What are you currently learning?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Jason Wilson, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. What are you guys currently working on, whether is be a specific technique, bit of theory, learning how to set up a piece of gear etc, whatever. Totally open.

    Then, give us either something you have learned that may help other people learning the same thing, any insights gained or "aaaah haaa" moments. OR, any issues, roadblocks or questions that other may be able to help you with.

    Thought this may a good way to help our other fellow bass players
  2. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    My reading's never been all that hot, so I'm working on that a little lately.

    Working out of Fred Paterno's The Literate Bassist and some Simandl. I was working out of Thomas Gale's Melodic Foundation Studies For The Double Bass, an excellent book, but I had to return it to the library. I need to buy a copy.

    I've also been going slowly through an old copy of Kostka's Tonal Harmony 'cause I never really studied harmony in any depth.

    Sorry, not much insight to share with the group. Just grinding away at it, trying to get my skills up another notch.
  3. Man, really thought more people may have had some input.

    Or are we the only 2 practicing?? :p
  4. Guitarodeo

    Guitarodeo Who's got da funk? Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    Rocky Mountains
    I've been working on the seven modes via the circle of fifths forwards and backwards. It's a great way to loosen up and also reinforce theory and note visualization.
  5. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    I'm learning to float my thumb while alternate picking with my index and middle fingers. Man, how my stubborn finger reluctant to do it after years of established habit LOL.
    But it's fun, I like to learn new things. Good luck with all of You and what You're all learning
  6. Slough Feg Bass

    Slough Feg Bass Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2007
    San Francisco
    I'm working on writing out parts correctly for some songs I wrote so that when I bring in the heavy players to record, it will sound right from the get go.

    I'm also working on re-learning some songs with my band that we did years ago but never recorded. A bit more proggy than what we are doing now, with some crazy arrangements. I really don't remember them and have to listen to recordings to figure out what the hell we did 10 years ago.
  7. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Focusing on my reading... again.
  8. I've tried this technique but just can't seem to get it to work in a loud environment, like when playing rock or heavier. I've found slipping the thumb onto the lowest non used string works better for me t if I really need to dig in. I am normally a 3 finger picker as well, which possibly makes it feel less comfortable for me. Maybe I just need more practice
  9. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    Yes, I haven't feel comfortable myself, not a big deal, I'll just keep it fun for the purpose of learning something new on bass playing.
    3 finger picking! wow, something new for me that I'd like to learn it sometime in the near future, I have read about it in TB, maybe I'll have to ask you some questions about it later.. :)

    Very interesting. Can we listen to some sound clip of it/them? :)

    Sight Reading. Something I never learn right & patiently no matter how I'd like to be able to LOL. Good luck with your reading.
  10. I find it great for speed, also really good for 3 notes per string. Trickier for 2 or 4 notes per string etc, but once you have the hang of it, your flying :D
    Will help in anyway I can if needed.
  11. I should be learning some goofy songs for my cover band.

    Finger-plucking: I recently converted to floating-thumb, so once in a while I catch myself keeping my thumb on the pickup. I mostly concentrate on muting unplayed strings using both hands.

    Note intonation: I also recently got a Fretless Bass, so I noticed how inaccurate my fretting hand is. So that's going to take some time to become more accurate and have a good ear.

    Walking Bass Note Choice: Although it's mostly unnecessary for the songs my cover band plays, I continue to play jazz to work on my scales, chord theory, and improvised walking skills that grooves with the songs.

    Recording/Mixing: Recently I've been mixing the band's recordings to work on those skills. Unfortunately, I don't have the best setup for a pro-mix (everything will sound too bassy because of the headphones and speakers I use), but at least I get some experience with all the Effect VSTs I've downloaded over the years. So I'm learning about frequencies, how to use compression better, etc. All the recordings still sound like garbage at different EQ levels, but at least I'm having fun.
  12. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    Really? I read in TB that it doesn't has to do with speed? (not faster than usual alternate 2 finger) but anybody is different anyway.

    Fretless! something else that I always have passion to but never have nor do it. Maybe I'll try it sometime in the future.

    Obviusly practicing jazz walking bass etc will only improve somebody bassplaying.
    One thing that I become lazier these day than I used to is learning note by note of some great Jazz players, man..I wish I still have much time for them like the old days LOL

    Ok Good luck again for you all
  13. I'm working on a couple of technical things. One, I'm working on developing a lighter, more efficient touch, and letting the amp do the heavy lifting when it comes to volume, and two, I'm also working on playing with a pick being held to the palm of my right hand with my last two fingers, and deftly whipping it out when I need it.
  14. Trying to learn how to slap. It sounds fine but I still can't get my right and left hands to synchronize.
  15. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    IMHO, both have their own different outcome, different tone & purpose, lighter or heavier touch of picking/fretting hands.
    I do both of them mainly not just for volume but for which of the tones I need.

    Nice work tho.. interesting pick strategy also :D
    Good Luck

    First book that I learned bass is Slap Technique, and it was a Japanese Book! japanese language that I don't understand at all LOL
    Maybe because of that, or other reasons, that I never feel that I'm good in Slap bass
  16. At 64 and being a hack since about '66, I don't know how much technique I'll be learning, but I am woodsheddiing like crazy learning lyrics to all the new songs in my new classic rock cover band.
  17. squidtastic

    squidtastic Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2013
    Working on something I've been working on for many years: expending the least amount of effort necessary to get the sound I want. The songs my cover band plays have lots of busy lines, and a 3-set gig is potentially exhausting. I love old-school funk, and when you play it for hours on end, you gotta play relaxed... else it'll be a looong night.

    Left hand: apply least amount of pressure necessary to prevent unwanted buzz.
    Right hand: don't fly off the strings; pluck/slap relaxedly yet briskly while staying close to strings.
  18. Finally got a setup for my octaver and envelope filter pedals that work the way I wanted for a song we wrote.

    As always working on my pick technique. My band recently wrote a song that requires a lot of pick control. That's what you get when you let guitarists write songs.

    After a VERY long time had to do some reading in order to learn a song. Was surprised that my reading chops were not as rusty as I thought.

    Actually I learned 15 songs over the last 2-3 weeks that we will play at a friend's wedding. Lots of bossa nova's, soul and some jazzy stuff. I wish I had an upright for some songs but I will stick to electric.

    That said I have been using my thumb a lot in order to create a faux upright tone with some pretty good results
  19. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    For the past month I have been working on my (electric) upright skills. My (pop) coverband has a gig in a small record store and we decided to go as acoustic as possible. They remembered I have an EUB so asked to play it - which I hadn't done in about 2.5 years :) So for the past month it has been my exclusive bass.
  20. AngryPig1


    Oct 1, 2012
    London UK
    Man what arent I working on! ha...

    After several years of not taking things so seriously and focusing on electronic music and studi engineering/producing im back on the bass!

    So, I'm working on my fingerstyle - doing that really really exciting thing of playing notes evenly really slowly and then speeding up until they stop being even and then slowing back down again. I seem to have dropped a few BPM in my abilities before thigns get messy so im gettting my chops back.

    Im also re-learning my bass amp tone, after getting my first two pedals, an OD and a compressor just sitting in front of my rig and fiddling with the settings is a bliss I had forgotten existed.

    I am also, finally, teaching myself to sing. his has been a big ambition for years but I've never done it. So im belting out the lovely 'your pussy is glued to a building on fire' by John Frusciante as its in my range and I have a similar tone in my voice. That and singing scales along with my bass. Its hard but rewarding work i think...

    I am also the princiapal songwriter for my new band and my electronica. But getting back into writing rock/grunge music isgreat fun, learning to make the most of just one guitar one bass and drums (I dont write the vox due to my lack of singing but just you wait!). Stripping things down and getting dymnaic and hooks without my myriad of synths and plug ins and endless digital tracks is great fun. more reduced than produced. Great fun.

    And finally gonna try my first set up on a bass, as soon as I get hold of a new machine head for it. Ive been playing like 14 years or something and have never even tried to do this. Ridiculous.

    Yeah so just getting solidly back into the bass. focusing my time on being the bassist I was a few years ago and then going beyond!

    Nice thread btw.
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