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allan grossman

Advice for new bass players -

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I'm also a beginner. The thing is to play music that you like. I know that sounds simple, but really liking the music is what makes you play well. I'll give you an example or two. I have the emedia bass tutor. Most of the songs on there suck. Not the songs themselves mind you, but a middle aged white hippie singing old negro spirituals doesn't exactly move the soul like it should. I mess up alot on those., and it seems like work. When I got to the one that he does a decent job singing on (Swing low sweet chariot) I played it near perfect the first time and must have played it seven or eight times just to be doing it. Similarly with the house of the rising sun. He wants you to play a slowed down version first. I messed up alot on the slowed down version because it sounds like crap slow. When I finally got through the slow version with few mistakes I nervously went to the fast version and to my surprise played it near perfect the first time, because the fast version sounds much better.

Another even more subtle example comes from when I played Elvis' Hound Dog on the keyboard. At first it was very boring sounding and boring to play. Just changing the tone on the keyboard from piano to electric guitar made the song sound like it should however and I found it very fun to play.

It is of course very good to practice, but try to practice with songs that you like.

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Get in to as many styles of music as you can...listen to it, try to figure out the bassline and make up your own way of playing...

 

And about gear: We know Fender is an all known bass, but when you start buying gear try as much basses and amps as you can...wich tone do you like etc? Take your time for it!

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Don't pigeonhole yourself into one or two styles of music. Listen to and learn all styles. It will make you a better player and give you a better all around understanding of music period. I have seen way too many guys that get wrapped up in being able to play stuff from Wooten or Myung or Pattitucci and can't hold down a simple groove like Dunn or Shannon or Bootsy.

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A lot of good suggestions so far... I'll add:

 

Make sure you're in tune.

 

Buy used at first. You'll get better gear for the money.

 

IMO (in band situations), performance is better than technical prowess... If you look like you know what you're doing a great majority of the people won't know you're lost ;)

 

"Vintage" usually doesn't mean "better"

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Music Theory...->Bass Fundementals...->Genre(s) Technique...->Personal Style

 

Do it, in that order.

 

Oh yes....and know every note on the Fretboard.

 

I know lot's of performers who can't read music, don't know much about theory and can put on one Hell of a Show. But...they are not musicians, they are performers. If you want to be a Musician...you need to learn the Language of Music and how to Speak it with your instrument.

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