Need some educational advice...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Nazrex, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. Nazrex


    May 2, 2020
    Atlanta, GA
    Haven't really played much in ages...

    30 years ago I played the Baritone (Euphonium) Horn in Middle School and learned to read Bass Clef sheet music, and had a lot of fun with that.

    Then a new family moved in next door, their son and I become friends and he started playing electric guitar and got real good, so I decided to try the Bass and we'd hang out and jam to Guns 'n Roses or Van Halen every now and then.

    But really all I ever did was just dick around with the damn thing and aside from learning the basics, E A D G open strings, a few octaves and power cords, I never really took it seriously and I never really bothered to truly learn the fret board and more importantly... I never really bothered to actually LEARN to play the Bass... never really learned to develop any playing technique .. never learned to do a proper "setup" on the instrument...

    Yeah, I thought it was cool that I could pick it up and play the intro to Sweet Child of Mine or Coma, or Metallica's Orion.... or, oh yeah, that I could plug in a digital delay and thump a string and play Pink Floyd's One of These Days... or better yet, just thump a string and turn a knob on the delay and recreate the sound of the Jetson's car... yeah my neighbor friend started doing LSD about then, and he thought the Delay was reeeeaaaal trippy when I did the Jetson's thing.

    Oh I could read basic Tablature... heck a monkey could play a Bass off Tab.


    I'm 45 now, and decided to get back into playing. Call it my mid-life crisis... I'm getting bored with computer gaming and netflix... told my wife I wanted something different to do, so a few months ago when that nice Corona Shut Down "Stimulus" check landed in my bank account, I decided to pick up a Bass again.

    Bought a nice Ibanez SR250 (cause it was calling to me) and then went and found someone local on who was selling a Carvin PB100 amp... the same amp I used back in the day, and I bought that... and just a couple weeks ago I picked up a decent set of headphones to use with it, and a TC Electronics Corona Chorus Tone Print peddle, just to add a little touch of color to my tone, that and ok I can still play Sweet Child and now I can download Duff's Tone Print for that! LOL

    But seriously... Lets just say, Tool's newest Magnum Opus... and Justin Chancellor's work on it has all really inspired me to want to pick up the Bass and play again.

    So now, I want to learn the fret board properly, and re-learn to read the music... not just read the Tab, but read the actual sheet music... re-learn Bass Clef.

    I want to do it without paying someone for 30 - 60 minutes worth in lessons, cause thats not in our budget right now.

    I work 4am to 1pm and on my days off, I'm sitting here at home staring at my computer screen cause I'm always nervous some PC Game I'm going to load up is going to get too loud and wake up the wife in the next room... and, well today was one of those days and it got me thinking... "I need to find something I can use to re-teach myself the sheet music, and teach myself how to attribute that to the fret board"


    I am looking for advice on what my best options are for doing this, between 4am and 1pm... without waking up everyone in my apartment building!
  2. For (re)learning to read the bass clef . . .


    . . . and there are many video lessons on YT re:learning the notes on the fingerboard. Pick one the suits you style of learning and go for it! And welcome back to the herd . . .
    GastonD and Nazrex like this.
  3. Nazrex


    May 2, 2020
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks man, that particular link looks like a good place to start... man after watching that first 4 min video, is it kinda sad that after 35 years, I completely forgot what a quarter note and a half note is.. and now they're all just flooding back at me.

    Anyone have any advice on any good lesson books; we saw some at Guitar Center but they were more aimed at like, 10 - 12 year olds, just starting out with no knowledge of music.
    FatStringer52 likes this.
  4. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    Follow the Berklee Bass Department on FaceBook, they are always posting reading exercises. Some hard, some not so much, but it's a great resource.
    Nazrex likes this.
  5. GastonD


    Nov 18, 2013
    Belgrade, Serbia
    If by lesson books you mean something methodical about learning music on bass, not concerned with reading itslef, I always point people to Tony Grey's Bass Academy book/DVD package, Chuck Sher's Improviser's Bass Method and Joel DiBartolo's Serious Electric Bass.
    Nazrex likes this.
  6. Nazrex


    May 2, 2020
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks guys!

    I'll take a look at all that stuff, should give me plenty of ways to RE-start out.
    FatStringer52 likes this.
  7. bbh

    bbh Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    Well after reading your description, that’s a good but long road to take.
    How I did it in the way back was learn every inflection and tonal difference as well as style. For instance, not many local club bassists can play exacting eighth notes of equal tempor which was once popular, dare I say a necessity. I worked on that one for a long time.
    I didn’t learn the whole bass till years later. I’ve done thousands of gigs and have been handsomely rewarded.
    The biggest rule is there are no rules. Hope I was of some help.
    Nazrex likes this.
  8. dexter3d


    Jul 4, 2005
    Stop focusing on gear and start focusing on playing. Contrary to what such forums would lead you to believe, gear does not matter. It’s time wasted. Get a teacher, best - a double bassist who would teach you positions. Start playing in half and first position, its all you will ever need in 95% of cases. Mastering these two positions and economy of motio. This will give you a degree of self confidence. Then learn triads and 7th chords. Then build your music vocabulary (riffs, basslines, licks) as much as you can.
    sonojono likes this.
  9. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Polish Thunder, Larseman and Splash7 like this.
  10. Splash7

    Splash7 The Determined Bass Player

    Sep 18, 2019
    I am using both of these because I learn/practice at different times of the day, depending on my mood. They pretty much have all that I need to learn. I also insist that I learn notation instead of tabs.
  11. HardNHeavy


    Apr 17, 2014
    headphones for starters......
  12. MynameisMe

    MynameisMe What will you be remembered for?

    Dec 31, 2018
  13. bherman

    bherman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    I agree 100% with the Hal Leonard book recommendation. I find the YouTube stuff to be a helpful supplement to disciplined learning, but it’s easy to get distracted and chasing tangents. Work on your reading methodically and it’ll open many doors.
  14. Old P Bass Guy

    Old P Bass Guy

    Nov 26, 2017
    James Stennett. Learning to read bass cleff.
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Take everything one step at a time, and don't move on to another concept before you've mastered the first one. It's better to spend five minutes learning where one note is and remembering it versus spending 1 minute learning where five notes are and forgetting them the next time you play.
    Nazrex likes this.
  16. sonojono

    sonojono Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2013
  17. lark_z

    lark_z Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2020
    Georgetown, TX
    Agreed - The Hal Leonard book is quite good. TAB isn't introduced until p. 60, which is after maybe 55 mp3 tracks. I'm going back through it now and picking out the 'groove' feeling etudes and 'making' myself play them in different keys to a drum loop. It's a blast and I've learned a lot.

    I've also enjoyed the 'Complete Music Reading Trainer' app on my tablet. It's kind of like a video game. Great for doing while you're supposed to be paying attention to some boring movie.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
  18. Nazrex


    May 2, 2020
    Atlanta, GA
    I'm not worried about gear.
    I got a bass I like, I got an amp I like...
    Chorus peddle was a just a small bonus, I didn't really need it... but I always liked chorus, so wanted it.
    I don't really "need" anything else right now.
    That was one of my mistakes my first time around, 30 years ago... I got a little too obsessed with the gear.

    Can't afford a teacher... not in the budget.
  19. Nazrex


    May 2, 2020
    Atlanta, GA
    Yea I was debating between a Yamaha TRBX204 and the Ibanez SR250...

    I used to have a Yamaha RBX800AF back in the day, and was almost settled on the TRBX204 but then that SR250 just seemed to keep calling to me...

    So I went to my local Guitar Center to look at one, and that was it... I had to have it.
    sonojono likes this.