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Be A Better Bass Player

Discussion in 'Maddrakkett's Caffe' started by Florin, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Hey guys, I am curious what you feel you need to improve to be a better bassist? I mean being better and better is part of the game, right? What are your goals?

    As I am not in a band, I just try to feel good, and regain the pleasure of playing the bass. I am learning some Bach songs, and it is quite addictive :) And as a side effect, it is a great workout for fingers.
    I always wanted to play walking bass, but since I've never had the chance to play this in a real jazz band, It always felt weird to play them by myself. But now I have backing tracks on youtube, so I am having fun with some simple II V I patterns.

    How about you?

    Flo
     
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  2. RIP

    RIP California U.S.A. Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I've been working on a lot of chords and arpeggios.....I even got a little song put together that sounds something like "The Song Remains the Same" by Zep

    I think maybe within the next couple of weeks I'll record it and see how good or bad it sounds
     
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  3. Hardy

    Hardy Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I started a one year online bass school with one of our best bass teachers in Germany. Even after playing bass for 12 years now and 5 years of band playing I still have to learn some absolute basics. I mean: bassics! ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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  4. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Interesting!!! Would you like to share what basics are you learning after 12 years? Sometimes I feel I will never get past the basics anyway :)
     
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  5. Hardy

    Hardy Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Physically: ergonomics of the left hand for example.
    Theoretically: keys, chords, harmonics.

    I can play my own stuff and I can learn new songs. But I need the knowledge to leave the path. Atm I am nailed to the basslines.
     
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  6. RIP

    RIP California U.S.A. Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Both of you guys are being way to modest....remember some of us here have seen you guys play
     
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  7. jester

    jester ocdemon Moderator

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    You can't imagine how this resonates with me. Knowledge to leave the path. Do listen to what Evan has to say at 13:46.

     
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  8. RIP

    RIP California U.S.A. Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I like what he said about being a well rounded bassist. Personally I don't think you should ever stop growing as a musician.....if you do I think that's when it gets boring and stagnant
     
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  9. jester

    jester ocdemon Moderator

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    "The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne"

    Ars longa, vita brevis - Wikipedia

    ...
     
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  10. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Oh, I am not trying being modest here, I am not sure this quality best describes me anyway :)
    People are talking about "Technique" and being a technical player. Wha means to have a good technique? Many years for me it means doind fast runs, slaps, taps and so.
    But there is another concept I have in my head - technique being the power to control your instrument to saund anyway you want to. I call that "Microtechnique" :)
    It is about being right on time. It means controlling the dynamics, it means controlling the sound using the right and left hands. It means muting, palm mutin, palm muting with the left hand. It means controlling the length of the note with left hand, with right hand only, or with both.

    All this stuff are actually BASIC, but it takes a lifetime to master.
    One small example - when you hit the studio, you notice that for most simple songs, doing string crossings without nasty sounds is more difficult than you think - at least it was for me. Stuff like this you realize mostly in studio, and that's why I keep coming back to study basics.
     
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  11. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    I just noticed the Duck Lord spirit is in my typing :)
     
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  12. Augie

    Augie The Desert Bass-ape

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    Cool thread! I need to think about this soon. I'm planning to leave my band after our next gig in Dec, so I need to have a plan for my playing after that.
    I think for me I have a few different goals for the next 6-12 months:
    1)learn more varied songs-covers I like in metal, Bach pieces, folk style stuff to jam with friends
    2)play with more people-I want to be the kind of player that can jump into any jam and be able to contribute
    3) back to double bass- lessons and theory, get my arco technique going again.
    4) set myself up to write and record and ideas, learn to program drums to make my own backing tracks for demos.
     
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  13. ectoflanger

    ectoflanger Supporting Member

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    At this time I’m very busy and must watch an incipient tendinitis in the left elbow so I primarily practice and compose in my mind for a future project- what I mean is I’ve written basic vocal tracks and I’ll concoct bass lines to go with them. It can be fun with regard to playing with counterpoint and inversions. Once I’v gotten things reasonably lined out- I record.

    And if I may comment on the aforementioned theme of humility - I used to be humble to the extreme but then I became self-aware in my humility and as a result sank into prideful oblivion.

    So I’ve thought about starting a support group called HumiliNation for those who have had similar experiences. Donations of Warwick Jonas Hellborg amplification and sound reinforcement equipment accepted.
     
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  14. PaulS

    PaulS Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Man I am missing playing so bad right now. To me at this point I am not sure I can learn to many new tricks, I just need to work on bassics as has been mentioned. I am pretty confident in what I can do, but everything I have ever done, I learned by ear. I really have no musical education other than jamming with my family growing up, and playing with some extraordinary musicians. I would be an Even MORE confident player if I could understand things better. Right now with my situation I should be trying to learn mental stuff since the physical isn't there, but it does feel like I am never going to "get it" like so many do. All that being said I will never stop being the bass player whether I can physically do it or not!! :)
     
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  15. ectoflanger

    ectoflanger Supporting Member

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    Paul S - I wish there were a ‘sympathise’ button because I certainly do.

    In this day I must measure physical time on the bass and guitar carefully- but the plus side is I carefully consider my compositions and count every moment with thoughtfulness and thankfulness. And at the risk of being considered , at best weird, and at worst trite, please allow me to say that the most important thing is to compose and play with a sense of purpose and destiny.
     
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  16. PaulS

    PaulS Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    "A sense of purpose and destiny". Love it!
     
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  17. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    "Chicks"
     
  18. ectoflanger

    ectoflanger Supporting Member

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    But then I start talking to them....and all is lost.
     
  19. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Tell me about it!
     
  20. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    What "things" you feel you don#t understand, mate?

    Music is like a huge puzzle. It is not really that complicated, but it is huge. The good thing is that the basic stuff that explains 99% of the music today is really really easy to understand.

    We are all beginners until we die, we never stop learning. But in the process, we get a little knowledge, and a few skills, that complete a little part of that huge puzzle, and we finally have a clear image of a fraction of the puzzle.
    And that part is who we are as musicians, you don't need to "get" everything, but things that are relevant to you.

    The key here is to NEVER STOP having fun while playing alone.

    Some tricks I use for this:
    - First - the technique!!! A modest technique makes bass playing less fun, because you struggle with each note. In my experience, doing 1 to 2 weeks consistent technique exercices solves this problem. about 1-2 hours/ day 2 weeks, working some specific exercices, opens up huge new possibilities!
    - Second - I never do "Proper Study" Instead, I try to be in the ZONE as much as possible. Get lost in music. If you do that, you will spend more time with your bass. The more time you spend, the better you are. And it is hard to spend much time with the bass if it not feels that good. For that, I replace exercices like SPider with some Bach music (even easier to play). Instead of doing scales, or right hand exercices, or coordination exercices, I try to find parts of songs that work the same. Or consider what I play as being bass grooves, or melodic lines, so I can get lost in music while playing them.
    - Open the TV on a music channel, look for the shittiest music channel possible, and just play bass at first hearing. It doesn't matter if I get it right or wrong, it is just me, my bass, it is fun, and in the process I am getting better.

    I dunno, I hope my little rant helps.
    What you REALLY need is basic knowledge about how music works- and more speciffic - Chord Progressions. Are you familiar with this stuff?
     
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