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re-learning yer technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by nil, Nov 28, 2000.

  1. i've only been playing bass with any degree of seriousness over the last year...in that time i've started to progress from my old "choke the chicken" guitar method to more correct techniques.

    the problem i'm facing, is that lately myself and my bandmates have noticed that i've been screwing up more often than before, mainly because (i think) i've been trying out more complex runs and trying to play everything else "correctly"

    is it normal to almost go backwards as you progress?
  2. well if you were playing sloppy before and now you are trying to play with better form so insane chops will follow i would say yes, you are basicly starting from scratch, a very dificult thing to do
    is it normal to almost go backwards as you progress
  3. The hardest thing to do is actually to NOT do the runs. But do practice them, and then when you play with a band, practice listening to everyone else. Once you are completely absorbed into the BORG, the runs will just plop out wherever they sound best and you won't make mistakes. I know it sounds a bit groooooooooooooovy, but its true.
  4. good point, you should save the fancy stuff for when you have the other stuff mastered, and like lerm said listen to the other members in the band, i like this tip the best tho:
    the runs will just plop out wherever they sound best :D
  5. Sherman


    Nov 24, 2000
    You really do have to get worse to get better. I was faced with having to learn a string dampening technique after about a year and a half of playing. It's still not back where it was but with the new technique everything just sounds a lot better. So, learn a good technique because it will stand you in good stead in the long run - be patient its worth it.
  6. thanks guys, I thought I was going mad for a moment! I think part of it too is that I need to try to relax more when playing with the rest of the band - solo practise sessions are nice and fluid, but as soon as you get the 5 of us together, it gets a little "rushed" at times...
  7. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Nil, maybe you're not the one at fault. I have played with more than one band that had faulty timing. Make absolutely sure that the problem lies with you. If two people are playing and one of the players is dead on with his timing and the other player isn't, it's very hard to tell who's right and whos wrong.

    That's why these bass gurus on T.B. keep saying PRACTICE WITH A METRONOME.

    Put a click track in the drummers ear and watch the timing tighten up for every instrument. Drummers aren't always as "dead on" with thier timing as they think they are. :)

    Good luck,

  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I must say that this is something I've experienced as well. No matter how good a drummer may "sound" if they are speeding down/slowing up, then everything is going to go wrong. It quite often reflects badly on the bass player and I've heard drummers saying that the rest of the band can't play or don't know where the one is, but then when they have been replaced and a new drummer comes in, everything falls into place and the band sounds great.

    Playing in Jazz workshops, with shifting personnel, quickly shows up drummers who can't keep time and it's such a good feeling when you do get to play with a drummer who is very secure, whereas the opposite can feel like you're walking on quicksand.
  9. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    "it's such a good feeling when you do get to play with a drummer who is very secure, whereas the opposite can feel like you're walking on quicksand."

    That says in one sentence what took several for me.:)

  10. my "problems" stem mostly from the fact that i sometimes fudge or completely miss a note, either when i've played a run but haven't gelled the move to the next note/bar/whatever (sometimes 'cause i'm overwhelmed that i managed to play the run without error that i forget to continue! :) ), or when i've been mentally playing the current or next (or even the bridge down the track) bar using different fingerings, etc.

    timing is one thing i don't have a problem with. i often play slightly behind the beat (comes from my gravity towards reggae/dub playing) but that's probably the "worst" of it.

    our drummer is very good. but he does go up and down in tempo, constantly, but it's something i'm used to and can play along with nary a glitch. one problem though is that sometimes he and the others will follow the tempo and timing set by our rhythm guitarist/vocalist, instead of working from the rhythm section. then it's like i'm following an off-tempo drummer who's following a (potentially) off-tempo guitarist! we're getting better, though!

    but, my only bitch is that after a song, i'll mention to the drummer dude that it was a little slow/fast...he'll say "nah, it was spot-on" and insist it was. apparently bass players don't have an ear for tempo! i do have a pretty damn good ear for tempo and timing (comes from years of constructing and de-constructing sequenced and sampled drum loops and the like), maybe it is time for that metronome? ;)

    thanks for all your good words!

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