Is is wrong to play your way?

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by IbanezGSound4, Nov 27, 2002.

  1. Because I'm a beginner bassist(mind you I don't suck), I've learned some of my favorite songs. Is it wrong to play the way you find easiest as long as the notes you play sound well and are close to the actual music?

    For example, my mentor plays AC/DC's T.N.T. and STP's Plush way different from how I taught myself. Can you tell me if the way I do things is a good start or a bad habit to keep cutting and changing around tablature

    Can anyone give me their interpretation of that quote?
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Great questions.

    It is best to learn BOTH ways and more. Learning different ways to play the same line opens up more of the fretboard and more musical ideas. The more ways you can play the same line the better. I think your intuition was right on target

  3. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    While it could be dangerous to try and play something that is really uncomfortable, it is good to try a lot of different approaches. If you always stick within your 'mental comfort zone' you simply won't grow as a musician.

    Since you've got a mentor, it might be worth asking them the same question. If they try and tell you that what they're doing is the only way to play the line, it may be time to look round for someone else... but if they can explain why they play it a particular way and help you get past the obstacles that make that way difficult to you, they will be doing you a great service.

    As Mike says, the more ways you can learn to play something the better - it's all about building your musical vocabularly so that you can communicate fluently.

  4. learning songs from records helps to develop your 'ear training', which is one of the most important aspects of learning an instrument. Basically what you are doing is simple transcription. Once you begin to get good at learning the simple tunes, it's time to start transcribing harder songs, bass solos, sax solos, etc. All of this will help you become a better musician.

    You should probably make sure, though, that at least your right and left hand techniques are good... left hand thumb in the center of the neck ,etc...(assuming you are right-handed)

    I strongly encourage you to get away from tabs and start learning standard notation. Most of the rock stuff that is tabbed is not that hard and you can learn it by ear (develop your ear! its very very important). I would spend time on that rather than looking at tabs.

    After doing this for 28+ years, and having done interval recognition, some transcription, etc. there are some songs I can hear on the radio and 'learn' it without playing it! (mind you they have to be pretty simple)

    good luck with your musical endeavors.