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Young Determined Player Needs Some Good Riffs To Practice, Please Help!!!!

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by mikkk, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. :bassist: I'm only 16, been playin a year and im playing les claypools stuff and mudvayne but i need more to practice i want to move up a notch and to get better but i want something that'll challenge me but not go too insane, if anybody can give me any suggestions i'll be thankful. I'm also doing my GCSE music exam and for the playing part i need something to impress so any help there aswell will be greatly appreciated, thanx!!
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    It is great tht you are determined to move up a notch. I gleaned from your post that you are looking for some killer riffs to work on, something that will impress. Although there are a lot of cool riffs that you can mimic, none of that will TRULY help you become a better bassist and a better musician. I am not sure what the GCSE is, but I would bet that they are looking for musicianship not flash. If your main goal is to be a better bassist, I would do the following:

    1. Get some lessons from a really great teacher - one who is knows functional harmony, multiple techniques. If your near London, call on our Ask The Pro Steve Lawson for some lessons

    2. Listen to a wider range of music - really check out James Jamerson, Stanley Clark, Jaco Pastorius and our own Michael Manring. IMO, these are the "cats". These are the guys who truly combine awe inspiring technique with beautiful musicianship.

    3. Play with many different musicians in as many styles as you can. Be the worst player in the group.

    I know this does not answer your question, but in all honesty, to give you a bunch of tunes with cool licks is, ultimately, doing you a disservice.


    ps - for some cool bass arrangements click
    for some great bass transcriptions, check here
  3. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    I started playing bass when I was 15 and was in the same boat when I was 16. I got lucky becuase my high school orchestra needed a bass player and I got the gig. This was really important for several reasons;

    1. No tablature. I had to read music scores which helped me a lot. I don't know how many gigs I got in subsequent years becuase I could sight read and better bass players couldn't

    2. I was exposed to a lot of different styles of music. I played orchestra and stage band stuff from the 1920's to 1960s.

    3. I use to borrow the conductor's score and learn as many parts as I could. (More on this later)

    Other advice...

    -. I agree with the "listen to different musical styles" advice. As it broadens yoru musical horizions

    -. "think outside the box". There are many bass players who don't make my jaw drop with their fretboard pyrotechics but do impress me with their style: their way of doing things.

    . Make a point to try to learn new things. When I was 16, in 1980, there was very little instructional bass books on the market and no bass magazines at all. Now there is a whole plethora... Not to mention the free lessons and transcriptons.
    If you are a finger picker, try pick or viceversa. If you are a rock player, pick up a latin grooves bass book.

    I always buy 'Guitar for the pratcicing musician" becuase it has the scores for bass, guitar, vocal, and often other insturments. After I have leanred the bass part, I site read the vocal line. Then I work on the guitar. A lot of the guitar you can't play on bass but that's the fun. Trying to make it fit.