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One year progress - may I ask for some advice?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Katoosie, Nov 28, 2020.

  1. Katoosie


    Jun 12, 2020
    Hi everyone!

    I hope that everyone is doing alright and to those that have celebrated thanksgiving - I hope that you have had a wonderful time.

    In a few days I will be reaching an important milestone - 1 year of bass playing and music learning in general. I think it's a pretty big deal and I was wondering if I could use some pointers and advice in general. I come from a place of zero musical background so everything I know about music and the bass guitar playing is brand new to me.

    Within one year of picking up my bass, I have learned:
    - How to set up a bass (string changing, truss rod adjustment, tuning, intonation adjustment, bridge adjustment, accessories like amps, pedals etc)
    - How to properly hold the instrument, pluck the strings, how to avoid injuries by using proper technique
    - How to mute with both fretboard and plucking hand in tandem
    - I can play give or take around 20 random songs across different genres such as jazz, metal, rock, reggae
    - I know some basic music theory - basic intervals, key signatures, how to read sheet music, how to read tab, how to transcribe, the common uses of octaves, roots and fifths, flat sevenths, sixths, subdivisions, legato/staccato plucking, basic slap and pop technique, basic one octave scales and major pentatonic scales, what chords and arpeggios are and more that I have most likely forgotten about.

    I'm working (albeit slowly due to work etc) through studybass.com. I watch Talking Bass videos, Bass Buzz, Scotts videos and grab whatever I can, whenever I can from them.
    I'm currently at study bass fundamentals two where I am learning about triads and I plan to finish that entire online course, then... I don't know. I might go through Talking Bass paid courses just to know more.

    Is there something very important that I am missing here? I try to practice regularly when I can, I play for hours, I learn and read and try to absorb as much as I can to know as much as possible so that I can be a versatile musician. Once Covid-19 releases it's grasp on us, I would like to play with some other people and see if I can be of some use somewhere, I don't care if all I do is pluck the root notes, I just want to get some real life experience as a bassist.

    What advice would you give me, after just one year of playing and dabbling in music? What can I do to truly be on a way to be a good musician. I want to get to the point where I know theory, I can play mostly whatever I want and have fun and if someone asked me to play alongside them in a band or a similar setting, I could do it.

    Thank you,
    Koog, bhendrix, Oddly and 18 others like this.
  2. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
    Grab a pile of records and jam along.
    Very important part of musical development IMO.

    Transcribe by ear some of your favorite lines.
    Have fun.

    2 octave 4 note arpeggios are a very cool way to learn the finger board and basic harmony. Start with MAJ7, Min7, DOM7, Min7b5 and Dim chords.
    Do it in all 12 keys in the circle of 5ths.

    Happy to answer any more questions you might have.
    Next part would be to incorporate the technical stuff and apply them to musical. ideas and applications.

  3. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    You're way ahead of where I was at 1 year. Sounds like you're doing the right things - just keep at it! Learn more songs, just play more in general. Might be about time to find others to start jamming with.
  4. EatS1stBassist


    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    Sounds like you are off to a great start. Just start playing along with music like you are doing. Good luck and have fun. :thumbsup:
  5. G-Dog

    G-Dog What a fun place! Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2016
    "Sounds" to me like you're doing just fine, cool Kat! I would echo bholder and advise some jamming with other live musicians. IMO, the human interaction is a most vital part of music.

    If you ever want to find any other resources, though you seem to have plenty, try Stumbo's Learning Links for All Bass Players.

    Good luck!
    rollie 55, SteveC, Mr Cheese and 3 others like this.
  6. Miles_ONeal

    Miles_ONeal Wrangler of Raucous Thunder Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2017
    Round Rock, TX
    Play along with various versions of a song- original recording, different live versions, covers. Try to nail what they’re doing sometimes; other times try new things.

    Look for people to jam or practice online with, or find someone to safely rehearse or jam with. If you lived somewhere warm you could do that outside, but if you’re still in Sweden you need a big indoor space (and masks).

    if you can join or start a band that will find ways to rehearse and jam through this, y’all will be able to hit the ground running once things are safe.
  7. BrotherMister


    Nov 4, 2013
    PVG Membership
    It sounds like you've been busy! I know plenty of bassists who have been playing for years and can't do half of the things you have doing so hats off to you for that. I couldn't do a lot of that stuff in my first year.

    Having said that, be realistic with yourself though. How much of this stuff do you actually cold and it's just internalised in you? That is the goal of all of this stuff is for it to be so ingrained you don't have to think about it. A valuable lesson is to record yourself and listen to it back, it's always far more revealing that you'd ever hope for but it helps keep you focused on things.

    Outside of that, learn as much music as possible. Transcribe as much as possible and ditch the tabs.

    I'd recommend studying with a teacher if you were looking to get a lot more serious about music and what you are doing, those online videos will only get you so far. Eventually you'll need someone sitting in front of you to give you the all important element of feedback and helping you push forward and sort out the holes you've picked up along the way. That is something to think about. If you are happy just playing along to records and occasionally some other people then it's probably a better investment to buy a lot of music and just learn the songs.
    OpposableThumbs and Katoosie like this.
  8. Keep going as you are, I'm most impressed you have learned to setup your own instruments, good on you!
    I've been playing well over 40 years and I still learn daily, there should never be an end to learning.

    Good luck and enjoy the journey.
  9. sounds like your pathway is wide open and your on a great journey musically,, way farther than myself in a year.
    im just going to add, go deep when your playing along to records or backing tracks or bands and let your own creativity come out to what your playing to, your ears and heart wont lie. Cheers!
    Katoosie likes this.
  10. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    ^ that was my first thought right there. Especially if you wanna “prepare” yourself for playing with others.
  11. MD-BassPlayer

    MD-BassPlayer Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I would advise two things - play along with recordings and be able to record yourself and listen to those recordings. Then you will be able to critique your own playing and know what you need to work on.
  12. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck

    Sep 19, 2006
    Plainfield Illinois
    I know it would be hard to do now, but if you can, find people to play with. This to me has been my main source of advancement to my bass playing.

    I’ve been playing and gigging nonstop since 1997 and know for a fact that I would not be where I am with my musical skills if I didn’t surround my self with musicians to play with that are better than me.

    Nothing can teach you better than experience.
    rollie 55, bhendrix, Low Crow and 3 others like this.
  13. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    #1: Playing with other musicians, preferably ones more experienced than you.
  14. dalahorse


    Apr 14, 2010
    Sounds like you're doing things the right way! Here are a couple of things all musicians can benefit from.

    Practice playing with a metronome. It can help you refine your timing during difficult parts of the music. Also, record yourself playing and listen back critically. It's a good way to identify things you don't notice while playing.
    Katoosie likes this.
  15. Claymore


    Nov 10, 2019
    Rhode Island
    I just want to commend you on this. :thumbsup:
    There are many players who have owned instruments for years, even decades, and never learn how to do their own set-up. Not only will you save yourself a boatload of cash but you can learn what your ideal set-up is and tweak it as needed along your musical journey. Keep up the good work!
    Low Crow and Katoosie like this.
  16. Play.

    You Learn by Doing.

    For everyone, there's a comfortable balance between the knowledge . . . . and the doing. You want to find that balance where the knowledge better enables the doing, but not to the point where the intuitive process of playing is held back by the intellectual side of it. I utterly believe one informs the other, but you don't want one to rule the other. Ultimately, it has to be fun and fulfilling. Otherwise, why bother ?
  17. My two cents,
    Jaco summarized the best in his video, when talking to Jerry Jermont: "Give me a gig"
    Practice, practice and practice will make you play better, but playing live where you can't stop and restart, where you are obligated to listen, and more important, where you are responsible for driving the band will make you play great. There will be good and really bad gigs, let's talk when you approaching you 1,000 one (You will not need advise by then) Good luck.
    Katoosie likes this.
  18. In addition to all the other advice above - which is all valid - Adam Neely and 12tone are both good YouTube channels to watch in terms of music education.

    Just discovered iReal Pro, and it’s a great tool for jamming. Pull up a chord chart, press play, and then grove along.
    Katoosie likes this.
  19. MCF


    Sep 1, 2014
    Congrats! You seem to be well on your way with an approach that works for you. You’re right to use one main structured source (Studybass) supplemented with other resources. The Talkingbass stuff is great and works well for me too.

    I enjoy learning songs and spend a lot of time learning and playing along to the music I love. Constantine’s YouTube channel and Greg’s Bass Shed are a couple of my favorite resources for song tutorials.
    CallMeAl and Katoosie like this.
  20. When you get to play live with others, be ready when they say “hit it”.
    CallMeAl and Katoosie like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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    Jan 25, 2021

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