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Random Musing... (Sorry a bit long)

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by RedsFan75, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. RedsFan75


    Apr 26, 2007
    Not sure what section to post this in, but I chose here, cause my goal is to learn to improve myself and my abilities.

    So first of a little about me.

    I've messed around with guitars since I was probably 6 or 7, got one at about 14, played in church at about 15 or 16, and struggled to progress any at all. Then at 16 a guy at church brought in this 4 stringed thing that just fascinated me. He taught me some basic notes and told me to feel the rhythm, handed me the bass and told me to play it during a song in which he played guitar and sang. It was a bluegrass style song and I did pretty good. When he finished he said you're pretty good on that thing and wouldn't take it back from me. I became the church bassist and played a variety of country and bluegrass stuff until I was in college, and discovered jazz, blues and rock.

    Now some 30 yrs later, I've played a variety of styles, and I play at our church most every Sunday doing modern P&W, and on occasion, I play with some guys doing classic and 80's rock.

    Basically every thing I learned I learned by listening, and trying to emulate. I've learned a lot of theory, (I know about Modes, but haven't a clue how to apply them) and learned a lot of which techniques were bad and which to work on and correct and have tried to do that.

    What I need to work on.
    1. Reading.... I picked up a pop bass book that has no tab.
    2. Learning the lines of some of the songs or the way the original artist played it. I have a hard time playing their groove. (It's the ADD)
    3. How to recognize what I'm lacking and how to learn/improve the areas that I'm missing.
    and probably the biggest....
    4. How to make myself work on these areas. (Once again the ADD)

    I've learned that because I've played so much based on feel and learned what I needed as I went, I have a real hard time working through a book, or something cause I've no accountability, and as someone with ADD it's challenging to keep focused in an area without that accountability, and in my area there are no instructors that will take someone above beginner level. In some areas I feel like a beginner, and others I could teach better than some of the guys around here! :bag:

    I was thinking of getting Norm Stockton's DVD series since they seem to be pretty well rounded, but then I was thinking what would keep me going through them and working on them? What would force me to stay focused?

    So what I'm looking for is a system/program to take me from where I am now to a more well rounded bassist? I don't know if there's a way to do a support group somewhere, where we check in each week and say what we're working on and how we've done?? 'Cause I really want to be a better bassist.

    Like I said Random musing and a cry for :help:

    A lot of it has to do with ADD. Keeping focused on something without a goal in sight is a challenge. So if I'm told to do a solo for Easter or something I FOCUS on it I work at. So how do you set a goal to learn a new aspect of playing when it's just for you?
  2. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    a lot of people here recommend http://musicdojo.com for online lessons.

    1)You already have all you need to learn to read, just learn the basics (tons of free lessons online about that) and work your way through the pop book.

    2)Who cares how the artist plays it, its more about feel and learning the progressions anyway, its not like the drummer is going to play it verbatim either. Unless its a signature line.

    3)Join a band, when you can't hack something you will have to learn how to. Hang around Talk Bass all the time. Or sign up for those online lessons, Even if you know something play through it cause you might have missed something and extra practice never hurt anyone.

    4)If you are feeling that unmotivated to get better perhaps you should join a band in which the other musicians are more skilled than you. You will feel the need to improve and play to their level.
  3. RedsFan75


    Apr 26, 2007
    I may try the Dojo, been thinking a lot about it as well as other stuff...

    It's not that I'm unmotivated, but I lose focus, I start strong and then... Maybe the dojo is a good plan, aren't the classes specific times and lengths... I don't have that much money to just throw it around if something is going to expire that's pretty focusing...

    I play with 2 bands, and the guys are of varying talent. I've also been called to fill in on occasion for various groups, so I decent with feel and progressions, very frequently I'll have to play by ear, having never heard a song before I'm asked to play it.

    The drummer I play with the most is excellent, and he and I lock into grooves and play together very well, he pushes me, but it's more on the improv level with fills, etc... The two different leaders I play with have certain things they want us to sound like. Like one guy wants me to recreate the line on STP's "Big Empty" which in itself was more improv like, but I try.

    I mentioned a support group before, I've found that just trying to type some of this out to attempt and communicate it clearly helps to coalesce it from random musing to a therapeutic dissertation on my need to focus and order my attempts.

    So I guess my real need is goal setting and the risk/reward aspect, as you said, I have the materials... now I just need the focus.

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