Need help with learning the bass !

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Dan_Lie, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. Dan_Lie


    Jan 6, 2014
    First of all i would like to introduce myself. My name is Dan , and i'm a 15 year old from Serbia.
    Since my birthday was like a week ago i got some money as a gift. With my savings it's around 200 euros, so i bought my first bass (Still waiting for a postman to bring it lol). It's Jolana Galaxis , it's around 30-35 years old.
    Picture of it : [​IMG]

    I got it mainly because i love the bass as an instrument in rock music , and because i want to try myself as a bassist of a school punk band (I love punk).

    My favourite bassline : (Eargasm , isn't it ?)

    As soon as i get my Jolana i would like to start learning some punk songs as they seem to be easy (Bass players say that).
    List of my favourite punk bands and favourite songs by them that i would like to learn:
    1. The Adicts : Viva La Revolution,Joker in the pack,Crazy,Numbers,Steam Roller,Tango, You'll never walk alone, You're all fools (Love them a lot lol)
    2. Sex Pistols : Anarchy in the UK , God save the Queen
    3. The Ramones : Sheena is a punk rocker,Blitzkrieg bop,teenage lobotomy, Rock 'n' Roll Highschool
    4. Cock Sparrer : Take 'Em All
    5. The Misfits : Dig up her bones (my favourite punk song) , Die Die my Darling,I turned into a Martian , Scream, Last Caress ,Helena

    So , these are the songs that i would like to learn as soon as possible.
    1. Do i need to learn scales and thingys for punk songs ^ ?
    2. What song is the best for start (punk songs from above) ?
    3. How much time will i need to learn an average punk song?
    4. How much practise will i need to learn Wasp's "Widowmaker" ?

    Feel free to give me some easy rock/blues/punk/metal/jazz songs for newbies to learn :).

    P.S. I also got an amp (200w , quite strong lol)

    Thanks in advance,
    Kind Regards,
    Dan Blackie Lie
  2. I would love to help you. Your song list is great. I'm from Miami Florida and a band I was in last year got to open for the addicts. They were great. This year they opened for the misfits, but I got to see Danzig and Doyle and that was much better.

    To answer some of your questions:

    Punk rock is not easier than anything else. There are easy songs and there are hard ones. From the era you're into check out the minutemen and dead Kennedys for more challenging bass lines.

    You dont need to know scales to learn any songs, but it will help a lot. You will remember them easier, and can understand them at a higher level. I spent a long time getting discouraged by the mountain of information available. The basics are important, and most songs never go very far beyond the basics.

    Scales are also a map of possibilities. Instead of noodling around for the next note on every fret with every possible option you can jump to the notes in the scale based on probability.

    I can tell you this: learning with your ears will give you a huge advantage over learning tabs. Bass is sometimes very hard to distinguish in a song, but tabs are often wrong and they are a crutch that can leave you weak. If you can listen to the music out of speakers that can produce the bass clearly you'll have an easier time. I still haven't quite pinned that gear down yet and I imagine your options might be limited, but a sub would be great to have.

    Anyways I would love to help you with learning those songs. I'll PM you my email address and would be happy to learn them with you when your bass comes in.
  3. Reddog01


    Nov 3, 2013
    Georgetown, TX
    Many bass players and standard guitar players learn by ear. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this, except at some point, you will find yourself at a disadvantage. Here's what I mean. The day could come when you will be asked to read a lead sheet or even a printed score. Or, you will be asked to sightread a piece. If you don't know where the printed notes are on your fretboard, you may be stopped in your tracks. Also, the day may come when you have to play a walking bass line from a lead sheet. If you don't know your scales and arpeggios, it will be hard to play a walking line from a lead sheet.

    I would like to suggest that you learn all you can to help insure your success, not only as a bass player, but also as a musician. Continue to learn the stuff by ear, but spend the same amount of time doing the really hard work that will push you forward. Take some lessons or find a self-teaching series, such as the Hal Leonard book, and learn to read notes and scales. Learn as much music theory as you can, and you will find explanations as to why those bass lines in the songs you want to learn make sense, and how similar bass lines can be used in other music. There are many genres of music, and knowing how to handle yourself in several genres make you a much more confident and marketable player. Also, you might want to check out the Scott Divine videos -- they are really quite good, and they will open your eyes to how complex playing music can be.
  4. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    If you want to play songs RIGHT NOW I suggest after you know how to hold your bass, how to tune your bass, how to get sound from your bass and how to mute some of the sound from your bass that you start learning where the notes are on your 3rd and 4th string. From the nut to the 12th fret. Why? Because you need that to place the Major scale box pattern I'm going to give you.
    Copy and paste this somewhere;

    While you are waiting on your bass to arrive get this memory work started. Next call up some fake chord sheet music on your favorite songs. Let Google do this for you, using these search words; Guitar chords, "name of the song":

    Now here is a cheat sheet I posted to someone that wanted to know how to play Praise songs. It goes into detail on how to use fake chord sheet music, Nashville numbers and the major scale box pattern. Yes it's on Praise music, but, the concept is the same for what you will be doing. A lot of this will be over your head right now, but, I hope will give you a big picture of what you could/will be doing to play songs.

    Good luck.

  5. This ^
  6. Dan_Lie


    Jan 6, 2014
    I just got my first bass guitar , it arrived like 30 minutes ago !
    It's a marathon bass guitar : [​IMG]
  7. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    It looks good on you. :bassist:
  8. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    You definitely picked some great punk songs to learn. I would go with anything by The Ramones or The Sex Pistols. Pretty basic bass lines that should be easy to learn. However, I would also suggest taking some lessons too.
  9. Dude, I wanted to get that exact bass... You beat me to it :( I even know the exact website you found it on. But never mind, I just wanted it so I could have a "toy" bass to play around with, you will have more use from it ;)