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Learning Bass Guitar


DanClews
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Guest Gladstone

I definitely went about it the wrong way.

This was what I did:

I started playing bass in a band (before learning, and not being able to play guitar). Basically, I just learnt what bass notes went along with the chords that the rhythm guitarist was strumming and took it from there. I picked that up fairly quickly but was then left with a very very basic understanding of how to play bass.

I did buy a how to play bass DVD and book once and got to about the third page of the scales etc. but always got bored because I was too busy learning my band's songs to bother with all that bullshit.

Along the way I've learnt and practised other basslines from other artists and this has brought me on a bit and I now feel reasonably accomplished and can come up with some cool basslines but I still don't feel like a "good" bass player. As with all things like this, unless you have a natural flair for playing musical instruments, you're probably best to work from the bottom and get a really good grasp of the basics (scales and stuff like that - I don't really know any of that stuff, but I probably should!) and then gradually progress to learning different techniques and working up to playing along with your favourite songs.

It's really easy to learn and play bass to a basic level, but far more difficult to play it to a really good level. I've struggled for years to play guitar and can still only string about 4 chords together in any meaningful way, so I've found bass far more satisfying in that I achieved quicker results, but I did go through a very frustrated phase where I couldn't come up with anything challenging. I've got over that now, but I'm kind of getting to that stage again because I feel I could be so much better than I currently am.

EDIT: and I think a good instructor would definitely be a good idea. I've never had any lessons, but I think I might take up some lessons at some point to try and improve and learn new techniques etc.

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The thing about one to one tuition is, a good instructor can give you pointers when you are going wrong.

Chord construction is a good thing to study. Slap is a cool technique to learn, but these days you'll find less bass players using it.

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Guest Gladstone
Get lessons. I learned more in a month than in all the 3 years before.

Any tutor recommendations?

I actually tried to find a bass tutor a few times but didn't have much luck searching online. I did once contact Captain Tom's about lessons from the guy there (Fish is it he's called?) but never got a reply.

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