Not sure which forum to put this in This thread is intended for anyone that has just started playing bass. i have been playing for 8 months, and i have learned many things from TBers. To make it more practical, i will list the rules i have learned, and i hope that more experienced TBers will help me out. 1. BE PASSIONATE. Don't play bass just because you can't play guitar. You need to love your instrument. A good way of knowing is: does practicing for 15 minutes feel like 2 hours? :scowl: if so, you should think hard if the bass is the instrument for you. Does practicing for 1 hour go in a flash? this is how you should feel EVERY time you play the bass. 2. BE OPEN MINDED . it has been repeated 1,000,000 times on Talk Bass, everything is a matter of preference. As a bassist, you cant afford to limit your learning experience by being closed minded on certain issues. E.g. use picking and plucking methods for playing. Listen to as many types of music as you can, each has its own style of bass, and you will go a long way in understanding the ROLES of the bass. 3. A BASS IS NOT A GUITAR. Read that line again. The bass is not, and never has been played like a guitar, it doesnt sound the same as a guitar, and it has infinitely more useful tones and grooves than a guitar. People subconsciously bop their heads to the bass line of ANY song. It is important to understand that if the bass line is out of whack, then everything else will sound rubbish. You can have a music with just a bass and drums, and it sounds fine. But a band without a bass sounds anemic, anorexic and SOUL-LESS. 4. THE BASS IS THE SOUL OF THE MUSIC. Every type of music from hard rock, hip-hop, jazz to country has a soul. This soul is the bass. You should concentrate on providing the groove to music. The bass is about expressing YOUR soul. The sooner you can understand this, the sooner you will find yourself not only playing bass but truly expressing bass. Any one can dance, but only Michael Jackson moves you. 5. WATCH, HEAR AND LEARN. Watch as many instructional videos as you can, read as many magazines and forum posts as you can, get a teacher. I have yet to get a teacher, but will start looking for one around june. There is NOTHING like human contact when learning. 6. DO FINGER STRETCHES. It is important to increase the strength of your fingers to reduce lactic acid and fret buzz. A simple exercise is: make a fist, raise ONLY your index finger and ring finger, close them again, and raise your middle finger and pinky finger. Keep alternating, in a couple of weeks you will notice a BIG difference. Make sure you are stretching the two fingers as far apart, this will allow you to reach more frets on the fingerboard without moving your hand. 7. THE METRONOME IS YOUR MASTER. If you cant keep a beat, then the music will sound horrible. Buy a metronome and practice with it ALL THE TIME. This is mentioned on another website, which I cant remember, and is stressed by hip-hop bassists, Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Eminem, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, etc) and Leonard Hub Hubbard (the roots, Jay-Z unplugged). You NEED to be able to keep time. This is absolutely essential and goes without saying really. 8. LEARN THE NOTES ON THE FINGER BOARD. This may seem obvious, but I still dont know too many notes above the 5th fret of any string. Slowly getting there. This is essential when you want to do runs up and down the neck, or when you want to change keys to add some flavour, or for other reasons that you will think of down the road. 9. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Arnold didnt become Mr. Olympia over night, Tigre Woods didnt become a world champ overnight, and Victor Wooten was not double slapping and Double popping overnight. Do you see a trend? Thats right, you NEED to PRACTICE. I spend atleast 1 hour a day, 4-5 days a week practicing, and I wish I had more time for more. Sometimes I skip something else just so I can play my bass. I am going to make a bold statement, but you wont find ANYONE on TB that doesnt practice regularly. It takes a long time to master any skill, and the bass is especially time dependant. Dont expect to be slapping and popping without practicing a hell of a lot. Its 12.14 am and I cant think of anything else at this time of night, so I hope that all of you newbies are helped in some way by my own experience.