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!  

Youtube videos of bass beginners/intermediates?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by riding, May 21, 2011.

  1. riding


    May 21, 2011
    I've been learning bass for about 6 months, no lessons. Been lurking here ever since and have found great advice, tips, and comments to help in my practice.

    The question I have is does anyone have videos of themselves or other people playing at the beginner/intermediate level?

    Youtube is filled with people who are advanced (and those who think they are ;) ), and it's a little tough trying to find those of us who know we're beginners but log their progress.

    As I've doing this with no formal lessons, I want to gauge myself against others to see/find out if things I'm doing (or not doing), other beginners do too.

    For example, I know that when I fret notes, all my fingers are in the air except for the one finger that's doing the actual fretting. And if I fret two notes in succession, say with my index and then my ring finger, I'm still guilty of the above; as compared to other videos of advanced people where it seems like their fingers aren't even moving yet they're fretting tons of notes.

  2. helterschecter


    May 2, 2011
    I haven't been playing much longer than you. You can look me up on you tube under the name helterschecter. They aren't that great but it how I keep track of my progress..
  3. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006

    I would not concentrate too much on what other beginners are doing. Every noob has their own problems with technique at the start. Everyone is different and progress at their own different pace. Instead, put your time into working on good technique. If you put in the time, practice regularly and have patience, you can be sure that you will make good progress, regardless of others. Check You Tube for bass technique, for both the L/H and R/H.

    Here is one for the L/H :

    YouTube - ‪Beginner Bass Guitar Lesson: Left Hand Technique‬‏
  4. navitatl


    Jan 11, 2011
    Here is a stupid little video I made after about a year of playing. It's just whatever I felt confident playing at the time. I have definitely improved since then but maybe you'll enjoy seeing my progress at that time.
  5. jtlessons

    jtlessons Banned

    Nov 19, 2010
    Hey, this is a good one of my vids for learning the natural notes on the bass:

    YouTube - ‪jtlessons's Channel‬‏

    Placing the Natural Notes on the Bass in Standard Notation. Detailed explanation of Whole Steps and 1/2 Steps, Tuning Notes, C Major Scale/Chord, A Natural Minor Scale/Chord. A great way to start understanding how to read Standard Notation for the Bass!
    Notation for this lesson available at:
    Jeffrey Thomas | Guitar, Bass and Ukulele Webcam Lessons
    More lessons and webcam instruction details:
    Jeffrey Thomas | Guitar, Bass and Ukulele Webcam Lessons
  6. dbhokie


    Nov 1, 2010
    Concentrate on technique, imo.

    now is the time to get in good habits with your hand positions, there are a couple threads that have some great tabs and notation for practicing fundamentals especially with using your fingers. Just play them over and over with a metronome, learn the major scale, and chords and harmonized scales later on after you have a grasp of these things, learn your modes, and keys, start improvising and playing along with others.
  7. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006


    This is why, in my earlier post I advised the OP not to get too hung up on what other noobs were doing, otherwise he could develop bad habits, if the other noobs were not as concerned about good technique.
  8. riding


    May 21, 2011
    Technique is something I'm dying to "get"...but sometimes it seems I can't even fret notes without putting my hand/wrist in some awkward position which I know is not good technique.

    I've seen that Left Hand technique video maybe 10 times but no matter what, my thumb always ends up pointing towards the headstock and my hand as a whole looks like I'm doing the hitch-hiker hand sign. I kind of wanted to see if other noobs did this too and it's just a habit to break, or if my hand is just irregular or something. And past fret 12, my pinkie finger can't even reach the E string unless my thumb is pretty much right under the G string.

    And when I watch videos of other people playing, it looks like their fingers hardly even move or like they're hardly pressing down on the strings whereas for me, I need to press hard and be right behind the fret line or I get nasty buzz. And most of these videos, their fingers look like they're flat & laying on the neck as compared to me, where my fingers are more rounded and pressing an individual point on the fret.

    I just feel like I'm missing something big because I've been having this problem ever since I started.
  9. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Are you kidding? Youtube is overflowing with cruddy videos of people who don't know what they are doing.
  10. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Well technique is something that, no matter what art form we are talking about, is an ongoing process. You never reach perfection, you only get closer to it while refining other things in the process. It seems like you are trying to find a "right way" to do something.

    On left hand technique, this might clear the muddy waters up a bit...

    -When I first started I would press down on the back of the fretboard with my thumb, opposite the fret I was playing on (see example pic 1). Since my hand strength was awful at the time I was just starting, so this was all I could do to get a solid press on the strings. This severely limited my speed and meant I had to do a lot of sliding in order to play anything that wasn't on that particular fret.

    - As time went on I started to have my thumb running parallel with the neck instead of perpendicular (see example pic 2). This way I got more of my palm in on the action and could play through scale patterns WAY easier. This led to me being able to effectively increase my finger strength and dexterity.

    - Later still, I worked up enough strength to be able to just "palm" the neck when I wanted to and could work up enough resistance with that and my fingers to hold down a fret effectively. Some people prefer or use this, I like to every now and then but I tend to go between that and the position in pic 2. Eventually you will switch between them depending on what strings you are playing and you won't really have to "think" about it too much, it will come naturally with practice.

    A lot of this comes down to just playing...you really can't do the "learn to play amazingly in 2 short weeks!" DVD and come out sounding like Jaco....Jaco had to practice too lol. Finger strength is what you are looking for and that comes with practice. To make exercises more bearable, instead of just doing straight exercises all the time, supplement it with playing along to a song that you like to play as well, until you are tired of them lol. If you just do exercises you will be bored and hate bass (or any instrument for that fact) very quickly. I STILL play "In Bloom" by Nirvana for left hand warmup and keeping my right-hand pick dexterity intact. Not a super-intense song, but it has some merit. This also helps because it gives you a set parameter (the beat of the song and the notes in a certain key) to practice around, which will in turn pay off DRAMATICALLY when you start playing with a full band. Eventually you will feel comfortable enough to try improv when your ear and scale knowledge improves.

    As for now, be conscious of your hand position but don't get obsessive or focus too much. Just like with weight lifting, your hands will get used to the fretboard and strings and pressing a string down will be easier than fastening velcro shoes :bassist:

    **P.S. - Sorry for the no-pic on "palming" it only lets me post one in a response, and the camera quality sucks because my camera sucks lol

    Attached Files:

  11. helterschecter


    May 2, 2011
    if you having a hard time pressing on the frets you may want to have your bass adjusted. You can do it yourself or take to someone if your not sure how. Sometimes when you get a new bass the strings are set pretty high. Some people may say to leave it to build finger streagth...I'm sure I spellled that wrong.. but anyway I would just have it adjusted..if needed it will make life 10 times easier...from one bass noob to another
  12. riding


    May 21, 2011
    Thanks for the words about the left hand, VanillaThundah...makes a lot of sense. I still find it hard for my pinky to reach the E string or play higher than the 12th fret.

    I realize getting better is a gradual progression; just feels like I may have hit a plateau when actuality I'm just getting better on a minuscule scale.

    And helterschecter, about adjusting the bass...I think if my setup is just not ideal, I'd still like to keep practicing on that since it'll make me work harder. Hoping good technique will help me conquer non-ideal conditions better.

    I probably spend more time playing along with songs than doing exercises...probably an 80/20 ratio. I know it takes time...but I'm one of those people who try to learn everything but if I don't "get it" within a certain amount of time, I move on to something else....hopefully I can stick with bass, cause I actually like it and would want to eventually showcase my skills and have fun playing with other people.
  13. OldGtrNovice


    Jun 29, 2011
    Chicago area
    Wrong, if your instrument isn't set up properly you will have to work too hard and you'll be learning bad techniques without even knowing it. Get your bass set up. A good tech is worth his weight in gold. I know mine is.
  14. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I know just what you're talking about, and others have given good advice on it already. I'll add two things. First, practice some material that's too fast and difficult for you to play comfortably. Practice keeping up with it until you can. Your hands will automatically do what needs to be done in order to achieve that speed and proficiency. Second thing: endeavor to play with some grit, like you're angry that you don't have a girlfriend (even if you do have one). GRAB that neck, make it your biatch.

    Ultimately, it takes time. But that's what the journey looked like for me.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.