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[Soloing] Help?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by CliffBurton1, May 1, 2009.

  1. CliffBurton1


    Dec 13, 2008
    Hey, I've been playing bass for just under a year and am in a band with a great guitarist and drummer, but I feel like I'm still learning. I mean, if you give me a tab, i can learn it in like 5 min, but I wanna get past that. I just want to learn some scales and crap like that to actually be good.

    Ok yeah, I also need some help on like soloing and stuff. Isn't it normally sclaes/parts of scales fast? Idk... :bawl:
  2. I dont know what your trying to accomplish really by learning "scales and crap" to be "good", im dumb as a brick when it comes to theory,scales,modes and all that other fancy mumbo jumbo, been playing by ear since I started so I guess I consider myself "good", bottom line is knowing scales,modes, etc. helps but does not necessarily make you "good".
  3. bhass


    Oct 21, 2008
    England, UK
  4. Chris K

    Chris K

    May 3, 2009
    Gorinchem,The Netherlands
    Partner: Otentic Guitars
    Theory, reading music, scales: yes, you should, to improve your general level. For soloing I completely agree with Modifier: the ear rules.
    I have a very simple tip to learn to play solo. The goal is to find the notes on your bass without thinking. Just play the melodies to simple songs, like children's songs. Do not study them, just play them by heart in different keys. and of course, use a well-defined fingering method for both hands. Try not to watch your fretting hand. Good luck!
  5. iceshaft07


    Mar 4, 2007
    Hey buddy!

    Learning modes and scales don't help you as a bass player unless you learn how to use them right. I learned all the modes and scales really quick (it is just patterns and logic), but it didn't improv me.

    What I would recommend you doing is humming a tune in your head and see if you can play it on your bass. This is what scales and modes help you with. If you sing along to a scale, it will help you learn the intervals of the notes; so, when it is your turn to solo, you know what notes you are hearing in your head.
  6. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Well, soloing, no matter the genre, is simply playing a melodic part. Now in the context of most rock, blues, jazz, etc. it's generally at least supposed to be improvised, but not always. And how do you learn to do that? By listening to great solos, learning how to play them, AND using your ever-expanding understanding of theory to understand why it works- both when the soloist is following the "rules", and when they break them.

    So, I suggest learning solos by great soloist, no matter the instrument. Face it, most bass players aren't great soloists because we spend our lives defining the harmony instead of embellishing it. So, first, listen to soloists who are NOT BASS PLAYERS. I'd even go further and say avoid guitarist too at first. Learn from Louis Armstrong, Patti Cathcart, Ella Fitzgerald, Beverly Sills, Charlie Parker, Renee Fleming, Yo Yo Ma, Paul McCartney (the singer), etc. etc.

    Take in all the music you hear, and make sure you hear a lot of different musics. Then to solo, sit down with the progression over which you're soloing, and SING a solo that sounds good to you. The best way is to put your bass away when you do this. Just sing. That'll be YOUR voice, not the bass' nor the accumulation of influences you have from playing bass. Record your vocal solo. Then learn it note-for-note on bass, getting all the nuances.

    It's hard, it's tough, it's demanding. But it's how you become a great soloist, instead of the annoying bass soloist who gives rise to the old joke about when the drumming stops.


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