Most Important things to........

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by BassIsTheBest, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. BassIsTheBest


    May 17, 2002
    What would you say are the most important things a beginning or intermediate bass player should concentrate on?

    3.learning the neck

  2. b0nes83


    Dec 14, 2000
    learn how to read bass clef.
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I'd put slap technique waaaaay down the list of priorities for someone who doesn't even know their fretboard or scales. It would be difficult to slap a meaningful line without knowing chords and scales. Also learning chords and scales will help with mastering the fretboard.

    One more caveat here. A player who does not know the fretboard or basic scales and chords can hardly be considered an intermediate player. I will even go so far as to say until one knows their fretboard, they are still firmly entrenched in the beginner ranks.

    My personal philosophy is that a beginner should leave showy techniques such as slapping and tapping for later. Instead beginners should concentrate on fundamentals and learn how to construct basslines. Some of the greatest bass players never slapped.
  4. BassIsTheBest


    May 17, 2002
    Say you practiced 2 to 3 hours a day, how would you break the time up for each learning skill?

    I've been playing for exactly 1 month and am learning at a steady pace, but I want to grow as much as possible.
  5. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I would suggest a good teacher to help you develope sound fundamentals.

    For a career in music, learning to read music is the most important.

    Learning to read music, learning the scales, and the way chords are assembled will get you into many playing situations with varieties of musicians and styles.

    You can also put the instrument down, and listen to others play. Active listening is as valuable as practicing the instrument.
  6. BassIsTheBest


    May 17, 2002
    Thanx for the advice, I have a teacher kind of, a friend who gives me lessons every week.

    Do you suggest ways of practicing these skills, any books?
  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I still say that if you have been playing just one month, even three hours a day, it is still premature to attempt slapping, because you don't know how to create a slap bassline appropriate for a song...that is if you don't know scales, how to harmonize a scale, how to build chords, what to do with chords, how to follow a chord progression, etc.

    Therefore if you have a three hour practice session, slapping should not yet be a part of that session.

    I'd use the first two hours to work on one scale in every key, playing the scale in two octaves up and down the fretboard, learn the chords for that scale, play them up and down the fretboard. Play those chords in each inversion. Use a metronome and work on timing with these drills. Start very slowly, moving up only a beat at a time. Go for accuracy and consistent tone rather than speed.

    You might want to work on intervals, also, in order to start training your ear to identify the distance between two notes, either ascending or descending.

    Then the last hour, I'd spend on the fun stuff, like learning a bassline to a song of your choice. Play it in different keys. See if you can change it a little bit. Is it more or less effective the new way?

    For a little ear training, see if you can figure out the bassline of a simple song. At this point, don't pick out anything too complex. It will just be an exercise in frustration.
  8. all of those are very good and valid points, I would also be quick to add learning the major and (minor) scale as well as the corrosponding triads.
    and have fun
  9. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I'd add this. If you absolutely MUST slap because you feel that is something you plan to do from the start and have a high level of motivation to slap as an integral part of music you play, integrate the slapping with your chord and scale studies.

    For example, slap every note of a minor pentatonic scale, but pop the octave. Then slap the minor pentatonic scale, but do not slap the notes in order. Mix them up. Pop the octave a few times for fun. Or slap the root and fifth of a chord, but pop the octave. That way, you will be learning scales and chords, but working on slap technique, too.
    Or try the major scale for example. Slap every other note, mute the notes in between and pop the octave...or don't pop any notes...just alternate slapping and muting.
  10. excelent idea I really like it, I might even start to do that.