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Need Advice (What To Work On)

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Hazm, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Hazm


    Mar 17, 2009
    Hey guys, first post here.

    Firstly an introduction:
    I am 18, have been playing bass since I was about 14, but only seriously practicing the last year or so. In that time I have never really had lessons and pretty much all of my practicing has been getting tabs for songs with good bass lines and playing along with the CD. I consider myself to be reasonably competent with basic technique (I can find my way around a fret board and don't have difficulty with too many tabs, providing I practice it for long enough). I've never really been very musically attuned however and have never learnt any music theory and don't really understand the basic concepts (keys, scales e.t.c). One of the things I have a lot of trouble with is writing bass lines around a guitar or piano riff, I can copy the notes played by the guitar or piano but I find it really hard to actually write an interesting riff that is reasonably complex, sounds good and goes with the guitar.

    I've played in a few pretty casual bands but would really like to get more serious about my music, I've finished school now and am on a gap year before going to University so I have plenty of time available. What I would really like to know is where do I go from here to improve? Since starting to practice a lot more regularly I have improved a lot, but I feel like I need to go in a different direction to keep improving and help me to work better in a band. So what do you suggest?

    Thanks a lot.
  2. Continue with what seems to be working, don't fix what ain't broken, and get a teacher.
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Check out the link in my sig.
  4. Martin Bormann

    Martin Bormann

    Sep 20, 2007
    Well, you need a teacher. And do yourself a favour, don't ever look at another tab again. Learn to read, it'll make you a better musician. On top of that, you already said you have no concept of any music theory. Now would be a good time to hit the books. And with writing basslines, you know you could always hit the library (if it has a music section) and research it. Look at scores and arrangements, listen to basslines. In fact start writing down on paper every bassline you hear and the progression they're in. I could go all day on **** you can do to make yourself better, and I'm sure you already know what you need to do.
  5. paul_wolfe


    Mar 8, 2009
    Get BUILDING WALKING BASS LINES by Ed Friedland. Go through it at a really detailed level - it will simultaneously improve your theory and your understanding of how to create bass lines to chords plus if you get something like Band in a Box and program in a stack of standards and apply the principles to those you'll also imrpove your ear training too.

    It doesn't matter if you don't like jazz - it's teh best way to learn these principals and you can then apply them to any genre you want.

    Ed's best book by a country mile too, IMO. Saved my butt back in the day....

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