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What to practice most?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by BHorton97, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. BHorton97


    May 21, 2013
    Hey so I'm a beginning bassist and I currently know how to play my share of songs, but am still working on memorizing the fret board. Should I practice scales or triads or what the most? Btw, thanks for the suggestion on going to study bass guys, it's a great website.
  2. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Welcome to the low end! I hope I don't sound flip here, but what you should practice the most is whatever you need to work on most. A teacher could be of help if you need direction here.

    If you want to know what's the single most important skill to get under your belt, it's playing with a good rhythmic feel. A metronome is a good tool to have for developing this.
  3. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Sorry, I just re-read your question and I see that it was more specific than what my answer targeted.

    Knowing scales and arpeggios will certainly help you better understand music, but I'm not sure that's the route to go for memorizing the fretboard.

    Honestly, a lot of this is just drilling yourself. Remember that B and C are always one fret apart, as are E and F. The rest are two frets apart. Armed with that knowledge, you can figure out where you are at any time by counting up frets from the open string note.

    Also, do this stuff when you're NOT playing bass, too. Thinking it over in your mind while you're driving to work, or taking a shower, etc, is actually quite valuable in cementing the knowledge in your mind.

    This type of "mental practicing" can be used with just about any aspect of music, by the way.
  4. kalanb


    Dec 17, 2012
    I would work on the major scale in all 12 keys, ascending and descending, starting on the lowest note on your bass up to the highest. Be sure and say each note as you play it.

    Since one of the points of this exercise is to learn the neck, don't just learn a movable pattern. Maybe play all the way up the E string before moving on to the A D and G strings and repeat that for the other strings.
  5. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    yep. totally agree.

    And to avoid the 'pattern problem', learn major scales starting with the middle finger on the root (takes three strings) and the pinky on the root (takes 3 strings and a shift) and the first finger on the root (takes 2 strings and 2 shifts). ALWAYS know what note you are playing... sing or say the note name.
  6. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    . . . or read it.
  7. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    You are off to a good start with memorising the fretboard. All aspects of playing are important, so try to include different things in a practice session. All the suggestions given so far are good.

    You obviously can see how good a site "Study Bass" is. In the absense of a teacher, my advice would be to the study guide here :

    ....and start from the beginning. The great thing about this site is that the lessons are structured. This way, each lesson builds on what went before it. You could work on lessons #1,2,& 3. Then when you have them nailed, move on.

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