Help me (guitarist) get better on the BASS

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by doublestop, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. I have been playing guitar for 25 years. My life was getting boring, until, one month ago I finally 'moved over to the dark side' ;) and bought a BASS ! It's a 4 string G&L Tribute (Premium) L-2000. A very nice bass, I find.

    Anyway, I'm practicing like crazy. Bass ain't exactly easy but those nice deep tones are SO rewarding !

    Do you guys have any hints, suggestions, websites etc. for a guitarplayer who wants to learn the bass ?


  2. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    I don't have many tips (hints or whatever) but...
    Learn to use all your fingers on your fretting hand. Don't just use 1 or 2. Since you play guitar you should have no problem with this.

    In a band, don't overplay or play super fancy stuff. Usually it sounds like you're playing a bad solo over the rest of the band. You're there to hold down the rhythm. (just in case you join a band. I don't have many tips, so I should include all i can)

    Don't get up and beat up the guy in the store playing fancy slap basslines. You will go to the jail.

    There's really no short cuts. You can't learn how to play bass in 15 minutes.

    Uh.. Eat a healthy breakfast.

    this site
  3. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    Come to the dark side.

    My advice, listen and be willing to learn.
  4. loobahood8b


    Jul 13, 2004
    :eek: learn to play not necessarily dead on but behind the beat, but more importantly just with a groove and unless u've got a great drummer know how to keep the tempo down, fast songs, unless necessary usually make the bass sound cheap, u want that sh*t slow and easy so u can jam it out, the guitarists i've played with tend to just kinda play and never really fit into the groove, also don't become infatuated with slapping, its cool if u have a bonified solo or a cool funk song to play, besides that, it's usually too hard for other people to recognize or its just cheap, get good at slapping and just do it when u need to, like to impress fine b**ches, knowing how to improv doesn't hurt either
  5. loobahood8b


    Jul 13, 2004
    also look into these bassists, and theory or just posts they've writtin maybe in a book or on their websites

    marcus miller
    victor wooten
    les claypool
    geddy lee
    larry graham
    stanley clarke
    james jamerson
    michael manring
    the guy from p-funk
    the guy from double trouble
    also look into anything with miles davis playing in it cuz whoever he's got doing bass stuff is always good

    *there's alot lot more but i don't remember em all so do some huntin and find out for ureself
  6. Not if you explain why you beat him up to the police officer. Chances are, he'll understand.
  7. bigyellowhead76


    Jul 14, 2004
    dude these are some of the best bassists out there he/she shouldnt start out on these songs. they should start out on the withe stripes seven nation army or green day brain stew songs like that songs that make your fingers work.
  8. you know what I think the best stuff to start out with is? AC/DC! Most of the bass lines are 'straight eighths', all on the root, i.e. Sin City, Its a Long Way to the Top, Whole Lotta Rosie, etc. That stuff is BASS playing, it's simple to play and you'll start to get the idea that bass is not all about being a guitarist's shadow. When you get the AC/DC stuff under your fingers, graduate to Led Zeppelin, start out with the early stuff. 'The Lemon Song' on Zep II should be your first real bass challenge.

    At least, that's one way to approach it.

    I also like the Who's 'Live at Leeds' record...good intermediate stuff.

    yes, but you have to learn the *context* of playing around the the most recent John Paul Jones interview in Bass Player, he talks about the context of it...very beautiful discussion of how to create tension and resolve. Also you have to know that in some types of music it is preferable for the bass to be a little in front of the beat (ie jazz on the upright and metal).
  9. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    Yeah. Just look up tabs for your favorite bands, you'll find what your limitations are for now. If you find a tough song and skip by it, you may be able to play it easily in a couple of months.
  10. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    The Withe Stripes must have a bass player, because the White Stripes do not.

    looba: The guy from P-Funk is Bootsy Collins, the guy from Double Trouble is Tommy Shannon.
  11. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Get a teacher for a few weeks. Get him to show you technique, and then play. There is no better way to develop technique than just by playing as much as you can. Work with the metronome initially, and then do what you want after that. Mix more than one or two techniques into a song. For instance, tapping pinch harmonics mixers two techniques and sounds great. Slap mutes notes on the E string for a backbeat while playing a melody on the D&G.

    Great site in general but also with great technique lessons: the Bass Survival section of -- check it out. It's got videos for all the technique lessons.
  12. Thanks all for the valuable information.
  13. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Above all, remeber, groove is in the heart.
  14. BCinU


    Jun 24, 2004

    12 bars are your friends. :D
  15. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    1. Learn good technique as soon as possible. Avoid assuming that since you've played guitar, you already know proper technique for bass.

    2. Accurately figure out (by ear!) and play along to as many songs as possible. Critically listen to the recordings and try to exactly imitate the bassist's dynamics, note lengths, tone, timing, etc... This cannot be learned in a strict academic sense (i.e., from a book or TAB) - it must be experienced!

    3. Make up your own riffs!

    4. Play with others.

    Good luck to you.
  16. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Biggest obstacle I had to overcome when switching to bass after 25+ years on guitar was the urge to play way too many friggin notes. I thought I was being really fancy with all my arpegios and made up riffs. One day I got to hear a recording of the band I was in and it was quite embarassing. Oh yeah, I was playing correct notes, but there was enough of them going on to the point of obnoxious. I then realized that my main job was to be a part of the rhythym section and not the center of attention. Once I settled down and simplified my lines, stopped tromping all over the vocals and just got into the beat with the drummer, everyone seemed much happier, including me. There is a definite difference between soloing and being in a support role. Once I learned it, I definitely got the groove on.
  17. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    practice playing really easy things for a while, and once you get the hang of it, try something more complicated. try to get really good at being able to play without looking at you bass or your hands. the best way to do that is to know where everything is. and the best way to know that is from experience. so really, it all comes down to the 7 "P"s: practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice.
  18. loobahood8b


    Jul 13, 2004
    about the bassist mentioned earlier they're sposed to be inspuration not hey go learn victor wooten, i look up to him more than i do my parents but i'll prolly never be able to get the hang of half of his stuff and any of those other guys' stuff but i can still listen to em and use it as a reference for how i want my own groove to sound and where i wanna go with bass, sheesh, and thanks fer the identification of those two great bass players back there :eek:
  19. I agree. Playing is more fun when you aren't staring at the neck, and when you perform, you can make eye contact with the audience.

    Hey Jazzin',what does your sig mean? Fender Jazz's own what?