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Extreme beginner here, what should I begin with learning on Bass?

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Extreme beginner here, what should I begin with learning on Bass?

Post  Enkelic on Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:27 am

Hello everybody, I am new to playing Bass and I'm really keen on starting. I'm not getting lessons seeing as they're like $30 AUD per half an hour and my parents just can't justify paying that much for lessons which I think is stupid. I need a job but anyways, what sort of techniques or things should I start learning first? I know how to play two songs so far on bass, I can read tab and music notation (I used to learn the trumpet before). I want to learn everything there is to learn to be able to eventually write my own songs and maybe start a band? Advice would be appreciated, thank you!

If this is in the wrong forum then I'm really sorry.

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Re: Extreme beginner here, what should I begin with learning on Bass?

Post  MetalJacob on Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:06 pm

First of all, welcome to the forums! I don't know if there's really anything that you "need to learn first" but, from my understanding, that's what Dman's lesson tree is for on his website. That helped me with anything that a teacher could have taught me. Other than that, you could start learning theory and this website: http://www.studybass.com/ is great for all of that.

When it comes to writing songs, you could start doing it now. Theory helps with that but it's really just being creative on your own. Spend time with your bass. Get to know the sounds (and note names) of the frets. I'd assume, because you played trumpet, that your sense of timing is already pretty good but always practice with a metronome anyways. That's all I can think of right now. If you have any questions, several of us check these forums everyday (even if we don't post) and would be glad to help you out. Welcome to the low end. Very Happy

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Re: Extreme beginner here, what should I begin with learning on Bass?

Post  Stryfer on Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:37 pm

Well, I'd think the most important thing to start off with is getting your fingers into shape...and getting shape into your fingers. By this I mean adjusting yourself to the instrument and building a technique through scales and other exercises.
As Me(n)talJacob said - Dman's lesson tree is a great place to start!

As far as writing songs goes, I've written a lot of stuff for my band (while I had a band) and it all started from a single bass groove. Since you probably have a better grasp of music theory, it'll be easier for you to evolve a groove into a proper song, but you do need a starting point. So, get comfertable with the bass first, learn some songs and then just play a drum track and start grooving to it. Once you hear yourself playing something that really sounds good to you, make a note of it and evolve it Smile

Oh and welcome to the forum! Very Happy

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Re: Extreme beginner here, what should I begin with learning on Bass?

Post  MetalJacob on Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:49 am

What was that "n" for? You want to fight? Come at me bro, I'm so jacked. Do you even lift?

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Re: Extreme beginner here, what should I begin with learning on Bass?

Post  Enkelic on Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:50 am

@MetalJacob: Hello Jacob, thank you for the welcome. I'll check out the lesson tree now. That's great to know, I don't think I'll be getting my own teacher any time soon. Okay, thank you for the link. I think I have an old theory book I can look over at home so I might review it tonight. I already have some lyrics down so far, I'm glad to hear you say that I could start making up my own songs now. It sounds like a very exciting and challenging process. :3 How could I forget about metronomes?! I have to go out and buy one, I'm just wondering but is it recommended that I buy a top notch one or will any metronome do the job well? Thank you for that, it's good to know that there are people to help. Thanks again for you advice too and the welcomes.

@Stryfer: Hello! I'll look into scales and exercises now. Do you know any bass books you might recommend for me to read or take a look at? I've got a load of websites bookmarked now. Very Happy Aww nice, what genre did you play if you don't mind me asking? By the way the genres I'll be likely to play would be metal and rock, I'm not sure if that means that I have to learn different techniques or learn another way though? Sorry about the billions of questions but where would I get a drum track from? Thanks, I might set myself aside a book or something to write in I guess. Thanks again for the welcomes and I really hope my questions/replies made sense. Smile

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Re: Extreme beginner here, what should I begin with learning on Bass?

Post  MetalJacob on Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:28 am

There's not really much of a technique difference for rock or metal so you should be perfectly fine. There's some little things you can learn later on to improve those genres specifically (galloping, tapping, three fingers, etc) but that shouldn't be a concern yet. For a drum track, this website: http://www.rinki.net/pekka/monkey/ is pretty popular around here for making your own beats to jam to but if you don't know anything about drums (I definitely didn't when I first started) you can just go to youtube and type in "drum track jam", or something to that effect, and you should get something decent. As well, I think Dmanlamius actually has some drum tracks of his own made for us but I couldn't tell you exactly where.

For the metronome, you don't need an expensive one. In fact, you don't need a physical one at all. Assuming you have the ability to play bass near your computer, there's dozens of free ones online for download or in-browser usage. Also, don't overwhelm yourself with theory. I know I said it is good to learn (and it is) but at the beginning it can seem very tedious and daunting. You can have fun playing bass no matter how much (or little) theory you know. Like Stryfer said, learn your scales yo.

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Re: Extreme beginner here, what should I begin with learning on Bass?

Post  Stryfer on Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:12 am

This is all you'll ever need in terms of a "bass assistant". It has a virtual metronome and so much more.
http://guitar-and-bass-software.com/eng/index.html

Before I continue: Relax Jacob, you can take that as a compliment Very Happy I actually prefer mental people to regular people XD And no, I don't lift, but I wield a deadly staff Laughing

Now, on to you Enkelic:
Don't worry about the questions, this forum was really starting to lack life, so you're a breath of fresh air as far as that's concerned Smile
I can't recommend a lot of bass books for reading because most of them are packed with the same theory only written differently. Also, the level of theory they cover is something you'll use in jazz mostly. I can only recommend Dman's bass book, which I've heard has a unique approach to learning bass, but I haven't had a chance to check it out due to a lack of paypal in my country.

I do have learning material to suggest in the form of videos though! Youtube is invaluable for one, as well as Dman's lessons for beginners. You'll find the kind of contemporary stuff no one writes about in books and is used mostly in rock and metal.
Specifically, Flea has two great videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Avf2S5MOEeg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_A6JG5UPn4 (this one is in parts and they should have them all up)
My bass professor recommended Jaco Pastorious' Modern Electric Bass, but this is more advanced and a bit jazzy, though it does have some general tips that apply across the field.
The most recent video I found and really enjoyed is this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--ZChaGSY9U
Finally, the video that I consider invaluable in describing and presenting what the bass really is - Victor Wooten Groove Workshop. This one, I'm afraid, has no proper youtube links, so you'll have to get it somewhere else.

I play metal and rock, as well as a lot of funk, but I tend to try and mix everything in a bit so I'd say I play alternative funky rock or something... Can't really describe it, but it'll sound like metal or rock to the average listener Smile I can tell you straight away, you'll have a much easier time with theory as opposed to jazz players for example. However, this genre of music does let you cut loose with technique, but again, doesn't demand it. I use a lot of different techniques, but I've seen great players who use only finger techniques and do wonders, including one my idols. It's really a matter of what you want out of your bass and your style in general. I'm a very wild and aggressive player so I practiced the varied techniques in order to achieve that. It's all about learning what you need to achieve the desired effect. For now, stick with your fingers and get into shape Smile

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Re: Extreme beginner here, what should I begin with learning on Bass?

Post  ThreeLetterSyndrom on Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:05 pm

MetalJacob wrote:What was that "n" for? You want to fight? Come at me bro, I'm so jacked. Do you even lift?
How much do you squat?

ThreeLetterSyndrom
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Re: Extreme beginner here, what should I begin with learning on Bass?

Post  MetalJacob on Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:18 pm

About once a day or so. I eat a lot of Mexican food so it's generally uncomfortable.

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Re: Extreme beginner here, what should I begin with learning on Bass?

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