What do I need to know?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Alexander, Nov 30, 2003.

  1. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I have been playing bass for around 2 1/2 years now and am looking to start lessons after the holidays. I have been playing in a rock/blues cover band and in church every week. I want to have in my mind what I want to get out of the lessons as I start talking to potential teachers. Here's what I have in mind so far:

    Theory - Chords and Scales - With the church playing I am doing, I generally have to make the bassline up on the fly in arrangements I am unfamiliar with and in consistently changing keys. In most cases I haven't heard a recording of the song that would give me some ideas and a place to start. I have a VERY simple arpeggio (Root, 5th, Octave) that I use over the strummed chords, but I would really like to go beyond that to make things smoother and more interesting. I'd also like to throw some fills in there and also be able to create walking lines (use passing tones) between chords. Right now, I'm just not there.

    Slapping - I've messed around with slap and really like it. I am getting the technique ok, but how to use it in the context of songs or create a slap bassline from scratch is beyond me right now. I want to get this down.

    Ear Training - Not sure what a good instructor can do for me here, but I know I need this more. I especially want to be able to pick out intervals from songs on the radio, etc. so I can hear something easy-moderate and figure it out in a relatively short period of time.

    Work through hard sections of songs - There are some songs I play that I may know 70% of, but have difficulty in spots. Would be nice to have someone who could help me get through these sections.

    Am I missing anything? I ' thinking there are some areas where "I don't know what I don't know" and I figured someone could help me out...:) Any comments or help you may provide would be appreciated. I want to get the most out of the lessons and want to be focused from the start.

    Thanks for listening. :D
  2. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Hi Alexander,

    Impressive list. You'll think of more goals as you go along, believe me LOL.

    One thing you want to make sure of as well, is that your teacher (as well as you of course) pays attention to your technique. A good teacher will help you clear up bad habits that you may have.

    Good luck and never stop learning. :)
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I would suggest that you concentrate on theory most of all, and make sure your teacher helps in developing a dependable practice routine.

    Learn the circle of 5ths and how it works!!!
    Learn the circle of 5ths and how it works!!!
    Learn the circle of 5ths and how it works!!!
    Learn the circle of 5ths and how it works!!!
    Learn the circle of 5ths and how it works!!!
    Learn the circle of 5ths and how it works!!!

    There is nothing that helps with ear training other than simply repeated exposure. There are interval exercises out there that help, but you just have to keep up the exposure.

    Although I do think exposure to theory will help a great deal with figuring out tough riffs. It's always faster to figure out what note it is if you already know which notes it definitely isn't. I hope that makes sense.