Need advice on a book

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by jazznfusion, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. jazznfusion


    Jan 12, 2011
    Im working through the basic bass method reading books right now and they definitely help alot. Id like some insight as to what i should be focusing on next to really help give me insight and grow. Are there particular books that helped you when you were a beginner, and what should be my focus on this early on? Thanks in advance to anyone who may help. Mike
  2. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    To be honest after u have worked thru all of a beginner bass book...u should have the rudimentary knowledge of the major scale(which everything like all the modes r related too anyway) and be familiar with all the notes on the bass. Start learning your favorite songs...between you tube, songster and the countless other media out there u will be able to find the tab, notes, video instructions on where to put ur fingers to play it. Once you thoroughly know a song and can play it all the way thru there is an indescribable feeling of satisfaction, joy, the gambit man. When I was young and finally learned a song I had been working on for days I must have worn the record out(yup vinyl was all they had then) playing with that tune 100 times. Its kinda like the ultimate payback for grinding it out...u know. As your skills progress u will be able to tackle harder material and hopefully be able to play some tricky passages down the road. THE biggest waste of time is mindlessly noodling at the same scale shape for weeks on end...and the reason I say that is from personal experience. Say u play the hell out of the nat minor scale with the shape of the 1st finger then 3rd and 4th across both strings (1-6) and finish on the 3rd string with fingers 1 and 3 to reach octave. You do this enough million times that when u need to use ur second finger or skip a string or whatever the riff calls out for then u struggle mightily because most of ur muscle memory is attached to that stupid scale u have minelessly been practicin. If u want fo practice techniques. ..mix em and play alotta different stuff for technical prowess. Just learn an entire report of songs and u will be on ur way...a good start anyways. One other thing I think isnt stressed enough is right hand technique...I hardly gave it much thought for 10 years but that's where its ALL AT my friend. Most newbies and intermediate players have great left hand technique cuz its all they ever worry about. Read up on some tips about good plucking, economy of motion(vs flailing fingers)...and practice crossing strings in even and odd plucks always keeping your fingers alternating so that as one finger is just pulling off the string the other finger is over the next desired string ready to strike. I cant state the importance of this aspect when it comes to playing quick progressions IN TIME down the road and once u have years of playing under ur belt it becomes near impossible to break bad habits.
  3. Books that helped me. I'm going to include videos in my list.
    Bass Guitar for Dummies
    Any book by Ed Friedland
    Any video by Scott Devine​

    I see from your profile that you joined us in 2011, so I am assuming you have the fundamentals under your fingers by now. What next? IMO -----

    • Songs and playing with others. The other guys will help you more than anything else.
    • Fake chord sheet music. Why fake chord? That is what most bands you will start with pass among themselves. You will be expected to play from fake chord.
    • The major scale pattern. Understand how patterns help us find the notes on our fretboard.
    • Scale degree numbers (chord tones) into bass lines. Ah yes, bass lines the backbone of what we do.
    • Nashville numbers. Helped me, as I do play from the major scale box and think in scale degree numbers. Do a Google and then make your decision. Nashville numbers may not work for you....
    • Being able to visualize the patterns on your fretboard and not be afraid of going outside the box.
    IMO those tools need to be on your tool belt.

    I take fake chord sheet music on stage with me - six new songs every Sunday. That way I do not have to memorize every song I play. See a chord coming up and my fingers know what to do. When they start paying you to play then you leave the music stand at home. LOL. Little time spent on chord harmony, i.e. what chords will be necessary to harmonize this section of the melody will let you know why the songwriter used that particular chord at this particular spot in the song. That helped me the most when I started jamming - without sheet music.

    As mentioned there is help on the Internet. Google some fake chord on your song and you have the chords for that song. Little side trip ---- will be a long time before you get a lead break. Your scales are important and the best way to get your fingers knowing where the good notes are, however, again IMO, we should be working on chord tone arpeggios, as that is what we will be playing most of the time. Yes, get those arpeggios into muscle memory; see a chord and your fingers know what bass line to use. Back on track -- you let Google find your chord progression; now ask Google to find a video of the artist playing that song and you have a play-a-long "tool" to practice with. Listen to the video and make little notations in the margins of the fake chord sheet music . What little notations? I add a * to tell me to let the root note ring, > to tell me to move quickly to the next chord; things like that help me play the song and catch the chord changes dead on. Fake chord has nothing to help with note duration, except the lyrics --- normally one lyric syllable per beat; Ma-ry and Lit-tle get two melody notes each.

    Is there more? Sure, locking in with the drummer and falling into a groove is really important, but, the above should keep you busy for a year or so. By then you will already understand how to fall into that groove.

    Good luck, have fun.