How good am I/how good should I be

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Timmay045, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Timmay045

    Timmay045 Guest

    Jul 29, 2008
    It's a question im sure pops into every beginner's head; am i making progress, or do I straight up suck.

    I've been playing for about 6 months now on a Stagg Bc300 (joy of all joys), and I'm wondering, given my taste in music (rage against the machine & the chili peppers) how well should I be playing right now.

    to put things in perspective, one of the more challenging songs I can play is Cochise (not a hard song, but it's fast as far as finger movement goes). I can play almost all of Rage against the machine's songs, I can play Audioslave (at least the ones that don't suck hard), and some of the chilis (under the bridge, I should have lied, nothing that hard). I'm entirely self taught, learning songs from either tabs or picking them up be ear. I usually practice about an hour a night (really, i'm just fooling around with the instrument, but it's better than letting it collect dust).

    All that said, am I right where I should be, am I way below and should just give up the instrument, or what?
  2. 4bpauly

    4bpauly Guest

    Jan 23, 2008
    Toronto, ON Canada
    obviously, your definition of playing songs well, may differ from mine, but other than that the path you are taking is fine...

    learn some songs, build up some facility on the instrument, and i maybe down the road you will want to write your own parts, join a band or learn some more academic musical concepts.

    as long as you are having fun, keep it up.

    i would, however recommend taking a couple lessons, just to get a few pointers on technique

    i know many people have learned on their own, but with bass i believe it is easier to be pointed in the right direction, especially concerning any undue stress you are causing to your wrists and/or fingers.
  3. funkybass4ever


    Dec 12, 2007
    I used to wonder if i was progressing also with all the hours spent woodshedding. I would learn all of Steve Harris's bass lines from Iron Maiden - but couldn't play them up to speed. like one step forward two steps back.
    But I have made recordings of myself every few months for years and can go back in time and now have proof I have progressed- sometimes it is slow but it is something:bassist:
  4. Atoz

    Atoz Guest

    Dec 15, 2005
    Millcreek Township, UT

    I see that you don't play any Audioslave.
  5. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    As far as I'm concerned being 'good' means playing what appropriate and doing it accurately and tastefully.

    It has little to do with speed or number of notes played.
  6. baalroo

    baalroo Guest

    Mar 24, 2008
    Wichita, KS
    I would refine this to a less subjective state and say being "good" is being able to play what you want to play, how you want to play it, with minimal effort. One man's "tasteful" is another man's bland, boring, ridiculous, over-the-top, etc.
  7. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Eugene Oregon
    I too have thought on the 'how good' question. I work actively on spanning different genres including straight ahead jazz, pop jazz (converting rock classics into jazz formats but NOT cool jazz), classic rock cover bands and a R&B.

    The jazz stuff is perhaps the most challenging in terms of reading, walking and, of course, soloing, but it also has affected my classic rock and R&B chops in terms of phrasing and chording. I feel that I'm much too busy and continue to work on reducing.

    The way I measure it is when I am playing and am not aware that I am anywhere else but performing the piece 'in the moment, or zone'. That's when I am "good".
  8. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    I suggest adding a metronome and an audio recorder to your practice tools.

    See if you can play the tunes you know solo(from memory) at speed and using a metronome.
    Record yourself and give a listen. Are you where you should be?

    There are many TB links on bass playing and practicing. Here's a few to check out.
    Maybe pick a couple and apply them to your practicing. Good luck.

    General If I only knew then Best musical advice Things every bassist should know

    Learning stuff How to practice bass How to practice Learn to read music Learn to read music Improve site reading Read bass clef Intro to scale and chord theory Theory Theory Theory (from the DB side of TB) Jazz Scales Theory Book Links GI links list Blues Turn arounds Using modes Creating bass lines Creating bass lines Creating bass lines Guitar players switching to bass

    Online study of music theory/ear training. Check out the tutorials, exercises and reference(dictionary).

    Books and instructional materials

    Free Jam tracks

    Free online lessons

    This is a very helpful program for learning the notes on the bass clef. (as recommended by AlphaMale) print flashcards for learning bass clef, print staff paper
  9. If I may also humbly suggest playing genres you are not usually attracted to - makes you versatile and you can incorporate different styles. The key, of course, is practice.