Help me out of a rut

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by theshadow2001, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    Hey there, I've been playing either guitar or bass for about 4 or 5 years now and although people have complimented me on my bass playing I still feel that i suck ass.I really want to improve and become a better player,the thing is there is just so much information out there that i should know, techniques that i should be able to do but its all a bit over whelming.I just dont know what i should be focusing on or how i should go about learning these things.I dont know where to start and where to go on to from there. When I practice its just the same old same old, playing songs I already know and twiddling away on pentatonics and frankly its all got a bit stale. Unless i move out of this rut i feel im gonna stay at this level of playing for ever which really isnt good enough.Before anyone suggests getting a teacher the only guy i know that teaches bass in my town is one of those fellows who knows absoloutley everything but just cant get that info across to the student.He's very expensive and i feel its a waste of money to get lessons with him again if im learning nothing....My god this is an awful whiny post sorry bout that but if anyone has any magical soloutions just let me know :( :crying: :bawl:
  2. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Hi and welcome to Talkbass. :)

    I feel like you sometimes - not exactly knowing what to practice. With me, it's a disorganized feeling. And what I do for that is sit down and write down a list of things I know I need to work on and what goals I have.

    Also, about playing songs you know already: 1) you can take those songs and practice them in a different way...maybe breaking them down and analyzing the theory behind them...or paying attention to your technique whilst playing them? 2) Learn a new song.. You say you do the same old thing when you practice. That is the perfect indication that you need to learn something new. You need a challenge.

    It'll be valuable for you to check out Jazzbo's sticky thread in this forum titled "PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE". It may help you in organizing your practice routine.

    Hope this helps. :)

    And remember...ruts don't last.
  3. Hmmm... well, here are a few kickers that got me out of a rut with my bass playing.

    - Started learning how to 'hear' a walking bass line, and composed a little walking bass tune of my own.

    - Experimented with scale modes, such as Locrian and Dorian, which inspired some ideas for soloing that I found enjoyable.

    - Probably the most significant boost in my bass playing was the period in which I decided to re-focus on where I wanted my playing to progress:
    1) Serve the song
    2) Serve the band
    3) Develop better 'feel' (groove, funk, whatever you like)
    4) Quit trying to impress listeners with 'flash'
    5) Improve on listening and capturing good tone
    6) Finally getting a fretless. Now that I own and perform with one, I wonder why I waited so long to try it.

    Anyway, good luck to you. :)
  4. callofthebow


    Oct 19, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    set your self up some practicing goals, and go find some new music to listen or practice, or borrow cd's from friends.
  5. Sounds to me you need a good practice schedule or routine
    I was in that situation before its like youre at a good level but cant mve up to that next step
    Well my friend heres what got me to the next level
    My practice routine consists of
    a) sightreading 40 mins to hour
    b) techniques right hand only ie slap popin using a pick etc 10-15 mins
    c) Jam to a radio or favourite cd make sure u dont know the song (time varies on this one when youre havin fun so 1 hour
    d) Transcripe a song for 40 mins if i didnt finish it in that time i just stop anyway regardless of how far i got cause theres always tommorrow
    e) Ear Training Intervals asc. and desc. 10 mins
    f) Lefthand techniques hammer ons pull offs vibrato etc 10 mins-15
    g) rhthym training just getting a music piece and just read the rhythms while doin that i listen to my cds to keep time
    h) Ear training part 2 chords 10 mins
    Not in that particular order though also have rests in between each
    I know this might seem alot but believe me if you want to advance to the next level it will help
    By the way if you have other commitments just take off 10-15 mins or whatever but make sure those areas are worked on i guarntee that by 6 months youll see results
    If your in bands they get first piority before this schedule
    If you havent got the basics chuck them in there too about 15 mins warm up and 15 mins warm down ( u know scales chords etc)

    Hope this helps
    BTW im a student thats why i have alot of time

  6. appler

    appler Guest

    Buy fancy, expensive equipment!!!
    Just kidding.

    Get a really good method book... several companies like Mel Bay or Hal Leonard have them. Just read and practice... transcribing music is great, as well as improvising and recording what you come up with. Don't just drill yourself... save some time in your practice routine for jamming out and coming up with new grooves.