Whats the first thing to teach a new bass player?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by 2BitBassPlayer, Dec 26, 2001.

  1. A friend of mine asked me to help her learn bass. What would the best things to get her started? I was thinking some a few differnt exercise that i do, some scales...and of cource listening to some jacko.
    I think she realy just wants to learn something that sounds good, so i was thinking showing her schism by tool.

    What are some exercise to show new players
  2. Shumph


    Aug 25, 2001
    On the move
    I think the first thing they should learn is (are) the parts of the bass. Then the names of the strings, explain the fret markers. Chromatic scales (1st position) then any cool song thats easy.

  3. How about some finger exercise to start with, to strenghen her finger muscles, because the tension and gauge of bass strings is pretty high. Make sure she is able to stretch on 4 frets with each finger on each fret properly.

    After that, make her learn to read notation, it's not as hard as it looks, just remember All Cows Eat Grass and fill in the missing letter. And memorize the notes on the first five frets. E F G A, A B C D, D E F G, G A B C, it's easy.

    I think that should cover the basic?
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Learn to sing the bass lines of the songs he/she wants to learn.
  5. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    1. the parts of the bass and what they do
    2. string names
    3. how to proporly tune
    4. propor finger position
    5. scales/arpeggios in all 12 keys
    6. site reading/theory
  6. in this order :

    1 - what bass is best for you ? how do you wear it ? how do you hold it ? where do you pluck and how do yo position your fingers ?

    2 - meditate. concentrate only on your playing and remember : delicate playing = less buzz = better sound

    3 - what note does the XX fret on the XX string produce ?

    4 - practice scales

    5 - practice simple songs ( jingle bells, inspector gadget, bro-hymn, etc )

    6 - practice, practice, practice, eat, practice, practice, sleep, practice, practice, eat, practice, practice, sleep, practice, practice.... etc..
  7. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Proper technique, considering right and left hand. And also the fact that more bass stuffs she hears/reads/watches the better she'll become. I've had countless hours of fun watching the Funk Fusion Bass video featuring Wooten, Patitucci, Pastorius and Bailey for example. Luckily library few miles away has it.
  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I can't really say that I can add a lot more to what has been contributed here.

    1. The mechanics of the bass. Form and function.

    2. Holding the bass. Correct right hand and left hand technique.

    3. http://www.talkbass.com/articles/articleview.php?ID=19

    5. A couple of licks.

    6. A proper practice routine. With such a great degree of material to begin with, it can be overwhelming for a new student. I encourage the individual to have a practice schedule. My can be modified for a 15 minute session, half hour, one hour, three hour, or, as I like to call it, "Super Infiinity Times 10" session. This gives the student felixibility and helps them understand that they don't have to put in two hours a day, and not to stress if they can't.

    7. Sight reading studies. Mel Bay.
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    This is job #1. Without it, it's all uphill.
  10. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
  11. tmt


    Nov 10, 2001
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    First thing is analyzed her knowledge, playability, etc.

    Second find a simple song that she like the most of it and that she capable of.

    Next, now you can start with all the basic stuff.
  12. ButtBass


    Nov 14, 2001
    You guys always talk about arpeggios, I know what they are and I practice them now and then but I was taught Penitonic(sp)? I was taught that those are the sweet notes that almost will always work. Anyone else practice Penitonic scales?
  13. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    ButtBass, if you have limited or no knowledge of theory and harmony, then pentatonic scales are the safe way to go.

    But once you are more comfortable with your knowledge, you can make a lot more interesting lines using scales other than the pentatonic, as well as arpeggios.

    I am still learning theory, but IIRC the pentatonic scales contain all of the chord tones.
  15. How about, erm. Teach them that practice is important, teach them how to recognise a bass line in a song. Find out what music they're into and find stuff for them to learn. Something that is simple but gets their fingers moving, such as "Warning" by Greenday or something by Rage against the Machine.

  16. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    (adding some stuff)

    I IV V progression with a few different lines

    playing root 3rd 5th 3rd
    on a simple chart

    I V I V bass lines

    bossa nova/samba bass lines
  17. The one fret per finger thing is one thing I could never do without my hand cramping really badly after a little playing. I just went for a three finger approach (similar to upright players) to compensate. I'm hoping this won't hinder my playing too much as I go on. I never had a teacher, but I just don't think my hands are big enough to make that stretch -- especially in the first few positions.
  18. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    first thing i'd say is the string names (e-a-d-g)

    then i'd say the major scale.

    after that i'd say a few simple songs that she likes.

    it worked for me, back in the day.