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help: going from guitar to bass ~_~

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by toshiya, Jun 14, 2002.


  1. toshiya

    toshiya

    Jun 14, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    greetings, this is my first posting on this bbs, so please pardon me if I'm breaking any laws :)

    I've always been 'bass lover', however, do to the fact that I discovered my reason for being a bass lover after I got my first guitar, I couldn't buy a bass :(

    Anyways, after 4 years of experience with the guitar, I got myself a pawn shop Samick to start my bass career, and now I need help ~_~ first of all, my main influence (in many aspects), is Toshiya, the bassist of a japanese visual kei band, Dir en grey; so, if any of you know of him, you know what I'm kinda aspiring too. If not, check him out :) LOVELY stuff.

    Moving on, I was just wondering, what do I need to know going on to the bass? I know my fretboard notes well, I know a few scales from guitar, and I want to become a bassist who doesn't simply play root notes following the guitar ~_~ so, POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION :)

    Sorry for the long post too :)
     
  2. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    1 Get a teacher. However, you are responsible for your development. Do you homework and try to get a good one. Dump bad ones quickly. Use this site as a resource. Question everything you are taught. Why do you do it this way? Why not?

    2 Listen to a variety of bass players. Ok so you want to be an in your face bassist but listen to the plodders as well. Listen carefully to a lot of bassplayers. Try listening to Tony Levin. Is he a plodder or in your face. Is he good or bad? Why.
    Abe Laboriel-same questions. Jaco-same. Dirk Lance-same.

    3 Get yourself a band or a multitracker and a drum kit (or horror a machine or fruity loops) Personally I think that it's better to play a lot of bass with others rather than practice. Ok you have to practice and improve but try to play more. Try to persuade some players to jam with you.

    4 Steal-i you find element of anyones playing nick it. Your 'style' will be an amalgamation of a load of stuff-which is why it's important to listen to a load of different styles.

    5 Use your knowledge of guitar to guide your bass playing. The relationship of bass and other instruments is important. Static guitar line and descending bass, moving guitar line and static or pedal bass. Different roots how about a F# bass not under a D chord (on charts D/F#).

    Go for it
     
  3. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Welcome to the wonderful world of bass!:D There are some (like myself:D) who feel you're actually upgrading:DLOL!

    Anyway, for seriousness, the thing I'd most stress to you, given your background, is be aware of how different the bass is from the guitar. You said you've got a good fundamental knowledge of how notes work, in a melodic framework, which is incredibly important! But, also equally important on the bass, is turning those notes into a rythmic sequence, of some sort, as well. That's where, IMO, most guitarists fail when they pick up the bass. The rythmic part of music is the symbiotic relationship between the drums and bass, and if you do it right, you've created what's known as the "groove".

    The groove is the holy grail of bass playing. When you can achieve that, you can make everyone around you smile;) It's magical.
     
  4. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Word up to all of the above, but especially #3. I've never been one for practicing bass on my own, and even when I have it all seemed too abstract and rather useless without practical application. I seem to grow as a musician in leaps and bounds whenever my band and I pick up some focused momentum in rehearsals. It may not work that way for everyone, but using other musicians as a foil certainly keeps it interesting!

    Good luck!
     
  5. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    More sage advice.

    Which is why the suggestion to "get yourself a band or a multitracker and a drum kit (or horror a machine or fruity loops)" needs to translate into "FIND YOURSELF THE BEST DRUMMER WHO'S WILLING TO PLAY WITH YOU, AND PRACTICE WITH HIM OR HER AS MUCH AS IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE." Nothing can substitute for real drums, and if you can't lock into a beat, you're...well...you're a guitarist. :D
     
  6. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Yeah, to all of it!

    Most importantly, though...Have Fun!:D
     
  7. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    I agree but sometimes if difficult to get an awesome drummer to go near a beginner/improver/convert hence the point being that IMHO bass is a band/groove instrument where the leather trouser poodle perm guitarists can widdle to their hearts content completely oblivious to anyone else or any semblance of song (btw I play guitar and dont smile often).
     
  8. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Good point. I think I got lucky in that respect -- I met my drummer when he auditioned for my band over a year ago. He always felt restricted by the type of music we were playing, but stuck with it. When that band imploded, we decided to keep playing together and take things in a new direction. I'm really fortunate that he likes playing with me, 'cause the kid blows me away every time we get together.



    Hopefully you'll start smiling more now that you're playing bass. Good luck with it!
     
  9. I've played guitar for over 20 years and started bass about 2-3 years ago.

    IMHO, the biggest difference is paying much more attention to and playing tighter with the drummer than I do as a guitar player. Indeed, get a basic drum machine and practice with a drummer if you can. Record yourself (even with the most pathetic cassette recorder you can find) to hear yourself with drums.

    The hand techniques haven't been a problem except for double thumping.

    I found Alex Sklaraveski's "Slap Bass Program" video helpful. This forum is very helpful and passionate about bass.
     
  10. then there's technique........i played guitar before bass as well (still play guitar too....please don't hate me) and at my first lesson, my teacher said 'you play guitar, don't you' the thumb gives us away. proper bass technique dictates your thumb doesn't wrap around the neck. it shadows your middle finger on the back of the neck. it takes getting used to, but i think it does make it more comfortable in the long run.
     
  11. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    Hmm I've been playing bass and guitar for 20 years...the smiley thing (sig) started when a misunderstanding blossomed into a beautiful friendship (let's see if he's reading).

    Back on topic (ish) If you could only have one good musician in a band of beginners I would say make it the drummer. There's nothing worse than a poor drummer stuffing up the time (well apart from tea made by an American, or watching France play football, or finding pineapple on your pizza, or realising that you taped Eastenders instead of Enterprise.....)
     
  12. misterk73

    misterk73

    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Oops. Got my posters mixed up.

    :rolleyes:
     
  13. Another major factor: when you play in a band setting, you get to "feel" your notes and how much more you affect the band and song than guitar. If a guitar player is a little out of pocket it's not completely disastrous but if the bass and drums are out, "fu' ged aboud it!"
     
  14. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    So true!!! :D

    Other evidence (other than smiles) that you've achieved "the groove":

    People's heads nod.
    Butts start to move.

    This is caused by the bass.
     
  15. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Drum machines certainly make practicing more interesting, but I would suggest putting in some time with a metronome. You are part of the rythm section now, and, as people have mentioned before, your timing is key.

    Metronomes are nice because they are so incredibly unforgiving. Recording yourself with the metronome will be an eye-opening experience.
     
  16. toshiya

    toshiya

    Jun 14, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    wow, thx alot for all the advice :) I'm glad that you guys are so helpful, and not so trigger happy with the flamethrowers :)

    yeah, I already play in a band with an awesome drummer with ten years experience, as well as an excellent guitarist :) so I guess I'm set with people to practice with.

    anyways, thx again, I know i'll be visiting this forum much more :)
     
  17. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    Yeah it does become a bit of an addiction after a while. ;)
     
  18. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I think this is more of a General Instruction type of thread.

    Moved.