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The most difficult thing

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Lowner, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. Lowner


    May 14, 2005
    Over Here
    about playing bass is...

    fill the the blank
  2. Timing. It's pretty easy, even for a beginner, to make a note and make it sound decent, but making it start and stop at exactly the right times takes years of practice.
  3. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    Saving the money to get the gear I want.
  4. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    :bawl: so true.

    I find it hard to just shred ala "Panic Attack" by Dream Theater. Boy i'm dying to play that song. Double Thumbing is REALLY hard too.

    Give something LIFE by being QUIET! :)
  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I think I'm going to go with timing here. It is pretty easy to have 'good time' That is, time that doesn't stand out in a bad way and that you can play along with a band and whatever. But, to really have impeccably flawless consistent machine-like time that not only hits the note in the right place but cuts it off in the right place too... well, that's quite a bit more work.

    I think this is ultimately the most important thing any bassist should strive for, and something that we probably all need to work on somewhat. Time in music is an incredible thing, it's filled with subtleties and nuance that really make it quite a study in and of itself. How many of you can honestly tell the difference between 89 bpm and 88 bpm? and then can you feel it or just think it? and even then, that's only 2 clicks on the metronome.

    So yea, I think timing is ultimately the most difficult, simply because it's so vast and integral to what a bassist should be doing, and to really master 'time' is probably a life's study.
  7. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    Yea maybe for you flashy show-off guys. :p


    But seriously though, the ability to lay out is probably amongst the more difficult things for any musician to get their heads around. Which, if you wanted to be real tricksy about it, knowing when to play and when not to play is an issue of 'timing' ;)
  8. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Time, and if on fretless/DB, intonation.

    My practice time for the last 6 months has been pulse, intonation, pulse, ear, pulse, tone, pulse, technique, and pulse. I've got my (BG) chops, I've enough theory to tide me over for now not to obsess over it (although I do still study it avidly,) but when I started DB, I started over again at square 1 and I realized how important the fundamentals really are. There's a reason they're called "fundamentals."
  9. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    ....is to play something really slow and sparse that's full of whole notes....without adding something that doesn't need to be there and actually takes away from the song as a whole.

    It's the Zen thing.
  10. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    sounding perfect. If it doesn't sound perfect it doesn't matter how technical it is its wrong. Finding the right note to play at the right time with the right tone etc etc all the time is teh hardest thing to do.
  11. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    And, the REASON why this is so hard to do, is because there are no 'wrong' notes! and there is only sort of a 'wrong' time either. It's all about context. Which I assume you are referring to, and yes, that is definitely a very challenging thing. Perfection is a funny thing in that regard, since there is no singular way to approach things in music, there is no singular 'perfection'.
  12. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    exactly.... the problem is whenever i gain enough money to buy the piece of gear i wanted, i immediately find new gear i want. :bawl:

    (never ending)
  13. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I've gotta agree, learning tos trike the right balance between over and under playing is probably the hardest thing to do. I say this because I hear so few bassists who really can do it, most are either too busy for the song or plain boring.

    I know I still have to drop notes frequently when i play with my band, because what sounded cool when I wrote the bassline at home sounds cluttered and overworked with the band. I'm a work in progress I guess.
  14. Vysous


    Mar 29, 2005

    Miles Davis once said :

    Nobody can understand timing perfectly....

    ....Just me

    :) :) :)
  15. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...the same as it is for all instruments-
    Be able to create music, in real time, with others(hopefully).

    As for 'sounding perfect'?
    FME, the 'best' Art is rarely 'perfect'...it's full of warts, bruises, etc.
    You want 'perfect'? Program the notes into a synth & let 'er rip.
  16. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    ...and then to let it happen without even having to think about it. That takes even longer.

    I had a high school music teacher who told us that the point of learning music theory and technique was to be able to forget it. We all looked at him like he was crazy, but he was actually right on the money. You learn and learn and learn until it just starts happening. That's when REAL music is starting to be made.
  17. Breaking the habit of looking at the fretboard.

    Making eye contact with the audience and your bandmates is really an important step in being a good entertainer and in on-stage communication. But getting to the point where you trust all your fret reaches without looking (very often!) is/was something that took me out of my comfort zone pretty easy!
  18. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    I think they were asking about being a bassist... not an entertainer.

    I'm going with the knowing when not to play kind of crew... I think it's a question of space in your playing... being Tony Levin. <3 <3 <3
  19. I think they were asking about being a bassist... not an entertainer.

    Hey thanks for explaining that to me! :)

    I'm really sorry about that. I guess I always assumed that we want to actually entertain people when we play bass. My bad.
  20. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    +1 on timing, especially timing that's not on the beat. When the infidels say that bass is easy, they don't understand how important good timing is. And "good" does not necessarily mean mechanical, metronome-like precision. It means creating and fitting into the groove in a musical way.

    Way up on my list, though, was learning to sing and play at the same time. That's really just a variation on timing, though. You have to do this whole walk-and-chew-gum-at-the-same-time mental disconnect to be able to sing and play simultaneously. I still can't do it if I'm playing anything funky or on the back beat.

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