If you could improve one thing about your playing/sound...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Neil Folkard, May 29, 2019.

  1. Neil Folkard

    Neil Folkard

    Nov 24, 2016
    Hey all. I'm wondering, if you could improve just one thing about your bass playing and sound...one thing that you'd like to be better at...playing speed, soloing, timing, tone, what would it be?

    For me, as a fretless player, it is tempting to say intonation, but the one thing that has challenged me above all else, since I switched from being a hobby guitarist, to trying to be a serious bassist, six years ago, is....tone. Specifically, getting sounds I like out of my gear. Amps, pedals, you name it. Despite being reasonably happy with the sounds my fingers make on the strings, I had no idea the seeming huge amount of variables involved with getting an entire rig to work together and sound the way that I want it to.

    How about the rest of you? What one area would you like to be better at?
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  2. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Actually making the notes in my head match the ones my fingers decide to foist upon an unwitting public. Sadly, no luck yet. :(
  3. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    Great question. I suppose I would like to improve my double thumb technique a bit.
  4. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
    Sounds like you suffer from "Hands of Orlac" syndrome :D
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  5. I'd love to have better skills at improvisation. I never took lessons and learned by listening to songs from many artists over the years, so I think I have some variety to how I play. Just being able to sit in with strangers and play something that sounds good.
  6. Have the interest to learn to play fingerstyle faster then 80bpm!
    geof_ and Pbassmanca like this.
  7. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    I tend to recycle the same 20 fills over and over. Could use some more 'above the 12th. fret flash'.
    Pbassmanca, ELG60, Dabndug and 2 others like this.
  8. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Generally speaking, I have a lot of issues with my plucking hand that I'd like to resolve. I learned on my own in a hurry and after not liking the pick (differnt spacing form guitar threw me and I'm not crazy about the tone), the thumb or the two fingers, I got a one finger process to work and have pretty much stuck with that. I get around pretty good, but do find it limiting on licks that bounce between strings a lot.

    Finally, figuring out to play lighter on a hotter bass, I'm starting to be able to use a pick and may be able to bring that into a real situation in the near future.

    My two finger aproach is very slowly coming along (very difficult to change habits while needing to sty prepped on gig lists), but it opften trips me up more than helps (too many moving parts!). I'm also finally starting to get a little bit of slap sound working, but that's still a very long time off from being functional.

    Sure, I have other issues, but this is the thing that bugs me the most.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Empathy with the vocalists, being able to just work with their strengths and weaknesses and play the classic supportive role a bit more of the time.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  10. RichardW


    Feb 25, 2016
    near Philly
    1) use a pick with ease
    2) be able to play faster when necessary
    lizardking837 likes this.
  11. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Guest

    Nov 22, 2017
    I would like to be more technically proficient but autoimmune disease limits the range of motion in my hands, so I will never be a fast player.
  12. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    I can't narrow it down to one thing. Just too many deficiencies...

    I need to learn more tunes, improve my sight reading, and my ears (to really be able immediately identify root movement and chord qualities when playing songs I don't know).

    Secondarily, I'd like to have a larger vocabulary established for use in improvising, and I'd like to be able to solo more fluidly on fast tempos and difficult changes.
    basslifter and ELG60 like this.
  13. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Playing by ear, singing and playing, and walking jazz.
    ELG60 likes this.
  14. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I'd like to be able to sight read notation as if I were reading a book.
  15. jchrisk1


    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    The only thing I want to improve upon in my playing is knowledge. Then the sky would be the limit. Right now, the limit is the sky.
    wildman2 likes this.
  16. Sixgunn


    Jun 6, 2012
    Colorado Springs
    I don't wait 30 minutes after eating, to go swimming.
    The pay. ;)
    geof_, jackn1202, MVE and 5 others like this.
  17. I guess it would be slap, I am a born left handed person who switched to become a right handed player. For whatever the reason, I have never been able to achieve a level of this technique that I would personally consider worth displaying. Can I slap? Sure am I comfortable enough to lay it down live or on a recording? Nope, there a young children that can do it 10x better than me. " No thy weakness and never bring it to the light of day" :)
    Dabndug likes this.
  18. Tommy V

    Tommy V

    Feb 19, 2019
    i've been playing by ear for 45 years, so learning how to read music should probably top my list.... but it doesn't.
    instead, i'm figuring out how to play fiddle, by ear.. it's more challenging than any other instrument i've worked with over the years, and i'm enjoying the experience.
  19. SlimBaixo


    Jan 23, 2016
    Los Angeles, CA
    Definitely my slap technique and groove.
  20. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Shoals Indiana