Help the newbie!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by BlondeBassist84, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. :D What's up people? I'm so a newbie at this, as of today I've been playing a whole 48 hours! I'm also teaching myself, joy! But the innocent newbie needs some help. First, tuning this thing is insane. I cant seem to do it. What do I need to get because the whole "5th fret on E should sound the same as the open string below it" is WAY confusing to me! :bawl: Second, I've received this poor thing as a gift from someone who used to play. IT'S REALLY DIRTY! How do I clean it up? Third... amps! I need an amp! How much am I gonna be setting down for one, just good enough for a newbie. And finally... someone encourage me! I love this so far, but man it's harder than people made it out to be! So thanks in advance, I hope to hear from people! Austa rockers!
  2. welcome to bassworld, the lovely wonderworld of joy.. hehe yeah.. gotta love it!

    if you're looking for encouragement, you came to the right place.. loads of ppl wel guide you through on TB! they helped me out countless times.

    Amps: i guess you'll play mostly in your room/garage (so do i) in that case a low watt combo will do the job. if possible try to find a known respected brand in a 2nd hand music store.. (Fender, Warwick, Hartke are brands that are in general good.. if you find one try it, play whatever you can, try it loud, soft, listen for hum and buzz when turning all the knobs if any appears just by turning the knob that most likely indicates worn parts. listen if it sounds clean without distortion. if possible try it at home with your bass and take your time before buying it.

    Cleaning a dirty bass.. no idea.. really.. i just whipe it with a soft cloth.

    for the tuning an analoge or digital tuner box will do wonders for you. BOSS has great litle tuners for this job. but any brand will do. they are not too expencive.

    good luck and keep us in touch!!
  3. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Welcome newbie! You have the right idea with tuning. Put your finger just behind the fifth fret on the E string (the fattest string) and while that note is still sounding pluck the open A string. These two pitches should be the same if the bass is in tune. Then move dow to the next lower string and do the same thing.

    In case you didnt know yet the string notes are (fattest to thinnest) E A D and G.

    To clean my basses I just use the treated cotton polish colths you can get at a guitar store for about $1 each.

    Amps... well. Im not sure what to suggest. You could spend between $100 and many thousands. Do some research on this site youll find more than you can read in one day!

    Need encouragement? Listen to some of the greatest bass players you can find. My favorites are Jaco Pastorius, James Jamerson (motown bassist), Victor Wooten and Chris Wood of Medeski Martin and Wood. Thats a wide variety of bass players from different types of music. Enjoy!

  4. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Congrats, and welcome to TB my friend, you've some to the right place!

    I'd highly reccomend a skilled teacher, what someone can show you in a month, could cause you to chase your tail for 6 months, or longer trying to figure it out on your own. A good teacher will also be able to show you correct technique before it comes habit for you.

    Best of luck no matter what road you decide to take!
  5. I second that!

    BTW, you can clean your bass with furniture polish and the cracks and grooves, use a tooth brush to get into those hard to reach palces!

  6. MegaTrain


    Sep 8, 2003
    Welcome to the Bass world!

    Tuning: Walmart has some electronic tuners at the front section by the registers for only $20. Great bargain! The cheapest I've seen at a music store are over $60. (oh, and you need some milk and maybe a car battery while you're there, don't you? :)

    Amps: Go find a good used one. I'm gonna second the other comments about making sure the electronics aren't all shot. While the amp is on and your guitar is plugged in, turn all the knobs back and forth, jiggle the cable where your bass plugs in, and listen for the dreaded "scritching" or the feared "pop" of old, worn-out electronics. Size and wattage shouldn't be a huge issue. I've got a 35 watt amp that fills up the church sanctuary just fine. Probably wouldn't compete in a heavy metal mosh-off, but that's not what I use it for.

    Encouragement: As long as you don't try to get too fancy right off the bat, bass really isn't that complicated. Look at it this way, at least you're not playing 6 notes (guitar) or 10 notes (piano) at the same time. And at least you don't have to memorize the positions for your fingers on a blank wooden neck (upright bass). You've got those nice lines that give you about a +/- half inch margin of error when putting your fingers on different notes.

    So, it's a bit harder than falling off a log, but compared to other instruments out there (French Horn, anyone? Oboe??), it's one of the easiest instruments to learn.

    My suggestion: Crank the bass up on the radio, and listen carefully to the bassline on some of the popular songs (pick a pop station, not jazz--that'll come later). Most of them are pretty simple. Even when the guitars are doing different wild stuff, the bass is bouncing back and forth between 2 or maybe 3 different notes. Sure, they mix it up a bit by hitting the same note in different octaves, or by doing a RUN up to the note instead of just skipping there, but in most arrangements the BASS really is the BASE--its the foundation of the chord and you shouldn't really be messing around with it much.

    (Disclaimer: some here may disagree with my characterization of the role of the base in the previous paragraph, and as you gain more experience and expand into different kinds of music, there certainly is plenty of variety that the skill of the player can bring to the song.)
  7. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    That pretty much sums it up :rolleyes: :)

    Riding a bike is easy, anyone can do it. But to enter competitons, and be among the best is another completely different ball of wax.

    I've been playing around 18 years now, and while I am competent on my instrument, and feel I do my job well, I am not even near knowing it all, you NEVER stop learning, it's just how far YOU decide to take it, and find new things.

    The moral of this post?

    YOU figure it out.
  8. Victor Wooten98

    Victor Wooten98 Guest

    Jul 31, 2003
    South of Heaven...

    Meet me, the sad statistic...

    I am going to start taking lessons soon, What kind of music do you play? or you just play 'anything'? What kind of bass is it?

    For amps, I would prolly go for a Small Fender amp, like something with 25watts or so, to start with.

    I like the Fender amps, they are pretty well built, and I think are one of the best 'bang for the buck' amps avaliable.

  9. Victor Wooten98

    Victor Wooten98 Guest

    Jul 31, 2003
    South of Heaven...
    One thing about the Bass in general that I think EVERYONE can agree with;

    The bass guitar is one of the easiest instraments to learn how to play.

    BUT it is also one of the most Chalenging instraments to master.

    Good luck, When you get into the hard stuff (I know you will) dont give up!

    Go listen to Victor Wooten, Jaco Pastorious, and John Patituchi-----THEN you will understand

  10. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Amy instrument is easy to play poorly, which is the point of my post. Doesn't matter how many resources your instrument has, there are only 11 notes on any of them.

    That's okay, the guys that think that their 30 days of instruction on the learning end is adequate, will keep myself, and others who take it seriously busy with all the good gigs.
  11. THANK YOU! You guys are awesome! I hope to make some friends on here and rock out hard core syle with ya! Thanks again! :D
  12. Welcome to TB.

    Just spend a lot of time here going through threads and you will pick up things very quickly.

    I did:cool:

  13. Spelling is also challenging for some bass players!

  14. Victor Wooten98

    Victor Wooten98 Guest

    Jul 31, 2003
    South of Heaven...
    I am learning to type, the backspace button is getting ALL the attention.

    TRUST ME, I have been playing flute for 9 years and I as STILL learning, you never stop learning, you never stop getting better either, Music is a Life long relationship (or at least it is for me) I dont know what I would do with my spare time If I didnt play. Better than Rotting your brain with Video Games, but games are fun too :D
  15. Victor Wooten98

    Victor Wooten98 Guest

    Jul 31, 2003
    South of Heaven...
    BTW, do you guys play any other instraments?

    Just wondering...
  16. cheezewiz


    Mar 27, 2002
  17. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Dude, I dig your flow :D

    P.S. Does anyone else find it incredibly funny that he's screen-named himself after arguably one of the greatest bassists alive at the moment?
  18. Victor Wooten98

    Victor Wooten98 Guest

    Jul 31, 2003
    South of Heaven...
    Victor Wooten is my Hero, I could have named myself Jaco Pastorious223 or something.

    Whats wrong with my screen name?
  19. Amy, I really am glad to see all the people helping you out. I wish I got this kind of treatment when I first started (could have saved me a couple of E strings, from when i thought you tuned your E UP to a D in Drop-D).

    You'll sure enjoy your stay here. And before you know it, this place will become like Internet Crack! (I'm serious...)

    Edit: read your profile. A Rogue bass eh? Well, at least now you can only go up! ;)
  20. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    It makes me laugh, so there's nothing wrong with it at all! It's the coolest. Keep it, okay? Don't ever change for nobody. No, not even me. :p
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    Primary TB Assistant

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