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HOW DID YOU GET GOOD?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by dreamer25, Dec 22, 2005.


  1. dreamer25

    dreamer25

    Dec 22, 2005
    To whoever is reading and cares im 14, play a Schecter Deluxe-5 5-string bass, and have been with my best (bass) friend for nearly 2 years. I do other things besides play bass so its hard to focus souly on bass. When i practice or have jam sessions i think of it as talking to my bass, i put my emotions in it from whatever happened that day or week.

    Iv been getting better but i just suddenly hit a mental wall and cant get over, around it, or through it. If there are any suggestions about bands, songs, techniques, methods or anything that helped you to get better at what you love please post it.

    thanks,
    James Caleb
     
  2. ras1983

    ras1983

    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    i personally recommend the best thing is to bug your parents about letting you have lessons. at the very least buy some books with play-along CD's(such as jamey aebersold's series) and start learning. try to find some instructional DVD's. but even then; try your absolute best to convince your parents to find you a good teacher.
     
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    You did via the thread poster.
     
  5. elros

    elros

    Apr 24, 2004
    Norway
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Some tips - things that have helped me:

    Take lessons.
    Practice every day. (you may start with a half hour per day, if it's difficult)
    Learn proper technique.
    Learn to read music.
    Increase practice time.

    And, if motivation is lacking: Play stuff you love!
     
  6. Lessons - to give you a structure + good technique and theory

    Practice - to learn the above

    get in a band - to put the above to good use


    Regards and kee at it

    Matthew
     
  7. kjones

    kjones Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Maryland
    How did I get good? Well, assuming I am good, here's what worked for me:

    1) Gigging whenever possible with as many different musicians as possible. If there's a bluegrass call, I went. If there's a metal call, I went. If there's a jazz call, I played that too. Playing different kinds of music gives you references and depth to your playing no matter what kind of playing you're doing primarily.

    2) Practicing every day. Just getting the bass in your hand for an hour or more is vital. Learning songs for various gigs (see above), running scales, modes, looking at new positions, practicing string crossing, all are important.

    3) Lessons. I've been playing 30 years and still take lessons. Especially when you hit a wall, like you apparently have, going to an excellent teacher and working on weaknesses in your playing (can you sightread? how's your slapping? can you walk really well?) usually takes you into a whole new area to expand your playing.

    These are just some starter ideas for you. James, you started at 12 which is a huge advantage, just keep up your love of the instrument and keep playing enjoyable for you, and you will become even more of a monster player than you already are.
     
  8. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I never took lessons and would never suggest that you not take lessons. If you have the the time a resources by all means take lessons. If lessons are not in the cards right now I would suggest you play as much as possible with as many people as possible. If you are learning by ear then learn as many songs as you can.
    I have found that over the years I get better everytime I place myself in a new situation that challenges me.
     
  9. purfektstranger

    purfektstranger

    Apr 10, 2003
    Canada
    I would also vary my musical styles if you are not already doing so. In doing so you can develop better skills.
     
  10. threshar

    threshar

    Jul 30, 2002
    sometimes I wish I could get lessons.
    It isn't a monetary thing, but a time thing.
    I've yet (Admittedly, haven't looked THAT hard) that teach really late - unfortunately my solo practice time typically doesn't start until 10-10:30PM. I'm usually busy before then.

    But what you can do if you're hitting a wall is try listening to some new music - I've found that can help. Also, this will probably come under fire, but put the bass down for a day or two then come back. It can be wholesomely refreshing to take a break. It has helped me a few times when I just lost the urge to play or couldn't get past a wall.

    Good luck!
     
  11. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    There has been some good advice here and I’m going to repeat most of it. However there are some ‘Big Picture’ points that might help you.

    1 Work out what you want to do. Then plan how to achieve it. It’s probably no good paying someone to teach you how to slap, tap and anything else ending in ‘ap’ if you want to be in a punk band. Although, that could work.

    2 Be responsible for your progress. Some people go to lessons and achieve nothing other than financial benefit for the teacher. If what you are being taught doesn’t fit in with what you want to do then make changes.

    3 Get some real world experience. If you wan to play live then get loads of gigs, beg, play for free, get out there. If you want to be a session player then get recording sessions, beg etc.

    4 Allow some people you trust to be critical of you playing. It could be your teacher but not your Mum (Dad, Uncle etc). Ask for advice and don’t get upset when you don’t like the answer. Also don’t do it on a BBS unless you have really thick skin.
     
  12. Minger

    Minger

    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Practice. That and jamming and learning songs and stuff.

    Eventually you pick up on things that just begin to make common sense
     
  13. I play rock and roll and I'm a hack, but...

    First, enjoy it. That way you'll look forward to playing.

    Play with people. That's where you learn. You'll mess up, but don't dwell on the mistakes. A lot of how "good" you're percieved is how well you interact within the context of the band.
     
  14. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I think listening and watching other bassist is very imporent in building your own chops and of cousre playing as much as possible. :bassist:
     
  15. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    I obtained my current skill level by playing alot, playing in a fair amount of bands, and playing quite a few gigs - IMO, that experience is invaluable... In your position, lessons certainly wouldn't hurt - although I'll admit to not having ever taken any(I also had 15 years experience as an on/off working guitarist before I took up bass, though)... If lessons are not in the cards, maybe setting a goal of learning 5 or so songs per week, and practicing the ones you already know to maintain proficiency would definetly increase your skill level, keep things from getting stale - and open up some posibilities for jamming with other musicians... Building up a "catalog" of songs you can play will come in handy, I guarantee it...


    Currently, I typically play 2 to 3 hours, 2 to 3 times a week - and spend any other "spare" time playing guitar and composing - besides band rehearsals, that is...



    - georgestrings
     
  16. billbern

    billbern

    Sep 11, 2004
    Daytona Beach, Fl
    Endorsing: Inearz In-ear Monitors
    Man, couple of great points here Golden boy

    "Enjoy it" man ain't that the truth. Don't let all the other stuff in the business blur the love of playing.

    "How good.....band context" How many times have I been in one of the Music Retail Chains and somebody is a tapping, slapping, technical fool, but can't play a solid groove with somebody else.

    Bill
     
  17. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I was using the bathroom, and in this stall next to me was a midget who claimed to be a genie. He said that if I would....nevermind. It's still painful to talk about.
     
  18. 2 VERY good points. If you feel that you are hitting a mental wall in your progress as a player, this is exactly what I went through recently(at a similar age as you, too :ninja: ). I had been playing for about 4 1/2 years, and taking lessons the whole time. My lessons weren't really lessons, they basically were me coming in and having my teacher transcribe something for me, and maybe pointing out a technique. I decided to take 6 months off away from lessons. I discovered music theory and improv, and made more progress that summer than I had made in the last year. I now take lessons that are mostly music theory.

    When you start to understand how everything works, you will become a much better player.
     
  19. SuperSonic!!!

    SuperSonic!!!

    Oct 26, 2005
    YORKSHIRE
    I am not saying this is what you should do, but my friend has just started playing bass, and the first thing I told him to do was look at a few different styles, players, and techniques, and when you see the one that makes you go "WOW", learn that and stick at it. I saw a video of Mark King slapping, thought " i wish i could do that...", and now people tell me I'm brilliant at slapping, I dont know if its true though! :ninja: