Taking my playing to the next level

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Wolfenstein666, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. Wolfenstein666


    Dec 19, 2014
    I've been playing for six years now, and I can certainly hold my own. However, I'm not happy with the level that I'm playing at. I feel like that's always a good thing; it pushes you to be better. But, that leads my to my question.

    What are some good practice regiments or techniques to really move my playing up? I'm open to all sorts of suggestions I.E. Timing exercises, fretboard dexterity, finger picking techniques and tips, improvisational skills, scales, modes and chords, pretty much anything you have that will move my playing up. I practice about 2 hours a day, but I feel as though my routine has become stale and I'm not moving up the way I should be.

    I recently joined a band that consists of three other musicians much more talented than myself. Playing with them over the past six months has skyrocketed my chops and playing abilities, but I want to delve more into theory and advanced technique. So any tips, hints, suggestions, or practice techniques are much appreciated. Thanks!!
    Winfred likes this.
  2. organworthyplayer337

    organworthyplayer337 Professional Hack

    Oct 28, 2014
    Charlotte, NC
    Artificial harmonics are fun!

    Get a loop pedal maybe?
    It can be loads of fun too:)

    Maybe re-learn the first few songs you learned and try to apply everything you learned up to this point to the song

    Composing melodic bass lines can be exciting as well

    Find a song that you think is too hard and work on it piece by piece until you get it. That way you have something to practice that is also making you better

    Or maybe you need to put it down. I always find when I feel unmotivated, I'll leave it for a day or maybe even a week. Then I'll pick it back up and surprise myself

    I'm definitely not one to be giving advice but I hope this helps
  3. sg101


    Oct 7, 2014
    Play some prog. I started playing progressive rock when I was 13 or so back in 2010, on a crappy 4 stringer, but I made it work. Before that, I had the basic troubles like struggling to my pinky, couldn't keep up with fast riffs because picking two finger wasn't enough. Just simple things like that. I'm not saying that a bassist can't get by without playing prog, but it seriously helps. I've been going all out on technique and music theory, learning really fast as well. If you play complicated songs, it will definitely take your playing and technique to the next level.
  4. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    I had the same thoughts as you a couple of months ago.

    I decided to take lessons. Not with the 19 year old kid that teaches people how to play Metallica riffs at GC, but a seasoned teacher that has world class chops, plays all genres and has deep theory expertise.

    Amazing how many world class and well known bass educators/players are accessible for lessons with technology such as Skype. No way I could get the same caliber teacher locally.
    lyla1953 likes this.
  5. wishface


    Jan 27, 2012
    THe only times i've ever heard bass artifical harmonics on record are Birdland by Weather Report (of course) and When Death Calls by Black Sabbath played by Neil Murray.
  6. Hi Wolfenstein,

    You are on the right track by wanting to learn more about, scales chords and their relationships...
    I teach at Leeds College of Music in England and been playing professionaly for a long time now and can tell you from experience that the knowledge of our foundations is so important.
    Then once you learn them its years and years of experimenting on how to use them, but you can have a lot of fun while doing that.
    To give you a bit of help, (although you may know all of these chords/scales already) here are a couple of lessons i've released, going through all the scales and arpeggios of the Jazz Standard Autumn Leaves..
    Hope this helps and i'd be interested to hear how you get on.

    Best of luck,
    envy1400 likes this.