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previous musical experience

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by BassSeven, Jul 30, 2002.

  1. Hey, do you think that having previous experience
    on an instrument, regardless of type, makes it easier to learn to play bass. e.g. playing trumpet for three years before you start bass(like me). I have had a lot of people tell me im good for only 1 3/4 years playing bass...
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    The guys I know who started on a legit instrument(like trumpet or piano) & then graduated to 'gadget' bass were ahead of the game.
    True, the technique may not have been happenin' initially...but the EARS were.
    Also, those playing trumpet/piano have probably spent some time on their "basic musicianship" skills.
    Speaking from my past experience, I don't believe too many beginners of electric bass & electric guitar devote enough time to the rudiments.
    As KungFu mentioned, it's fairly easy to get "medicore" quick on an electric bass("medicore", to me, could = the ability to play/learn some tunes & get into a band).

    I would also add that every guy(every one of 'em)I know that started out as a drummer & later took up electric bass is a muther.
  3. it definitely helps having played another instrument before bass.

    I played the piano before I started on classical guitar, and then I knew how to sight read and some theory, so I was rather quick learning how to play it. and when I went to bass, I already knew ow to sight read and more theory, and where all the notes were on the bass.

    that helped A LOT! :)
  4. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    I think it does.

    I have none what-so-ever, well i have about 3 weeks of guitar, but thats really nothing. I think if you learnt to read music, learnt scales, chords, chordal progression, or just theory in general, it would help you with any instrument, because when you come back to bass, you can go "oh, i played that on/ saw that on such and such an instrument, ill try and apply it to bass".
  5. stroggnoy

    stroggnoy Guest

    Jul 11, 2002
    It most definitely helps (that is, if you weren't just fooling around on another instrument). Once you decide to pick up another instrument, it's just a matter of learning the specifics for it - you should already have theory and all the general stuff in music down.
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I came to bass through piano and classical guitar, and I think that the previous experience helped A LOT with musical issues. However, Ed's commentary about how nothing will help improve your technique on any given instrument except practicing that instrument is dead on the money.
  7. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Definitely helps to have some structured basic musicianship before taking up the bass, as you've already conquered a hurdle that stymies many bassists: reading music. Okay, you'll be graduating to a different clef, but the foundations are there and the fear of reading is (or should be) gone.

    As I posted on another board, playing a band instrument like trumpet also teaches you to follow the leader for tempos and entrances, establish eye contact with your peers and *look up*. There's nothing I hate more than bandmates who don't look at anyone when they're playing.
  8. stroggnoy

    stroggnoy Guest

    Jul 11, 2002
    Oh yea I forgot... I'm wrong about everything and whatever FUQASSE says is always "the way"..

    What a waste of 12 years in music.
  9. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    And phrasing. People who don't play wind instruments often have problems with this.
  10. I started trumpet at 10, played for two years in just a school band, then got lessons (from a guy who definitely knew what he was doing) for a year,played in more school band, took up bass at 13 and played both, just recently had a summer of trumpet lessons, now I am mainly focusing on bass, I would go to upright and get lessons, but as is there is no way I can get my hands on an upright, and definitely can't to afford to buy one, so instead i'll probably take BG lessons.

    (takes a breath) *there* there's a good run on sentence...

    Anyways the point of this thread was to se if I had a head start on people who started on bass and have played the same amount of time as me.

  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    See, this is why you should take everything DEAD FUGUE says with a grain of salt: not only is the above statement TOTALLY UNTRUE, but I can play higher than Ed on MY bass, and with lots more vibrato. So THERE!!!!!!:mad:
  12. geez i ask a simple question and i get a lecture on the "mine is bigger syndrome", I am not an egotist, I was just curious
  13. :D

    Bass7: pay no attention to those guys, they're just some stupid DB players who know nothing about music!
  14. Lady Jayde

    Lady Jayde

    Jul 17, 2002
    I played Trumpet for 4 years before i started playing bass. I also played piano and alittle acousitc. But the previous experience helped me when it came down to knowing scales. since i already knew them for the other instruments. But i've only been playing bass a year. but i hope that helped some
  15. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I've been on Talkbass a long time. This may actually be the funniest, cleverest thing ever written.

    When I first read the statement by BassSe7en, I thought, "Hmm, people said that about me when I started too." And then, of course, I came to find out that either one or both of the following two things was coming into play. 1) They didn't have a wealth of knowledge regarding music or bass, so their perspective was way off, and 2) They were being nice.

    So, let me say two things.

    I've had some of the heavier instructors in my area give me some mad props. A lot of positive reinforcement. I've gone to many open mics and have met the majority of the serious bass players in my area, (where I lived up until 3 months ago that is), and a lot of them act like I'm the second coming. But MAN ALIVE! have I got to tell you, you could fill a thousand oceans with amount of crap I'm not hearing yet, I'm not playing yet, and I'm not even close to grooving on yet. I gotta go back to a quote Ed recently posted. If I possess anything in skill above or beyond what any of my peers do, it's based solely on diligent practice. And you know what, it's all about me being a big fish in a little pond. See, I've worked real hard for many years, and some things come easy to me, and some don't at all. And I've continued to work and progress, and report, diligently, to my weekly lessons for the last 2 1/2 years, and all these things have helped me as a musician. The fact remains though, I'm a big fish, if anything, in a little pond. The cats in SF blow me away. Did you hear what they just played? The cats on the records amaze me! Sure, in my piddly little town I've got a name, and I get some phone calls, but that's just because I'm better, (because of nothing but hard work and good practice habits), than many of the beginners that are walking around here.

    So, to end this post of Fuqua-length, I'm not trying to be hard on you BassSe7en. Really, I'm just addressing the broad topic of perspective.

    Yes, I believe any exposure to music will help you when picking up a new instrument. I present Durrl as my example.
  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I don't doubt that for a minute. I live in resigned anticipation....
  17. i'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you older folks on this one. Having gone from cello (9 years of formal lessons both outside and in school simultaneously) to bass (6 years of bass total, no actual lessons, but great instruction from my bassist freinds) i have found that bass is much much easier. I think that formal training in a SIMILAR instrument would (and did) help a ton. eg, switching between two stringed instruments, or two brass instruments. now, keep in mind, i'm not like one of those DB guys; i couldn't tell you a modal node from a nodal mode (not that i know what either are anyway). There IS however, something to be said for the training of the ear from previous musical training. I can't play crap as I am on a bagpipe, but give me a couple of minutes with one, and I could probably play a song or two, at least like, mary had a little lamb. Not because I know how to work my fingers on the pipes, but because I know what the notes are supposed to sound like. this is painfully obvious.

    I think that jazz players (one of which i am NOT) have a higher standard for musicians, especially with regards to technique, tone, and pleasantness, partly because of the music that came before jazz. Before some of the primitive forms of jazz, musicians weren't considered as serious players unless they had an in depth understanding of all things music. This changed with everything following jazz. Some rockstars don't know scales. Since rock is much less serious musically, it's not absolutely required of every player to be a huge fish to be successful. I've even confused myself with this one. Sry yall. If I'm blatantly wrong, please correct me. I'm sure something i've said has offended somebody.

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