I'm stuck!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by walbz, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. walbz


    Mar 23, 2005
    Midlands, UK
    After attempting to play "Roulette Dares" by the Mars Volta, I've been alerted to the fact that I'm stuck in a rut with my bass playing skills. If anyone knows this song or how to play it that would help, but here's what I'm struggling with:

    1. Speed - some of the notes are faaasst.
    2. Variation - the bassist plays so many variations that I'm struggling to remember them all.
    3. Time signatures - there are a couple of changes that often throw me off.

    Can anyone recommend anything for me to do to build up my skills in these areas? I know it just takes a load of practice, but are there any specific methods/songs I could learn to speed the process up?!

    Any help appreciated. Thanks. :bassist:
  2. I can't promise that it will work for you but for me alot of times i just start learning another song by the same band because usually they are similar in the areas you had mentioned. That way you're away from the frustration and stress of trying to get that song perfect so you have a fresh start in something similar then go back to it after a while and see if practicing it on the other song helped you out at all.
  3. Hey Walbz,

    When it comes to conquering a speed issue the best thing to do is Turn on your metronome at the bpm (beats per minute) you can accurately execute the line you are learning and gradually increase the bpm until you reach your goal. Doing it this way will also bring out any technique problems if any.

    With memorizing the song, learn each variation individually. Memorize the first then the second, don't try to do the third until you can play the first and second together then move on.

    Different time signatures in one tune is another thing you will have to commit to memory, once you have the parts down to the song one thing I would do to help me remember an arrangement would be to write out a chart or a cheat sheet of sorts. You will not have to write out the actual bass notation, just something to help with the arrangement, What and where the odd measures are.

    Good luck
  4. Bass_Machine


    Oct 29, 2004
    May I recommend playing some Dream Theater or some Liquid Tension experiment? The Dream Theater bassist, John Myung is very talented. Playing some of their harder songs will help you with speed and time signatures. Liquid Tension Experiment are of a similar style (half the musicians are the same as in DT, but I think there is a different bassist, again a very talented one). I'm having trouble with variations, but most of the time if I'm required to know the song for my band I use my own variations, y'know, make the bassline one of Bass_Machine's instead. (i don't mean big changes, but little variations can be altered.) It adds a little character and makes it a little easier on the noggin'. ;)
  5. walbz


    Mar 23, 2005
    Midlands, UK
    Thanks all! (Sorry I didn't respond quicker, I've been away).