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Recommended BG Learning Resources

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Ed_in_NE_Ohio, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. I'm a new member, so I'll apologize in advance if this has been gone over a lot already here. I tried searching the forum but could not find a thread for this (though I am sure there are many).

    I am new to the bass, but have played mandolin, tenor guitar, and (some years ago) guitar.

    Are there any learning resources (on-line, print, dvd, or other) that are particularly recommended to help me to establish a decent technique and a proper approach to learning the instrument from the start?

    Since my primary instruments (tenor guitar & mandolin) are tuned in 5th, and it's been a while since I played guitar, I'm looking for something that will ease the transition back to an instrument tuned in 4th.

    Also, since the right hand technique on the bass is so different from what I'm used to, I'd like some good pointers there.

    Thanks very much in advance.
  2. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Every thing you did with your guitar we pretty much do the same. We play the chord tones one note at a time, i.e. we do not strum, arpeggios are our friend. I use the major scale box pattern as my go to pattern. We are responsible for laying down the beat, harmonizing the melody by playing chord tones, calling attention to the chord change and not stepping on toes. Leave the solo breaks to the solo instruments right now, later perhaps, help your self, but, get accompaniment down first.

    Bass Guitar for Dummies, www.studybass.com, anything written by Ed Friedland and all of Scott Devine's video lessons will point you in the right direction. Google can find all of them for you.

    Big WOW for me was - we will be playing chord tones so place the root note of the tonic chord on the 3rd string. C at the 3rd string 3rd fret, where is the F and G. Answer - right above the C on the 2nd string, and right below the C on the 4th string - same fret. Makes playing the ole I-IV-V a piece of cake.

    Dummies will give you all the basic fundamentals you need and www.studybass.com will give you help on finding the notes on your fretboard. http://www.studybass.com/lessons/common-bass-patterns/roots-and-fifths/


    Have fun.
  3. Thank you so much Malcolm, this is all incredibly helpful, and exactly what I was looking for.
    Much appreciated!
  4. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Hi, and welcome to the low end. :) As Malcolm seems to have covered the other angles, I'll give my two cents worth on this.

    From the point of view of avoiding injury problems, the general consensus is to try to have the wrist as straight as possible. Lots of players rest their thumb on the pick up. This forces the wrist into a sharp angle, which can lead to problems. The height at which you wear the bass, can influence the wrist angle.

    Most finger style players use alternating index and middle fingers to pluck the strings. The pick is also an option. This also has it's own pitfalls with regards physical injury. If you are interested in using a pick, do a search on Google for "Carol Kaye Pick Method." A rigid pick is generally recommended.

    Assuming you are using the finger style method, other than resting the thumb on the pick up, there are two other quite similar methods. These are known as the "Floating Thumb" and the "Moving Anchor" techniques. With the former, the thumb does not rest on anything, but as the name implies....floats. With the latter, the thumb rests on the string above ( i.e. closest to your chest) the one being played.

    Below are two clips which demonstrate both techniques.

    Best of luck with it. :bassist:

  5. Thanks so much for all the information and the warm welcome!

    Over the past week, as I've been demoing bases, I've found myself naturally anchoring the thumb on the edge of the fretboard. As the second video points out, this became a little awkward when reaching down to play the G string. "Move the mechanism instead" - I like that.

    That movable anchor looks like it makes sense to me. I think I'll work toward that technique. I also watched some well done technique tutorials by Rufus Philpot wherein he recommends this technique and shows some exercises (combining the floating anchor with alternating index/middle finger plucking).

    I reserved Bass Guitar for Dummies from my library today. Should have it next week.

    Thanks again for all the advice! I really want to try to avoid bad habits from the get-go.

    Oh, and I just purchased by first bass today from a trusted on-line classifieds. It's a 1984 Peavey Fury. All natural finish with a maple board. Looks to be in nice shape. Should have it in a week or so. Hoping she'll be a good starter bass.

    Looking forward to the new musical adventure!

    Attached Files:

  6. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Nice bass !! I'm sure it will serve you well. :)

    While we are on the subject of technique, it would be prudent not to neglect the L/H either. It is not quite the same as with the other instruments you play.

    Here is another clip from a fellow TB'r, on the subject.

  7. Really well done video. Thanks for sharing. I actually feel pretty good after seeing this one. Interestingly, the recommended left hand positioning here is quite similar to that for mandolin.

    Something I noticed while demoing basses this past week. Since I'm used to using my pinky a lot on the tenor guitar, I found myself using the pinky (instead of the ring finger) for many two fret moves or stretches, especially up high on the neck (say going from fret 1 to fret 3). Should I instead work on maintaining the old guitar rule of "one finger per fret"?

    Thanks again for all the advice, and for the welcome.
  8. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    We all bring past experiences, good and bad, to our playing, if your little finger works keep doing it - IMO.
  9. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    The OFPF issue often causes confusion. It is not a "rule", but a technique to be used where necessary. Using it on frets 1-5 can be too much of a stretch for some. In that case they usually do what you do.

    Here is yet another clip, this time on the OFPF technique.