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One piece of advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by -Kramer-, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. -Kramer-


    Dec 9, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    Not sure if this is in the right place, Mods please move if needed.

    So I had this idea, with all of the great players on this site, we all should be able to gain from their experience (not that we don't already). So my idea is this, if everyone who thinks they have something to add will give one piece of advice that they feel is the most important thing to know about the art of playing bass. This could be anything from playing, amps, basses, pretty much anything that would be helpful to everyone.

    I will start. After playing for a while with many different styles, I have discovered that the oldest rule of bass playing is the most important. Less is more. Busy lines don't mean better lines. Play for the song, not for your ego.
  2. BassBuzzRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    Have fun on stage, people notice :)
  3. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Extra gear and basses are fun, but not as fun as playing really well. Spend most of your GAS money on lessons!
  4. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    Don't be afraid of the "less is more" people. Don't be afraid to play busy lines and be as melodically active as any other member of the band.
  5. Mickey Shane

    Mickey Shane what goes here?

    Feb 23, 2003
    Denton, Texas
    Don't wear shorts to a gig.
  6. GhostLobby

    GhostLobby totally deeeeef on the hi-hat side

    Nov 20, 2006
    Especially don't wear shorts and white socks.......
  7. anomalee


    Dec 16, 2005
    London, KY
    no sandals with socks either.
    stretch properly before you play to avoid tendonitis or worse.
  8. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    i wear shorts for nearly every gig! i can move a lot more freely and keep the 'vitals' a lot cooler. but then i wear shorts pretty much all yr round!
  9. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I guess mine would be that the bass guitar is an instrument, not a role. "Serving the song" simply means making good music- don't get that confused with taking up typical roles. Don't confuse the role that bass can take in popular music as the way it's supposed to be played. Next time you pick up your bass, think of it like a piano or a violin. Your bass can be just as expansive and role-less as those instruments. Start writing your own music and you can see how great this can work.
  10. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    When playing bass it's important not to mix stripes and plaids.
  11. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Less is more, but sometimes less is less too.

    Listen to the band as a whole, not just the drummer. You should play with, and contribute to what every single band member is doing.

    On the less is more note: In the past I noticed that as I would play my mind would be more focused on what my left hand was doing. I conciously shifted my attention to my right hand, and pay very close attention to time. I am not the fastest kid on the block, and I don't try to be anymore, but my groove..... my groove is so very.......GROOVY!
  12. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Never be the last bandmember out of a club if your band has been running a bar tab.
  13. Muckaluck


    Oct 11, 2005
    Whitby, Ontario
    Yeah I agree with Phalax.

    The best bass players (and musicians for that matter) are people who listen to what's going on around them.
  14. This is a little more general and goes for any musician...

    Please show up to practice/gigs at the very least 5 minutes early. Being "on-time" is being late and being late = you're fired.
  15. Gegatso


    Jan 16, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    Always try to play with people who are more experienced than you and also who play in styles you aren't into or used to.
    Don't ever think of it as "practicing" - think of it as "playing".
  16. allenhumble


    Oct 22, 2004
    Acworth GA.
    Don't be afraid of exploring the unknown. If its never explored it will never be known. :eyebrow:

    And never where a plad kilt with white socks and sandles with suspenders and a monicle on a gig.:D
  17. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    These are funny!!!
    IMO, Your mood needs to reflect the music - Blood Thrash Metal - Very Dark - Top 40 POP - Smile a bunch.
    Have fun with watever you play. Please really do see that and it is noticable. Play the Best gear you can. It reflects you playing as well. Lesson's are a good idea, but getting on stage is where you really learn.

    I am totally against Plaid Kilts with socks, sandles and monicles, unless you are in a tribute band :scowl:
  18. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I'm n ot much of player, but one lesson I have learned is to be a disciplined player. Establish the groove and learn the material really well. If you don't have a handle on the song, any improvisation or fill will most likely cause a loss of tempo or groove and throw others off. The trick is to know the material well enough that when you do go off, you can do it while maintaining the flow of the music.:bassist:
  19. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Wear earplugs.

    I'm 36, have been playing in bands for 23 years, started using earplugs religiously about 8 years ago, and I'm still getting tinnitus, and it's getting worse every year. Although wearing earplugs won't entirely prevent you from getting tinnitus, it slows it down considerably.

    And if don't know what tinnitus is, look it up.

    Wear earplugs.
  20. zeronyne

    zeronyne Recovering Keyboard Player

    Nov 24, 2003
    I still consider myself a beginning bass player, but one thing that helped me considerably is always playing with amplification of some sort. I got into the habit of just picking up the bass and playing unplugged, but I noticed that I'm playing harder and harder. To give myself some headroom (and dynamics, for that matter), I need to hear myself so I'll ease up on the right hand.

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