The ''Help me become a better bass player'' Thread!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by rocknroll777, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. First of all, hello and thank you a lot for taking your time for this.

    Finally I have joined a band where we will do some original songs. Te genre is something like classic/blues/hard rock, old school sutff ( I've been growing my hair and beard for a while now:D) . The band consists of drums, bass, lead guitar and keyboards. I'm not to bad bass player now, I've moved away from playing only root notes, like I was doing two years ago. When it comes to music theory, I know some stuff, and I don't know some stuff :). I know major and minor scales, pentatonic (major, minor), blues scale and triads / chordal notes. I know to read music and I know notes on the fretboard. I want to make my bass lines as interesting to listen and creative as much as possible. Yes, like all of us, I want to be hell of a bass player! :D My favourite players and influences are J.P. Jones, Geezer Butler, Jack Bruce, Leon Wilkeson, Berry Oakley, Roger Glover, John Entwistle, Noel Redding, Lemmy( ye he ain't no regular bass player, but nobody has that kind of persona and r'n'r attitude)........and many more. Non- neccessary rock players I like and respect are James Jamerson and Carol Kaye.
    I'm pursuing 60's/70's bass tone and style.

    What things I need to learn? Would you share some tips on musical knowledge, technique and sound? Again, help me become better player, thanks :D

    PS Excuse me if I made some grammar mistakes, we ain't talking english in freaking Bosnia LOL :D
  2. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    You seem to have a good basic knowledge of music theory. Now you just need to apply it. My advice would be to listen to as much music as you can. Play along to the songs, and try to figure out the bass lines. Some great blues bassists to check out would be Willie Dixon, "Duck" Dunne, Tommy Shannon and John McVie. You are bound to get lots of inspiration from the likes of these guys.
  3. Practice with a metronome and explore rhythms.

    I find that people always talk about scales, modes, chord theory and "knowing the fretboard"... but forget how to groove. Having interesting lines means nothing if it aint bang on the money.
  4. Yep I was going to say work on playing stuff that makes the songs sound good and don't sweat all the theory or worry about what you believe you do or do not know.

    All the bass players that catch my attention are the people who sound like their part of the music...

    Either melodically, harmonically rhythmically and preferably all three...

    • Lock in with the drums.
    • Play chord tones.
    • Blues scale for your lead break. Lot of dominant sevens, Mixolydian may fit.
    • Hit the chord changes dead on.
    • And don't step on toes.
    But you already know this. Only thing I'd add is watch adding too much, less is usually more.

    If you all play from fake chord; fake chord does not travel to the printer well. The chord names tend to move to the left and this makes your chord changes come early. After getting the fake chord, I test it out by calling up a video of the song and see if the changes do come on the right syllable. Most do need a little movement.

    The Courier New font does seem to travel a little better, if you are the one that types up the fake chord try Courier New.

    Have fun.
  5. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    music has many elements. to become a better musician, bettering yourself in any area of music will help!

    it's a typical answer (for a reason) : get a GOOD teacher! thats where you should start.

    if that's impossible for whatever reason i'd recommend checking out

    remember, every area of music helps you become better. if you spend a week using the interval test on it will help your ear training skills and make you a better musician.

    transcribe lots of music. this will also help your ear training, but also give insight to what other musicians (people you love) did in other musical circumstances. take a great record and learn every single note on it. the guitar part, vocal harmonies, any solos, basslines, everything. this will be a challenge worth taking on, because there are hundreds of beneficial aspects to this.

    further your music theory understanding. knowing music has no downsides!

    i can go on for days... but ill let others take it from here.

    best of luck to you,

  6. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA

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