How to start?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by combination, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. combination


    Apr 11, 2012

    I know there are some threads about this already .. but I couldn't really find something like "Beginners FAQ".. so if the input on this topic is high enough, I'm willing to put it together into FAQs

    I borrowed a friend's bass a few days ago and I'm a total beginner when it comes to music.

    I got the book "e-bass for dummies" and I'm reading through it at the moment.

    There are a few questions on my mind and I'm very thankful for any input I can get.

    Could anyone of you give me like a guideline, what to learn when?
    I'm a person that likes to stick to a "guideline" or "fixed plan", so it would help me a lot if someone can say "First of all, learn ..., after that .. then ..."

    How much should I play each day?
    probably a stupid question.. the more, the better, right?

    How to keep yourself motivated?
    There will be days where I'm just coming home late, being tired,... how to motivate yourself and sit down to play? (Well, this might not be the best place to ask for "self-motivation", I understand that - but what are you guys doing?)

    "Real" teachers vs. internet/books
    Should I get myself a real teacher? How much $/hour is appropriate?

    Any book/eBook/internet lesson recommendations
    I'm open for everything and very interested to learn more about music theory
    (Personally I like rock/metal music the most)

    Thanks a lot for your time :)
  2. Script3d Mus3

    Script3d Mus3

    Apr 2, 2012
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Local Hero: MTD Kingston
    Scales first, then arpeggios = knowing what key your in helps with both songwriting and figuring out your favorite tunes.

    How much to play? There is a really funny meme out there I'll find later. If you are awake you should be practicing.

    Staying Motivated = play something you like to listen to...That actually gets into my next point about teachers. taught myself how to play by learning the songs I listen to all the time.

    TBH I can't point you to any books or what not...but since you are into metal there are some fantastic metal bass players that you can learn thier songs by watching youtube vids.
  3. Learn how to hold it, how to make sound come from it and how to mute the sound if you do not want it. How to tune it, how to string it, how to do all the basic fundamentals. That e-book you have will probably go into all that, if not get Bass Guitar for Dummies this one will.

    Right. At least 30 minutes to an hour. More than that and you are just noodling or messing around. Focus for an hour is about right.

    What lifts your kilt? Do that. Setting goals and achieving them motivates me. Don't know about you. Play with people, we learn stuff from playing with other people.

    Yep real teacher. Nothing better than knee to knee - ask a question and get instant feedback. Cost, depends, but, about $75 US for four 30 minute lessons or $20 +/- an hour.

    Bass Guitar for Dummies.
    Any of Ed Friedland's books - call him up on Amazon.
    As for theory Mambo4 has a theory paper listed in his signature, it is the best I've seen. Look for some of Mambo4's posts and click on the theory paper in his signature. It's divided into three sections, Basic page 1 - 20 then pages 21 - 80 speak to Intermediate and Advanced theory.

    Good luck, welcome to the bottom end
  4. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    1 Learn where all the notes are on the fretboard.

    2 Right and left hand technique. No good learning theory etc, if you have not got the wherewithal to physically execute it well, and avoid hand/wrist/finger problems in the process.

    3 Scales and arpeggios.

    4 How much to play each day ? As much as you can and want. Regularity is better than long periods say, once a week. One hour a day is better than three or four hours every Sunday for instance. If playing for long periods, make sure to take short breaks. Make sure your technique is up to scratch, and make sure you warm up with gentle stretches before and after a session. Stay hydrated.

    5 Motivation : Play along to your favourite music. Be patient with yourself. Dont set your goals too high. Small steps at a time are the way to go. Basically, make sure it is fun and not a chore to sit down and learn.

    6 Real teacher V the net : A "real" teacher is best, especially when starting from scratch. They can also be of help with #5 above, ;) though some people do well learning on their own.

    7 Book/Internet recommendations : If you do decide to learn on your own, you should check out

    Free Online Bass Lessons |

    Bass Method Book 1 Second Edition by Ed Friedland $5.95 retail bk | eBay

    There are three volumes of the above book. It is possible to get all three in one spiral bound edition.

    The book you have i.e. the "Dummies" book is the perfect place to start fro a complete noobie IMO.

    Best of luck with it. :bassist:
  5. combination


    Apr 11, 2012

    I'll definitely get the Ed Friedland's books - have seen that book mentioned quite a few times now and I'm sure theres a reson for that.
    I'll try to teach it myself - at least the basics. Keeping my eyes open for teachers, especially when it comes to technique later on.

    Meanwhile, I have also found LinksForNoobs - TalkBass Wiki
    (seen it in someone's signature, can't remember the name.. when I see it again I'll edit his name in here)
    The book mentioned in Mambo4's signature can be found here: Theory - Basic, Intermediate, Advanced.pdf

    Thanks all
  6. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006

    Yes, Ed's books are great. Get the three volume spiral bound edition. It is a reasonable price and well worth the money IMO.

    With regards technique, IMO it is one of the first things to learn, before bad habits develop. Here are two clips to get you started. Bear in mind that there are no "rules" as such. Find a technique that is safe, comfortable, and that suits you.

    R/H :

    Todd Johnson Bass Guitar : Floating thumb technique - YouTube

    L/H :

    Beginner Bass Guitar Lesson: Left Hand Technique - YouTube

    Developing Safe Left Hand Technique for Bass Guitar - YouTube
  7. ahdowns


    Feb 25, 2012
    You might want to go on Youtube and check out "Free Online Absolute Beginner Bass Guitar Lessons" by George Urbaszek. He has 3 or 4 basic lessons and then goes into some other things. He goes slow and is easy to follow.
  8. mcglyph


    Aug 17, 2011
    Do yourself a favor and get a timer which you adhere to. Set it for thirty minutes, when it goes ding, rest for either 15 or 30 minutes, reset it at thirty and go. If you do this consecutively, the rests should get longer. Play to a metronome. If you have and ipod touch, or iPad, I HIGHLY recommend Tempo Advaced by Frozen Monkey. It costs 3$ and is way worth every penny, as it can be set to increase your tempo gradually, has multiple accent sounds, can have different set lists...just an amazing app for the money.

    Also start paying attention early to when you are bending your fretting wrist at unnatural angles! Watch yourself in a mirror, as you hold a chord or fretted string and pay attention to how much effort you are applying. Ask yourself whether you need as much, pay attention to your body. Be patient with your body and mind. Celebrate the good notes and the ones you don't prefer(See Kenny Werner's, "Effortless Mastery"). Best of luck to you.