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Just wondering

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by my name is mud, Nov 16, 2004.


  1. my name is mud

    my name is mud

    Jul 2, 2004
    WI
    Alright hes my 2 cents. Ive been playing for almost a year now and i feel like my skills have come to a halt for some resion...I was thinking its the guitar but it could be that I just don't notice any thing getting better because I always hear what I play. Anyone understand that? lol
     
  2. CJK84

    CJK84

    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    I think I understand what you're saying.

    You might be improving, but it's difficult for you to notice because you hear yourself each day and, thus, never hear a big change that let's you know you're making progress.

    Consider getting a teacher or pursuing, on your own (as I have) to learn as much about proper mechanics as possible.

    Poor technique slowed me down for years.

    Good luck.
     
  3. waxbass

    waxbass

    Nov 13, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Here's a few tips for improving your skills:

    1. If you don't already, make the metronome your gawd :smug: Take everything you think you do well, and do it with a metronome. Do it really fast, do it really slow. Sometimes it can take an hour of playing a lick before you really lock into the rythm and backbeat etc. The key to the metronome is this: If you can make the click dissapear within your playing, you're locked in.

    2. Record yourself. Record yourself with the metronome. Record yourself all the time BY YOURSELF. Don't worry about tone or sound quality. You need to be able to listen back to what you just played and begin the process of reconciling what you think you did and what you really did.:eyebrow:

    It's a slow tedious process but how do you improve if you can't HEAR where and why and how you may need to?

    wax :ninja:
     
  4. Some good advice given

    Another thing is that some days you think you're playing suxs and other days you think Wow!
    Maybe Challenge yourself a bit more
    ie: Learn a difficult technique or a song ( BTW there are plenty ) a scale you don't know.......etc
    By doing something that's totally new to you will challenge you but when you complete the task at hand Boy you feel a sense of accomplishment
    So do yourself a favour learn things that you don't know and when you start ticking the task that you know off then you are realising you are musically growing
    But as usual their's always another obstacle that will come but that's the fun thing about music by overcoming them you get a sense of pride in yourself
    Anyway May the musical force be with you
     
  5. my name is mud

    my name is mud

    Jul 2, 2004
    WI
    CJK-
    What you said is actually kinda funny because right when I was reading your post my friend said he would give me 5 free lesson copuons for this music store down the street...Ive been thinking about taking lessons for awhile now so im gonna go down there tommorrow or so and see what they can do for me. If I like it ill prob keep going...Thanks for the advice hombre!

    Waxbass-
    You know ive never playing with a metronome once in my whole life....is that bad? Where the hell would I get one of them btw? Are they expinsive? About recording myself...Ive done that quite a bit with beats i like so if I ever forget them I just go and listen to em again. and again thanks for the advice.

    Jace-
    Ok....I must be like really behind because I only know like 2 scales, I take it I should learn more of them..I seen a list of em on taborama, ill get to memorizing them asap. as for learning new harder song, I do that all the time...For how long ive been playing i can play alot of primus's songs pretty good lol. And yet again....Thanks for the advice!
     
  6. waxbass

    waxbass

    Nov 13, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Hey mud, metronomes can be had fairly cheaply at any music store. I prefer the analogue models, you know, with the arm that bounces to and fro :smug: Chances are if you know anyone who ever studied piano they've got an old metronome sitting around.

    I think the little mini metronome is around $40.

    If you're using a sequencer then you've probably done well with rythmic timing, but there's no substitute for a metronome cuz it forces you to find the groove without the help of a groovy beat, capiche?

    wax :cool:
     
  7. my name is mud

    my name is mud

    Jul 2, 2004
    WI
    Awesome...My uncle plays paino I bet hes got one or two laying around ill have to ask him next time we talk. About the sequencer, Not really sure what that is?
     
  8. waxbass

    waxbass

    Nov 13, 2004
    Los Angeles
    A sequencer is a drum machine that you can program. When you said you record beats that you don't want to forget I assumed you were working with a drum machine/sequencer.

    I just meant that if you practice your playing with a programmed drum beat, your timing (playing in time) would be better then if you just played only your bass or perhaps with a human drummer who may not have the greatest timimg.

    SO which is it??

    wax :hyper:
     
  9. my name is mud

    my name is mud

    Jul 2, 2004
    WI
    Ah I see...Sorry you took me wrong when I said beats..I mean riffs. I don't really practace with anyone besides myself. Sometimes Ill go over to my friends and we play some stuff with just drums and bass.
     
  10. waxbass

    waxbass

    Nov 13, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Ok cool. So get that metronome and start doing your thing with it. Another cool thing would be to get like the crappiest little casio keyboard that has built in drum beats. Some of them even have a little 2 measure sequencer that you can make your own beats with.

    The idea is that you've spent the last year getting to know your bass right? Now you need to start playing in time and training your internal clock. That's what the metronome will do for you.

    Play your riffs and tunes and stuff with the click going. Start out slow and once you get it down speed it up. Repeat that until you get to a point where you cant quite play it, then slow down abit. Keep doing this and you'll see dramatic improvement in your playing. Also, go the other way. Slow stuff down again and again until you can barely think.

    If you get the metronome down, and realize it's power, you'll use it for the rest of your life. I still break it out regularly just to keep on top.

    BTW, saw Col. Claypool and his Bucket of Berny Brain a few weeks ago.....amazing.

    wax
     
  11. my name is mud

    my name is mud

    Jul 2, 2004
    WI
    awesome thanks! I never though of using a keyboard for drum beats :cool: I have an old Casio CTK-515 sitting in my basement that hasn't been used sense I was like 15. I think it has quite a few drum beats one it...not sure if there is other instements in the beats but ill go dig it out. Wish I could go see les live....I would kill for him to play around where I live.
     
  12. my name is mud

    my name is mud

    Jul 2, 2004
    WI
    Well I found it and its got like 50 beats on it :hyper: Im gonna start playing with diff beats playing from now on. Was messing around with it a bit and I can see how bad my timing actually was :spit: But I think with a little time and commitment ill get better. Im just going up and down the scales I know with the beats playing and it works pretty good. Would be cool if I could record my own stuff on it but it don't have a record button or nothing.
     
  13. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare

    Sep 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Playing with a drum machine is great advice -- bassists are part of the rhythm, so good time is a must.

    But I wanted add that, for as long as I've played guitar and bass, I've noticed one pattern that I've heard others echo, and it's that I don't get better at a consistent pace all the time. I'll improve a little bit day by day, week by week, for a few months or so, and then it stops, and no matter how hard I work at it, I stay at the same level for a while. But then, for no apparent reason I all of a sudden find that I've reached a different level of ability.

    So the thing I took from that is to not worry so much when I hit a plateau and seem to stagnate. I just keep working and playing, because I know I'm improving and that, sooner or later, I'll break out of that phase and will start to see improvements again.

    And the other thing that occasionally helps me if I /really/ feel like I'm in a rut is to take breaks where I play less bass and more other stuff, or nothing at all. Now, that's hard when in a gigging band, but at times it helps me refocus and come back at the bass with new ideas.

    cheers!

    ltt
     
  14. my name is mud

    my name is mud

    Jul 2, 2004
    WI
    Work ****ing awesome! when all my songs clear i got 4 of em up that I made up with that keyboard and my bass...I use a stupid ****ty mic so you can kinda hear my hitting the strings sometimes and some background noise but when I recorded and listen to them it put a big ol' smile on my face heh :D I still suck though lol..Oh and does anyone know if there is a band called Crystal Maze?

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/9/crystalmazemusic.htm
     
  15. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare

    Sep 7, 2004
    Chicago
    and your free info for the day ;) there don't seem to be any registered US trademarks for "crystal maze," but there's a german band with that name ( http://www.crystal-maze.de/ ), a video game, and apparently a pretty big old UK TV show...so if you plan to branch out to Germany... :)
     
  16. my name is mud

    my name is mud

    Jul 2, 2004
    WI
    lol i see well that all good...its not like im gonna make it big or nothing :p I really need to get a set of drums here...
     
  17. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Exactly!

    Yup - that's a fact. I used to worry about it when I was in one of those duldrums, but it's happend to me enough times now that I KNOW it's just a matter of time, and I'll jump to an exciting new level of skill.

    Joe
     
  18. ;) I'll chime in and confirm the feast or famine progression of skills as well Muddy. Only natural to have slow times - viens of inspiration get mined out and don't always overlap. :meh:

    I figure the in between times aren't wasted though, they're
    the time to digest what you did with the last lot of inspiration.
    To take what you've just learnt and assimilate it and how it relates to the other stuff you know. ;)

    I often find in doing that some new combination of whatever occurs and I'm off again :hyper:
    If you really get stuck listen to another instrument in a different style of music - for me blues harp, clarinet, sax & trumpet playing blues or jazz have all broken down those walls for me while trying to write gritty expressive rock using guitar and voice :)

    One of the first things I had to do when starting out playing lead live was to imitate Beautiful Bonnie Raitt's slide guitar
    without a slide :help: No wukkers you just play 1 or 2 frets low and slur every note :D works a treat as long as you don't lose track of where you started from as to where you'd normally be and err I'm getting confused just talking about it.

    But any way ..... all these little things ..... and the somewhat
    bigger things you do to get around them, over them or through them will, in only a few years of exquisite torture,
    give you your very own individual feel and reason to be playing. Not a bad thing ;)