How to play the electric bass - I found the secret!!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by lump, Jun 10, 2001.

  1. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    First, pretend, just for a second, that it's a musical instrument, like say...the banjo.

    Then, think of all the things you would do to learn how to play the banjo, such as learn scales (major, minor, diminished, augmented, etc.), arpeggios, modes, chord progressions, proper posture, fingering technique, how to tune the damn thing, maybe get a teacher, etcetera. (Please note that reading tab or practicing how to head bang do not immediately spring to mind.)


    Jesus ****ing Christ.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Ok pal, let it out, just let it out! :D

    I'm with you!
  3. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    Whaddya mean, PRETEND, its a musical instrument?
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    That's what Fieldy would have to do if he wanted to get into playing bass :D
  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    laughed so hard i coughed up a lung. damn, lump, you're a reg'lar commeeeedeeean.! :D
  6. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Apart from the oxymoron at the end it was a good example of humour used as a weapon.

    The problem is that some of us are old and we only think we understand 'the youth of today'. Different generations learn differently. I will go out on a limb and say that most of us who have been playing for about 20 years learnt in isolation or with costly lessons on poor instruments and lived bass until we made progress.

    Now its go to the nearest BBS and ask what pedal, what tab and make it quick.

    To me playing bass is like a paella (sp) more than a MacDonald's. For those who do't know you have to cook a paella for a long time ( a day) and keep checking to see if its alright.

    Now can anyone give me tabs for the entire Beatles back catalogue by Monday please?
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...insanity later".

    You're killin' me, lump! :D
    (BTW, do ya have that TAB for "Beth"?)
  8. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Sorry for the "profanity" (although not sorry enough to edit it out) - but since I typed asterisks to begin with it's really just fake anyway. ;)

    Weekends around here get to me sometimes. My "weekends" don't fall on weekends, and since a lot of the adults post from work, we end up with mostly the kiddies here.

    Two threads put me over the edge: the one about "Which scale do u use most?", and the guy in Mike Dimin's forum who calls him "dan," and wants help figuring out Tommy the Cat. :rolleyes: :mad:

    I just snapped. :D
  9. It's frustrated (not to be confused with castrated :eek: ) cats like you that give me a good laugh at the end of a rough Sunday with 4 kids. Thanks lump! I know what you mean about those threads... I know of a few others that popped up today that would make the hall of shame.
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I just read that one!

    I have a theory that it does take some "intelligence" to be able to learn to play music and I think that Ed has mentioned before about how Jazz weeds out the people who aren't prepared to put in the effort, pretty quickly. One of the reasons I like playing Jazz is that you seem to meet and be around people who are reasonably intelligent and it is getting to be a rare experience these days.

    OK - this might come across as me being a "jazz snob" or "anti-kids", but really I just want a decent conversation now and again. Some of the Jazz players/fans I have met have been teenagers and it seems that they are still able to hold a conversation and it's really down to a basic minimum level of inteligence and that this might really be the secret to playing any instrument - generally, in my experience, if they fall below this minimum level, then they are very unlikely to have any appreciation for music.
  11. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    man, that "intelligence = appreciation and understanding of music" ideal is so true, but that's not to say that beer-swilling yobbo's can't make awesome music, too.

    take AC/DC for example ! :D AKKA DAKKA!!!
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    No thanks - you take them; you're welcome to them! ;)
  13. I am so glad so many of you are so smart it makes the rest of us feel better about being stupid.
  14. What ever happened to just playing for fun? Maybe I don't have any appreciation for music and all, but I do have fun playing bass right now. When I get to the point where just messing around has lost its magic I'll learn some theory. I'm in an area where there really aren't too many good teachers, so I'm basically on my own for learning theory anyway. I'm intelligent, but I don't have the patience for it right now. Things like computer science and upper-level mathematics I understand, but music theory is difficult. I do think learning theory requires intelligence, but I think there are many kinds of intelligence. Trust me, those of us that learn from tabs may not be the next great bass players, but we'll either adapt or quit.

    So you anti-kid jazz snobs don't need to worry :)
  15. RHCFlea


    Jun 16, 2001
    Washington DC
    I play bass I have a teacher and use arpeggios and minor and major scales and chords and I am learning standard notation but If I want to play something I get the tab because its easier to find and free. (Like napster used to be :( but now the filters work) So I guess I'm somewhere in between. Anyone know where I can find bass notation books that don't cost $35 bucks and aren't metallica. I would be quite grateful
  16. what ever happen to learing a song by ear
  17. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    it turned into songing an ear by learn.
    yep. tab. see, it even makes you illiterate :D
  18. NAF1138


    Jun 19, 2001
    Los Angeles, Ca
    I don't know why everyone seems so anti tab. yes it is a short cut, but one that has a purpose. Learning to play some songs helps build confidence in the early student and keeps frustration to a minimum. It also help get the beginner familiarized with the instrument. And it has been my experience that theory doesn't take hold nearly as well until you are fairly familiar with the instrument and can put some of this theory into practice. As for learning by ear, unless you have perfect pitch or are already fairly familiar with the instrument learning by ear can be needlessly frustrating for the beginner. (btw I am a beginner bass player, but a veteran on other instruments) One you get good, you don't need the tab and will find them to be a waste of time and rather confining, and learning by ear (and maybe even improving) will be your thing. (not sure who in particular I am talking to but what the hey). As for standard notation, while I can see its purpose (especially for a rhythm based instrument like bass), it is truly like learning a second language, who needs that hassle when just starting out, especially for simple pieces like the beginners learn.
    So to recap, I like tab, you should too. ;)
  19. Actually, I don't like tab and I'm a relative beginner. I started out using it because...well, there was no way I was going to find the sheet music for 4 songs by 4 different bands in less than a month while still finishing my homework on time etc.
    That, and I'd almost completely forgotten how to read music from my piano playing days.

    Now, my guitarist friend is telling me to learn a couple old Beatles songs because he wants to play his Djenbae (?) for some songs etc.
    Well, after my last couple experiences with tab, I can tell you that it's frustrated me quite a lot, and I have no real desire to learn new songs through tab, unless it's something insanely fast that I can't pick out by myself. Otherwise, I'll just get a copy of the song and play it over & over again and try to figure it out by myself. Worse come to worse, I could check some tab sites to see what chords are being used, or what the first note on the bass is, and work with it from there.

    To recap, you can like tabs, but I don't have to if I don't want to. ;)
  20. NAF1138


    Jun 19, 2001
    Los Angeles, Ca
    fair enough. tab ain't for everyone, I was just tired of seeing people bashing something that can genuinely be helpful. That last line was meant more to be cute than anything else.