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Start up questions

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by shaftfx, Nov 7, 2000.


  1. shaftfx

    shaftfx

    Mar 28, 2000
    Yorktown, NY
    I have a few questions for you, Mike. For a musician thats just starting out with the bass, how should I start myself on the road to becoming a great bass player? I mean, should I start with the theory or the technique portion first? What are the best ways to do so? And finally how did you you start and what did you do to continue your growth, not only as a bassist, but as an artist as well? Thanks a lot for your patience and time.
     
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Sorry it has taken so long for me to respond. It has been rather nuts around here. Your quesation sounds so simple, but if it was we would all be monster players. I would study both technique and theory together so one might compliment the other. I would find a great teacher who could not only give you both but inspire you to practice. I would play all the time with musicians who were much better than myself. I would listen to all kinds of music, not just that kind that currently is your flavor of the month. I would listen to all instruments not just bass. I would relish the good stuff you do and love the mistakes. I would use each mistake as a tool to better learning. I wouldn't get to cocky when you're "on" and not to "down" when you're off. I would attempt to be open and remain open. The road to greatness is paved with failure - cherish that, work with that, be one with that. Love yourself and your instrument. Forgive yourself. Learn all that you can so that you can forget it. Play from the heart.

    Mike
     
  3. Gekobrain

    Gekobrain

    Nov 17, 2000
    That seems like good advice and I'll also take it into stride. I myself am also new to bass. I play in a band and they are far more talented than I am and I am wondering how I can keep up or even maybe one day be more talented than they are! What kinds of things should I be doing at and away from rehearsal and what are some exercises I could practice to become better. To give you a little picture I can play stuff like Nirvana flawlessly, stuff like Black Sabbath with some rough edges and the absence of solos. The type of music our band plays is kind of a mix between Sepultura, Slipknot and Filter, but I want a more warm bass sound while the guitar is crunching away. Thanks so much for your help.
     
  4. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    This tells me a great deal. It says that you are as concerned about your tone as your technique - that is a great thing. A great tone can make up for many other deficincies. It gives you the opportunity to work often while you further develop your technique. Work hard on developing your tone. With a big, fat warm tone - you can really focus on playing simple, effective, appropriate lines. There is nothing more appreciated, by a band, than that!

    Now to get better, practice - EVERY DAY. Within each practice session vary your routine. Spend some time reading, some time working with a drum machine, transcribing other lines and a great deal of time improvising. Allow yourself time to get better. Listen to other forms of music and try to play them every now and then - go to a blues or jazz jam.

    Work on your technique - find a great teacher to give you the basic techniques and practice them. Playing bass can be hard on the muscles and tendons of the hand and wrist. The correct techniques can make ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.

    Hope this helps.

    Mike