How does a new bassist organize their practicing?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Sinestra, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. Sinestra


    Sep 4, 2010
    In advance, sorry for the lengthy post...

    I've been a lurker for a couple of months on these forums and recently decided to start practicing on my bass.

    I'm at a point where I'm not quite sure what to practice (I don't have an instructor and I can't afford one at the moment). I picked up Building Walking Basslines and it has helped me out a lot so far, although there are times where I'll get drained from walking for an hour and want to do something else.

    I have a decent musical background from playing piano in middle/high school, so music theory isn't that foreign to me. And, luckily, one of my roommates has a drum set (he's really good), so I jam with him frequently. At this point, a lot of my basslines (from what I've noticed) are centered around R-5-8. Some of them sound pretty good, but I'm also starting to notice that a lot of my basslines sound similar.

    Anyway, what should I do besides walking? Please no flaming! :bag:
  2. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses
    With your piano background you should have a preety good ear - just learn lots and lots of songs. Like one simple song a day.

    You`ll encounter things that you can`t quite nail due to technique limitations, despite the fact that you know WHAT to play. Nail the difficult parts down, and proceed to the next one...

    You have your harmony. After a few months you`ll have a lot more technique due to practicing tricky stuff, and a lot more songs under your belt, with helps with overall musical development. Just don`t start with crazy hard stuff - every bassplayer I know knows AT LEAST 50-100 simple songs. Better ones know a lot more:)
  3. We play chord tones. Get some fake chord or lead sheet music and it will tell you the chord name. It's up to you to decide how much of that chord you want to put into your bass line, i.e. the root may be all you need or it could be the full chord tone (R-3-5-b7). Up to you. Ed's book gave you many possible bass line - time now to use some of them in your songs.

    Going to give you something to jamm over. You decide how much of the chord to have in your bass line. Hint, the measures with two chords, in 4/4 time, each chord only has room for two notes, R-5 for both, perhaps R-3 for one and R-5 for the other. Perhaps just two roots on both - up to you. Point I'm trying to make is knowing how much of the chord tone to use is the next plateau. How much do you need to get the groove going..... in THIS song.

    Have fun with Autumn Leaves. Basic 12 bar blues progression - roots first.

    Practice time - get some jamming into your practice. Suggest one new song per week. Warm up with scales and your favorite bass line riffs. Here is a new one I'm working with now; R-3-5-6-8-6-5-3. Chromatic runs to the next chord is new and I'm still working to get all my choices in the keys I play in - to muscle memory. Chromatic runs - target the next root - miss it - and walk up or down to it. C to F -- you are on C go to D, Eb, E, F. With F to G - have to be creative here - you are on F go to C, F, F#, G, etc, etc.

    How much time for warm up, scales, riffs, songs, etc? Going to leave that to you.