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My First Year on The Bass Video

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Raw Amateur, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. Raw Amateur

    Raw Amateur

    Feb 9, 2011
    Last year my wife bought me a starter bass, amp, and four intro lessons with a local teacher. I was 39 at the time with no musical experience except a brief stint with drums at age 11. I decided to document my progress. Below is the video......

    One Year of Bass - YouTube

    I am not entirely sure what drew me into the bass. When my teacher asked me what bassists I liked, I was sort of stuck. Berry Oakley, JPJ, Aston Barrett were the only ones that came to mind. My first biggest influence was reggae growing up, then southern rock. I have always been kind of tuned into the bass lines of songs more than anything, but I've never been totally obssessed with it.....until now.

    I came to this a blank slate. My teacher, Eddie, liked that. No bad habits to start. He believes there are no limitations in terms of progression and over the year we have been many places. General technique, music theory, some composition, reading etc. He is a good teacher and also a coach of sorts. I think encouragement is a huge factor in me sticking with it. My wife has been really cool about the whole thing too.

    It is pretty powerful feeling when you can conjur up a bass line you've heard your entire life for the first time with your own hands. When I plucked out the intro to “Dazed and Confused,” I realized I could have this line whenever I wanted. Second to this is when you finally work out a song on your very own. This took a long while for me. I have very little spare time, so I need to be economical with my time on the instrument, but when I put together CCR's “Commotion” all on my own in about 20 minutes, it was sort of revelatory.

    At times it has been slow and other times it has been fast. My biggest stumbling block came, not with the instrument, but with the gear. For whatever reason, I got carried away on a craigslist find and purchased a vintage amp and cabs which was a mistake. I spent more time jacking around with it trying to get it to sound the way I want than practicing. I sold the cabs, and the amp is in storage until I can get rid of it. No old gear from here on out. And if something is keeping me from practicing, then drop it quickly. I am now at peace with my 112 combo amp and VT bass pedal. I have all the tone I want. If I had advice to other beginners it would be to not get carried away with the gear. I did end up getting a nicer bass but in terms of amps, cabs, etc, get something that works well enough. That's all. You can perfect that later when you figure out how to play the instrument. Bass books have been the better investment for me.

    Eddie introduced me to Afro/Cuban bass a few weeks ago and another door has been opened. I'm exploring things I had not ever thought of before. One person asked me what I wanted to accomplish with the bass. I'm not sure, but I think it would be nice to say one day with confidence, that I'm a musician. That'd be something I think.
  2. funkybass


    Oct 19, 2006
    Nice progress and nice stingray. I have 2 stingrays and love them.
  3. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Midtown Guitars Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    interesting video, definitely cool seeing the progress.
    you seem to have a good grip on it and have progressed well.

    ps- yes, nice stingray. definitely nicer than what i had my first year of playing.
  4. Mads

    Mads Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2005
    Oslo, Norway
    Nice work, cool idea.
  5. PrietoBass

    PrietoBass How does he do that?

    Apr 16, 2009
    I think you did pretty well on that tumbao line from the Latin Bass Book! (CD 1, track 2 to be precise :-D )
  6. dmrogers

    dmrogers Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Eastman, GA
    Wow! I think you have found your instrument.

    Apparently you have a good instructor AND you have very good practice habits.

    Congratulations on finding your place in the music world.
  7. Raw Amateur

    Raw Amateur

    Feb 9, 2011
    Thanks for the positive reinforcement everyone.

    @PrietoBass that tumbao line has been my project of late. It's getting me to work on my reading but it is slow going. That's a little less than half the piece in the video and it took me two weeks to get there. whew. I also have the True Cuban Bass book which is more manageable. Switching between the two right now. Seems like it's really helping me work on my timing and holding the notes to get them to sing....or at least sort of sing.

    onwards and upwards.
    Booty Shaman likes this.

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