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What do you do on bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Komakino, Mar 27, 2001.

  1. This will seem like a stupid question (I bet this line gets quoted now!) but what do you lot actually DO on your bass?

    I've only started playing recently, and besides learning the basslines to some favourite songs and jamming a little I don't actually DO much with it....so what I'm asking is what you do with yours in the way of practice, playing, writing tunes.

    Just out of interest and to give me other avenues to explore!
  2. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    I learn some songs I like. I'm still a student... Even though I've been taking for over 3 years (4 in september)

    I write a few songs, generally ska type stuff, some punk. (I like to mix the two of them)

    I'm all about jammin' with friends. Although I haven't in the longest time...

    Most of all, I like having my bass teacher tell me "You're playing that 4x faster than they are", when the song's fast to begin with.
  3. BassGurl42


    Oct 8, 2000
    Muskegon, MI
    I put my bass right next to my computer chair in my room. Whenever I play like playin, I pick it up and play it.

    Jammin with friends is the best thing though. Sittin in the basement with my friends and a few instruments is the best thing.

    I write a few rock basslines, and I'm workin on bein able to play all of 3 Doors Down's stuff.

    Just play when you feel like it, man. Thats what ya do.
  4. To get the most out of your instrument, and to learn the music process, you need to be playing in a band situation. This teaches you harmony, rhythm, rhythm section interaction, and how to pull chicks! Bands are always looking for bass players. You will have a lot of fun, a bit of grief, and maybe make some money.
  5. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    ok, i'll bite....i rarely do anything rather than noodle around...come to think of it, i can only play a few songs all the way through, and they aren't that difficult. thing is, i used to play in several different bands when i was in high school, but ever since i've been in the military, there's been no one to play with except the cd player, and gawd, that sux...i've forgotten how to play every set list i knew, and i can barely play a lick. man, i'm pathetic. i just have to pick the thing up every once in a while and hold it... :D so, that's what i do on my bass...nuthin'...i just hold it
  6. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    That isn't something to be proud of!
  7. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    I play it.
    For fun, for improvement, for choirbacking or just to blow some of my fuses :D

    And I am now a "member"! Weird, dontyathink? :D:D
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think this is right - you have to have something to work towards or it is going to be very difficult to motivate yourself and know what to practice. Being in a band is probably the best way, but there are other things you can work towards. Like if you have a good teacher they will be giving you things to work on inbetween seeing them. Or you could enroll on a course, so like I'm on a Jazz course at the local University.

    So I am practising things that I have to play with a a band - tricky parts of songs or solo features. For the Jazz course we are expected to solo over each song we cover. So I tend to practice a lot by programming the piano chords from the song or piece we are studying and a drum part in my microcomposer, then try soloing and playing basslines over the sequence, as many times as I can to come up with interesting lines.
  9. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000
    well, except for playing my favourite songs and jamming I actually use my bass to do a lot of other things.

    for instance I like to use it as a snowboard, or as a Battle Axe in RD&D games, iron my laundery on it, play racket ball and Bedmington, a shoval, whak roaches with it etc...sometimes I even practice scales on it!(I'm sick I know)

    the use of your bass is only limited to your imagination ;)
  10. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    My bass playing at home consists of four activities:(1) Practicing the bass lines for new tunes my band is learning.

    (2) Practicing the basslines again while singing.I'm the lead vocalist in my band and playing bass while singing is a whole different thing than just playing bass.

    (3) Practicing new non-band tunes - usually jazz stuff.I don't play great jazz but practicing jazz tunes makes me a much better player.

    (4) I do home recording which is the best practice vehicle there is. I record the drum track first (from a Boss DR-5); then the basslines; then the guitar parts ( I play guitar too); then the lead vocal; then the background vocals.
  11. I tend to screw around with little riffs etc as warm up, then start practicing songs that I'm trying to learn.
    Every now & then I also just sit with my bass and screw around on it. There've been 5 or 6 times that I can remember when I REALLY wished I could remember what I played. :p
  12. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    i make music.
  13. yottskry,

    I'm in my second year of playing now, and I've noticed that I pay a lot more attention to the bass lines in my favorite songs and any song I hear on the radio, etc. This might sound obvious or dumb, but a lot of times I never realized how cool the bass line was until I really listened to it, and then that made me want to run out and buy the CD so I could learn the song. Just keep finding ways to stay inspired, listen to music you wouldn't normally listen to, you might be surprised at how you suddenly get into new styles of music.

    But of course joining a band keeps you disciplined best.
  14. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    My bass sits next to my favorite chair so that I can play it whenever I want. I usually run through arpeggios, scales, different licks, finger exercises, etc. Sometimes I put on my favorite CD's to play along with and sometimes I listen to unfamiliar songs to play along with...and I don't always play the bass lines. Sometimes I'll try to copy the horns, keyboards and guitars too.

    I wake up at 6:00 am every morning and play my bass until I have to leave for work around 7:30.

    I do jam with a lot of different musicians to learn new forms of music too. The practicing pays off when I jam with others.
  15. my bass'es are'nt just musical instruments, they are my best friends
    we do lots of stuff together
    my bass is named holly(mim p-bass) and
    my other bass is a american standard j-bass and his name is jord
    jord is a really good poker player and holly is a great dancer
    (i had to buy jord because holly gets lonely and i managed to convince my parents to buy me a new bass (i ended up paying half though) for my birthday)
    so next time you pick up your bass, talk to it, you could make a new friend
  16. Write songs, jam on my band's songs with and without the band. Exclusively original stuff, not meaning to brag.
  17. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    bass is all about learning how to dance, man.
    say you're walking a 12-bar blues line with a percussionist, a pianist, and a bunch of horn players - you wanna make it more interesting for yourself and for everyone else, yeah? so what you gotta learn to do is "dance" around the scale you're playing in.. using passing notes, mutes, staccato, double-stops .. you gotta play some jazz. it'll get theory under your belt and just open up this whole new world .. within a few months of jazz/blues/funk study, you'll be playing entire songs just by working out what goes where. but i s'pose what you meant by your question is, "what SOLO stuff can i play by myself when i'm not supporting a band?"
    man, there's so much bass solo stuff that you can pick-up and learn and be very satisfied about floating around that it's just amazing ...visit www.bassically.net for some great solo arrangements of some classic jazz tunes (beware, some of 'em are kinda hard ..) - a personal fave of mine being "autumn leaves" .. it's really melodic and beautiful. check it out, man.
  18. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Hmmm... sarcasm? ;)

    Although, the last lesson I had he did tell me that because when I first learned the song I thought it was fast, so I played it fast... and I guess I had the bass line down "too well"... haha, it was amusing in the least.
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well, I think that one of the things you learn from trying to play Jazz is that it is much, much harder to play convincingly on a really slow ballad, than it is to play at the fastest possible tempo on a Bebop tune where there are at least two chord (or key)changes per bar. The slow ballad is considered far more of a "test piece" for musicianship and technique.
  20. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I agree 100% with Bruce, which is why i said what i said! It is FAR harder to play things slowly than fast. Much harder.

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