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not sure what to learn

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Soverntear, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. Soverntear


    Mar 17, 2008
    I picked up a bass about 2 months ago and have been mainly learning stuff from tabs found off the net. but i dont feel im improving too quickly.

    any suggestions on what to start learning? also ive been thinking about buying bass for dummies, good book to get? thanks again for the replys
  2. j.a.e.r.i.p


    Apr 8, 2007
    if i were you i would learn to read music nice and early, i regret not learning early.
  3. Soverntear


    Mar 17, 2008
    ive been thinking about taking lessons to read music
  4. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    What to learn?

    Okay, I'll bite.

    Learn some musical theory to help inform how you understand what you're playing. Click the link in my signature and study that lesson to understand how chords and scales are formed.

    Learn proper technique. You want to make sure that you are playing in a way that is not unhealthy, that maximizes ability with minimal effort, that doesn't cause injury, that sounds good, and that is effective. You need to know how to use your left hand and right hand on the bass, how and where the bass should rest or hang on your body.

    Learn how to develop your ear. Tabs are, in my educated opinion, harmful and unhelpful. Develop your ear so that you can learn songs without having to rely on evil tabs. Developing your ear will help you in live performances, will improve your tone and technique, (by knowing how things sound), by increasing your musical vocabulary, will help you play songs you love and have fun, and is one of the most important things you can do as a musician.

    Learn to sight read, as this will enhance your employability, will expose you to melodies, harmonies, and rhythms that you weren't aware of.

    Learn songs. As many as you can. From all different genres. Inside and out. Correctly. Learn songs.

    Learn time. Rhythm and sound time is incredibly important.

    Learn how to get along with others in a band.

    Learn how your equipment works.

    Learn how to communicate with bar owners, club owners, sound engineers, bartendars, the crowd, and everybody else you might face.

    Learn learn learn as much as you can.

    Now, this is certainly a lot, and is the path of a musician. So, get yourself a good teacher. It is an amazing and productive thing, (when done right). Books are of great help. Talkbass is very helpful.

    Set some goals for yourself, and devise a practice schedule/itinerary. Run it by us for feedback, we'd be happy to help.

    Have fun, even though sometimes getting better is hard work and not fun.
  5. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    This is an excellent idea! Check out two or three teachers and go with the one that you feel communicates well and will teach the styles you are interested in learning.

    Also. it's way faster to learn correct techniques right off the bat rather than learning wrong and having to unlearn and then relearn the correct method.

    Like Jazzbo sez: Have fun!!
  6. Akerfeldt


    Feb 9, 2008
    Bass for Dummies is a very good book to read. I have it myself, and I don't regret buying it at all.

    As for learning, try finding a teacher. Talk to them before signing up for lessons. Make sure you can get along with him/her. Just keep practicing!
  7. ysand


    Mar 26, 2005
    Take lessons from a good teacher
  8. I agree to learn how to read music. It will open the doors to understanding theory, rhythm and harmony
  9. Traver


    Sep 25, 2007
    Not only is this guy right, his advice will also last you well into your 2nd/3rd year of playing :p
  10. AlphaMale


    Oct 30, 2006
    Ventura County
  11. tyggis


    Mar 11, 2008
    I will suggest that you learn what you like the most. What was the reason for picking up the bass? Learn that, slooooooowly.
  12. yamaha


    Apr 7, 2006
    You know what, although not as fun as learning songs, is theory and exercises. I did that for a few months, many years ago, at about 1 hour per day, and got discouraged as I didn't notice my abilities improve much. Then I started to learn songs again. Wow, instead of 1 or 2 a week, it was 3 to 4 per day. I could do pretty much whatever the song needed, and I was able to anticipate the changes and progressions without looking them up.

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