Neophytes Questions For The Veterans...

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Neophytes Questions For The Veterans...

Postby harleyyy » Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:38 pm

How someone new to bass, can "get there" the fastest....I look at all the experience that poured into the Bad Ass Bass Players site. Rich, the moderator here, asked for this forum, and it made perfect sense to provide it. So I am asking all the years of experience, the veterans amongst us, to answer the questions here or just help guide the Neophytes to becoming great players by your experiences and overall knowledge . This can be a great tool that many of us, wished we had in our first years of playing, help the brothers here!

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Last edited by harleyyy on Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby nolabass » Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:51 pm

A good thing to remember is there are 4 phases to learning.

Phase 1 = Incompetence......you know nothing, that's' why your learning.

Phase 2 = Perceived Competence....this is where you think you know it all and really you know so little you don't even know how much you don't know. Which, BTW, is the worst thing another musician can say about you.

Phase 3 = Perceived Incompetence....this is where all the real learning and development comes from. Stay in a space where you know there's something to learn, stay open to learning. I really didn't like some of my very best teachers.

Phase 4 = True Competence. [smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]
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Postby harleyyy » Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:55 pm

Wow Pete, good stuff. And you got the idea of where we can take this. Thanks! The one thing that comes to mind, is GAS. I strongly urge new players not to waste time like us [smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif] . There is too much to concentrate on if you want to get good fast, and the gear buying ,selling, trading, packing, shipping, etc. is a waste of time IMHO. Get what works, use it, and concentrate on your scales, fingering, ear, etc., there will be plenty of time for gear acquisition, but attempt to avoid the distraction early.
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"Forget The Drama, Shut Up And Play." ME

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Postby Trane Francks » Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:00 pm

The first thing is to learn to appreciate the role that each instrument plays in the band. We all hear stories about the bass-playing guitarist who sounds like a guitarist when he plays bass. This common issue isn't caused by somebody being a bad player but from not understanding the context in which a particular instrument is ideally showcased.

A great way to learn to appreciate each instrument's role is to learn to hear each instrument separately in a song. It's like tasting a great spaghetti sauce and because you can identify the individual ingredients that went into the sauce, you know WHY it's great. It still tastes fantastic all together, but you can catch the subtle flair of oregano, salt, pepper, etc. that went into making the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Next - and I'm a bit biased on this one as a classically-trained multi-instrumentalist - learn to read standard notation well. It helps to be able to read both treble and bass clefs. Get enough theory so that when somebody tosses a chord chart in front of you, you know the notes that fit within each chord and how you can nicely resolve from one chord to the next. Musical notation is a language with which you can express yourself and see how other people have interpreted music. Don't be illiterate. "Speak" the language and it opens whole new ways to talk with other musicians.

Finally, play with as many people as you can and don't be afraid to try new styles. School an' notes is all well an good, but the real deal is in the playing. Magic happens when we meet like-minded musicians and play our bad asses off!
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Postby harleyyy » Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:33 pm

Trane Francks wrote: Finally, play with as many people as you can and don't be afraid to try new styles. School an' notes is all well an good, but the real deal is in the playing. Magic happens when we meet like-minded musicians and play our bad asses off!


Looking back, this is my biggest regret. Dont settle, challenge yourself. Recognize opportunity when it knocks and no matter the situation , if another comes, at least check it out closely.
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Postby steveonbass » Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:10 pm

All you guys need are some neophytes. [smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]
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Postby Rich M » Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:42 am

prismacolor2 wrote:All you guys need are some neophytes. [smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]


"If you build it, they will come."
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Postby GonzoBass » Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:24 pm

Start with a good bass.
I've seen too many students frustrated by an impossible to play, high action, poorly intonated, shitty-tone bass.

Don't limit yourself.
See all music as music, don't concentrate on just one style and "the rest sucks". This advice could apply also to the limitations of the "Fingers or a Pick", "Flats or Round", "Slap or No Slap" fallacy as well.

And I'll reiterated Trane's sentiment on theory here.
Learn the language. Literacy can only help you learn more, faster.
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Postby shamus63 » Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:17 pm

While I do agree with the need to learn *at least* basic chart-reading, I'm a HUGE advocate of 'developing your ear'.

Ever since I first picked up the bass (April '79; first one purchased that June), I spend an average of two to three hours a day (nearly every day) with my favorite tunes, and just buckle down to pick out the bass parts.

A lot of times, I'll just listen to the song without my bass in hand, or even just on the road, and get a feel for the song. Then I do my real woodshedding when I get the tune in my head.

Nowadays, with the experience and familiarity with my fretboard, I now visualize the fretwork being done on the bass. It's actually pretty damn cool when you get to that stage; means you're becoming one with your bass.

Even after I've learned the songs, I still play along with my favorite cd's to keep the chops up, and for the fun of it!

And, by all means, get out there and jam with others! Playing at home with a cd player/MP3/whatever is fine and dandy, but you won't develop your 'anchoring' and real timing skills there.

But the absolute main thing with learning the bass (or anything else, for that matter...), is KEEP IT FUN!


That's my two cents on the subject. [smilie=cool-smiley-031.gif]
"Don't play it if you don't feel it." - James Jamerson
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Postby GonzoBass » Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:25 pm

shamus63 wrote:I'm a HUGE advocate of 'developing your ear'.


Absolutely!
Great point!!!

When I was starting out there was ALWAYS a bass on my lap
and I used to play along to anything I could to develop my ear.
Not just bass parts either.
Listen to and see if you can pick out the guitar, key lines or even vocal melodies.

Besides the tunes my band was learning at the time there was:
TV commercials, songs on the radio or MTV, movie and TV show themes...
I recall realizing "Wow, SOMEONE got paid to play all this."

Even now I find myself figuring out the tunes that are looping on my children's video games
or the nursery rhymes beeping from the toys that my Lil One plays with.

Door bells, microwave ovens, telephones, birds, car horns, monter truck tires on the road,
...oh, and my washing machine spins out in the key of Bb.
[smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]

Music is everywhere.
Just listen...
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Steinberger XP2 Workhorse (DB Bridge)
Steinberger XP2 (B-E-A-D)
Steinberger XP2A (Back Up)
Wilkat GonzoBass #001
Fender Deluxe 24 Fret Jazz
EBMM Stingray Natural/Maple
Xavier Custom 6 String
Ibanez AEB10K Acoustic
Dean Rhapsody 8 String
Carvin BK2A Fretless
Gibson EB3 (Project)
Epiphone Newport EBS
Synsonic Half Scale
Fender Mandolin
A couple Flea Ukuleles
and a few guitars...

Rigs:
Small-
GK MB112 combo
Medium-
GK MB500
GK 2x10 Neo
Large-
GK 1001 Mark II 2x10 combo
GK 1x15 RBS

Effects:
Line 6 Bass POD XT Live
BBE 462 Sonic Maximizer

Postby spideyjg » Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:54 pm

GAS is a fine line to walk. Get decent gear right off. As Gonzo said a crappy bass will hinder you. A decent bass is any bass that is properly set up. A good bass will not get in your way.
There are decent basses and spectacular ones but a good player can make music on any decent bass. Even a great player would have a hard time on some of the horrible poorly set up basses I have seen people grabbing at stores.

There is an old saying that any fool can learn from his own mistakes but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. In the vein of Harleyyy's regret what are mistakes you made in your path?

For myself I started playing by ear with no training at all and never did get any. Arrogant youth and all. The amount of time to play at 42 is far less than I had at 18. So it is 5 times as hard to learn and practice the very basic fundamentals.
Now I see how the guys who are at the level I want to be, all talk the language as Trane calls it.

Jim
Last edited by spideyjg on Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Armybass » Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:20 pm

Eat all natural peanut butter! You will thank me later.
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Postby shamus63 » Sat Jul 15, 2006 10:07 pm

Armybass wrote:Eat all natural peanut butter! You will thank me later.


Got milk?
"Don't play it if you don't feel it." - James Jamerson
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Postby sflajimmy » Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:47 pm

[quote]There is too much to concentrate on if you want to get good fast, and the gear buying ,selling, trading, packing, shipping, etc. is a waste of time IMHO.

I got that part backwards...but it's working out now [smilie=fun_84.gif]
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Postby Uberjam » Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:22 am

I made the mistake early on of thinking of myself as a musical elitest. Pop styles weren't good enough for me or something like that. I also classed and limited myself as a no bowing upright player. Don't place limitations on yourself. Play everything and you'll appriciate everything. I must have come a long way since my last band covered everything from Prince to Tu Pac, Dave Mathews to Linkin Park. And I agree with everybody about learning to read. It's the written form of our language and you really limit yourself. The best way to keep reading chops up is to read. And put yourself in a position where you have to read or you'll embarrass yourself, you'll learn really fast that way. Ok but here's the most important thing I've learned in my short 12 years of playing.

Get one of those line testers that you plug into a wall to see if the power is grounded properly and use it before hooking your system up. Nothing is more sad then finding out some club isn't going to cover your $1,000.00+ loss because lightning surge damage to other peoples property isn't covered in their insurance.

Oh yeah, and play with everybody you can.
Only sick music makes money today.
-Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
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