you're now playing is different that what you started on, doesn't me the process of learning music is different. Use what you know to unlock what you need to learn.
    Get with other musicians doing the thing you want to do.
     
  8. BXBss

    BXBss

    Jun 8, 2017
    Puebla, Mexico
    I started out on guitar, so what I did most of the time was use the minor pentatonic for almost everything, I actually never learned to read music but I have been meaning to, I know the basics but apart from that not much.
     
  9. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    There's no great secret or mystery. Just play. Anything and everything, including styles of music you don't particularly like. Maybe especially the styles you don't particularly like.

    The more well-rounded you are in your general musical education and experience, the better a musician (and bass player) you'll become.

    Keep your eyes, ears, and mind open, do regular focused practice sessions, and above all listen closely to everything, and you'll do just fine.
     
    BXBss and pcake like this.
  10. HypersoulRocks

    HypersoulRocks Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    Houston,TX
    Play with the best musicians you can find, in genres that you don't normally play, who are willing to tolerate your inexperience and help you along.

    Learn the chords, bass line, melody, and be able to improvise over as many jazz standards as possible.

    Listen to lots of different styles and really focus on how the bass and drums lock in with each other to support the song. The music of James Brown was particularly helpful for me.

    Watch videos of many different bassists to see the different ways they hold their hands and fingers while playing.


    One of the most important things I did was use the book Modern Reading Text in 4/4 by Louie Bellson. That, a metronome, and people to lean on went a long way for me being a decent bassist and well-rounded musician.

    It's so much easier today with the internet. I actually had to go to music shops, bookstores, concerts, and libraries.

    Oh yeah, go to college and major in jazz performance too!
     
    BXBss and John B jr like this.
  11. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    I think you've got a good direction going for you. Scales and modes are important but make sure not to ignore arpeggios, chords, and how all of those things relate to each other. It sounds like you're young so why not start an original project? Better to start one now while you might actually have time to devote to it.
     
    BXBss and stigbeve like this.
  12. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Trinity, FL
    theory ... as in ... scales , chords , arps , modes ...

    listen to different styles/types of music ... for different riffs, patterns , rhythms ...

    don't box yourself in .. !
     
  13. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    N.H.
    I did a year with Scott's Bass Lessons.
    He is a great player and teacher, he makes sense to me.
    I concentrated on chord tones and applied them live.
    Huge difference in the music.
    A classical method book really helped me early on
    to get good proper fingering happening.