just got a bass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by midtown2000, Jul 25, 2001.

  1. My friends and I just recently decided to make a band. I am trying to learn the bass and I know nothing about it. I was wondering what books I should buy or what tabs I should start with. Thanks for all the help.
  2. j0

    welcome to talkbass & the wonderfull world o' bassguitar ! :D

    i think the best you can do first is learn the tone-ladder...


    good luck dude !
  3. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    You should probably get a teacher to show you the basic (how to sit, hold, fret, pluck...etc). And from there you can try to learn from friends who can help you if you've got any who do... and get some books, videos and sh*t like that... Might be helpful to surf the web for sites that carry some information..

    www.libster.com is pretty good...

    ok.. gl,

  4. downward spiral

    downward spiral

    Jul 20, 2001
    I'm having simlar worries... thanks
  5. I started the exact same way....my friends and I were like "hey let's make a ska-punk band!" and i was down, and i had always been fascinated by bass so I gave it a shot....I started out with the basic stuff....the first songs I learned were "longview" by green day and "journey to the end of east bay" by rancid. journey to the end is cool because it shows you some chromatic stuff and has a slide and some descending scale stuff. I never took a single lesson nor read any books or watched any videos. I just played what I felt was good and what fit in the songs we had. Ska is great to start with....the bass is so important in ska...it has to be bouncy and have a nice groove as well. It also is really great to use scales and arpeggios. I say learn some major and minor scales, work in chromatics and other stuff as you go.

    I think thats the best way to go to start with....to be able to know how you do things without any outside influences other than the music you want to play and the people in the band. but thats just my thing. do whatever feels right.
  6. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    For the best and fastest results... get a teacher.
  7. LimpChunk9


    May 8, 2001
    Bronx, NY
    Congradulations! Bass is loads of fun. When I first got my bass, I would just play with music I was listening too. I have no idea what the hell I was playing but at least I got my fingers to harden and be easier on my bass. A couple months later, I got my amp and just printed out tons of tabs and played those. I've been doing that since. I goof off a lot too and play finger excercizes.

    Also, I'm assuming you like Midtown. That band rocks. I haven't learned any of thier songs yet though.
  8. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    A good book to get started on is "The Bass Guitar Scale Manual"

    Id also recomend finding someone in your area that gives lessons, those are invaluable, because unlike video's and books, you can ask the instructer specific questions.

    Id forget all about TABS if I were you too, Its much more benificial to you to learn theory and notation. Yes tabs, give you the fret to play, but they dont show you the key signature, time signature, rests, note length, etc.

    I used to sit in my room and learn covers and use tabs when I 1st started playing bass almost 16 years ago, and thought i was hot stuff because I knew a bunch of songs, truth be told it was one of the worst things I think Ive ever done, it held me back instead of propelling me forward. And in real playing situations, ex: if you play with someone who's really good, they say stuff like its a simple I-IV-V progression, and tabs just dont prepare you for stuff like that.
  9. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    and remember that Jaco Pastorius will probably bore the crap out of you now, but after you've been playing about a year (or two), you should probably get into this guy. dissecting his lines is a rivetting experience :D
  10. Get the Evolving Bassist by Rufus Reid. That book is like my bible. So what if it's for learning Jazz on the Standup
  11. downward spiral

    downward spiral

    Jul 20, 2001
    I haven't been playing for too long and Jaco does sound really boring. maybe I'll get into it later, but right now I don't see what the huge fuss is about and just about fall asleep listening to him... sorry jaco fans.
  12. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Been playing bass for a little over a year now...

    Heh. I was actually into Jaco before I got a bass...even before I bought one of his CDs! I guess I was really amazed at what I read about him in Bass Player and elsewhere. I now own his self-titled album. The only thing that bores me is that song "Come On Come Over". Ugh. Though I love the bassline (of course! :)) those lyrics just bore me! LOL. I can't help it. But there's nothing as beautiful as "Portrait of Tracy".

    Anyway, I agree to those who said to try and find a teacher. I always look forward to my lesson. My teacher helps me clean up so many rusty spots and gives me the confidence that I need. Teaches me things I'm sure I'd never learn on my own, and helps me with whatever I need. :)

    Good luck and have fun! :)

  13. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    i dunno, most people (read: non-bassists :)) think that "Portrait of Tracy" sounds like funeral parlour music when i play it to them :eek: and i must admit, i've been playing bass fanatically for almost 2 years myself, and i still find most of Jaco's stuff to be completely self-indulgent and ill-fitting to the song (if it isn't a solo). i do, however, recognize the absolute mastery of the instrument and the associated theory that he displays in his playing, because in the time i've been brushing up on my jazz theory i've realised that he is doing some amazing things on a musical and technical level, no matter how displeasing it may be to my ear at my current level.

    "in time, grasshopper ..."
  14. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    i wasn't that way when i started. It was people like jaco and victor that influenced me to play bass.
  15. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    i play portraitoftracy all the time. The false harmonics (thinking...beleive there are 2 different ones, the one that is always in it {index finger on the b on a, and the pinky on the Eb.} and then there is that one {well, it is a double-stop false harmonic thing}) really stretch your hands out.
  16. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    couldn't agree more, but if you are going to go that route, at lease get transcriptions.

    I think it is best to start out with learning chord progression while doing a simple 1515 bass line. I think that is one of the most important things to learn on bass.