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Wanting to begin bass need advice

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Zeru, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. Zeru


    Oct 24, 2010
    Hey guys, I'm wanting to pick up a musical instrument, and have decided on a bass; the reason why I'm here :p, well; I guess it was after watching all those bassists on youtube and felt amazed.

    Now, the problem is that I am a complete newbie at musical instruments and this would be my first ever instrument (No prior music knowledge, reading notes, etc).
    So I am quite lost as of where and how to start learning.

    Could I get some advice please? :)

  2. SnakeKappele


    Sep 20, 2010
    Welcome! I played the drums for 30 years and always wanted to play the bass. My brother bought me a bass and I loved it.

    I found that I followed the same steps in learning the bass as I did with the drums (unintentionally). I started learning the fingerboard, notes, scales, etc... I got some DVDs and books and had fun practicing. At some point I wanted more and started playing along to music and videos on my computer. I would look up the tabs (if I could find them) and play along until I got it right. My dad got me a Tascam Bass Trainer for Christmas and that was the greatest gift ever! I loaded it up with songs and set the trainer to remove the original bass and played along with my favorite music.

    For me the key is: have fun!:)
  3. many people will jump right out and say get a teacher, esp if you have no OTHER music instrument knowledge. I recommend this at least for a couple of lessons. Music reading ability is a big plus, but you can learn rather quickly simply by practicing.

    whether its reading music, tablature, jamming to a cd, just noodling around....
    the most important thing is to actually be PLAYING your instrument.

    can't get good by not playing
  4. Zeru


    Oct 24, 2010
    Ah, I see. Well, that's great!
    Also, would it be advisable to get lessons to learn a bass?
  5. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    I agree. The first thing I would get the teacher to show you is good technique. This prevents bad habits forming early, and also helps to avoid possible physical problems at a later time. While nothing is written in stone, there are tried and trusted ways of physically playing the bass. Here are two good links on technique to get you started.

    L/H :

    Best of luck with it, and most of all, have fun !! :)
  6. SnakeKappele


    Sep 20, 2010
    That's up to you. I took drum lessons until I wasn't having fun anymore.

    Videos and the internet can give you a lot of information.
  7. www.studybass.com is a good place to get a feel for what you will be doing. Start on screen one and take a look at what this site can offer. Here is something that will give you an idea of where the notes are found on your fretboard - and get you acquainted with "the major scale box pattern". http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?p=9372867#post9372867.

    You need to know how to hold the beast, how to tune it, how to make sound come from it, how to stop the sound - the bass has a tendency of sustaining notes, sometime that's good sometime that's bad. A friend that plays bass or a teacher will save you a lot of time and I do recommend you utilize a friend or a teacher just to get you started.

    Books and videos are out there. The teacher will get it done in half the time. Someone from this forum said; "If you train yourself your teacher does not really know what he is doing".

    For fun - see what you can do with these two sites:

    Play the "A" note - yes the one found on your fretboard (E string 5th fret) - four times per measure then when the D comes play a D note (A string {3rd string} right above the A) four times per measure, yep, you had four measures of A's and you've got two measures of D's now. Keep going ....... the E is near, find it.

    You just played your first song.

    Welcome and good luck.
  8. Zeru


    Oct 24, 2010
    Wow, thanks everybody for all the tips and feedback! I highly appreciate them! :)

    Btw, I did some inquiries around my friends; and I've gotten some telling me to start from a guitar because it's easier, and is cheaper and also is more fun playing.

    Well, since I don't have a band yet, would it be advisable to start bass if i'll be playing solo?
  9. plangentmusic

    plangentmusic Banned

    Jun 30, 2010
    These days there's an infinite amount of info on the net about the basics. After that, buy a book that has the chord changes to a band you like. Have fun. The rest takes care of itself.
  10. Cheaper perhaps as you do not need an amp with an acoustic guitar. Easier, no I would not say that. I came to bass from the acoustic guitar so the learning curve was not that great, but, you can hold your own on the bass with just a little training. As to fun, both are fun.
    If I understand what you just said; You will not be playing solo bass (the melody AKA the tune) for several years. The bass is an accompaniment instrument. Sure the lead can be passed to the bass for a 12 to 36 measure solo, but, the bass is not primarily used as a solo instrument. Now if you meant - it'll just be you playing by yourself. Bass by yourself gets old quick. We eliminate this problem by playing to backing tracks.

    Your voice can be a solo instrument with both. Rhythm guitar pulls this off a little easier than the bass, as you can go into auto pilot strumming the acoustic guitar and auto pilot on the bass takes a little longer to master, i.e. Chewing gum and walking.

    Which one? The electric bass is tied to an electrical outlet. If singing and strumming around the campfire is what you want the bass will have to have a long extension card. Something to think about. Hooking up with a band - there are a kizillion guitar players waiting on a phone call. A good bass is always in demand.

    Have fun.
  11. Zeru


    Oct 24, 2010
    Uhh, no actually, I'm not quite the type of person who wants the attention, was just wondering if I would get bored of it since i'll not be playing in a band probably for quite awhile; since people told me to take up bass only when I have a band.

    But heck, somehow I find bass'es more attractive to me. :S
  12. Go for it. We all did. :bassist:
  13. Go to a Guitar Center and noodle around on a few basses and a few guitars...which one feels right ?

    Like a zillion people have said on TB....

    BASS is a band instrument (other than a handful of virtuoso soloists) and the most satisfaction playing will be in a band setting. That does not mean that just because you don't have a band that you cannot enjoy practicing. If you dread practicing bass because it is an accompany instrument, then bass is not for you.

    On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with learning guitar first....if you treat it with rhythmic sensabilities, you can carry over your rhythm skills to bass.

    BASS = the link between rhythm and melody

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