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What now? Mastering the bass....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by shatterd, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. shatterd


    Feb 24, 2008
    OK my new bass and amp are on the way(G&L Tribute L2000 bass and Line 6 Lowdown Studio 75 watts). I also ordered several instructional DVD's covering beginner and intermediate levels.

    A good teacher will be hard to find around here since I don't live very close to any decent music stores.

    I'll be building a large collection of instructional videos. Beyond that, I will scroll the internet for lessons and other resources for learning. I already found a pretty good looking site that has lesson videos archived online. I sampled some of them and they seem pretty good.

    So please give me some advice going forward. Tell me what worked for you. Recommend me some good video lessons. Give me some links. I'm hungry to learn and I have an insatiable appetite for practicing. I thank you in advance. I'm excited to get going.
  2. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Less surfing, more playing along with great bass tracks, is my advice.
  3. Gubna


    Oct 21, 2006
    San Francisco
    Find yourself a drummer to play with
  4. phatduckk


    May 24, 2006
    SF Bay Area

    at home I use Apple's GarageBand as my fake drummer for practice. They have enough loops to keep my playing for some decent stretches of time
  5. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Play along with all diff. types of cd's. Rock, jazz, metal, country, punk, etc. Use your fingers, a pick, thumb. Learn to be versitile. Dont discount any genre as not being vital to your learning. Get some instruction, one on one. Tapes and videos are cool. Lastly, learn to play in time!!!!!!!!!! Use a drum maching, click track, or computer drum track. Enjoy

  6. Same here.

    Playing along with records is the best learning tool.
  7. Get on Craigslist for your area and post looking for instructors near you. There are resources online that you can study for years, but I've found that I sometimes need a real, live person to answer some questions, show me some technique, whatever.

    I tell my students, and I'll tell anyone who will listen. Practice is the only real way to get better. Understanding lessons is important, but a complete understanding without practical application is useless. So even when you get tired of practice, keep practicing.

    Good luck!
  8. +1 Getting an understanding of basic music theory (scales, chording, etc.) will help you understand what the players are doing on those bass tracks so that you can create your own. DVDs etc can only confuse things---do you want to create your own lines or simply be a clone of someone else? Of course starting out, you will need to be a clone, but you don't need to stay a clone---learn some basic music theory to get control of the music rather than be controlled by it.
  9. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Do you have an mp3 player? What I've been doing is using a Zoom B2 as a headphone amp along with my mp3 player. I take a Y 1/8" male/female/female jack adapter and connect that to a female/female 1/8" connector. You plug your headphones into the 1/8" connector. Connect that contraption to your B2 and your Ipod using 1/8" male/male stereo (two stripes on the plug) cables. It sounds complicated but it's pretty simple. This way you can play along with your mp3 player or CD player with good amp sounds. I know there are other devices that will allow you to do the same thing (Korg Pandora, Tascam, etc.) but the Zoom B2 can also be used as a stomp box for live play and to give you good amp sounds through your practice amp.

    If you do have an mp3 player another thing I would suggest would be downloading Audacity, which is a free audio editor. You can open an mp3 and then use the "change tempo" effect to slow the song down without changing the pitch. Then save it as an mp3, and viola' - you have a slower version as an mp3. This will help you learn the song.

    Here's a link to download Audacity: Download Audacity
  10. shatterd


    Feb 24, 2008
    Hey, thanks for all the good advice. Keep it coming.

    P.S...I already have downloaded Audacity. I'll work that into my regimen.
  11. lowendgenerator


    Mar 26, 2006
    Your enthusiasm for learning is great. Check out www.activebass.com They have a ton of interactive lessons for all styles and difficulties. Also, go easy on yourself at first, if you play for 6 hours a day right off the bat, you're bound to hurt yourself.
  12. mulepods

    mulepods Guest

    Feb 20, 2006
    First of all, before you dive in and start playing along with your favorite songs, you must develop proper hand technique. This is huge. If you "wing it" as a beginner you will most definitely develop bad habits. These habits won't hurt you at first, but will later become a roadblock as you advance.

    For instance, the two most critical elements of proper technique that you absolutely must master are:

    1. The "1-finger-per-fret" technique (for left hand)
    2. The alternating fingers technique (for right hand)
    Alternatively, for #2, if you play with a pick you need to master strict up/down alternation of your picking strokes.

    This may seem boring, but it is critical. Your future bass-playing self will thank you.

    I love this quote from Adam Nitti:

    "The value of technique can be summed up in the following statement: If your hands can't deliver what your mind, heart, and soul are trying to communicate musically, your message will never be received by your listeners."

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