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What has helped you the most in advancing?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by sixx788, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. sixx788


    Jan 3, 2007
    Besides practing. I mean learning scales, intervals, just playing with others, method books. I would like to hear from the guys who have been playing for a while what has helped them the most? or even the least? If you could go back in time and tell yourself what to work on....what would it be? Or what do you wish you would have done early on?
  2. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Playing with others, I really wish I had started earlier. I can't emphasis enough how much this helped me.
  3. I'd say that playing with other musicians that are better than me really challenged me to get better and taught me how to play in a group setting. It helped me know my role as a bassist, since I was a guitarist for so long before I picked up the bass, and by working with such knowledgeable musicians I've learned a lot about theory and song structure. I'd still be listening to the same old music which never really challenged my ear at all but since I've met and played with my present band I've begun listening to different styles of music and have picked up some different influences that have changed my style of playing a little bit.
  4. Playing with real people..like a drummer and a guitarist and a pianist.....there is no replacement for experience....
  5. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    In addition to the aforementioned advice to play with people and drummers in particular, the most effective learning aid for me has been transcribing, copying, and assimilating grooves, solos, approaches, and styles from other players who are masters of the art of playing the bass. Doing this allows you to observe how great players react to the music and helps in developing your ear.

    I've also found that really digging to composition, song structure, and harmony will help your bass playing in big ways.
  6. Revvv


    Oct 31, 2007
    Not only playing with others, but playing with others that are above your skill level.
  7. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Besides playing with other learning to stop running scales, arp's, and tech exercises and as soon as I got them under my finders to start trying to make music with them. As one of my fave old teachers would say... See It, Feel It, Make It Your Own!!!!

    To become a musician you have to practice playing music.
  8. Crossing out the tablature and reading music. Listening through the chord changes and identifying the most economical way to approach the riff. Tapping my foot on the quarter notes.
  9. Playing w/a very good but manic-depressive drummer. One day he loved me; the next, I didn't exist. It was difficult but I grew a lot in a short period of time. I also wouldn't suggest it specifically, but it is good to play w/better musicians than yourself(IME).
  10. 2 things:
    a good instructor
  11. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
    Gatorade. Lots of it. The green kind.
  12. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    For me, and I've been playing a long time, it was getting instructional materials from Carol Kaye and practicing exactly as she says to do it. It requires lots of self discipline. I got more of a musical education in workable music theory from her materials than I did from any other books or DVDs I've tried over the years. I've never found a teacher for private lessons that could teach me as well. Scales and modes don't do it for me. I've been through all that. You have to really learn chord theory and the proper fingerings and note choices.

    Secondly, playing with good musicians is a must. You can't get very good playing with hacks and it'll drive you nuts in the end. Good musicians, preferable as good as or better than you, with a professional attitude and no screwing around with the whole sex-drugs-rock and roll party time approach will really keep you on your toes.
  13. worzel


    Jul 26, 2007
    Learn to read! PRACTICE, find the best teacher! PRACTICE, play everything that you can!
    PRACTICE, alway try to play with people who you consider to be better than you!
    Oh did I say PRACTICE! listen to other instruments in all styles of music, assimilate everthing. Understand music theory, it is better to understand why a scale works than to be able to play the scale at a 1000 mph. lastly armed with this aim to play what is appropriate for the song/style you wish to play. - Good luck!
  14. Hands down, without peer, barre none......yes yes yes!

    like running on a speed walk at the airport, it just makes it happen so much more quickly.

    The better the people you are playing with, the better your improvement potential.

    Of course, you have the obligation to practice and learn in preparation of rehearsal.
  15. Playing with others and diet pepsi.

    - Andrew

    Oh, and practise.
  16. practicing more obediently.

    sitting down with a bass playing whatever my heart desires for 2 hours is not practice.
  17. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    +1 to playing with others. Beyond that, playing gigs. Nothing gets your mind going than performing for an audience.

    Dr. Suzuki (of Suzuki string method fame) says, "Practice every day you eat". Good advice. AND have a goal when you practice. Don't just do what you did yesterday. Have something that you are working on to get better. Make it a goal that you can reach... and reach it. Lots and lots of small goals lead to success. One large goal is just an excuse for not working.
  18. ForestThump


    Jun 15, 2005
    Playing with others especially good drummers.
    Metronome at home.
    Really listening both at home, in rehearsal and in performance
    Eating properly
  19. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    - Realizing I need to practice to get anywhere.

    - Realizing the importance of timing, and how true this statement is: "if you can't play it well at a slow tempo, you can't play it well fast either".

    - Playing with new people, not just the same old band I played with almost exclusively for 7 years.
  20. Believing in myself and believing that if I could play something once I could play it 1,000 times.

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