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Is Bass still for me?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MCBTunes, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. Hey, well I am 17.... I got my bass when i was 12, played for around 2 years then stopped.... about 5 months ago I picked it up and decided I wanted to go back to playing hardcore practicing and up my skill level in hopes of joining a band, my buddies are 2 hardcore guitarists.

    Anyways, the problem lies here... I dont really like any of the major bass genres. I dont really like funk, blues, jazz... I on the other hand like pop-punk, harder punk, and rock. While practcing, I seem to have hit a wall.... I mean I can sit here for hours and rip out other bands riffs which can sound cool or just be hiting 8 notes and moving on to the next note but really how should i be practicing? Is this the right instrument for me?

    The other question is, if i were to upgrade my bass, what should I be looking for? I do have small hands but not tiny. I want something that will play well into my older amp. And I was hoping for a good sound for punk, rock, pop stuff. in the 200-400 dollar range maybe.

    Thanks for any input.
  2. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Well, you may not like other genres besides punk, pop and hard rock, but by practicing these types, you will get past "the wall". You can't just play what you like all the time, because you are not "stretching out" enough. Besides, after listening to jazz and other types of music, you may find two things happening:

    1. That you start to actually like other genres!
    2. That some very famous bass players can be found in other genres, like Jaco, Rocco, Wooten..and probably some of the people who post here!!

    When you read interviews with top rock, metal and punk basses, you find that some of the more interesting ones are actually quite experienced, and knowledgeable about other types of music besides what they are currently playing. Ryan Martinie is one example.
  3. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    There are also some jazz fusion artists that are more heavy, that you might like:

    Alan holdsworth, Al dimeola, Billy Sheehan, John Myung..these guys either are technically great bassists but with a harder edge, or are bands/artists that have great bass players!

    there is a whole world out there of great music, and it just takes exposure....and more exposure!

    The first time I heard real jazz was when I was a teenager, and really into hard rock..there was no way I was going to understand it, or even appreciate it, because I was "programmed" to only like Aerosmith, led zep, AC/DC, etc...

    Later, I got into weather report because even though I was not a jazzer, I could appreciate Jaco Pastorius..I mean, the guy shredded, had long hair and a bad attitude..in all aspects of his life, he was a rock star, on the level of a hendrix or Eddie van halen! gradually, I found myself starting to dig the music itself, to the point that I stopped buying rock records alltogether! For years, I did not listen to rock..then later, I started appreciating rock again, only now my hands and ears are more experienced, and I feel much more well-rounded as a result!

    There are bands that fall somewhere in bewteen jazz and hard rock, (like most of the latter day King Crimson) that you might enjoy....just give it a chance! You may decide ultimately that you just hate everything besides hard rock, but at least your choice will be well-informed!

    good luck dude!
  4. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Oh ****, I almost forgot! You GOT to start with RUSH!!!
  5. for the music you said you wanted to play, learn major scale upwards downwards inside and out, all up and down the neck.
  6. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    There are no bass genres. If you like playing bass keep playing it and the genres you like.

    I don't think anyone here has picked up a bass and said," Oh well, looks like I have to play funk, blues, and jazz." Have they? I am not a fan of funk or jazz.
  7. lucas, about Rush, I almost bought The Geddy Lee Signature Fender Jazz bass, but being uneducated I decided to pass because it was a "jazz" bass and made by fender. Rush is cool I like rush and I will check out some of the other guys too.

    SpaRat- Thanks for the advice. I will look for some online lessons on the major scale. Which scaled should I be trying to focus on? These are the kinda tips I need.
  8. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    It sounds like you might be bored with where you're at. While Joshua is right in that one of the best ways to improve is to get a skilled and accomplished teacher that you respect and can relate to (and who will challenge you with appropriate material), I'm a big fan of the "get off your butt and get out and play" method! :) If you're not particularly inspired by any one genre of music (although it sounds like you might be a punk guy), then get out there and create your own. If you havne't found one accomplished and/or noteworthy player who has inspired you, then develop your own style.

    One of the best ways to learn is to learn songs buy playing along to the radio and/or CDs. By finding other players to play with, you can learn relatively simple songs, and playing LIVE music with other people is a great way to inject some fun back into bass playing. If you can hook up with players who are either at your level or just slightly above, playing with them in a band setting will be a great way for you to experiment, create, work on your chops, and possibly even start to express yourself on the instrument by writing bass lines and developing your own style. ;)
  9. I am going to go look for a teacher after christmas. To learn fundamentals that way I wont develop bad habits, other than that I like to be self taught. Or just looking stuff up on the net. The general tone of this thread seems to be you dont need to be a jazz or funk player to sound good, you can develop your own style. I just do a lot of playing on my own and it seemed kinda dull. I like being in the limelight ;).

    If anyone has anymore input or references of places I should look to continue my learning it would be welcome and appreciated.
  10. I definitely think that playing new genre's of music will make you a better player...especially if you don't like them! The real trick is to try and play what you don't like, as well as the stuff you do like to play. Your chops get much better that way. Plus as stated before you'll be really well rounded player. If you like punk get into infectious grooves, they're punk but they're really funky....Rob Trujillo plays bass and he just goes nuts on some of their songs. Fishbone is another crossover band too! About not liking jazz...I don't think many people like jazz when they first here it, but thats the thing, you have to go to jazz, it never comes to you. ;)
  11. all i can say is play what you like to play. When i started i played pretty much all offspring. Now i'm heavily into everything from Metallica to Jaco. Once you really start to appreciate the bass it will open up. But its all up to you man. Look at Jason Newstead, he played with Metallica for a long ass time. However he's into tones of stuff, he was filling in with Gov't Mule for awhile. Dosn't matter if he's out there slapping and popping. He does what comes to him.
  12. Firstly, a Jazz bass isn't only for Jazz! Far from it, it's generally the most popular choice for hard rock and second only to the P bass for punk. The Geddy would fit the bill well.

    If you get a teacher, all will work out. Tell him what you're interested in and he won't teach you stuff you don't want to learn. But it's not hard to find stuff that lightly strays from your interests. Some bands that you might have a passive appreciation for like Red Hot Chili Peppers might be a good choice, and your teacher can suggest some good stuff to check out. The idea is that your teacher can challenge you to learn some stuff you might not always check out on your own. It might not be jazz or classical music but it will help you to develop your playing. Look at Hunter from AFI, he listened to The Police in his formative years and he's an amazing punk bassist (check out his playing on Black Sails in the Sunset). As long as you enjoy it, any influence is a good influence. The thing with being self-taught is that you often feel like you're stagnating. A teacher would be helpful if you feel like you're not progressing by offering you some new ideas.
  13. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS

    I thought Holdsworth and Dimeola were guitar players.
  14. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    I hit that same rut every few months, myself. But what I typically do then is, instead of continuing to play every riff I know at the drop of a hat (which drives my girlfriend nuts anyway, heh) I start practicing with techniques I haven't developed yet, or in a different register than your usual favorites appear in.

    The other day, trying to work on my crummy slap technique - by remembering something I saw Gard do when we hung out last month, I ended up laying the groundwork for an interesting new song. Just a simple flourish that results in a slapped 1-5-Octave chord, and with some moving around, it turned into most of a song!
  15. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    He said..."or are bands/artists that have great bass players!"

    DiMeola played with Stanley Clarke.

    Definitely play and listen to a variety of music. Boredom, by definition, is losing interest in something. You are bored with what you play. Play something else...either another instrument or another style of music.
  16. Raven


    Nov 14, 2004
    Jacksonville, Fl
    I'd suggest finding good private instruction, someone you can relate to, and who will work with you....you don't want a "drill sargent" instructor. Learn music theory too. Understanding the relationships of notes will be very helpful. Also, you really should listen to different types of music that you don't like. Hear what the bass is doing, and how it relates to the rest of the band. You'll be suprised at what you can learn.
    As far as which scales to learn, all of them, all over the neck. I'd probably start with the open string keys....
    Realize this won't happen overnight. It takes years of dedication and practice, but you can do it.
    IMO, playing bass is a lifelong learning experience... and there is something to be learned from every style of music out there. The more you learn the better you'll play....

    Bass RULZ............
  17. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I second what JPJ said. I think the best way to grow is to just get out there. Play whatever, wherever, and whenever you can - with whoever you can (preferably musicians that are better than you). Lessons are great, but learning bass formally always bored the living crap out of me. As did practicing scales over and over. I'd only do that as an addition to being out there.

    I also don't think that the type of music is all that important. If playing the bass is for you, you'll find it's fun to play anything and everything. I think a lot people get locked into looking for what they THINK is the right playing situation for them, and never wind up finding it. Lots of great bands evolve from people growing with each other. When my group started out we hated each others taste in music. My guitarist was reared on the later years of rush, me on the who and stones. After 8 years our differences have turned into a pretty cool thing.

    I'd also suggest learning as much as you can off of CDs, by ear. Playing along with CDs is great when there's nobody else to play with.

    Last thing I'd say is that if you're really questioning whether you should be playing bass or not - I'd relax and let it all take it's course. If it's fun and it feels right, do it - if you're stuggling and it's drag - you're meant to be doing smething else. And you'll probably do it a lot better. :)
  18. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS

    My mistake, I must read missed that part. :D
  19. You are 17. Don't close your mind to other types of music. Regardless of what instrument or style you play, closing yourself off to jazz, funk and blues is not wise as a fan of music in general.

    You need to be absorbing as many influences and styles as possible, IMO.
  20. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    It's simple, you must love to play bass.
    Most everyone who uses this forum love the bass.
    It becomes your passion.
    This is true with any instrument.