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Useful things to learn?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Tracewithabass, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. Tracewithabass


    Jun 8, 2019
    Ive been playing for a while, know how to count my notes on my bass, play tabs, ect. I know a scale or two, but what are some of the bare bones things y’all think are the most important things to learn on your instrument. Things that make you an all around better player. If it’s anything I play hard rock and metal and have a lot of trouble doing fills, improv, and soloing. But I think it would be cool having a long list of things everyone things are important but
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Learning Links for All Bass Players | TalkBass.com
    B-Lo, kesslari, 4_Words and 4 others like this.
  3. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    In my mind, the first, big hurdle is "Comfort". Once you find what feels best in your own, two hands, all sorts of possibilities open up. Practicing and playing without ergonomic obstacles can make it much easier to learn one's way around an instrument and explore it's hidden depths. To that effect, I'd put a lot of stress on…
    1. …sampling as many instruments as possible to find what works best for a particular student/player.
    2. …learning the value of a good setup tuned to their individual needs.
    Nashrakh and MYLOWFREQ like this.
  4. #1 - Intervals (especially for metal)

    #2 - Chord tones
    fearceol likes this.
  5. tshapiro

    tshapiro Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    All 7 positions of the major scale of course. Or just be a hack.
  6. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    12 major scales, 12 minor scales, and learn as many songs as you can. :)
    Amano, GlennRH, zon6c-f and 2 others like this.
  7. White Beard

    White Beard

    Feb 12, 2013
    Be mindful and thoughtful of your playing. Notice where your hands are and how you're playing and how those things affect your sound. Ask yourself what you're doing with your left hand, are you just plunking down your finger, or is there something else to it? What's your right hand doing? Not everything can be fixed with turning knobs. Try to find the most favorable sound that you can get with just you and your bass.

    That's one thing that is really important to me.
    JoshS and mikewalker like this.
  8. Malcolm35


    Aug 7, 2018
    Hitch hiking on Mushroo's comments...

    A scale or two -- The Major and Natural Minor scale will let you do a lot of things.
    Play me a C Major scale three places on your fretboard. Hint, 3rd string, 3rd fret. Then 4th string 8th fret and then 3rd string 15th fret. Now do that same thing with the G major scale. Then the D major scale.....


    When you can do all 12 in your sleep, then we will get into something else. Scales first so our fingers get to moving on the fretboard and our ears start recognizing the sound of the good - and bad notes. That's the bare bone dirt simple first things we should have in our tool box.

    Happy trails.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
    leto and JoshS like this.
  9. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Lyrics and melodies...so you can sing lead and harmony later on...
  10. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Dont become too dependent on tabs. Instead train your ear by listening to songs and working out the bass lines by ear using trial and error. Give equal importance to both scales and chord tones. The latter is what the bass player uses ninety percent of the time...not scales.

    Chord Tones Are Primary | Bass Chord Patterns | StudyBass
    leto, Ggaa and JoshS like this.
  11. Kerplunk


    Sep 29, 2015
    Something simple. Learn to tune your bass by ear.

    I only mention this because I know guitarists that can't tune their guitar without a tuner. Sure it's easy and handy to use a tuner, and maybe even more accurate, but sometimes tuners are out of whack with each other. That probably doesn't happen so much these days. Even so, it is good ear training.

    Just tune one string to concert pitch, using your tuner, then tune the other strings to it manually, using your ears. Go back and check the first string you tuned, to the tuner, and check if it's still in pitch. This way you get to see how the tension from different strings can affect your neck, and you get to see how accurate your ear is. Check your tuning all over the neck.

    If you notice discrepancies, it may be your intonation is out slightly. You can use your tuner whilst adjusting your bridge saddles, either backward or forward, to correct intonation problems. Now we're getting into guitar setup territory. A subject in itself. So I'll leave it at that. Get to know your bass and how to set it up. It'll make learning scales, chord tones and the rest easier and more enjoyable knowing the errors you may make are you and not your tools.
    JoshS and FunWithBass like this.
  12. mmon77

    mmon77 Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2008
    Southern MN
    Everyone always has good suggestions of what to learn to play, so I'll go a different route.

    Equally important, learn how to play cleanly and mute all the strings you aren't playing. It doesn't matter how many scales and chords you know, if no one can distinguish what you're playing. Find a technique that works for you, whether it be floating thumb, some other technique, or a combination thereof, and make sure that whenever you practice, you are playing cleanly.
  13. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    well, here's a short list:
    - get a teacher
    - learn to read music

    if you learn to read = you can study anything with/without instruction. good luck! :thumbsup:
    Nashrakh, mambo4, JoshS and 1 other person like this.
  14. Manticore


    Feb 27, 2016
    Learn to read music.
    mambo4, CereBassum, FenderB and 2 others like this.
  15. tb4sbp


    May 9, 2017
    North East
    A good technique tool is to think ahead
    When you do your fills and such think about where you will be at the end so it is no a surprise

    Best of luck to you
  16. Ggaa


    Nov 26, 2018
  17. Turbo Sparky

    Turbo Sparky Supporting Member

    May 14, 2018
    South Eastern U.S.
    Major and Minor arpeggios at a minimum for "hard" rock and metal IMO.
    GlennRH likes this.
  18. Pork_Chop


    May 11, 2012
    Boulder, CO USA
    Learn to sing and play at the same time.
    mmon77 likes this.
  19. The Chuck

    The Chuck

    Dec 11, 2013
    Wilmington, NC
    How to do a proper setup on your bass.
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  20. Don't over play
    CereBassum and SactoBass like this.

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