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What's the best way to practice?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by yrsnkd, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. yrsnkd


    Aug 9, 2010
    Alright, so I'm looking for the best way to start practicing on bass guitar. I'm a guitarist who recently took up bass guitar, and I can devote about half an hour each day to practicing.

    Any tips? :)
  2. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I'm going to quote something I posted in another thread here. The key thing is practising "constructively", or having a definite aim in mind. Doesn't much matter what it is, imo, as long as you have one.

  3. What you already know from your 6 string guitar will flow right into your bass. Just need to get comfortable with your fretboard. Instead of chord patterns and strumming we play chord tones - one at a time. Look over the following, start with the first one and speed read till you need to slow down and start studying. Once you know your way around the fretboard and the major scale box pattern start playing songs from fake chord. How to decide what bass line to use for a specific song will occupy your practice time right at first. You gotta get some generic bass lines into muscle memory, i.e. fake chord has the C chord - what are you going to play over that chord? Bunch or root C's, how about some root fives, or chord tones like R-3-5-3 is a safe one. Yea, you gotta know where those 5's and 3's are. Sevens and eights come in handy. LOL

    I think the following will help.
    http://www.studybass.com/ - Good place to start.
    http://www.guitarhangout.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/bass-guitar-notes.jpg Your fretboard.
    http://www.cyberfretbass.com/scales/basic/page2.php Gotta do your scales to get your fingers knowing where the notes are. Now it will be several months before you start using scales in your bass lines, but, as a warm up scales should be part of your practice routine. We play chord tones first, scales later. Put this with the box pattern that is given below.
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showth...67#post9372867 The box pattern.
    http://www.looknohands.com/chordhous.../index_rb.html Just in case.
    http://www.smithfowler.org/music/Chord_Formulas.htm Again just in case.
    see what you can do with this.

    Welcome to the bottom end.
  4. Sarbecue Boss

    Sarbecue Boss

    Jul 9, 2006
    Aside from the materials already presented, one thing to always keep in mind is to -hear- what you are playing, to listen to yourself as you play, begin to hear and anticipate the nest note your are going to hit.
  5. Record your practice sessions. You'll never know what you really sound like till you record it. You'll think you're really groovin and "surprise!", sounds like ass... But then you'll know what to fix.

    Find more than 30 minutes a day. A half hour won't get you anywhere, very quickly.
  6. Agreed. I also like to practice to a drum track/s to spice things up. If your going to practice plain old scales/cords/grooves/whatever, then I like to do it to a drum track and make it musical rather then mundane.;)
  7. As far as drum machines go, I use a Boss Jam Station. Model is "JS-5" My teacher, Anthony Wellington, turned me on to it. It's indispensable. Not only does it have nearly every drum rhythm you can name, you can set up all kinda of chord based or tonality based grooves. Makes working scales and arpeggios fun. Boss doesn't make it anymore, but you can get them on e-bay. It has no moving parts, so they last forever.

    I also like the Tascam BT-2 bass trainer for playing along with CD's, but it's junk. I've gone through 2 of them in less than 2 years. The CD trainer I really want is called a Superscope, but it costs like $900. Pretty steep entry price...
  8. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
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    Primary TB Assistant

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