1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

which is the best?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Phunky, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. Phunky

    Phunky Guest

    Aug 1, 2004
    hey i'm pretty new on the bass (4,5 months) but i'm learning pretty fast and i like to just sit with the bass goofin off trying to make some songs and whatever that sounds good... so my question, is it better too learn scales and stuff instead of that?
  2. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Trying to figure out songs by ear ain't bad at all, since it helps you getting used to your instrument and it trains your ear.

    However, learning scales and modes and theory will come in handy, if you plan to take your bass playing to a more serious level.

    Good luck.
  3. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    That's a biiiig understatement, if you ask me. It seems to me that there pretty much isn't a 'serious' level without your scales. You will be very, very glad you learned at least your major and minor keys all over the neck.

    You said you like to play 'what sounds good' (me too). Well that's pretty much an essential part of the definition of 'scales', 'keys', 'modes', passing tones and the like, and how they're related. It's a standardized, codified theory of 'what sounds good'.

    Do it. Do it! You'll sound good.

  4. Phunky

    Phunky Guest

    Aug 1, 2004
    oh i see :) do you have any book recommendations for scales and keys?
  5. troll


    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    Learning things properly is always a great idea. I wish I would have, 15 years ago. I have a hard time letting go of some bad habits as far as note choice and such. I still know very little theory or scales, and find it frustrating to try and go back and learn from scratch having so much 'incorrect' experience. Personally, I wish I learned it all from the start. Doesn't help that I am now working with a learned guitarist that likes to play odd chords which often lose me. Thankfully he's patient.

  6. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    You don't need to make a choice. Figure out songs by ear and feel free to create, but also learn the instrument thoroughly and how to read music, at a minimum.