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I need to get some skills

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Mark Thomas, Jun 1, 2001.


  1. Mark Thomas

    Mark Thomas

    May 30, 2001
    Connecticut
    I took my bass out of the closet last month after an 8 year hiatus. I purchased a bass to play with a buddy of mine who playes guitar. He taught me enough so I could get by putting down a simple beat to what we were playing (mostly classic rock). Six months later we got another guitarist, and someone on drums, and came to my house every Saturday evening to “Jam”. The jam was actually have a beer, play a song, have another beer… This went on for a couple years, until I moved into a more respectable neighborhood (and got married).

    Anyway, I just recently became interested in playing again. I hooked up with my guitar playing friend, and soon realized I am a terrible bass player. I can’t afford lessons (2 young ones, and the wife stays home). I was thinking of purchasing a book, and maybe some instructional software. My endeavors of looking for these aids lead me to this forum. After reading posts for the past couple days, I think this is a good place for me to hang out. Anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2. Welcome back! I understand what you're talking about. I just recently picked the bass back up after 10 years myself (and had the same realization, lol). As for suggestions on which way to go, all I can offer is to review some of the current and archived threads here. I can't afford lessons right now either and what I've found here is helping me trmendously. But it all depends on what your goals are. I'm personally looking to learn as much theory as I can and I've found this a perfect place for that. Everyone here is very helpful and if they can't answer your questions, they can point you in the right direction.

    One site that someone here directed me to is activebass.com, there are a lot of online lessons there you can look through.

    Have fun, and I hope you stick around both here in the forums and in the Bass world.
     
  3. I can only tell you how I started out, maybe it will work for you too. What I did was, find a song I (or my band) wanted to play, look for the tabs on the internet and try to play along. After a while I started to learn the theory (which I guess, I should have started out with, but it's more fun just to play). Books and videos can definitely be an aid, but most of the time I find them to be too boring to spent much time on. And of course, as long as you have the basics down, playing with other musicians works like a charm.

    Greetz
     
  4. sn0wblind

    sn0wblind

    Apr 20, 2000
    Ontario, Canada
    I'll sell you a box of skills for only $19.99, or your soul what ever you prefer.... :D
     
  5. fisk

    fisk

    Jan 3, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    Sold!!

    Is paypal ok? :D

    fisk
     
  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    What style of music do you and your jam buddies play? Blues, rock, country? Fortunately, there are more bass instruction books, often with CDs, than ever before. Find one that specializes in your style. Work your way through that book. Whatever you don't understand, come here and ask and someone will help you.

    If your preferred style is blues, I can give you suggestions for books. Good bass books can be bought on line, at music stores or at places like Barnes and Noble or Borders. Check these web sites:

    http://www.bassbooks.com

    http://www.melbay.com

    http://www.carvin.com

    Another thing you might do is check out an issue of Bass Player magazine or check their web site at:

    http://www.bassplayer.com

    http:www.musicplayer.com
     
  7. Mark Thomas

    Mark Thomas

    May 30, 2001
    Connecticut
    Thanks for the input. Good idea JasonOldsted about asking for help if I don’t understand an instruction in a book. That box of skills seems like a bargain too…
     
  8. PeninaD

    PeninaD

    May 26, 2001
    PA
    Another place to try is, which is big on theory is:
    www.cyberfretbass.com



    To get used to your fretboard and really know where your notes are, backwards and forwards, here is a $19.95 piece of software that I think is pretty good. Works for both bass and guitar (you tell it what instrument, how many strings, how many frets) . There are also versions for studio and academy (multi-student) use
    http://www.absolutefretboard.com
     
  9. luther787

    luther787

    May 28, 2001
    queens new york
    WELCOME BACK TO BASSICS KIDDO!!. I AM ENTIRELY A SELF TAUGHT BASSIST WHO HAS BEEN TOO CHEAP TO EVER PAY SOMEONE A RED CENT TO SHOW ME SOMETHING THAT I COULD FIGURE OUT ON MY OWN EVENTUALLY. BY FAR THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOK THAT I'VE EVER OWNED HAS BEEN "BUILDING WALKING BASS LINES" BY ED FRIEDLAND. REGARDLESS OF WHAT KIND OF MUSIC YOU PLAY, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO CREATE AND IMPROVISE WAY BEYOND THE LEVEL WHICH YOU ARE CURRENTLY AT. IT ALSO HELPS TO STUDY HARMONY...EXAMPLE Am-bdim-cmajor-dmin-emin-f#maj-etc.. knowledge of these bassics have turned me into what i've feared the most... now i'm a bassplayer/guitar player!!!! life is good. anyway best of luck and most important PERSERVERE!!!!
     
  10. Mark Thomas

    Mark Thomas

    May 30, 2001
    Connecticut
    Thanks for the leads. Absolute Fretboard seems like a nice piece of software for under $20. I've seen the book Building Walking Bass Lines at my local music shop, but wanted to start with something more basic and work my way up.

    My strumming fingers are very slow when I play with them both together. I need to get some coordination that only seems comes with practicing simple stuff right now. I only have about 1/2 hour per day Monday-Thursday, and have 1 or 2 guitar playing friends over on Friday evenings to play through the headphone amp. Slowly but surely I’ll build some solid skills.
     
  11. MuNkEy

    MuNkEy

    Jul 4, 2000
    utica, ny
    i would go with the mel bay's books-good stuff, its what i started out on.
     
  12. imho there's only 1 way to gain skills.. and that is by pickup up your bass.. put your right hand with/without pick next to the strings near the pickups. Then.. put your left hand somewhere on the fretboard. Next you pluck the same string you put your left finger on.. this will probably produce a sound.. next.. choose another string/fret where to put your left finger and repeat this step about 50.000.000 times..

    in other words : the only way to gain skills is to pick up your bass and play it.. never mind if you suck in the beginning.. things will only improve along the way.. " trial and error " i think is what they call it.. :)
     
  13. MuNkEy

    MuNkEy

    Jul 4, 2000
    utica, ny
    yea..i agree with allodo-but still get the mel bay's books, they introduce you to theory. scales and arpeggios are really good to know when playing with a band.
     
  14. Bass-A-Nova

    Bass-A-Nova Guest

    Nov 2, 2000
    Cleveland
    You can also check out http://freeweb.pdq.net/boeker/temp/fretboard/fretboard.htm which is free. Might be of some help....someone posted this site on another thread some time ago, and I still find it useful...
     
  15. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hey mark

    a fabulous website with a great deal of good instructional material is www.libster.com

    go check it out, and good luck.
     
  16. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Welcome back to the world of bass Mark. Great advice so far. But, um, LUTHER, could you please quit shouting, and oh, maybe I can take some lessons from you! :rolleyes:

    Anyway, one piece of advice about activebass.com. The lessons can be great, but many of them are just tabs in disguise, and aren't really entirely helpful. Any lesson that explains what is going on in a piece of music can be very helpful, but some of those "lessons" are nothing more than tabs played on the site's synth.