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Help out a young bass player :/

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Albini_Fan, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. Albini_Fan

    Albini_Fan Banned

    Jan 26, 2003
    Beneath Below
    I've had my bass for about 8-10 months, not sure, but I just recently got my amp. I can't play anything by ear, I don't know what an 8th note is or how to change my strings. I'm probably going to sink some cash into some lessons now or then, but do you guys have any advice? What to practice? Latley I've just been trying to play along to songs I like :(

    I really want to join a band, any band. I don't know how to go about doing that, and then I'd be kind of emberassed to go and do whatever I'd have to do to join the band. Because I really can't play very well :(

    Any books I should buy, or any advice at all?
  2. JizzDogg


    Nov 4, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Be confident in what your playing first before you join a band, IMO. What will help with general knowledge of playing the bass, reading music/tabs, are usually Beginner books that can be bought at most music stores.

    What helped me with most of my intial steps were computer programs that allowed me to plug my bass into the computers mic jack and play along with what was on screen. I suggest PlayPro's Bass Guitar program and Emedia's.
  3. Albini_Fan

    Albini_Fan Banned

    Jan 26, 2003
    Beneath Below
    I play with alot of tabs, but I've heard people say before they were bad.
  4. well, i wish i could give you some usefull advise but i don't know how to change strings myself, i don't even know what srings i'd have to buy nor size or whatever they come in lol.

    Whell this is how i starded 'bout 3 months ago:
    1) even b4 i had 1, i watched pro's play bass at gigs, watched how they play, placing of hands/fingers etc. than when i had my own, i tried different possitions i had seen and kinda made a mix that felt most natural 2 me.

    2) i started learning to read tab, played random freds on 1 string at first, than on random strings, just to try to "feel" where wich fred/string is posisioned,

    3) downloaded tab's for the slowest, easyest sounding songs i knew. than got the tabs for songs i really like, i experienced the songs u really like are easyer to lurn tho the tab is often more complicated, try songs u have a good feel with, try to feel the music.

    4) practis, practis, practis, practis, practis, etc... i did till my fingers where sore, than practised some more, i'm still crap and practising

    5) TALKBASS.COM <--- since i got to know this site, i'm double motivated and trying harder than ever. (thanks guys u really push me to be a bether player)

    For the bands i can't say much i haven't done an audition coz i just think i'm not gud enough to play just anything. Tho just out of curiosity i read Adds posted on a blackboard in the local music shop, loads off bands are looking for a bass player, some bands are propably just as inexperienced as you and not asking for any experience, i know it's easy to say, i havend had the nerv to call a band myself but mayb you do.

    Good luck!

  5. JizzDogg


    Nov 4, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Apparently the ESL tour group was through here. ^^ (post above) ^^
  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Here's my take on the matter. You want to join a band, so you must have some notion of what type of music you would like to play. If you have been using tabs, I take it the music is probably some form of metal or pop.

    To speed up your readiness for a band, learn everything you can about that particular style of music. Learn how a typical song tends to be constructed. What are common chord progressions, for example? What are the most usual keys? Are blues scalkes and pentatonic scales commonly used? Do basslines tend to be similar in nature...such as mostly roots and fifths with some passing notes between chords or do they tend to be more complex with a greater selection of notes for each chord?

    What would be a typical rhythmic pattern for your preferred style? Is slap a typical feature of the style and if so, you need to develop your slap technique. Is the rhythm syncopated or "funky" or more steady? Does the style feature breakneck changes of tempo from choruses to solos to verses, etc. Are basslines more riff based or are they more melodic? Does a bassist in your style usually play with a pick or fingerstyle?

    Next, I'm not sure what your equipment is, but if you want to be in a band, you will need sound equipment that can compete with the volume levels of a drum kit. If a band in your style has two electric guitars at full volume, you will need sound equipment to compete.

    By knowing your preferred style inside out, you will have a better idea of what demands will be made on you as a bassist in that style and be able to target your studies to that aim.

    Two vital areas for you will be to develop fretboard familiarization, so that you know what notes are where on your bass. Second, better learn how chords are constructed so that you can know how to choose notes for your basslines. Also you do need to know the difference betwen major and minor chords, at the very, very least.

  7. what's an "ESL tour group" if i may ask?
  8. Albini_Fan

    Albini_Fan Banned

    Jan 26, 2003
    Beneath Below
    I have a 210 220 watt ampeg combo, and a fender jazz bass. I really want to play in a punk or hardcore band, or something along those lines.
  9. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I suspect ESL tour means "lots of spellings that don't match what you find in the dictionary" - I'd recommend letting it pass. That would be would be words like 'freds' instead of 'frets' and 'practis' instead of 'practise'.

    Good English makes it easier to understand what you're saying... but if English isn't your first language, you're doing better than a lot of native English speakers by managing to communicate in a foreign language at all :)

  10. oh thanks well i'm not english so i'll take it as a compliment lol.
    sorry for any confusion 'bout what i may have said and what i ment to say.
  11. JizzDogg


    Nov 4, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Oh crap English really isn't your native language my apologizes
  12. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Spending some time with a teacher will definately help- a teacher can make sure you don't get into bad habits and keep your playing clean. I would recommend only using tabs if you are really stuck or can't find any notation for the song. Tabs are useful, but only take you so far and reading sheet music is a very valuable skill. I have an old beginner's bass book with lots of good info such as scales, exercises, etc. that could help ya out. Just pay for shipping and its your if ya want it.

    As far as changing strings, simply down-tune your bass until the strings get really lose and pull them out of the tuners, then pull them out of the bridge. If you have a local music store, go there and ask them for bass strings in a medium gauge is your not sure what size you need. If you ahve a 4 string, odds are that you will want regular scale length strings as well. A regular scale is 34" from the point the strings touch the bridge closest to you pick-ups to the nut. You can measure it with a tape measure if your not sure of your scale length.
    Some good brands to try are D'addario XL and GHS bass boomers. I haven't heard a lot of good things about dean markley or earnie ball abss strings, and don't really liek them myself, but if your strapped for cash, they are very affordable. When you go to put your strings back on, put the samll end without the bead on it through the back of the bridge and pull the strings all the way through. If the end of the string goes past its specific tuner by more than 3 inches, you may want to cut them a bit to get them to wind on nice. Always check your length before you cut the string though! Next feed the end of the string into the tuner, then bend the string down and wrap it around the tuner post as many time as possible, then start tightenting up the tuner until the string is somewhat tight. once all the strings are on, go through and tune them. ( you do have a tuner?) You will ahve to back and forth retuning teh strings 2 or 3 times to get them accurate because the neck shifts a bit with the tension from tuning. If this doesn't mkae much sense to you, then bring your bass with you when you go to a music store, and someone there will probably help you put on teh strings you jsut bought from them. (unless of course, its guitar center :rolleyes:)

    Sorry its so long man, good luck!
  13. Albini_Fan

    Albini_Fan Banned

    Jan 26, 2003
    Beneath Below
    I took the time to learn the neck today, and I made this chart for myself:


    Copy and paste that into your browser.

    I bet there's some mistakes, but I feel more like a musician then ever today :p
  14. It's much much better, I've learned, to develop your own style before you go searching for a band. While it's important to know how to groove, you need to be conifdent in your own playing first, before you embark on something like that.

    I mean, I've been playing a lot, only for a year, but a lot, and I'm pretty good but still not in that instance where I can go out and join a band. I still need to write music and develop what I'm going to be before I share that with a band.

    ...but if you want to, I guess it's your choice.
  15. Looks like it isn't yours either. It's apologies. :)

    Anyway, here's some info on how to change your strings:


    And as far as getting better at bass, get a teacher.
  16. skaboy


    Oct 16, 2001
    My Chum whenever I play a unfamiliar song or any song that requires me to figure out a bassline . I usually think of the note that's currently being played on the speaker to where it's actually positioned on my fret board. It should make it easier to remember the sounds of each note that you fret.

    Add some time and some hard work bud and everything should turn out fine.

    Good Luck ! :)