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I am a newb, enlighten me with your wisdom...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DarkRPG, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. DarkRPG


    Feb 1, 2005
    Hello hello. :help:

    I am someone seeking to play an instrument. I currently own a (please don't kill me) 6 string electric guitar. I've been pretty much self teaching on how to play it. Of course that amounts to not much time spent other then reading everything I can on the internet. Now, you wonder why I'm posting in a bass guitar forum....well..I'll get to the point.

    My buddy in all into his electric guitar and also owns a nice bass guitar. He wishes to sell it to me. I spent about an hour or two with him as he showed me the basics of it and explain how timing works and about the bass. Of course he one of those guys who have got to the point where he wants to start a band. Now he's not asking me to join, though I have to no skill as of yet and would have to play catch up. But I did enjoy "jamming" with him while playing the bass. I try playing the acoustic electric guitar and I find thin strings to be painful and my finger tips are a little wide so I hit other strings when trying to play a cord. I'm sure this all goes away with more practice.

    So I better try to get to the point, sorry for the long post. As I said, I was surprised that I found the bass more enjoyable to play. It also felt better to my hands and played it longer then I've ever played the acoustic. I used to feel the bass was the red headed step child of a band. Most people don't even notice a bass player is playing half the time and yet they serve such an important role. My whole attitude towards bass is changing. I now listen to songs and pay attention and notice the bass now rather then mistaking it for the lead acoustic guitar.

    Just as a minor question, what's the pro's and cons of a bass player and of a acoustic player?

    So, I'm a starting newb. I found this site and thought this would be a good place to start. I might take lessons in the future but my funds are hurting at the moment. So, I will most likely by the bass from my friend. And more of a goal for me is jamming with a friend more then being in a band. Though it sounds like my friend might seek me out if I go head long into bass.

    How should I start? Any good books, articles, internet sites to read? Based off that long back story, should I go for bass?

    Any suggestions would help and all comments are welcomed. Thanks for the time to read this.
  2. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Is this a trick question??? You're on TalkBASS, man!! What do you think we're going to say?? :D

    Skip the books and the internet and start taking lessons from a REAL person.
  3. Bass is just better. :D Buy the bass, learn it, live it, love it.
  4. jvbjr


    Jan 8, 2005
    If you prefer the bass, learn to play it via real lessons. Bass players get less respect, less money and less chicks, so it has to be part of you. Most guitarists have terrible time, but that never stopped them and the singers from being the band dictators. You are choosing to be a second class citizen, so you have to love it.
  5. haha well if you lookin for good sites you found it! i have taken so much from talkbass, there is soo much usefull information here the only other site i would recomond is http://www.cyberfretbass.com/index.php anyway good luck with the bass
  6. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I agree. Here's how I see the bass:

    If you imagine a band as a car, the lead singer is like the body and the guitarist is the interior. The bass is the engine and the drums are like the suspension. Hardly anyone comes up to a car and says "nice engine," or "nice suspension." :rollno: Most people notice the paint job, the body styling, the leather/wood interior, etc. But without the engine, the car goes nowhere, and it won't stay on the road very long without the suspension.

    Bottom line is, you'll definitely sacrifice money, chicks, and most of all, respect if you become a bass player. :( People in the band won't appreciate your contribution unless you're not there. But you'll always be more funky and badass than the guitar players, and a band will sound weak and wimpy without you. :D

    It's your choice.
  7. DarkRPG


    Feb 1, 2005

    So, in other words, it's everything I dreamed of. :D

    Hmm, I knew this all before I even thought of bass. Now bagging on bass is about to come back and haunt me. :smug:

    I mainly posted this thread to just get feedback on peoples feeling and perspective of bass playing. So far, I haven't been scared away. So I guess starting now is better then never.

    Any of you try to play acoustic guitar? What made you go for bass?
  8. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Ok here it is! After you play as long as i have you might be as lucky as me! Me and the drummer are the lead players of r band! We do all the writing and idea flow. I got paid well from playing the bass and found my sexy wife from it as well. I think its mainly in the attitude. Me and the drummer have played for 12 years together and 8 alone without any other musicians. I have played bass for over 20 years and i dont ever worry about people thinking lesser of me because i am a bassist! Because the people that matter the most do relize youre tallents. You will find that in a crowd of 300 people only about 50 or so will give a crap that youre a bassist and relize the role of the bass! But i make it a point that they will remember me as bieng in the band! And to me its really only those 50 people i care about impressing. The other people just help line youre pocket. But yeah you have found a great web sight for learning. But i must say that you need to learn from someone else! Atleast a bassist. Dont let the guitar player teach you or you will play bass like a guitar player. I know some of you understand what i mean from that. Also you might want to git rid of the guitar you have before you get some disease from it! LOL Sorry the guitar is by far my least fav instrument.
  9. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    I agree with those encouraging you to take lessons. You see, I am totally self taught. No one ever showed me anything. I borrowed a bass, then bought one, played along with records and am in a band that gigs maybe six times a year. And I can play pretty well. BUT if I didn't have all these bad habits like poor fingering technique and not much speed I could be a much better player! Buy the bass because bass is the mother of all instruments and get some lessons. :hyper:
  10. fatdawg


    Sep 7, 2004
    IMHO, there are only two basic bassist types. Bassists that live and breathe simply to be as good as possible and can't really get through a day without at least hacking the board for a little while. Then there are the frustrated guitarists. These halfers believe the bass to be just a low frequency guitar that they chug out the roots on to pay the bills and belong to a group. Now that is not to say there aren't some good transitions out there that are really good at both. And also not to say that you are one of these people. But if you really want to get into it,( and it is safe to say, you would be in good company here if you did) you need to get the lessons as well as jam with friends.

    Rock the low end, Rock it hard

    (yeah I am retarded)
  11. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I play a little acoustic guitar. But mostly I'd rather lay down the funk on the bottom end, so I put it away and pick up my bass. I've always enjoyed how the bass can be a counterpoint to the melody, which to me is more interesting and creative. Bassists rarely get solos, but a good bass player will often improv throughout much if not all the song. Real musicians and fans respect great bassists. Easily impressed dimwits are wowed by fancy guitar work. Whose respect would you rather have? ;)
    It all comes back to what you want. If you've got the rhythm and the funk, and find yourself listening to the bass in songs, bass might be for you, but most of all, you've got to enjoy the sheer pleasure of laying it down, even if no one else is listening. :D
  12. Growler


    Sep 26, 2004
    1) There are tons of lead/solo guitarists out there. Walk into guitarcenter one day and you'll find a 100 kiddies banging out metallica or whatever. But a solid bassist with great timing, will always get gigs. It's the timing....
    2) Bass lines can be simple and often repetitive, but it does give you the freedom to play around as long as you keep the time and stay within key.
    3) B/c the bass lines can be simple, it gives you ample time to keep your head up, not looking at your fingers, but at the cute chick in the crowd :bassist:
    4) Nobody dances to the lead guitarist... they dance to the beat of the bassist. :hyper:

  13. Quencher


    Jan 11, 2005
    I play acoustic guitar quite a bit and write most my songs with it. I play bass because it is like no other instrument, it's the GLUE between guitar and drums.I say play both acoustic and bass. You'll need to know the root chords anyway to play with your buddy and see what he's playing, like a shortcut to learning the root notes to your bass. Both will give you years of enjoyment and cure your blues at the most opportune times. Chicks money and fast cars might come to you, they might not. Either way, you'll have a something no one can EVER take away from you: Freedom of expression through music. Rock On
  14. ShamrayBass

    ShamrayBass The Bass Custom Shop

    Dec 29, 2004
    Moscow. RUSSIA
    My advice: Just buy yourself a nice bass guitar and a copy of "Live at Leeds" by the WHO. Put the record on, and listen/ play along for several hours a day for the next year. (note that the bass and guitar are nicely panned for your convenience!)

    Pay particular attention to the DRUMMER and the SINGER,and notice how the bass playing supports what they are doing :D

    When yer done with that project, its time to find a real drummer (and other musicians) to play with... creative jamming with experienced musicians is the BEST kind of lesson (IMHO)
  15. glnflwrs


    Jan 25, 2005
    Hesperia, CA
    Excellent, superb advice. One of the world's best bassists and probably the best rock drummer to ever live keep 'Live At Leeds' my all time favorite album.
  16. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    HEY!!!!!! be carefull we selftaughts are very sensible bout this kind of statements :crying:
  17. chekerbored


    Nov 18, 2004
    Ok, so I'm one of these self-taught bassists. It's been an adventure and i can do alot. The only thing that was ever taught to me was Blues Scale. I can do amazing things with that and it makes me want lessons more. I want to learn guitar (mostly so i can learn the notes in chords and play with them trying to harmonize some on the low-end) as well as get some lessons for bass. If i can learn more slap techniques and different scales like the basic major and minor then i cant imagine where i can go from there. And then theres music theory. So many things to learn, but its gonna be fun. I say do the cross-over, and rock that low-end, cuz 9 times out of 10 thats where the funk is. And do your own thing, not the lower octave guitar thing -1 to that
  18. Play bass! You can get all the respect of your guitarist and frontman. I play in a thrash metal power trio and I do all the screaming vocals and throw down like crazy to try to put on a show while the singer/guitarist is playing and singing. People notice that the bass player is adding something essential. In my other numetal-ish band I slap a lot, get out front, and do move with the rest of the band. Your show really determines what kind of attention and respect you get. Unless your in like a 20 piece big band or something, then you're just "that bass player" and you'll probably never get any from it, but that band would be nothing without you!

    Oh and don't forget Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, he wrote just about every song off of Number of the Beast and people seem to know him and Bruce Dickinson more than the rest of the band. Bass players can get respect.
  19. If you really want to see just how special bass is, buy/aquire/borrow some kind of media (video, music, samples of tunes) of (google these) "Victor Wooten" "Marcus Miller" "Jaco Pastorus" "John Patitucci" or just look up "best bass players" and listen to the music of some of the names you see.

    I have played the upright bass for 6 and a half years and electric bass for about 3 (even though most of the upright transitioned right over to the bass so I was able to progress starting from intermediate), and at the beginning of that time, I didn't know what a bass was. When I picked up electric bass I always thought the bass was a weak guitarist. From then up until now, my opinion has changed into believing that the master of the bass can do far more things than the master of the guitar can do. I know there are a few things that guitar can do that bass can't, but there are far more things that bass can do over guitar. I actually feel guilty telling you this because I know I am just hitting the tip of the iceberg. Guitar has had its renaissance, and now people (or at least musicians) are beginning to realize how radically changing the bass guitar has become and its role in music--although popular music has tried to suppress it. (And no, the loud "BOOM" in rap and some metal music does not count. That is just an excuse to sound powerful, even if I am a fan of metal(more Metallica kind of stuff to be precise.)
  20. Playing bass is good, but don't turn your back on guitar as a learning aid.

    With a knowledge of guitar chords, you will learn faster what notes work and what notes don't. Also, when you play, recognising what your guitarist is fingering might just get you out of a hole one day.