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Help for forum noob

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Help for forum noob

Post  dustybass on Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:45 am

Hey Guys,

I've been playing for about 8 years now and I've never had a single lesson and baically I want to improve my technique. I'm told I can play (I'm a fairly successful covers band) but I guess I've got bad habits, so was wondering if anyone has been in a simliar position and has some theories of how I can get back to basics.

I hardly ever use my pinky finger when playing and I struggle changing from my ring to pinky and pinky to ring when playing. Plus my pinky actually curls up alot when I play, so I look like a three fingered bassist! Embarassed I would love to over come this as I think I would help my playing.

Plus, things like "scales" and what key a song is in completely escapes me. How the hell do I know what scale to use and what key this song is in! I would love to find out how to figure this so I can more freely express myself. I love putting in fills on the songs I play in my band, but most of the time they dont sound right, or arent appropriate, because I don't really know what I'm doing!

If anyone lives near Derby and fancy watching my band, we actually playing tonight (little bit of shameless promotion never hurt anyone!)

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=198829236827295

Dusty

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Re: Help for forum noob

Post  lololiet on Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:46 pm

Hiya, welcome!

If you post a couple of pics or maybe a video of your playing we could give you some tips, though I suspect it will be a lot less bad than you expect. If you can comfortably play everything you want to play it doesn't really matter that you don't use your pinky as often, i'd say.

About scales: there has been told and explained lots about every aspect of those buggers, if you look around in this section of the forum there should be several topics on scales that'll explain a lot.

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Re: Help for forum noob

Post  Pippynip on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:25 pm

It sounds like all of those things can be remedied by simply practicing a lot at the right speed (quite slowly, then a bit faster, then a bit faster etc.). For pinky playing I recommend Beat It by Michael Jackson in Drop D (make sure to practice that one slowly!) and for learning to switch between ring and pinky fingers I recommend Billie Jean by Michael Jackson (I'm not a huge MJ fan, it just so happens that these songs appear to be perfect for practicing what you need to practice Razz)

Scales are not the most important things. Chords are. That might be why your fills sound a little lacklustre. I'm not saying don't practice scales - definitely practice scales - just relate them to chords when you do practice them.

I recommend www.studybass.com - anything on that website can explain it all much better than I can Razz

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Re: Help for forum noob

Post  Stryfer on Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:21 pm

It can all be remedied with one simple exercise:
Find the major and minor scale online. Then just play it using the suggested finger patterns. The scales force you to apply all your fingers in order to play the notes without moving your fretting hand left or right.

As far as making good fills, if you know the key your in (it's the starting note 90% of the time) and ask your guitarist which chord he grabs (wether it's a minor or major variant) then you can just play notes within that scale for your fills.
Start by moving around the basic 1, 2, 4, 5, 8 because it's a block pattern and all the notes sound right. Then you can start adding other notes and slides (for example I usually slide to the sixth or ninth interval).

Hope that's clear Smile

Oh and Pip, I consider scales to be more important than chords geek
With scales you can play more notes than the guitar player is holding and it will still sound good.

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Re: Help for forum noob

Post  Pippynip on Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:38 pm

I consider chords to be more important because they're what the strongest songs are based around. I use scales to move to and from notes in the chord. I basically just base my playing entirely around chords and use the scales to, well, use more notes than the guitarist is Razz

I used this example in another thread, the bassline in the verse of Stir It Up by Bob Marley...

G---------------
D--------------
A---------4------
E--5--77--5--

Chord played is A, but that B isn't in the A chord. Moves up to the third via the second.

But of course I'm not saying that my way is the only proper way to do it and that chords definitely are more important than scales... if it sounds good who cares? Razz

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Re: Help for forum noob

Post  Stryfer on Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:59 pm

That's exactly what I was saying Smile You're playing the root of the guitar players chord and moving around the scale that the guitar chord is based on Razz

That's what I was talking about XD

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Re: Help for forum noob

Post  Pippynip on Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:53 pm

So we basically think the exact same thing, but I just prefer chords? Razz

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