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How Did I Do It?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by EricTheEZ1, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    Not to toot my own horn, but I must've been born with "bassic" instincts. Lately I've felt a little stagnant in my playing like I can't expand my mind. I've been reading up on the basics and working my way up to see if I missed anything.

    I've never taken lessons or really learned from anybody as far as bass goes. To my surprise, I did so many things right from the get go that I didn't realize were the right ways to do things. Everything from right and left hand techniques to a lot of theory. I just kinda figured it out from myself and the stuff I was doing.

    I would have loved to start earlier (I'm 19 and only played for a year) with a teacher. I feel like with the right teacher I could be way better than I am now.

    To transform this topic into something useful, how many of you were self taught and what were your good and bad moments in how you came to be a bass player? What were the best sources of learning for you?

  2. Not to be a jerk but I think the reason why you are becoming stagnant is because you are feeling so good about yourself, I'm in a similar possition right now, and have been on several occations, and I always look back on those times and think "man I sucked then". What you, and I, need to do is challenge yourself and put youself in a situation where you will be humbled. The times when I've improved the most is when I've been humbled or tried something totally new. I had one improvement when I went to a Jazz Program for a week and saw how much better other people were than me when I had thought I was going to be in the top third of those there. I also was humbled when I saw the halloween Medeski Martin and Wood show and thought about how I could never be that good, soon afterwards I had an explosion of goodness (which is what I'm feeling so good about, especially that it happened after I fired my crappy teacher, so it's a self-motivated thing, but because I've become aware of it, my playing has gotten worse). Go do something totally beyond your capacities and strive to be critical of yourself at all times (not "I suck" but, "couldn't I do X better"). I will try to find a way to do so myself.
  3. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Welcome to the NBB club. (NBB=Natural born barsers)
  4. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I taught myself. I think i aquired good left hand technique by myself. I have proper left hand thumb technique/placement 98% of the time and my other fingers are good as well, i use them all, one finger per fret all the time (except in some odd situations that dont call for it for whatever reason).

    My right hand was good but it got better after about a year of playing. I never used to do the rest strokes at first because i didnt know anyone in real life that was good at bass to teach me,and every book i read didnt mention them at all, so i didnt pick that up until i learned about it about a year and a few months after i started.

    Now id say my technique is quite good. My theory is decent but could definitely be better. I know how to read music, i just dont do it often. I know an okay amount about scales and such , but i should learn more.
  5. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    I think you misunderstood. I'm humbled every time I play with really good musicians. I don't consider myself that good of a bassist except here in the white suburbs of Auburn Hills, MI. What I was saying was that I wasn't able to push beyond my limits very well.

    I've found using some really good songs to jam to, for all the various styles of music, really helps you guage your progress. One of the drawbacks is that they're stereotypical Rock, Funk, Jazz, Country so that I can't transfer it well. Sometimes I can overcome that boundary and sometimes not.

    I think one of the best things for me, and most new bassists, has got to be just playing with other people. Especially if it's live and you've got that pressure to keep you on your toes.

  6. I think one of the best things for me, and most new bassists, has got to be just playing with other people. Especially if it's live and you've got that pressure to keep you on your toes.

    Very true - especially if you are a self-taught type. The more self taught you are, the more important it is to have sense of feel I think. Because frankly you don't usually have solid fundamentals to draw from and probably have some bad habits. Not being critical, I am describing myself.

    At 19, you certainly haven't missed the boat on finding a teacher to inspire you and show you some things that will open up other avenues for you to teach yourself.