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What more is there to learn?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Crazyfist, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Crazyfist


    Sep 26, 2011
    I have been reading through the methods of practicing that people have posted on here and they are great! Especially Scott Devine's video lesson on "The most important lesson I ever teach", it's truly inspirational!!

    But with this new found inspiration in my fingertips, I just don't know what to play! It's so obvious that there is more to music than simply a major or minor scale, but where do I start?!

    In case you are interested, I've been playing for just over 2 years and I am about to start a BTEC level 3 in playing bass.

    I am aware that I will be taught a lot of new things, but for now I'd just like to know for sure that there's a little more to it than just mastering going up and down the fretboard in C Major!

    Thanks in advance!! :D
  2. funkybass


    Oct 19, 2006
    I'd reccomend finding a good teacher to guide you,
  3. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Play what you want. If you get to the level where you can play what you want, then you had better hope you started out with a quality imagination and good taste. ;)

    If playing what you want doesn't sound like a worthwhile goal then you're in the wrong game - go do A Levels instead!
  4. Crazyfist


    Sep 26, 2011
    I have had a few teachers in the past, and I'll be getting bass lessons for free when I start my college course (you can't go wrong with that!) but just for now I'd like to know what more there is to it, something a bit different from the usual major and minor scale... ANYTHING!?! :D

    And trust me, playing what I want sounds very appealing, considering I got two X's in my GCSE results recently I don't think an A Level is on the agenda right now!! ;)
  5. Running our scales is important, but, there is a whole lot more to learn.

    1. How to take those notes and make a melody.
    2. How to take those notes and make the chords that will harmonize the melody we just made.
    3. How to utilize those chords in a chord progression that will move the verse along in the story being told.
    4. How to take those chords and compose a bass line that will work for this specific song.
    5. Then there is how to hook all that together and actually play that song.
    6. Play from what, treble and bass clef, fake chord or lead sheet, by ear or what.
    7. Then we get into how to play with others and not step on anyone's toes.
    8. That leads to jamming with no sheet music ..... the list goes on.....

    Learning - there is so much to learn we will never get it all done. There is always something more to learn. I find that reassuring.
  6. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    A +1 to finding a good teacher.

    Listening to usic, transcribing it studying it will help a lot as well.

  7. echoSE7EN


    Jul 1, 2010
    Balto., MD
    I've been memorizing arpeggios, and learning to tie them together throughout a progression. It's not only solidifying my fretboard memory, but allowing me to think of positions in a fresh way.

    Also, whenever I run out of things to study/practice, I try to play something completely away from my style. For example, I'll spend an afternoon trying to play metal, or trying to slap. Trying the different styles makes me want to work on techniques and drills that won't necessarily make me a metal player, but will improve my right-hand speed.
  8. this.

    OP, if you think all there is minor and major scales to learn up and down the fretboard, clearly you haven't even looked at Scott's entire site. Did you glance at Pentatoics yet? Triads? 7th's?

    Try playing with others too. This REALLY speeds up your learning and understand of how your instrument works with others.
  9. tbsodsmuck


    Aug 4, 2012
  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Learn to sing and play your bass.

    Check out the >500 link below for lots of great TB info that will keep you busy until you get to college.

    Good luck.
  11. In my opinion, the endgame (what you are trying to learn) is art. How to take the theory and technique and make speak for you. A form of expression. Along the way learn more theory. Learn what makes a chord progression have a certain feeling or in what context a chromatic note is good or how to write a simple, moving melody.

    Of course, assuming that you know scales, chords (tones and arpeggios), etc.
  12. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Man, before you get started you really need to just turn out the lights and get lost in the amp light's glow, playing for the groove, the feel. The first thing that comes to mind will do just fine. Follow it and LET it happen.

    Then, study the mechanics of music. But, keep coming back for another time IN the music. It's the stuff that got me hooked as a child.
  13. Bass Mentor

    Bass Mentor

    Apr 30, 2012
    Nashville Tennessee
    endorsing artist: Lava Cable, E&O Mari, Rupert Neve Designs
    A+ on finding competent instruction....and would also add learning functional harmony and chordal movement....learning this will open your ears and competency as a musician. It will form the basis of your technique as well as prepare you for what is required in the pro world..it will also inform your creativity...which is a very big issue I've noticed on Talkbass ( and a very good issue, BTW) Here in Nashville, I play sessions for a living and many bassists try to break in to the biz and I am surprised at times by some who have stunning '' monster''' chops -- almost like an athletic event if you will...and then cannot play a simple groove or understand what notes are in a chord
    or '' hear'' what the other musicians are playing....we all have our licks and specialties and that is beautiful...but at the same time learn good music content..it will serve you well:)
  14. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    Music appreciation can't be understated.

    Listen to what the greats did. Finesse, idiosyncrasy, and style can't be taught.

    Every musician I play with says I'm so friggin' great (embarrassing at times...) - but I know I'm not. I feel I'm a wanker. But I do my best to make up for my shortcomings with style and finesse, knowing my job and listening to the drummer and laying down the groove. This kind of thing can't really be taught.

    I guess what I'm saying is it's not the notes you play or how many - it's how you play them.

    Start a band, dye your hair / nails black, buy a bunch of clothes from Sally's, get a whacked out hair-do and have fun! ;)

    Good luck.
  15. Crazyfist


    Sep 26, 2011
    Wow, this is all great advice! Keep them coming guys, thanks a lot!

    Especially Stumbo's links, thanks for showing them to me! I see you created that list yourself as well, that must have been hard work! :D

    Way ahead of you! My band's called Bulletproof Donkey ;)
  16. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Learn SONGS. Find a list of 100 greatest songs in your favorite genre and learn to play them all. Bonus points if you learn the vocals and analyze the chord progression on guitar or keyboard.

    In other words the best way to learn "what to play" is to study good examples of what people actually play.
  17. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Learn substitutions...
  18. That's what I would say. Learning all that technical stuff is all fine and well, but at the end of the day what is the goal of playing an instrument? To make music! So pick up your bass and play along to your favorite band's music. Better yet, find a jam or open mic somewhere and sit in in order to get used to playing in a group setting. Best of all, join or start a band!

    Just remember, play music! That what it's all about! ;)
  19. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Try to play something that you would like to hear, as a listener. Someone can play all of the right notes without making a single person want to listen. Nail playing the foundation for the songs and always serve the song. Just playing fast for the sake of playing fast may impress some, but it doesn't usually do the song any good. Also, listen. Listen to the song, listen to the other players while you're all playing that song and make sure that what you play works with what they're playing and, again, that it serves the song.

    Learn songs you like and learn to look for things to like in music that you really don't like- learn the melody, learn to harmonize with the melody and learn the bass part so you know it well. Learn to play things in different positions- you never really know when you'll need to use a different fingering, so this will make it easier in the event that someone throws a curve at you by calling for a modulation.

    One of the reasons I say "learn songs you like" is because there's almost nothing less inspirational than playing music you don't like. I stopped taking lessons after three years because the teacher had me playing all kinds of stuff I didn't like. I doubt I would have stopped if I had been working on what I wanted but he didn't like rock, so that pretty well killed it for me. I still played for a while, but I stopped completely for a few years, until I got into my brother's albums and got some of my own and wanted to be able to play that stuff. It would have been a shorter learning experience if I had kept playing because a lot of that stuff is really hard to play.

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