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This is futile

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MarshallNole, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. MarshallNole


    Dec 1, 2013
    A month in and I can't do the simplest stuff. Someone please tell me why I can't play the part below perfectly?

    G ---11
    D ------12
    A ---------14
    E ------------------

    Repeat 55x


    No moving fingers or anything and I have trouble plucking the strings correctly sometimes.

    When does this **** get easier?
  2. Casting Thunder

    Casting Thunder

    Oct 7, 2012
    Get your hand off the fretboard and just work on plucking.
  3. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    A month is not very long when it comes to playing an instrument. Patience is key.
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Beware of tabs. Is it how he plays it ? I looks like a very tiring position to keep.
    I'd play it with the B on D string. Less cramping, better control. Try it.

    G --11
    D ----12--9
  5. Zephrant


    Dec 10, 2013
    Spokane, WA
    So I picked up Rocksmith 2014 in late October. It has helped me make massive progress, because it is so much fun to play along with the songs. Within 6 weeks, I could play Pour Some Sugar on Me, and Every Breath You Take, at 100% (as measured by the computer, I still have some occasional fumbling to work on). I now have a dozen other songs at 80-90%, and just hit 100% on Hit Me With Your Best Shot. Sure, they are simple songs, but they are fun to a new player!

    So if what you are practicing is not so much fun that you really look forward to it, find a different way to practice. For me, it is an hour a day on RS, and I wish I could play more than that.

    There is a lot that RS won't teach you, but it does help with hitting the right fret and the right string...
  6. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    IMO for starters you will be well served with the book "Bass Guitar for Dummies and the web site www.studybass.com.

    Good luck.
  7. davrip


    Jun 30, 2012
    "When does this **** get easier"?


    The target just changes.

    That's why not everyone perseveres.

    Those that do can't live without it.
  8. Are you using your little finger on that


    Little finger for me is the worst finger to "dial in".

    I practise a lot of exes using all four fingers on runs , walks etc etc.

    Some teachers on line are of the opinion that you never need to use your little finger and that you will rarely if ever need to do a 4 finger stretch.

    So they compromise by using two fingers in place of four.

    In my experience using four fingers happens all the time.

    I COULD use two fingers but to me that's "faking it"
    and I run into situations where transitioning with four fingers is better than two and I don't screw up the song.

    But that little finger sometimes seems to have mind of it's own and seems weaker than all the others.
  9. p0ppyman


    Dec 15, 2013
    San Mateo, CA
    What Davrip says, “Never. The target just changes”.

    I am a month in myself. I made the investment in a book called Bass Fitness - An Exercising Handbook by Josquin Des Pres. While I have not yet moved beyond page 6 it has already helped build finger independence in particular with my pinkie and also enhanced my stretch distance. For me a key is keeping my left hand relaxed. I commit a minimum of 15 minutes everyday to run through the exercises. I also got a VARIGRIP to help strength my fingers. I work with this several times a day for 30 seconds on each hand. I have it with me when I do my daily commute and use it during the work day when I take breaks.

    As to my right hand I am pretty much one finger (index) right now but I have started to work in a second finger. Right now I am just walking through the open strings alternating my fingers. In my lesson this past Saturday my teacher suggested I start with the middle finger and then use my index finger. So this week I will start by committing 5 minutes a day working on my right hand fingering as part of my daily practice sessions.

    Stick with it and keep the faith. If others are doing it you can too!

    Edit: One more thought. Maybe I am a weird sort but when I make a mistake I laugh. So right now I am laughing a lot. I have enough stress in my life so the last thing I want to do is make this journey stressful. When I am able to have my bass in my hands I feel great enjoyment. I am committed to keep it that way. I expect if I stick with it, over time I will laugh less but the smile will remain and only get bigger.
  10. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Ugh. Keeping perfect timing on a very repetitive part is a huge test of your sense of rhythm. I'm not surprised you can't do it perfectly 55 times. I'd much rather play a melodic part that lets me move my hand around. And that position is a fairly serious hand-stretcher. Give yourself permission NOT to be perfect, keep working at it, but don't get stuck on one thing - do other material and come back to this from time to time.
  11. Thick McRunfast

    Thick McRunfast Not just good, good enough

    Sep 30, 2012
    Portland, Oregon USA
    Crawl ------> Walk -------> Run

    A month in and you're down on yourself for not being able to play Tool?

    Give yourself a break and set some reasonably attainable goals

  12. :rolleyes:
  13. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    Also....a month in at how much practice a day?

    A month in means nothing if you're not putting in the time daily. Anyway at first your muscles have a lot to learn. Don't expect anything good until at least 3 or 4 months in.
  14. jeremygreen


    Dec 24, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    You know the saying, "use the right tool for the right job?" Teachers are really useful tools for learning how to play. You can usually rent them pretty reasonably once a week for a half hour or hour.

    All joking aside, if you're starting from scratch, you can't know what you're doing wrong when you hit a snag. Sitting in front of someone that knows how to play is one of the best things you can do to progress.

    Lessons aren't any less frustrating tho. Ain't nothin' easy.
  15. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    I would run away from that advice as fast as you can.
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Are you playing chords or single notes? Tab doesn't tell me much.

    A month in, chords are far beyond what I would expect you to play. It doesn't hurt to have big goals, but that's a lot to tackle. I'd learn single notes and good plucking technique first. Go slow, then speed up as you get better facility with what you're playing.

    Regardless, the answer is what I told my daughter when she took up guitar: "The first 100 times you try to do it, it's hard. Then it gets easier."
  17. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    My guess is that if you are trying to play Tool songs only "a month in," you haven't taken the time to learn some basics properly, particularly right-hand plucking technique. Can you tell me if you are using strict alternation or if you are raking, or some combination of both? If you don't know, you really need to get those basics down before trying to play Tool bass lines. As simple as that little 3-note riff looks, it actually poses some interesting challenges for right-hand plucking (given that it descends across strings and has an odd number of notes).

    The "walk-before-you-run" idea isn't just about patience: If you try to teach yourself to run before learning to walk properly, you will develop all kinds of bad habits that will prevent you from ever being able to run well.
  18. it never gets easy. . . The riff you are talking about is still a little simple; Try understanding why he plucked it that way, what scale did he just do; It all boils down to continued improvements;

    RHCP, Rush, will open a can of worms and frustrate you if you don't understand what they are doing; Tabs can only take you so far;
  19. MarshallNole


    Dec 1, 2013
    I can't tell how he plays it.

    Can you tell from teh 1:20 mark of this video?


    Also, how do you do your fingers on the tab you posted?

    G --11
    D ----12--9
  20. Frohman


    Nov 24, 2009
    It's minor chord, plucked with a pick, with a 3/4 over 4/4 polymeter (the 1 changes with every measure.

    11 - 12 - 14 - 11 - 12 - 14 - 11 - 12 - 14 - 11 - 12 - 14
    1----2----3----1---2----3---1----2---3----1----2---3 - the riff in 3/4
    1----2----3----4---1----2---3----4---1----2----3---4 - time signature in 4/4

    I made a similar song once with season progrockers, but it was more like this

    1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3etc. - me in 3/4
    1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4etc. - Drummer in 4/4
    1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2etc. - guitarist 1 in 5/4
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5etc. - guitarist 2 in 7/4

    Did you grasp any of this? If not, steer clear of advanced prog rock for now.
    Even with those amazing musicians, it was a literal hell to play.

    As the others have said, it's waaay over your head if you're a month in. I believe getting the rythms right would be a much larger challenge than the plucking, if you can even hear that you're playing the rythms wrong yet, which I doubt (if remember correctly, that can be one hell of a challenge for a beginner). Learn Black Dog or Money instead.