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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by JDHolmes, May 13, 2010.

  1. JDHolmes


    Jan 6, 2010
    I've been "playing" now for 4 months and taking lessons though I realized yesterday that I didn't start at my age (51) to be frustrated, exasperated and not wanting to pick up my bass.

    I've been through Hal Leonard's book 1 and another beginner's book that I have. I can sight read and have a grasp of the fretboard. I'm stopping my lessons today as they are unproductive, creating the frustration with stuff that is beyond my level and total lack of organization on the part of my teacher (who is an excellent guitarist). We do something in a lesson, he sends me off to practice it which I do then the next week, he's forgotten what he was supposed to bring and we start something else.

    Where do I go from here?? I searched here and there's some recommendation for Carol Kaye's stuff. I know I need to find another teacher, but I'd prefer to wait on that until I have a more firm grasp of the fretboard and its use in actual music.

    HELP provide some direction for forward progress please.
  2. This forum will recommend you get with a teacher - they always do and that does have merit. IMO this depends on the teacher -- and yes you do need another one. I have for years taken lessons in spurts. Most instructors can give you enough "stuff" to keep you busy for several months. That's what I do. When I reach the saturation point I lay out awhile and study the material I already have -- then go back for more.

    But, can you go it alone right now? All the fuss about learning bad habits I take with a grain of salt. Carol's lessons have been recommended and I probably will purchase some of her books. I've had good luck with www.studybass.com and the book Bass Lines in Minutes - An easy method for creating bass lines - by Kris Berg gave me a good over view on what bass line to use. http://www.bassplace.com/JA056.html

    Other than those two things I also recommend looking into knowing how to place your Major scale pattern on the 3 and/or 4th string and then play chord tones R-5, R-3-5-3, etc. over the chord changes -- letting the scale pattern point you to the interval needed, i.e. the R or the 3, 5, or 7. http://www.studybass.com/lessons/bass-scales/one-octave-major-scale/ Of course fake chord sheet music is always a help.
    C chord your choice of a bass line are R nothing or R-5 or R-3-5-3 plus unlimited other things based upon those chord tones.
    Cm chord look into R-b3-5-b3
    C7 chord look into R-3-5-b7.
    Cmaj7 chord look into R-3-5-7
    If that is new to you look here. http://www.smithfowler.org/music/Chord_Formulas.htm

    I've also found jam tracks or play-a-longs helpful.

    Beyond that you start getting into technique and you do need an instructor for technique - IMO

    Have fun.
  3. whisper14072


    May 16, 2008
    Grand Island
    Find someone to jam with... it will help big time!!!! I was like you frustrated... I started playing at my church and WOW what a difference.... things I was learning and had learned all started to just drop into place. A great bassist told me the best way to learn is to play live.. yes you will mess up... laugh it off and remember it for the next night. :) The bassist was Billy Sheehan
  4. harry182


    Nov 28, 2009
    ^^^ Sound advice so far!

    Play with people and enjoy the bass now for what it is :) iv been told to jam with as many people as often as you can.

    you've been playing for four months now so i imagine you have some understanding!

    I imagine you can read tab as well?

    Find a few of your favourite songs you'd like to learn find the tabs for them online and give it a go at learning them. Keep the brain and fingers ticking over!

    Dont give up just yet :)
  5. Marginal Tom

    Marginal Tom

    Apr 28, 2010
    O'Fallon, IL
    I'd recommend changing teachers and attending every jam session you can find. After you get to know the other players, ask their advice. They may know some good exercises or some great instructors. Find and play the original basslines from songs you love, then ask yourself why the recording artists played them that way.
  6. Nothing encourages a musician like the ability to actually play something.

    I recommend attending jams (although you may or may not be able to keep up), inviting anyone who will play with you to practice informally, and practicing to CDs that you like. I'm 59 and based on your age, can recommend Booker T.'s "Time is Tight" and "Green Onions" as examples of music that you can listen to and figure out the bass part in minutes...although trying to emulate Duck Dunn's metronome-like playing is a higher challenge.

    A different teacher may help, but I hate to practice and I find that actually playing something is much more reinforcing...so regardless of what else you do, I recommend playing real music.
  7. one way would be to work out the chord tones in all 12 keys.....i do the chords of the modes of four a day,all over the neck,while saying the notes out loud...ie the keys of EADG,on day one, F Bb Eb Ab,on day 2 etc.....three minutes per x 28 chords
  8. JDHolmes


    Jan 6, 2010
    Thanks for the advice guys. MalcolmAmos, I've read most of your suggestions in this forum and I glean a lot of good stuff from them.

    I intend to find another teacher.

    I can read tab. I've read and been through a bunch of chord stuff via studybass website and have read through, though not played them, all of the lessons on that site.

    I appreciate the advice to play with others, but there's the rub. I have absolutely no idea where to find those folks or even where to begin looking.

    Thanks again.

  9. Finding people to jam or play with..... it's word of mouth.

    I hooked up with my first band by asking if I could tag along on a gig - just to see what happened at a gig. Been with them 10 years now.

    If your church has a Praise band, go watch them rehearse. Show interest. They might ask you to sit in.

    Bound to be a musician hang out somewhere near where you life, seek it out and see if you know any of them.

    Jamming with and playing with others involves friends or friends of friends. Let your friends known you are looking.

    Good luck.
  10. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Then i suggest you do what everyone does and play to your record collection. Find the songs you like and can handle and have fun. Remember to apply that 13 yrs, old outlook to you playing not that of a 51 year old man LOL.:bassist:
    Stand in front of that mirror and dream you are on a big stage and play your heart out, visualise what it is like to play and have fun, after all that's what its about.
    Most kids get in to bands, not for music, but for the fun playing songs.
    That then leads to music for some but not all, as the band idea is still for them what they want and thats a great thing to have in your life...friends.
    When you are with like minded people it is fun and that's the best way to progress, when you are young with nothing better to do with your time, a band learning songs will focus that time and give you fun with a purpose.

    51.. never to late, so long as you can accept the reality of your situation, and have fun.:)

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