new bass player

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rdbf01, May 23, 2002.

  1. rdbf01


    Apr 27, 2002
    I have played electric guitar for several years (blues, rock) and just bought my first bass. I don't feel that I need beginner type lessons because of my guitar experience, but what should I work on to be a good bass player?
  2. Sorry if some of this advice is to obvious.:)
    I think time feel and synchronisation with the drummer is very important.
    I've seen a lot of really good guitarists who have terrible fretting technique when they play bass so learn good frethand technique.
    Also if you're going to play with your fingers, play alternating index and middle finger instead of just one.
  3. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i can suggest to take a listen to bassits as James Jamerson, Duck Dunn. listen to the fundamental on how to build solid bass grooves. and practice a lot, i play both guitar and bass and the biggest difference to me is in the right hand. with bass you really touch the strings in a more organic way if you use fingerstyle. a lot of what you play is in your right hand.
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    My advice aligns with the good advice dude and barroso have given, but with a twist;

    - Unlike guitar which is concerned with melody, memorized chord fingerings, and single note embellishments, (in most popular styles), you're going to need to think more rhythmically, to be more "beat-focused." As bassist, you are glue between the drummer's right foot and the melody.

    That's a big reason why you see more guitarists as vocalists rather than bassists. Whereas people could probably identify the song you were playing on guitar because it was tied to the melody, they may be totally puzzled as to which song you are playing on the bass. It's very tough to sing lead and play bass for reasons such as that........Geddy Lee is a rarity.

    Another aspect that many guitar-migrating-to-bass musicians have a hard time with is that on bass, less is often "more."

    As barosso says, focus on the bass lines of recordings played by great "in the pocket" bassists like the Motown, Stax/Volt, and Muscle Shoals guys and McCartney......not the Jaco's/Squires/Flea's/and Entwistles of the world. Their artistry isn't for beginners.

    If you can afford a play-along practice tool that cancels the bass on recordings, such as one of the Korg Toneworks Pandoras, the role of bass can become quite obvious. You can mentally fill in what your ears know what is missing.

    Finally, I hope you don't mind big time callouses! :D
  5. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    GREAT advice Rickbass - very well stated!

    I'm always amazed by people (not you, rdb) who equate guitar with bass. I've lost count of the number of people who've said how easy it must be to be able to make the switch from one to another.

    Rickbass' post illustrates exactly why the two are so different and unique. While construction of the instruments is similar (pickups, neck, strings, etc), the philosophy and style of each is as different as night and day.

    rdb - props for picking up "the instrument of the Gods" ;) . You're now ready to enter an entirely new dimension.
  6. Rickbass is telling it exactly like it is. I have been playing since 1964 and I don't remember hearing a better thumbnail description of the essence of bass playing. Do what he says and you won't go wrong. I will add that practicing with a metronime will help you, too. If you play bass enough, you WILL play with a drummer who speeds up and slows down and it is your responsibility to get him on track. To be a successful player you need a highly evolved sense of time. Oh, yeah...since you are coming from the kingdom of the puny strings...DON'T OVERPLAY!!! Less is more...the tunes need to breathe.
  7. I can't really add anything significant to what has already been said, but I think it needs to be repeated as often as possible, less can be so much more.