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what next? something harder

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Newman, Apr 30, 2001.

  1. Newman


    Jun 6, 2000

    I've been playing for a little more then a year and think I'm a half decent player in most fields. I can read music, slap, tap, am building my ear, know a bit of theory, and whatever else. Now I'm trying to think of what to do next. I am sorta looking for some songs other people wrote that are gonna be a challenge. I even figured out a few songs meant to be played on guitar, like shredding stuff, to try and build up my speed and I actually enjoyed that. Can anyone name a few songs that are going to challenge me? Something not easy but not godlike difficult? Or maybe just what i should work on in my playing next, what's important for me to do? I am in a school jazz band and my own little band just the 6 of us. Any tips, suggestions, experience, anything? Thx
  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    One way to challenge yourself without jumping way in over your head, would be to explore different musical styles. Get out of your comfort zone and deliberately seek out styles you don't normally play to see how their bass lines differ.

    Some styles that might force you to think differently about timing, dynamics and note choice include: reggae, country, bluegrass, blues (including shuffles, blues walks, Delta style and Chicago style), funk, gospel, salsa, merengue, bossa nova, soca, ska, samba, rhumba, cha cha, mambo, Southern rock, fifties rock and roll, swing, broadway show tunes, hip hop/rap, Irish folk music, flamenco, disco...etc.

    Another area to challenge yourself would be walking bass lines. Developing a solid capability in walking basslines will make you a much more seasoned and in demand bass player.

    Each of these areas will broaden your versatility as a bass player and expand your musical horizons. This isn't something you can do in a day, either. It might take your several, even many, many years to explore all these varied styles.

  3. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    And make sure you ALWAYS practice to a metronome. Its a pain in the, uhh....neck, but will pay off in dividends down the road.
  4. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Sounds to me like you have some wonderful techniques developing. I can't slap, tap, or pop to save my life. Sometimes though, it's important to develop your groove. It's one thing to be able to slap and pop, but can you play in the pocket? Can you groove? I like J.OLD'S idea to explore other styles, because you can encorporate your skills into a different rhythm and meter. I think it's extremely important to be an excellent groove player, and become as tight as you can with the drummer.

    Also, on a tanget, I always suggest stretching out to melody playing. If you like jazz, or are interested in it, look into the great horn players, (e.g. Bird, Trane, Miles) and study their technique. You want something hard, go play Koko or Salt Peanuts. :D
  5. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    you can try fretting notes with your left foot.

  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    OK so you mention Jazz and presumably we're talking about electric bass, so there's really only one person to check out ......Jaco!!

    So you could try out a song like "A Remark You made" from the Weather Report album "Heavy Weather". Now this has a great melody for bass and is not that difficult to play, but is a challenging song in terms of what is happening in the chord chnages and as an exercise in playing with regard to tone and phrasing. Also if you get the album, then you can always try to get some of the other Jaco lines which are pretty difficult.

    There are lots of Jaco sites on the web with transcriptions and if you do a search around here you will find links to loads of these. But I would recommend trying to transcribe these lines for yourself from the recording, as a great way to improve your playing.
  7. I_Dream_Of_Bass


    Feb 8, 2001
    So far I would agree with everyone's post so far. Especially Jason's. I mainly play punk which can offer some good experience to playing. Before I start a deluge of people stating what the best is to play, I would suggest something along the lines of Rancid, but only because the bass lines tend to move across a lot strings and a lot of frets. Matt Freeman plays some very musically challenging bass lines that I feel rivals some jazz artists. I also find that being able to play certain songs of theirs helps my timing immensely.

    But then again, there are so many bands playing so many different styles out there can offer you some additional experience. The options are just too overwhelming!!!
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Two excellent book/CD sets should be of tremendous help to a bassist seeking to broaden the number of styles he can play.

    "Building Bass Lines" by Chuck Archard, book with CD, $19.95, Alfred Publishing

    "Dictionary of Bass Grooves: A COllection of Grooves and STyles for Bass Guitar" book and CD, 72 pages. Published by Hal Leonard. $14.95

    The advantage of the CD, is that you can hear the groove and hear stylistic differences. Plus you can play along with the CD passages. This is especially helpful if your reading isn't up to snuff.

  9. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Get a hold of a Jazz Real Book in bass clef and play the melodies, if you want more of a challenge get a hold of one in treble clef and transpose in your head. :D The Real Book will have tunes that you can readily play and ones that you won't be able to readily play which means it's something that you can still find useful 2 to 3 years from now depending on your pace.

  10. funkastorious


    May 26, 2000
    Mpls, MN.

    And for the counter-opinion.....

    NEVER practice with a metronome. It will pay off MORE down the road!

    As for tips...Coltrane or Corea should be enough to keep you busy this year.

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