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Things any good bassist should be able to do.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Waytootrue, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar... Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    Tune the bass
  2. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    Be on time, keep good time, practice ahead of time, don't waste anybodies time.
    BobBassist and Helix like this.
  3. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    Oh, and don't go to music school. That poopie is pointless.
    leto likes this.
  4. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    I would think that a school would have the audition requirements/expectations posted in advance. If they don't, I would contact them and ask... If no info is available, this is my general policy:

    Show up on time and sober.
    Tune before the audition officially starts. If there is a fixed pitch instrument like a piano, tune to it, not a tuner.
    Be respectful to everyone and look them in the eye when meeting them.
    Play with consistent time.
    Accept feedback if given.
    Thank everyone at the end.
  5. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Which college is it? Someone from here may have attended or know someone who attended.
  6. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    For a college audition???

    - Know the audition piece.
    - Solid sight reading
    - Understanding some basic theory (or advanced, depending on the school)
    - Playing in context / dynamics

    - the ability to pay tuition, fees, room & board without incurring staggering student loan debt.
    Jim Carr likes this.
  7. BtaylorTheRogue


    Nov 14, 2016
    honestly, there's a weird piece of advice i heard once. I'll pass it along.

    Sprint for a bit (maybe 60 seconds), then run inside and immediately play your piece(s). Get used to playing smoothly and steadily with your heart racing in your ears.
  8. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    Maybe it's more of a general skill level assessment /ensemble placement audition at a regular university, rather than an advanced performance program acceptance audition at somewhere like Julliard. I remember back in college having to take various different skill assessment tests to determine what theory level classes, which jazz ensemble, private lesson instructor, etc I would end up with.
  9. Timmy-Watts

    Timmy-Watts Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Nope. You are starting college. I have gone to college, taught college, and performed professionally. There are many, many players who are concerned with originality and creativity, who have oodles of technique and "stage presence."

    You are starting college. The basics are what matters.

    1. Know your instrument. Hopefully it is a P-Bass. Know every note, every position. Be comfortable in any register. Build clean technique. Have control over how your notes sound, the tone, volume, and most importantly, all ththe beginnings and endings of every note.
    2. Know music. How chord progressions work and how different note choices affect the song. Learn songs by ear and emulate the tone and style of the bass lines and even the melodies. Learn a ton of songs by ear. Learn to read both notation and chord charts well. Listen to all the others you are playing with. Play the right style, volume, and groove all the time. You dont need flash or "creativity."
    3. Be cool and together. Hang out with and befriend other musicians, especially other bassists. Go to the gigs of other musicians. Wear clean clothes. Be on time and prepared, wearing the right clothes and don't be annoying. People will call you for the gig if they can trust you to get there on time and organized and if they like being around you. Whenever it is on me to hire a drummer or whatever, the last guy I ran into or talked to is the one I think of first. Make interactions with others a positive experience for them.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
    craigie, MattZilla and Andy Daventry like this.
  10. SactoBass

    SactoBass I like all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    Bodeanly: That advice is certainly helpful, however I think the OP is looking for more specific recommendations.

    What *kind* of pizza? :D

    Sometimes all ya need is to double up on the pepperonis to get the gig!
    Bodeanly likes this.
  11. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Yeah, but it's generally not up to the delivery driv- errrr... Bassist to decide what kind of pizza to deliver.
    SactoBass likes this.
  12. This.

    I don't have Timmy-Watts experience, but I have plenty of experience interviewing. What will make you stand out is doing what they have told you they want to see, but well.
    Timmy-Watts likes this.
  13. Bottom Hammer

    Bottom Hammer

    Mar 24, 2018

    I'm a total noob but I hear a ton of guys on YouTube that have "chops" but their timing is all ****** up. No matter how good they are technically if their timing is off for all purposes other than them playing alone at home they suck. My teacher doesn't compliment me on much but he does compliment me on my timing.
    Atshen likes this.
  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Things any good bassist should be able to do.


    rendevouz and Waytootrue like this.
  15. caledoneus83


    Feb 26, 2018
    Good advice (except for the P-bass comment.... play what you want and ignore the trolls) ;)
    Timmy-Watts and Waytootrue like this.
  16. SactoBass

    SactoBass I like all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    True dat! :thumbsup:
  17. Nice post, and good advice. If I may: why is it important the instrument be a p-bass? I can understand not showing up with something radical, like a space bass, or maybe even a thunderbird, but not why a p is preferable to any “normal looking bass” such as a j or even something like a sound gear. Just curious.
  18. caledoneus83


    Feb 26, 2018
    b/c the trolls like P-basses with flats. lol
    Please, Don't feed the trolls.
    socialleper likes this.
  19. dbsfgyd1

    dbsfgyd1 Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Richmond , Va
    Playing what the music calls for. No more, and no less. If it is written out, play the ink.
    Atshen likes this.
  20. AngelMoncada


    Oct 4, 2016
    In a professional context (which ideally a college should be trying to instill), I'd say:
    1. Time feel. Lock in with, or always play off of the drummer.
    2. Musical "control-" AKA being restrained and tasteful in your playing and musical choices. This applies to everyone that aspires to be good but, I think it applies especially to us bassists. No one wants you blowing your load on a song.
    3. Harmonic creativity- Instead of trying to impress by playing fast lines, tactfully throw some inversions in there, play some nice lines with extensions, or even match the primary melody line at times when it does not hinder your ability to hold down the chord. I have found that this goes a long way in impressing other, more mature, instrumentalists rather than shredding. I find that a lot of bassists don't know harmony as well as say, keyboardists, simply because of our role in music (playing mostly root notes).
    Atshen likes this.

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