Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by 216, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. 216


    Oct 25, 2005
    Im new here and pretty new to playing bass. I've checked out other newb threads but none of them really helped. I've been working with finger exercises and learning the frettboard but im overwhelmed elsewhere. My question is pretty much what key elements do I have to learn to become a successful bass player?

    What should I move to after memoriseing the frettboard? There is so much out there its so hard for a beginner to really get started. Any help is GREATLY appreciated.
  2. Scales help with finger dexterity and speed as well as helping learn how the notes coming from your bass interact with each other.

    Listening to other talented bassists will help you learn what sounds good in different contexts as well as giving you good ideas for grooves.

    Also, reading any books you can get your hands on as well as and videos will help a great deal.

    Most importantly DO NOT NEGLECT SIGHT READING AND THEORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take it from experience these are important aspects that you will regret not taking the time to learn. Hope this helps! Also check out as well as any other websites recommended by other TBers. Above all have fun and good luck! :bassist: :bassist:
  3. Oh yeah, if you have the time and money you might want to check out it's a great site from what I've heard as well.
  4. 216


    Oct 25, 2005
    Thanks a bunch, unfortunately I dont have any money to spend right now. If anyone else has something to add its appreciated.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Your best bet is to find someone who knows a little something about playing and get them to show you a couple things to get you started. Lessons really do help, but if you can't afford them, you can't afford them. So maybe bug someone you know about showing you a thing or two.

    BTW, music is a lifetime pursuit. I've played pro for 30 years and I'm not even close to knowing everything, so don't expect it all to fall into place in a few months.
  6. 216


    Oct 25, 2005
    Na Im not expecting it all to just fall into place after a few months. Like I was sayin though im just pretty overwhelmed with what lies ahead of me. So much so that Im struggleing to plan out a set of things I need to learn.
  7. chasfr


    Jan 4, 2005
    Maybe a first step is to define for yourself what constitutes "success." It's going to be different for you than it is for me, or anybody else. I'm still pretty new to bass playing, and for me (a 50-year-old guy with a real job) success means having fun playing along with Motown classics. So I do just fine with an instruction book (Bass for Dummies), an SX bass, a practice amp and a way to hook my laptop up to my stereo.

    I bet your goals are different. Figure them out, then make a plan to attain them. When they change (and they will) change your plan. Be sure you're having a good time. And +1 to what JimmyM said about it being a lifetime pursuit.

    Good luck!
  8. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    +1, this is good advice.

    Jotting down a few realistic expectations in a reasonable time frame will allow you to get down to business, and not be discouraged about it. Actually write them down and post them in a prominent place where you'll read them daily.

    I know one thing my teacher says to new students is pick a few songs you want to learn and along with all the theory and exercises, you learn how to play something thats fun.

    good luck.
  9. 216


    Oct 25, 2005
    But see thats the problem. I cant figure out expectations If I dunno what certain key things I need to learn. Thats what I been tryin to say pretty much.

    Key things like learning the notes on the frettboard for instance. I've already memorised most of the notes, im just wondering what else is there?
  10. just what everyone has said so far.. im pretty new myself(just at a year) and i asked the same quesions but the truth is practice practice and practice. scales is a huge help. what i did was got a bass scale book, picked out 2 or 3 a week and played them and played them till i couldnt stand it, next week do the same with a few others. after a couple months or so of this u start to write your own riffs and variations of scales. like i said i asked questions over and over and sooner or later i said f@#$ it, ill learn by myself. i had no idea the level i wanted to be at but after plaiyin for a while and start to get better the picture gets a little brighter. even try to set small learn 10 scales. then learn a couple covers. then try writing your own songs( using scales and similar patterns from the cover songs, just to get an idea). i admit i still suk compared to where i wanna be but practicin like i said has helped me to become two or three times better in the 10 months i been playin
  11. 216


    Oct 25, 2005
    Hehe ok thanks man I think I'll take your advice on that one. Maybe I am just over complicateing things for the time being. Which in turn leads to frustration. I appreciate everyones help and patience with me so far.

    But I have one more question needing to be answered. I dont wana start a new thread for such a simple question. Its with right handed muteing, btw I pluck. Is it ok to mute both E and A with your thumb? If so how would you go about muteing the D string while your playing the G string? More like a two part question :bag:
  12. Yes, it is okay to mute the E and A with your thumb. As far as muting the D while your playing the G string try working on using the "moveable anchor" approach. In other words when you're playing on the G string rest your thumb on the D string and allow the rest of your hand to rest against the E and A. When you play on the D string rest your thumb on the A, and so on. If this doesnt' work for you or you don't feel comfortable with it, play around until you find something that suits you. That's one of the beauties of playing an instrument there is no single correct way to do it.

    Hope this helps. :bassist:
  13. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    Hmm, unless i have the wrong interpretation of pluck, shouldnt your fingers automatically mute the string below whatever string your playing? Ex. when playing the G your fingers hit the D, and so on. As for the E and A, i use my thumb on the E and ring on the A, works for me anyways. My left hand does most of my muting anyways, so it not a big problem for me
  14. 216


    Oct 25, 2005
    Na not that im aware of anyways. Your plucking fingers are for well plucking :p

    I solved the problem though thanks to Michael. But instead of only muteing the D while im playing G and resting my hand on the rest, I just mute E, A and D with my thumb. Its really not that hard and already in 1 day of focusing on muteing its already getting much easier.

    But by no means am I saying I've mastered it yet :)