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What to practice?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by mrreason, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. mrreason


    Oct 14, 2013
    Lancaster, CA
    I had my bass for a week now, start private lessons next Sat. Everyone says practice, I love to practice, however what do you practice when you don't know anything? Fingers don't get to OFPF. Book says do this, video says do that and you will sound like this. Just need a solid place to start and I can go from there,

    Any help would sure be appreciated!
  2. audioglenn


    Jul 14, 2012
    I understand your desire to start ASAP. Before anyone clouds the issue, I would recommend that you wait until you have your first lesson. However, make a point of telling your teacher that you would like him/her to give you some good introductory exercises for you to practice. There are exercises you can practice to build up your finger strength and picking skills. Best of luck and welcome to the world of bass playing!
  3. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    Welcome to the low end! My humble suggestion is to start with the Hal Leonard Bass method. The author is TB member Ed Friedland, who is a great teacher and a cool guy.

    The Method will start you out from rank beginner and build from there. You'll learn to read music in the process. My bass teacher worked in parallel with the exercises in the book for several months until we could tackle sheet music for "real" songs.

    You can buy the book with CDs on Amazon or at your local music store. Here's a thread that was recently started to discuss it:

  4. Robus


    Aug 25, 2013
    Chicago Area
    I second the Hal Leonard book.
  5. El Spearo

    El Spearo

    Jun 12, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    Big +1 on the HL book. I started from zero and I learnt quite a bit from it. I didn't start proper lessons until after I finished book 1
  6. hotrodjohn

    hotrodjohn Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2009
    you also must train your ear. concentrate on picking out the bass line in any music you are listening to. hum along with it. you will reach a point that if you can sing the bass line, you can play the bass line.
  7. aprod


    Mar 11, 2008
    Forget about OFPF (for now) that's a guitar technique. Try fingers 1 (index), 2 (middle) and 4 (pinky). If you are brand new to the bass just strap it on and wear it for a while and get used to the weight. Start fretting notes with your left hand, don't worry about technique just touch the bass. Get used to how it feels in your hand. Use your ear to pick out notes. You are just dipping your toes in the water. Your teacher will get you on track. Good luck.
  8. deathsdj


    Sep 18, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    All good advice.

    Also take a little time to just play. Play one note over and over or a hundred notes but listen to them and feel them and learn to make good sounds on your bass. Remember to use your own creativity as well as what you are learning in your lessons.

    Good luck!

  9. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Just a quick comment on the OFPF technique. It can be too much of a stretch for even seasoned players when used on the lower frets (1-5). By all means, experiment with the technique further up on the neck if you wish, then later on, when your hands begin to adapt, start moving down gradually. Even then, some still find it too much of a stretch lower down. If it feels uncomfortable or causes any pain or strain, then use fingers 1&4 on the lower frets.

    The "Bass Method" book that was recommended talks about this at the early stages, and generally recommends using index and pinkie on the lower frets.

    Best of luck with it. :)
  10. mrreason


    Oct 14, 2013
    Lancaster, CA
    Thanks for all the great advice, I will "hold my horses and get to know my bass".
    Showlow Your humble opinion is exactly what I wanted. You all are a wealth of information and experience. I welcome and appreciate it all. Please don't mind me asking a bazillion questions.
  11. Garyth

    Garyth Now What ..?

    Sep 9, 2013
    Punta Gorda Florida
    you can never go wrong memorizing the notes on the fretboard. Many ways out there to help, but it is something to concentrate on that can be done without hurting technique before you even have one. That and look up hand exercises and stretches that are done without the instrument for the same reason. just my fellow oldtimer beginner opinion.

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