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What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Wademeister63, Sep 19, 2004.

  1. Wademeister63


    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    Real Basstaster slap

    me playing basstaster slap sample

    I've only been playing bass for about 4 months after having played electric and classical guitar at a very ametuer level for a long long time. Slapping is giving me fits but I think I'm doing ok on the popping part. I also have not spent much time with the metronome so I'm working hard on overcoming a bad case of white boy (no) rhythm. The slapping is seriously weak on this I know, it's really just fingerstyle with a little extra pressure on the thumb. For the popping I actually am getting my fingers under the strings and pulling them up pretty well. I guess the slapping is just going to take time to get the feel of it so I can get a decent tone without stopping to hit it properly or driving it into the pickups or whatever. I'm also missing some stuff compared to the Basstaster sample but I haven't been able to identify exactly what yet. When I did try hard to get more bouncy slapping and wrist action going on, everything just got too out of control and noisy with only a decent slap tone every once in a while. Still couldn't get the same bop feel of the Basstaster though. Well that's no wonder since I have little experience, but I'm working on it and would appreciate any advice if you have any. If you could tell me what you think of what I have so far and especially what to do to improve it, any feedback would be appreciated.

    I also need to find a bass teacher. Any tips on what questions to ask or how to pick a good teacher would also be very welcome.
  2. It sounds like you got it down, and slapping is something that is NOT at all an easy thing. I've been playing a little more then a year and I still struggle with slapping. I, too, was infatuated with that basstasters lick. I learned it, and it sounds decent, but it's up to speed and getting better. It just takes practice to slap. There isn't any rocket science behind it. It took me almost six months to learn how to slap half-assedly. Don't get discouraged, that's the best advice I can give.
  3. bige2002

    bige2002 Guest

    Sep 15, 2004
    Milton, West Virginia
    The way I learned was to make a line with as many different techniques as possible, and practice it over and over. All it would consist of was a slap drawing the thumb off the string, pop, slap going through the string, pop. I just messed around on different strings and slowly built up speed and power. It's hard to learn, but well worth it in my opinion.
  4. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    1. You are expecting to be better than you have a right to expect to be with the time you have put in.

    2. You do not realize how really great you have become in such a short period of time.

    3. You do not realize how much additional time it is going to take. Time simply continuing to do exactly what you have been doing.

    4. You do not realize that your ear learns faster than your playing ability and so therefore there will always be a gap between what we expect of ourselves with our mental ear and what we can actually do.

    5. You are comparing yourself to a professional instead of comparing yourself to yourself four months ago.

    Good work. This is the path. You are on it. Keep walking.

  5. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Split your lesson time between learning and playing. You want to be a better player, not just have more information in your head that you can dig out slowly. It is better to have less information that is on your fingers than lots of information that...you...could...write...down...if...you...just...had...a...few...minutes...

  6. Wademeister63


    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    @#%@ reply lost due to browser crash, how annoying.

    Anyway, here's the condensed version. I've been playing guitar badly for 25+years including 4 or 5 years of bad classical. I'm fairly coordinated and do expect to move along faster than if I'd never picked up an instrument. I probably could have picked a better title for the thread, I didn't mean to sound discouraged. I was hoping for someone to point out what's making my rendition sound so dead compared to the original. I think you all answered the question though, and with practice I'll hopefully pick up on the smaller details that I'm missing at the moment.

    I wonder how many others have been inspired by the Basstasters demo clips? ;)

    Thanks guys for the encouragement and guidance, I'll keep at it!
  7. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    If you played guitar for that long without improving more, you need to be careful to determine what kept you back and not let that enter in to your bass playing. Where do you get stuck? What do you keep doing without improving? You need to look at how you set goals and how you go about them. You need to practice technique, learn music theory, learn songs, and spend time with something like band in a box going through different chord progressions in different keys pulling out of your mind and fingers what you are learning. You need to set aside a few hours every few months to think about what you are doing, make a new list/schedule for your practice time, set aside a place in your house for your practice bass and practice stuff, and throw everything else into a big box that you do not look at again for 3 months or more. Concentrate on what you have determined to work on and do not let a big stack of various sheets of paper and books get you off track. Pick a book or two, a few songs, a few theory things, and get all the rest of your garbage out of sight. Watch movies like Rocky and Vision Quest and Rudy. Watch movies were people are determined to get better at what they do. Apply that emotion to your bass.

  8. Wademeister63


    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    What held me back is very simple to identify. I played what was in my head or whatever my hands felt like doing at the time. Hadn't actually sat down and tried to learn anything specific or played along with a recording or other musicians. Basicaly no discipline or real effort went for improvement, it was just noodling. Except for the classical guitar. I did have some lessons and put forth some good effort for a while to do that.

    Since picking up the bass and reviewing my past performance though, I've decided to get serious and have begun to really practice. I've also hooked up with a guitar player and drummer and have learned 10 or 12 songs so far. Pretty simple stuff from ZZ Top, SRV and Grand Funk. Seems like a good starting point. We played better than I expected at our first practice, and that has motivated me to try even harder and really do well. Reading up and asking questions on TalkBass is part of that, and it's also exposure to other bass players and musicianship in general in a way. I've picked up a lot of ideas from here and have been trying stuff I hadn't thought about before. Like slapping!

    I do still need to work on practice discipline too though. I catch myself half paying attention to what I'm doing and half watching the TV and that time is pretty much just wasted. Old habits die hard. This afternoon I'll relocate my bass practice area to the bedroom where I have no TV or computer, and work on getting down the notes on the fingerboard. Even after all that time I've still been counting frets to find much of anything between the 5th and 12th frets. :rolleyes:

    Thanks again tim99
  9. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO

    Well, first of all.... I wouldn't use my playing as an example of slap to follow. I'm by no means good at it. I have played that clip about 6000 times though, so practice DOES work. That's where the feel comes from. BTW, that clip is simply the RHCP version "Aeroplane" ala Flea. Check out the tab for the things you're missing - and much, much more.

    Truly, I didn't think your clip was that bad. Keep on practicing and you'll get there. Work on the timing the most, even try to play it with a metronome just for kicks.

    And Tim99 - I'm by NO means a professional, but thanks for the props. :D
  10. Wademeister63


    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    Well that's just plain cool!

    Thanks for the encouragement vanselus :cool: By the way, I recorded that clip playing with the metronome at 200BPM. Check it out! I'm missing some stuff for sure but I'm on the one at least, hahah.

    And Tim99, I worked on B, D, and G tonight. Actually can recognize them quickly now in at least one spot for each string. I picked those since Texas Flood seems to be in G and that's one of the songs we've been working on so it relates. Later this evening I'll work on that RHCP bit and maybe a couple other things to improve my touch.