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Your pearls of wisdom

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by charic, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. charic


    Apr 17, 2006
    Ok thought of this while i was at work and if its successful maybe it would be an idea too have this stickied. As it would be very useful for beginners.

    The idea is you give your one tip (practice is not YOUR tip everyone knows it no matter how important it really is). And you cant repeat a tip already given before you on this thread.
    This way we get a wealth of information (hopefully).

    I remember thinking i needed a thread like this when i first started playing and have seen many threads where beginners ask for tips.

    So whats your pearl? One per person please :D

    To get this started mine is:
    -Try playing in the dark it makes you listen too the bass more and you learn the fretboard without looking. I also find that it helps me creatively.

  2. Try to learn something from music you don't like. Why you don't like it, for instance.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
  4. OK, this isn't really music-related, but the thread looks lonely. When you need to set your drink/food/whatever down to open the car door, set it on the hood on the driver's side.
  5. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Get the money first.
  6. Gyoon


    Nov 12, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    When you practice, have a small, specific goal. "I want to work on evening out my picking fingers a little more". "I want to learn that cool lick". "I want to learn the entire solo to "donna lee" is probably not too realistic to most of us. It's gotta be attainable and modest.

    So many of my students think that they are practicing simply by picking up the instrument and noodling. If you have 3 hours a day to devote to the instrument, noodle away for an hour. But if you only got 30 minutes, setting a goal will keep you on track.
  7. tjh


    Mar 22, 2006
    ... it is easy, and fun to get hung up on gear ... one who spends his time and money on his hands and ears learning the instrument can make most ANY gear sound good, where many of us spend our time and money searching for that special piece of gear that will MAKE us sound good ... and yes, I am preaching to myself on this ... I spend way too much time reading gear reviews and in classifieds ... and no, I didnt mention the p....... word, cuz you said not to ...
  8. jady


    Jul 21, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    During your favorite hour long tv show, run scales during every commercial break. That gives you 15-18 minutes of pure scales evey day, you will improve within the month.
  9. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    my pearl of wisdom is: stop thinking about the darn bass so much!!

    erm, what I mean is... remember you're a musician first and foremost... if your 'top ten' list of musical heroes is ALL bass players, i'd suggest you need to stop thinking bass bass bass and listen more widely... there are other instruments and other musicians that you can learn from...

    get out of the bass ghetto for a few hours... it might refresh your ear & benefit your bass playing as a result
  10. "Most of your questions can be answered by listening to recordings"
  11. RWP


    Jul 1, 2006
    If you want to remember how hard it is to learn to play bass, try playing left handed. Or right handed if you are
    left handed. :meh: If anyone here is ambidextrous please post!

    Practice while you are watching TV without looking at the fretboard.
  12. justinb515


    May 23, 2006
    I know this can be a fire starter, but learning theory never HURT anyone. You dont necessary have to become a composer or anything, but music is a language, and learning the rules of the language can help you break them properly later.
  13. shubball


    Sep 11, 2008
    my pearl of wisdom is this:

    If you have access to a tape recorder/multitrack/dictaphone and you are getting frustrated with how you are progressing on the bass or with a certain technique. Record yourself, keep practicing and listen back to the recording in a months' time.

    You will (or should be) pleasantly surprised with your advancement.

    (incidentally I found an old tape of me learning to slap from about 8 years ago, and I sound awful) lol. :bassist:
  14. 51m0n


    Jun 30, 2005
    No one was born able to play the bass.

    So every one of your heroes went through what you are going through now to learn or work out how to play that thing that makes you love their playing.

    So in all likelihood, with the right dedication, you can learn it too..
  15. BillMason


    Mar 6, 2007
    Before changing any gear in your quest for perfect tone, try a different set of strings.

    Play as many styles with as many experienced musicians as you are able to find.
  16. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Don't be timid. Own every single note you play.
  17. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Sing everything you practice. Learning to wiggle your fingers through a scale, mode, arpeggio, bass line, etc. is utterly pointless if you don't have the music in your head. If you can't sing it, you don't know it.

  18. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Take frequent, short breaks. Stop practicing (whatever you're working on) after a set amount of time (say 5 minutes), or if you don't set a timer, stop while you're still playing it well.

    What you want to do is teach your mind-muscle connection how to play whatever it is properly.
    What you want to avoid is practicing mistakes.

    You especially want to avoid the scenario where you're almost ready to stop, but decide to play that riff or whatever "just once more".
    You screw it up, so, a bit frustrated, you decide to play it "just once more, and play it right". Of course you're more frustrated now, so you're more tense, so you screw it up again, and "just once more"...
    After screwing it up several times, you either give up in frustration, or finally play it right.
    Either way, what you've accomplished is teaching yourself several-to-numerous repetitions of playing it wrong, when what you're trying to do is teach your muscles to play it right.

    Stop playing sooner, take a short break, and come back to it focused.
  19. bassman9


    Nov 27, 2007
    Take at least one spare of everything, if possible two. Put together a "tool-kit" which will act as a first aid kit for your bass. Mine includes 2 sets of strings, various screwdrivers, 2 sets of lung keys (for adjusting saddles + truss rod), superglue, pliers, wire cutters, soldering iron, extra 9v batteries for active bass + charger, straps, picks, isolating tape (metal + vinyl), cloths, extra dc supply transformers and heavy duty sticky tape.
    I'm aware that this at first hand sounds totally absurd, but if you never have to use any of the above ever during a gig or practice then you've been really lucky. And being prepared is better than being lucky, IMHO. The more things you can keep under your control the less likely the chance of having a flat out world war 3 style panic fest on your hands. In my experience, it actually helps your playing... if you go on stage confident in your bass as well as being prepared for anything that may happen during a show, well then there's less for you to worry about. Obviously you can't control a power outage, but you can control your response time and ability to change a string on the fly. "Chance favours the prepared mind." sorry didn't mean to ramble on :)
  20. What a mess

    What a mess

    Aug 20, 2008
    Valdosta Ga.
    Play less notes, runs, licks, music is not merely the notes played but also and often more so the gaps. Many times less is more, more is anoying noise. Play with some different levels of volume and attack up on chorus down on verse. Make room for other instruments and vocals. Listen to the kick get the grove 1st, make sure the foundation is rock solid the band and music is depending on you. Play the type of music you think is boring well, don't be a genre snob include some others to strech yourself. Simple music played well really is cooler then complex music played poorly. Play with people better than yourself allow people that are not as good as you to join in music is about community. Help someone learn you get a lot from teaching.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jan 20, 2021

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