New Bassist

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by millencollin24, Feb 7, 2001.

  1. millencollin24


    Feb 7, 2001
    i started playing the bass, i was woundering if u guys had any adivce and tips for me. MILLENCOLIN RULES!!!!
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000

    Welcome to TB, BTW. :)
  3. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    Take lessons, practice, learn scales/theory, practice, play with a band, practice ...
    and you might not need 10 years to play, as I did ;)
  4. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    1. Buy a metronome and practice with it. Timing is one of your principle responsibilities as a bass player.

    2. Learn to read standard notation. I've never heard anyone say they were sorry they learned to read notation, but I've often heard musicians say they regretted not being able to "read".

    3. Try to get in a band. As you are a beginner, join other beginners. You can all grow together. Nothing will motivate you to learn better than being in a band and having to be able to carry your part.

    4. Check out sites like, talkbass...lessons,, bass and Bass Player magazine, and for on line lessons.

    5. Whenever you listen to music, regardless of the style, try to figure out what the bass is doing. Sing or hum along with the bass.

    6. Have fun.

    jason oldsted
  6. It's always good to have a new bass player in the world. In my limited experience I would definately say to:

    1. Get a teacher
    2. Practice a lot, get a good feel for your bass
    3. Lean the scales, basic notation, etc.
    4. Practice some more
    5. Play with some friends, it's fun and good experience
    6. Practice some more
    7. Have a great time

  7. actually, i would have to disagree. most teachers would suggest to get in a band setting (if you can) where the other members are better than you, then you will get the motivation that you need. if your whole band is beginners, then it will just sound bad. since bassits are not a common species, you should be able to get in a band with people better than you because they will need a bassist.
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Well, in theory that would be the better way, because the more experienced musicians can teach you alot and have higher standards they will expect you to meet. However, I got kicked out of a few bands when I was starting out because I just simply wasn't up to par. I only lasted one rehearsal in one of those bands. In another one I lasted several weeks, but then "the thing" happened. You know "the thing" when the guys start telling you they had cancelled rehearsals, or don't call to tell you twhen they are rehearsing and you call, but they don't return your call, etc. Then you discover accidentally they have another bass player. The experience was demoralizing. It took me alot of self talk to keep going, but I did.

    This is actually what worked really well for me. I signed up to a local music school that had classes for guitarists, bassists, drummers & vocalists. In our third semester we were put in "bands" with students from each instrument who were about the same level and a teacher guided our rehearsals. That was a very supportive environment to start first steps into playing in bands.

    jason oldsted

  9. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    I can understand the importance of practicing with a metronome so you can develop good time, but I sorta disagree. The metronome always messes me up. Now maybe thats because I learned in band playing tuba how to keep time without a metronome, but I have NEVER been able to effectively practice using a metro. To me, time is an internal's very difficult to teach yourself how to count and stay in time. It could also be the way that I practice too, but I guess it just depends on the individual person.

    By the way, I've only been playing for a little over a year, so don't under any circumstances take what I say over the people that have been playing for 10 or 20 years...this was just my input on the situation.
  10. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Well, Millencolin, to confuse you even more, I'd say that in my (pretty worthless, I must admit) opinion, you should use a metronome. It may mess you up to begin with and seem like a real struggle, but I can say it'll be much more of a struggle when you have to play to a click track or a drummer's pre-recorded tracks in a studio (That is, assuming you ever get to the point where a producer DEMANDS you use that method) if you've never used a metronome.
  11. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    1. HAVE FUN WITH IT, don't get so frustrated trying to do things that it makes you want to quit altogether

    2. Mess around with different playing styles, find whats most comfortable for you and work from there, you can learn more techniques once you get a handle on one, but don't bog yourself down trying to learn one certain style

    3. Find some musicians around your level, play around with them, it feels pretty fulfilling to play that first song with another person

    4. Learn musical notation (luckily I cheated and played tuba before I started bass) remember you're bass clef

    5. A metronome wouldn't be a bad idea, start finding out what that wonderous thing known as groove is

  12. I say practice till you fingers bleed, then practice some more. Oh, and lessons are good
  13. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I'd say...practice, take lessons, practice, lessons, then lean how to slap to impress the bujebus outta the people that don't know better, while having the secret satisfaction that all the fools are so easily impressed!:)
  14. Hmmm...I both agree and disagree with you on that one, hunter.
    I can see where you're coming from, since when I started I didn't have a metronome, and then I found, where I heard so many people talking about using a metronome.
    So, I went out, bought a metronome, used it for about 3 days, then stopped using it. It's still gathering dust on my shelf...
    Anyhoo, I THINK I got the 'internal metronome' thing working from playing piano for about 6 years, then guitar for 1 year, with about 2 year between stopping piano and starting guitar.

    Then again, this could all be a load of crud, and I was just destined to be a bassist. ;):D:p
  15. i'd like to agree with you that millencollin kicks ass. I like that song the Anthem or the Ballad or whatever its called :)
  16. Welcome to TB mc24! :D

    If you can get a teacher do so!

    READ READ READ READ!!!This website and all the others mentioned in the posts will help.Don`t be afraid to ask questions either.Sorry,you can`t get the coveted title of "He who asketh the multitude of stupid questions" ....not giving up my crown to some newcomer! :) lol


    Get a book of scales for bass and practice them.Don`t be like me and wait months to start learning them...I`m playing catch up now :(

    The scales will help you get a feel for neck and also get your hands fingers used to s t r e t c h i n g.


    p.s. did I say you should get a teacher?