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Total newbie humbly asking for guidance...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by KF2B, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. KF2B


    Jan 28, 2013
    Hi guys,

    first, yes - I´ve used the search and read tons of stuff... And it is all good. Still I´d like to ask you´r opinion. Call me hardheaded... It only took me 41 years to get my first musical instrument which I received... today! :hyper: :bassist: :D

    And, "of course", it is the bass.

    "Of course" because bass is not so natural a selection in all honesty as my heart belongs to rhythm and what else is there so strongly associated with rhythm as drums? Anyway, for a myriad of reasons and after a long time of feeling what "my inner musician in the making" was saying I chose the bass, and here I am :ninja:

    Besides bass is as rhythmic as the drums if you want it to, so...

    A friend of mine who is an established bass player has given me good hints and tips but it never hurts to ask opinions from others who have walked further the path I am about to take, so... I am asking for what would you do if you were in the position of beginning from scratch at adult age knowing nothing about playing, notes etc? Few boundaries exist, so I might as well mention them:

    - practice needs to be done on headphones mostly, so Pandora coming up
    - have already taken my personal weapon of choice so that is already "ticked"
    - I have other things to do also so playing on a band is probably off limits now and later as well

    Other than that... Given your own experiences what would you do if you were me?


  2. Barbo


    Oct 4, 2009
    OC CA
    Along with books and videos, nothing beats getting personal lessons from a great teacher.
  3. I would find a good teacher in your area. One that's familiar with bass and not just a guitarist trying to teach it. Getting the basics down correctly will save you a lot of heartache later on.
  4. zfunkman


    Dec 18, 2012
    Just learn to play as many songs as you can. Oh yea, learn all the notes on the neck.
  5. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Notes on the neck, scales, arpeggios, chords, modes, METRONOME METRONOME METRONOME...or drum machine.
  6. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out....

    Feb 6, 2010
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    learn to read music...BOTH rhythm and melody.

    learn to read tab AFTER reading real music

    try to take some lessons...if not on a regular basis at least once a month. This will kee you from ingraining bad technique habits

    practice with a metronome, or some kind of device that keeps a beat

    learn to use your ear to learn stuff, but not to rely on it for learning

    rather than playing in marathon practice sessions, play a bit every day, especially given the sound of your schedule. OR, play during "idle hands" time. I always have the bass in my lap when I am watching tv, or on the computer etc.

    it is ok to practice with the bass unplugged. In fact, I probably have played/practiced more without an amp than with in my life.
  7. Titania


    Aug 17, 2012
    Shirley, MA
    I've been in your shoes, although it only took me 39 years to get there. ;)

    First and BEST thing I did was to pick up a copy of "Teach Me Bass Guitar". In a very short time I picked up enough to play the things I like at least reasonably competently, and I'm learning new and cool things all the time.
  8. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
  9. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Yes. And it's best to get bass lessons from a bass player, not a guitar player who happens to play bass.
  10. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    Bass Player Magazine, Bass Guitar Magazine, Guitar and Bass Guitar Magazine.

    I'm a late to the gamer myself having started on bass when i was 33. I find the articles very interesting and the woodshed stuff can introduce you to styles and techniques you may never pick up on your own.

    I can't recall whom the article was about but it was an old dude, in his 70's and he said something about his playing has recently "turned the corner" in a specific style and that just kinda blew me away. Dude is 70 years old and he's still getting better!

    Things like that kinda help me reassert myself when i get into a rut.

    And like these guys said, bass books, online vids, learn songs.

    Moonlight Sonata was the first thing I taught myself.
  11. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009

    I guess that one would apply to bass as well. Although thre are fewer strings and fewer notes per bar to learn.

    Condition your fingers for strength as well as the required stamina. All the best in your new hobby!
  12. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Get a small drum machine to play against. Even if you just ride one note or one scale, it'll still sound like music!

    I understand there may be downloadable drum patterns for accompaniment available online, too.
  13. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Moved to Technique
  14. I really dont agree with this at all. I dont like the scholastic approach to teaching music....its duller than dust. Thats why music in public schools doesn't catch on with so many young people.

    When a person is learning to speak for example, you dont teach a baby about vowels and adjectives and proper usage. If that was the case no one would ever lean how to speak.

    Get a good (BASS!!!!) instructor, and have him teach you proper technique. After this music is largely self learned. You have plenty of time later on to learn theory and music reading, once it becomes more palatable.

    If I were you id work on leaning the root lines to many rock songs. They are easy to approach, and you can start leaning them as root notes and move on from there. Lots of punk bands are easy learning, but I dont know if you are into that stuff. Foo Fighters have some easily recognizable and basic chord progressions that you can learn to play over.

    Dont force feed yourself theory. Have fun, learn your instrument, and when you are ready for the rules and why and how thing work you will be interested in learning it, not dreading it
  15. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    You watched this too?
  16. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
    My drum machine makes the repetition of practice A LOT more interesting. Which inturn translates into more practice - eveyday. Also as someone mentioned earlier get TMBG from Roy. The combination means I'm generally making music when I practice - I like that.
  17. I'm new to the bass, too. I was a self-taught background camp out 6-string picker for about 20 years. So, now in my 40's I'm taking a different approach: I took some lessons.

    I get where folks are coming from regarding the metronome and wiil get one one day. That said, it really depends on how and what you want to play. You're not in a band so your purpose doesn't seem to be the chaperone for pickers and strummers. So enjoy the bass but do learn some music theory so you can play the instrument rather than three tired songs from yesteryear.
  18. dig in... work hard... don't quit.
  19. This advice from everyone is helpful to me too - thanks! I'm new to the game as well and just got a fretless :eek: