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How do you learn to play in the darK?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Jawbone, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. Jawbone


    Jul 15, 2010
    Humboldt County
    I've been living in the dark and playing in the dark most of my life - but now one of my bandmates told me we actually have to "play in the dark" at a gig coming up on Sat. - dark and minimal lights.

    Man-o-man - never done that! How can i learn my parts or what do you do - I think I'll call in sick!
  2. fryBASS


    Aug 8, 2006
    New Haven, CT
    Either practice not looking at the fingerboard while you play or get LED's installed on your bass neck pronto! :smug:
  3. Jerose


    Nov 28, 2005
    Syracuse, NY
    Look into some glow-in the dark tape that wouldn't damage the neck and put a little piece of it over the fret markers on the top of your neck?

    That way at least you won't lose your place if you have to jump around the neck at all.

    That's all I can think of!
  4. pica


    Nov 26, 2009
    Why are you living in the dark? :confused:
  5. puddin tame

    puddin tame

    Aug 14, 2010
    How long have you been playing?

    I think you'll find if you stop thinking about your playing the notes will just come out. Often our bodies know what to do and we **** it up by worrying about it
  6. c_thur


    Aug 26, 2010
    New England, USA
    practice with your eyes closed- might heighten your sense of hearing?
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    stop being a wuss and use your ears ;)
  8. phaneo


    Mar 14, 2001
    Fort Worth TX
    close your eyes!

    In almost every pic of me playing I have my eyes closed. I don't even realize I'm doing it. Probably doesn't look great, but I'm not looking down at the bass the whole time either
  9. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I fully agree!! Man up.. your ears are your best tools in the dark or not
  10. If it is a 'Rave' type of gig just commandeer a Glo-Stick and strap it on.
  11. David1234


    Jun 1, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: SWR Amplifiers
    Some folks have stickers on the back of the neck, behind every fret position that has a dot.

    I don't. But you could try it if you wanted to!

    Alternatively, you could take some lights with you.
  12. Jawbone


    Jul 15, 2010
    Humboldt County
    Wow, you guys are true heros. I hate being a wuss and I too will overcome this fear that's not real!! I just tried playing a few songs in the basement with the lights off and actually not soooo bad. You guys are right, take away one sense and the others pick up where the one left off. I didn't know my ears were so smart! Even the touch of my fingers felt different. Grooovy man!!
  13. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    When I started playing, I practiced a LOT in the dark because lets be realistic, you're not going to be able to see your fingerboard if you start playing certain gigs. There's no harm if you practice in the dark. You know your bass better, learn where things are. You learn the subtleties about your instrument!

    So, i suggest turning off the lights, or blind folding yourself, then play scales SLOWLY and focus on where the next note is going to be. Visualize it in your head first, get a REALLY good vision of it, then go there.
  14. one of the benefits of sight reading is practice moving around the neck without looking
  15. I just know the songs i have to play and my fretboard extremely well. When i'm learning a song i dont even look at my bass, i just kinda naturally know where each note is, and therefore dont need to look.

  16. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Mean Mr. Mustard, standing in the dark, shaving in the dark, trying to save papers~ *sing

    I had this come up on my first gig ever. Outdoors, dimly lit. A pain in the a$$.

    Maybe try to play your bass like a fretless (unlined)? :p
    Don't look at it, listen.

    I found that after some time you get so familiar with your instrument though that you should have no problems to find the right note without looking at the neck.
  17. Jerose


    Nov 28, 2005
    Syracuse, NY
    Just to clarify, my tip is for you playing in complete darkness so you can at least find where your hand is to start the song. Then at least you won't hit a C# to start the song when the rest of the band hits a C.

    It is in no way a replacement for knowing how not to look at your fretboard and playing with your ear! :p
  18. I frequently practice walking lines with my eyes closed, not to prepare for dark stages, but for ear training and also to force myself to use better hand positioning
    (I'm self taught and well, I taught myself some bad habbits in my early years).

    I have found it works wonders for the ears in particular - I find I play more "musically" now.
  19. Daniel J

    Daniel J

    Oct 25, 2007
    practice in the dark.
  20. The fret positions become second nature after playing for long enough. You'll notice.
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