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Where do i go from here??

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by OllieGrackle, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. Hey guys,

    heres the deal:
    I have been playing in a band for almost 4 years now, but have only been playing bass for 5, and now i have a dilemma: all of my basslines (some decently complicated) have been taught to me by the songwriter/guitarist (15+ yrs experience)with very little of my own input. I feel like i have mastered 15-20 phrases of a foreign language without knowing little if any mechanics of the language. From the outside i look good--and have even been complimented on my playing at shows, but i feel like i dont know much besides the fretboard and trying to follow root notes.

    Now, i want to improvise, contribute more, develop my own style, and be able to hang in a "jam" but feel really stuck, absolutely limited, intimidated and frustrated.

    Where should i go from here?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. 64jazzbass


    Sep 5, 2002
    Chicago, Il
    Try "The Improviser's Bass Method" by Chuck Sher, or "Serious Electric Bass" by Joel DiBartolo. They are very comprehensive and take quite a bit of work to get through but it is well worth it. You need an understanding of scales, chords, harmony, rhythm. Train your ear by listening to CD's and learn the bass parts on your own without help from tabs. This is only a start. It will take time, but at least you know you can physically play the instrument, so the mechanics are probably there already. Good Luck!
  3. BassChuck

    BassChuck Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Good advice. These are not easy books, but worth it. As you master the information, remember that the 'rules' of music theory came AFTER the creation of the music they are describing. In other words, the act of creating music is more important than the rules.... trust your ear. You may find that some of the bass lines you've been taught don't fit into the rules and examples you see in theory books... that's OK, what works for the music is the most important.

    I'll add too that finding a teacher is very important. Since you already have a working knowledge of the neck and some performance experience, you may not need a bass player for a teacher. One of the teachers that helped me the most was piano player. He had no idea how to play bass, but he knew theory, music and about a million jazz tunes and all the alternate changes, so he knew what he wanted to hear from the bass player, I had to figure out how to play it.

    Good luck with all of this. The only time you have to worry about your knowledge and skill level is when you think you know it all.
  4. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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