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How do you practice without the bass?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Jiro, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. Jiro


    Mar 15, 2004
    Ya, I finally returned the 75' fender precision to her rightful owner(which i borrowed for a year)... and now I have no bass to practice with, waiting for my SX bass to come in(estimated to arrive on June 16th)... I have absolutely no other access to a bass so I reallly have to wait.

    I was just wondering what I should be studying while not playing the bass... I have an acoustic guitar which i try to bass lines on but its not the same... I really hate waiting and im really itching to play!
  2. Sprudellio


    Oct 16, 2002
    Grab a metronome and sing (yes sing) some rhythms.
    Grab a metronome and clap some rhythms.
    Grab a cd and sing or hum along the bassline.
  3. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    definitely rhythm practice with a metronome.

    Learn how to read rhythms. Start with simple eight note stuff. Swing feel and straight, then try triplets.

    You can do this with any sheet music you like at any tempo, just clapping or tapping along with the metronome. It's very good practice, and it will help add these rhythms to your musical vocabulary.
  4. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
  5. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    Spend as much time as you can critically listening to bass lines on recordings (listen for other instruments and vocals as well!).

    Do this with the best audio equipment you have - I find that headphones work the best.

    Even if your goal is to compose originals, it is a big help to have "big ears" and to regularly expose yourself to a wide variety of bass tones and lines.

    This is an area of weakness for many bassists imo.
  6. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Inactive

    Nov 5, 2004
    If you know how to read music, take a chart and play in your head or sing it and try to figure out where to play the notes as you go along.
    You can do the same thing with songs that you know too or even while listening to something new, try to figure out the notes and rythms.
  7. cirwin


    May 2, 2005
    Try to work out lines in your head. (I do this while driving, standing in line at the bank, etc.) You can either visualize a line you can play and then try to "hear" what it would sound like if you changed the fingering or you can hear a line and try to see how it would finger on the neck. (Variation - visualize new fingerings for lines you already know how to play.) This way, when the new bass comes, you'll have a whole bunch of new things to try out on it!

    Charlie Irwin
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    What I used to like to do when I was in school and didn't have my bass was to practice scales and exercises just imagining I was holding a bass and moving my left hand in my lap or as I was walking. Try not to let anyone catch you doing it, though, otherwise you will be socially outcast from your peer group for being a spazz ;)

    Also when you listen to music, imagine yourself being the bass player and playing what he's playing. Visualization works.
  9. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Whistle, drum with my hands on tables (not at same time, I'll look crazy). I don't practice bass without a bass, but I practice music without a bass.
  10. Do some theory but while your doing it visualize it on your fretboard within your mind or even better do it on a keyboard/piano.
    Or some eartraining www.good-ear.com
    Even getting a plastic water bottle and lay it on a surface ( ie: table ) and hold it with your fretting hand , thumb on one side and the rest of your fingers on the opposite side and imagine yourself playing scales by moving your four fingers all the while you are thinking the fretboard in your mind but your fingers are moving
    But just listen to all sorts of music and if you can transcribe without the use of an instrument
  11. Get a pair of drum sticks.
  12. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Cool, thanks. I have some basic ear training from school, but I could always improve that. I usually have my bass right next to me, unless I am on vacation.
  13. jadesmar


    Feb 17, 2003
    Ottawa, ON
    Well, it seems to me that instument playing is a basically a giant feedback loop as follows:

    Brain - Hands - Ears - Brain - Hands - Ears - ...

    If you can work on the "Hands", there are two other areas you can improve (at least).
  14. Tyler_W


    Jun 15, 2005
    Woodbridge, VA

    *Learn bass clef and learn to read 3-4 ledger lines above the staff
    *Learn how to construct basic chords
    *Use the E A D G string on your acoustic guitar to become familiar with the fretboard, the acoustic strings are just an octave higher.
    *Learn to play some basic scales on the acoustic guitar (F major, Bb major, Eb major, G major, D major) using the E A D G strings

    thats my $.02
  15. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC
    Wow, I'm glad somebody likes the fretboard diagram I created. It sure has helped me (being a newbie) to learn the fretboard. I haven't mastered it, but I haven't needed to bring it out so often lately.
  16. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Just to let you know I have a copy of your fretboard diagram on my work computer. :)

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