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Practice for beginners

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by havik180, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. havik180


    Oct 9, 2005
    SF bay area
    I've been playing for a few months now (self taught so far) and was wondering if I could get some advice from the more experienced here.

    I was wondering what I should focus on most when practicing ? Any drills or songs I should try/do ? I'm mostly looking to better my speed/accuracy/dexterity with my left hand. I play an Ibanez gsr-200 and I notice that some frets I play are buzzy, is it me or possibly the bass ? I try and play very close to the fret but some always buzz.

    ANy tips, suggestions, or links are appreciated , so far I really enjoy the bass and this web-site !

  2. Steve Harris Is

    Steve Harris Is

    Jul 4, 2005
    I have been playing for almost 4 months myself and all I can say is search this forum first of all, there are some excellent resources here.

    Secondly, get a teacher, even if you can only see them once a month. They will do wonders for cleaning up your technique and getting you set on the right path. I only see mine once every 6 weeks or so but it makes a world of difference.

    My current practice routine is to:

    Play the basic Major/Minor/Seventh/Dimininshed, etc chords in at least 6 keys, set to a metronome of 100bpm.

    I then move through the main scales in at least 6 keys as well, alternating between smooth, timed (metronome) playing and then just blazing through them to increase speed/dexterity.

    Then I play songs I have learned via Tab or ear and work on improving my technique (plucking with shorter, more compact strokes, etc) within the song. The fret buzz is a fact of life when you're a newbie but it will improve as time passes and if your technique is solid. I also spend a good amount of time reading about music theory and studying the bass and familiarizing myself with the position of the notes.

    Hope this helps, and have fun.
  3. Practice should consist of a few things done everyday.

    It is important to set some time everyday to practice. You should keep to your practice schedule. It is better to practice a little each day then to practice alot in one day.

    You should practice getting a clean sound. Everything you do should sound clean.

    What ever you practice, Practice it slowly with a metronome. If it is a song in 4/4, you want to hear the metronome on 2 and 4 to simulate the drummers backbeat.
    Then increase speed without sacrificing the technique (sound)

    You should incorporate some music theory to include reading music and getting to know the notes on the fretboard (not tab)
    Search the internet for real Bass Music and figure out the key, notation and notes. Then figure out the fingering.

    You should play all genres of music and Of course playing your favorite stuff too.

    Dont give up and track your progress.

    Most of all have fun
  4. Earthday


    Sep 22, 2005
    New Hampshire
    I also had an Ibanez GSR-200 for my first bazz. It buzzed like crazy when I first brought it home, and after a few months I couldn't make any of the frets buzz if I tried. I'm not sure whether it was just my technique improved or the particular guitar gets better as it gets broken in, but figured I'd let you know that.

    As far as practicing goes, I'd read up a lot on proper technique and absolutely MAKE SURE your technique is good. You can save yourself a LOT of stress, and possibly a lot of pain if you get proper technique down pat early. From there, peck away at music theory, learn the notes of the fretboard, try to learn some scales and intervals, and of course, play some songs you enjoy (Dont be afraid of tablature) And of course, the most important thing is that you either play with other people, specifically a drummer (best option) or at least play with a backing track or a metronome.

    But really just have fun. I remember the hardest part for me the first 6 months was keeping interested and having bass not feel like a chore, since your options are limited at that stage in your playing. But with proper practice, it shouldn't be long before you "feel it" and then all the sudden one day nothing is funner than playing your bass.
  5. SuperSonic!!!


    Oct 26, 2005
    I have been playin a few years and every day it becomes more fun!

    If you feel discouraged because a song is too hard, try another. I started out playing blink 182, now i am making up my own fast slap riffs. dont try things that you know are too hard, they may put you off that style.

    If it seems like you arent getting any better, record yourself each practice and you can hear your progress.

    i read a LOT of music books, and it is a good way of learning about styles, technique and little tips here and there.

    If your bass is buzzing, the action may be too low. if the strings look as though they are very close to the fretboard, you may want to raise your action( with the truss rod in the neck ). this might stop the buzzing.

    dont wear your strap stupidly low, it may hinder your playing.
    your sound that you get from your amp can make a big difference to your technique. use the amp as much as pssible because you may find that the way you are playing unplugged sounds completely different amped.

    on the whole, keep at it and you will have enormous fun!

    Good luck!