New bassist needs help

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by lhappyfacel, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. Well I'm just starting off on a 4 string bass and i was woundering what should I do to learn I have no videos and what not any tips would be nice or teach me how to read tabs.
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I'd avoid the tabs and maybe look for someone locally who can get you off to a running start with a few lessons about proper technique. You could either continue with further lessons or you could learn by ear, which is what a lot of us do.
  3. What should i listen to to get me started
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Listen to whatever you like that inspires you to play. We all dig different stuff.

    For me it's Flabba Holt, Sly & Robbie, Fatman Riddim, Familyman, James Jamerson, and ol' early 70's Funkadelic to name just a few.

    For you, it might be something else...RHCP, or Fieldy or whatever people who listen to modern music dig these days.

    As long as its fun and it makes you want to learn go for it.

    Listen to stuff and try figure out how the bassist is making those sounds. It may be tough at first but it'll come soon enough.
  5. xb100


    Mar 24, 2004
    NH, In
    +1 on finding an instructor. I was lucky to have an instructor in my area, I took lessons from him for 4 years. Bets 4 years of my life too.
  6. I thank all of you for your help.
  7. O yeah should I not care even if it sounds like crap when I try and do it??
  8. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    No, I think you should care is what you're trying to do sounds like crap. Whatever your goals are, I think they should include not sounding like crap.
  9. Bigger

    Bigger Banned

    Oct 18, 2005

    first be sure bass is what you want, and why. its not glamorous. its a fun starter to some but its not the shining star spotlight of the band.

    before you spend alot of money on something make sure you enjoy it and you feel its really your thing. you may spend alot of money and TIME on something and realize you werent really happy.

    dont listen to tablature neigh sayers, try tabs to songs you like, then find some people to play with maybe a LITTLE better than you. trust me anyone will be happy to have a bassist great or not. see if the bass spot is what you want to be stuck in.

    dont start taking lessons right away that is a waste of money. you will spend a year just learning bull crap you could teach yourself and most teachers dont like to start with someone who knows NOTHING. coming with SOME roots shows them your a little interested.

    so to sum it up.

    get some songs you like and download tab (its not always correct but its free) try, they are my fav

    look online for some downloadable instructions and lessons on form and knowing your keys and notes.

    find some poeple to jam with

    decide if bass is where you want to be. you may realize you dont like it nor its place and want to try something else. basically im saying DONT BUY ANYTHING to start if you can get it free online.
  10. Warwickluvr


    Dec 26, 2005
    Find a teacher. It's the only way to go if you're serious about bass.

    As far as tabs go......ick. Learn how to use your ear to figure out songs or have a teacher help you. Tabs sites are primative, can't clearly display rhythem, and are usually just plain wrong.

    Also, Bigger, I noticed you said "being STUCK with the bass spot." Excuse me, but WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT ON A BASS FORUM?? Playing the bass is a joy and an honor and if you don't think so, maybe you should just join an Eddie Van Halen wannabe forum.

    Lots of bass players are more "in the spotlight" than their bandmates:

    Larry Graham - Sly and the Family Stone
    Sting - The Police
    Flea - RHCP
    Jaco Pastorius - Weather Report
    Geddy Lee - Rush
    Bootsy Collins - Funkadelic/his Rubber Band (after going solo)

    The list goes on.....
  11. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I could not disagree more with this sentiment. Hopefully, this and your other advice was written tongue-in-cheek, as humor, but you are just so wrong when you say most teachers don't want to teach beginners, that they teach you "bull crap" you could teach yourself, and that having a teacher is a waste of money.

    Classes are a waste of money only if the student goes in with the attitude that he has nothing to learn, so why be there in the first place? I value highly every single class I have ever had with bass teachers. I have had several teachers over the years and each one brought something special to me.

    As for teachers not wanting beginners, many teachers are happy to have any student they can get. I would far rather teach a highly motivated beginner than a know-it-all experienced player who decides to take classes, but then thinks he cannot learn anything new or discover he may be able to do something better.

    My advice to the original poster is if he cannot find a teacher or afford one right now, that he buy a good bass instruction/CD set that offers a comprehensive introduction to bass playing including bass maintenence and upkeep if possible.

    Beginners are often tempted to use tab instead of reading music, but if they feel they MUST read tab, at least learn to read the tab as presented in guitar magazines such as Guitar World, because it has traditional music notation right above it, thus it is easier to know timing and chord progressions and song structure. Most Internet tab is just plain terrible. It will NOT help a beginner advance his bass playing.

    If the original poster wants to be serious about becoming a skilled bassist, why not start off right and get a solid foundation, not some catch-as-catch-can method grabbed from the Internet?