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Learning bass without an actual teacher...

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Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Nocturnal_Pulse on Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:08 pm

Can this be true?

I mean all of you have had a teacher weekly to guide you.

Do you believe that I could learn the bass actually GOOD without a teacher? (Dman excluded Razz)
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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Fuzzy on Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:29 pm

Yes, although it's much easier and quicker with a teacher of some type, and I'm finding these online lessons extremely helpful.
I'm sure Stryfer will post something half a page long which is 99% of the time a good read.
Very Happy


Last edited by Fuzzy on Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Nocturnal_Pulse on Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:32 pm

Fuzzy wrote:Yes, although it's much easier and quicker with a teacher of some type, and I'm finding these online lessons extremely helpful.
I'm sure Stryfer will post something half a page long which is 99% of the time a good read.
Very Happy

You know why i am a bit concerned, because guitar was why too difficult without a teacher, supposingly that I could be a virtuoso after 2002 that I started, I am fairly intermediate lol...

So I assume, that bass which i love the most and I can drop everything else in my life just to learn and play it wouldnt be so difficult...

If Stryfer posts, I will surely read it hehehe
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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Fuzzy on Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:36 pm

Without a teacher, you must REALLY want to learn something for you to not give up.
If I didn't find dman I doubt I would've lasted this long without a teacher.
Smile

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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Nocturnal_Pulse on Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:38 pm

Fuzzy wrote:Without a teacher, you must REALLY want to learn something for you to not give up.
If I didn't find dman I doubt I would've lasted this long without a teacher.
Smile

Thats what I thought when I saw dman's lessons, that i actually CAN do it, since I fairly know music, tabbing, noting etc, and plus I have some books for self guidance, like Alex Sampson's "Bass Guitar Secrets" and the eMedia Bass Method.

And I have all you guys so... cat
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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  ThreeLetterSyndrom on Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:23 pm

I taught myself how to play bass and I'm not all that bad. Apparently I mute notes really well! Very Happy

(I've never bothered to mute notes properly with all those techniques xD)

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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  SuperMaximo93 on Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:46 pm

Both me and my friend/bandmate/guitarist have been teaching ourselves using the internet and books for a year now. I'm okay I guess, according to a saxiphonist I'm amazing after an epic Pow jam we had in jazz band lol!. My friend is freaking epic for the time he's been playing (he used to practice for 10 hours a day before he got a job)... Practice is key Smile

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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Nocturnal_Pulse on Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:57 pm

ThreeLetterSyndrom wrote:I taught myself how to play bass and I'm not all that bad. Apparently I mute notes really well! Very Happy

(I've never bothered to mute notes properly with all those techniques xD)

You are younger than me lol (jk)
Muting all alone? You are a talent or I am a dork Razz

SuperMaximo93 wrote:Both me and my friend/bandmate/guitarist have been teaching ourselves using the internet and books for a year now. I'm okay I guess, according to a saxiphonist I'm amazing after an epic Pow jam we had in jazz band lol!. My friend is freaking epic for the time he's been playing (he used to practice for 10 hours a day before he got a job)... Practice is key Smile

Well even if I had a job I believe I will play 3-4 hours a day.

And practice sometimes isnt the only thing that you need, meaning that you have questions, about how to creat a line - for example - or chords - which in guitar is fairly easy to find a lexicon and a handbook but not easy to find a guide for bass chords - or some hints and tips.

Well I might think it's difficult - NOW.

We'll see, both of you made my day lol
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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  ThreeLetterSyndrom on Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:59 pm

Nocturnal_Pulse wrote:
ThreeLetterSyndrom wrote:I taught myself how to play bass and I'm not all that bad. Apparently I mute notes really well! Very Happy

(I've never bothered to mute notes properly with all those techniques xD)

You are younger than me lol (jk)
Muting all alone? You are a talent or I am a dork Razz

SuperMaximo93 wrote:Both me and my friend/bandmate/guitarist have been teaching ourselves using the internet and books for a year now. I'm okay I guess, according to a saxiphonist I'm amazing after an epic Pow jam we had in jazz band lol!. My friend is freaking epic for the time he's been playing (he used to practice for 10 hours a day before he got a job)... Practice is key Smile

Well even if I had a job I believe I will play 3-4 hours a day.

And practice sometimes isnt the only thing that you need, meaning that you have questions, about how to creat a line - for example - or chords - which in guitar is fairly easy to find a lexicon and a handbook but not easy to find a guide for bass chords - or some hints and tips.

Well I might think it's difficult - NOW.

We'll see, both of you made my day lol
Practice is all you need to create lines. Just expand your musical education!

Ehh, I don't know? It just happens. Razz

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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  maxf13 on Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:54 pm

SuperMaximo93 wrote:Both me and my friend/bandmate/guitarist have been teaching ourselves using the internet and books for a year now. I'm okay I guess, according to a saxiphonist I'm amazing after an epic Pow jam we had in jazz band lol!. My friend is freaking epic for the time he's been playing (he used to practice for 10 hours a day before he got a job)... Practice is key Smile


that reminds me how is Funk Mail coming on?

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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Dropthelines585 on Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:33 am

Nocturnal_Pulse wrote:Can this be true?

I mean all of you have had a teacher weekly to guide you.

Do you believe that I could learn the bass actually GOOD without a teacher? (Dman excluded Razz)


First of all, you don't NEED a teacher. I've been teaching myself for a long time. When I first got my bass, I never had internet or even musicians in my family. I was on my own. I just had my ears. I consider myself a good player. I'm sure a teacher would help, but in certain circumstances it's not feasible at all. It wasn't in my situation. I was the first one to pick up an instrument in years in my school. It's just a matter of dedication, my friend. And now you have tons of knowledge at your disposal. Use as much of it as you can.
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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Nocturnal_Pulse on Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:36 am

Dropthelines585 wrote:
Nocturnal_Pulse wrote:Can this be true?

I mean all of you have had a teacher weekly to guide you.

Do you believe that I could learn the bass actually GOOD without a teacher? (Dman excluded Razz)


First of all, you don't NEED a teacher. I've been teaching myself for a long time. When I first got my bass, I never had internet or even musicians in my family. I was on my own. I just had my ears. I consider myself a good player. I'm sure a teacher would help, but in certain circumstances it's not feasible at all. It wasn't in my situation. I was the first one to pick up an instrument in years in my school. It's just a matter of dedication, my friend. And now you have tons of knowledge at your disposal. Use as much of it as you can.

That's what I am thinking too. So many forums, so many vids, pdfs online premium or not, I really cant afford a teacher right now, and he/she could help me only for an hour/week. I really believe what you say about devotion and if you run deep from the start you will be eventually a good player. Even if you count the spaces while noting...
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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Dropthelines585 on Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:38 am

Let the music play YOU!
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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Nocturnal_Pulse on Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:46 am

Dropthelines585 wrote:Let the music play YOU!

Optimistic; will do Drop Smile Thanks cyclops
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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Stryfer on Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:01 am

Hehe, well I don't have much to add, but I'll start and see how long the post gets XD

Like they said, a teacher isn't a must. There are a lot of self-taugh world class bass players out there today, but considering how far some of the guys on this forum (who have or had a teacher) have progressed, it's a bit scary to think how good those self-taught bassits would have been if they had someone to instruct them.
A teacher will help speed up your progress, will force you to practice, make things easier and MOST importantly - a teacher will tell you when you make a mistake and how to correct it.
The biggest problem is when you start. You need a good foundation in order to improve at the most of your ability. Beginners may find books and videos to learn techniques from, but they will often make mistakes in the way they learn the technique. Of course, as a beginner it's impossible to be at a high enough level of awareness to notice these mistakes. Then after a few years of experience, you figure out what you were doing was wrong and have to correct it. This takes away valuable time and all those years before you weren't improving as much as you could have been.
I had a teacher when I started, he helped during the first year and I know I wouldn't have progressed as far if I didn't have some professional help.

If without a teacher, the best thing you could do is to be very strict with what you're learning. Don't use shortcuts, don't think something is ok if it sounds "ok", make it sound perfect, etc. (making things sound perfect is a long process that spans over several months, but that should be your goal from the start)
If you have a friend who is somewhat music literate you could ask him to correct you and help with general music concepts. If you have a friend who plays the bass, even better. You should try to find someone who could see you for 30 minutes every week or 2, just to make sure you don't stray from the path. After you have a grasp of the basics, a teacher becomes less important.
I don't have a teacher anymore and since I lost my band I haven't had anyone to test me. So I posted some mp3's of myself so the forumers could point out any problems I may have. You could do that too. Of course, a video would be much better if you have a webcam (I don't). That way we could point out things we notice. However, video and live is never the same.

Finally, here's a few things you might want to look out for and be careful with as you start:
Timing(!!!) - this is the most important thing for a bass player and, sadly, beginners most often forget about it. You use to play a guitar if I understood correctly so you probably have some grasp of timing, but a bass player needs much more than a guitar player. Getting good timing is hard, because as a beginner you won't notice so much when you're out of sync, because you're not used to it. The best program I've found to help with timing is Earmaster. It has some rhythm reading exercises that are extremely good for practicing timing.
Finger fretting - this is something you are probably comfertable with, but just in case: 4 fingers across 4 frets. Never play with just three. Also, in time, you need to build up a greater finger span than that of a guitar player (unless you played across 5 frets on the guitar).
Muting - you mute with your thumb. You rest your thumb on the string above the one you are picking and you lean it against the upper strings to keep them quiet. Most beginners put their thumb on the pick-up, which causes a lot of muting problems. A good way to check muting is to play with an amp and everytime you finish whatever you were playing, freeze your body and mute the string you were picking without touching any others. If you were muting correctly, you shouldn't hear any sound from the amp. Muting will probably be harder because of the thicker strings.
Finger sync - it is very important to sync the figers of both hands. This becomes a problem as you get faster. Basicly, you have to make sure that your fretting finger is on the fret the moment you picking finger picks the string. If you're playing one note per bar it's ok, but if you have some scale like movement, make sure your fingers sync.

Finally, some people may have a problem with playing a straight rhythm. For example straight 8ths. They weren't so straight, but rather chaotic. They were all played within the 1-2-3-4 of the bar and he passed on to the next one nicely, but they were as straight as they should be. This is a timing problem, but a strange one because he had no trouble playing more complex rhythms with pauses and long and short notes. It's just straight rhythms. This is probably because his fingers weren't used to the 1-2-1-2 motion well enough to stay even.

Ok, looks I had a lot to add affraid
I'll stop here and if you have any questions or if I missed something I'll add it the future Smile
Good luck and like they said - practice, practice, practice!

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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Nocturnal_Pulse on Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:19 am

Stryfer wrote:Hehe, well I don't have much to add, but I'll start and see how long the post gets XD

Like they said, a teacher isn't a must. There are a lot of self-taugh world class bass players out there today, but considering how far some of the guys on this forum (who have or had a teacher) have progressed, it's a bit scary to think how good those self-taught bassits would have been if they had someone to instruct them.
A teacher will help speed up your progress, will force you to practice, make things easier and MOST importantly - a teacher will tell you when you make a mistake and how to correct it.
The biggest problem is when you start. You need a good foundation in order to improve at the most of your ability. Beginners may find books and videos to learn techniques from, but they will often make mistakes in the way they learn the technique. Of course, as a beginner it's impossible to be at a high enough level of awareness to notice these mistakes. Then after a few years of experience, you figure out what you were doing was wrong and have to correct it. This takes away valuable time and all those years before you weren't improving as much as you could have been.
I had a teacher when I started, he helped during the first year and I know I wouldn't have progressed as far if I didn't have some professional help.

If without a teacher, the best thing you could do is to be very strict with what you're learning. Don't use shortcuts, don't think something is ok if it sounds "ok", make it sound perfect, etc. (making things sound perfect is a long process that spans over several months, but that should be your goal from the start)
If you have a friend who is somewhat music literate you could ask him to correct you and help with general music concepts. If you have a friend who plays the bass, even better. You should try to find someone who could see you for 30 minutes every week or 2, just to make sure you don't stray from the path. After you have a grasp of the basics, a teacher becomes less important.
I don't have a teacher anymore and since I lost my band I haven't had anyone to test me. So I posted some mp3's of myself so the forumers could point out any problems I may have. You could do that too. Of course, a video would be much better if you have a webcam (I don't). That way we could point out things we notice. However, video and live is never the same.

Finally, here's a few things you might want to look out for and be careful with as you start:
Timing(!!!) - this is the most important thing for a bass player and, sadly, beginners most often forget about it. You use to play a guitar if I understood correctly so you probably have some grasp of timing, but a bass player needs much more than a guitar player. Getting good timing is hard, because as a beginner you won't notice so much when you're out of sync, because you're not used to it. The best program I've found to help with timing is Earmaster. It has some rhythm reading exercises that are extremely good for practicing timing.
Finger fretting - this is something you are probably comfertable with, but just in case: 4 fingers across 4 frets. Never play with just three. Also, in time, you need to build up a greater finger span than that of a guitar player (unless you played across 5 frets on the guitar).
Muting - you mute with your thumb. You rest your thumb on the string above the one you are picking and you lean it against the upper strings to keep them quiet. Most beginners put their thumb on the pick-up, which causes a lot of muting problems. A good way to check muting is to play with an amp and everytime you finish whatever you were playing, freeze your body and mute the string you were picking without touching any others. If you were muting correctly, you shouldn't hear any sound from the amp. Muting will probably be harder because of the thicker strings.
Finger sync - it is very important to sync the figers of both hands. This becomes a problem as you get faster. Basicly, you have to make sure that your fretting finger is on the fret the moment you picking finger picks the string. If you're playing one note per bar it's ok, but if you have some scale like movement, make sure your fingers sync.

Finally, some people may have a problem with playing a straight rhythm. For example straight 8ths. They weren't so straight, but rather chaotic. They were all played within the 1-2-3-4 of the bar and he passed on to the next one nicely, but they were as straight as they should be. This is a timing problem, but a strange one because he had no trouble playing more complex rhythms with pauses and long and short notes. It's just straight rhythms. This is probably because his fingers weren't used to the 1-2-1-2 motion well enough to stay even.

Ok, looks I had a lot to add affraid
I'll stop here and if you have any questions or if I missed something I'll add it the future Smile
Good luck and like they said - practice, practice, practice!

Oh dear bassgod, you couldnt help it did you lol

OKAY...

You said about instructing mistakes; you hit nail on the head with that one; because I know that some things I play arent right - OR I find a tab/noting/music however that I try to copy or an exercise and my fingers just won't get it and then I lose all my confidence.

yes I do have a webcam and I will use it if I find some really hard measures, upload it @ utube and ask you, or generally in the forums what I am doing wrong. And that's what I like about this forum - and the bassists - that you will actually help me. I was long ago in UltimateGuitar as an acoustic guitarist, I can't say they 've been helpful. They were fairly arrogants like they were born soloing like crazy.....
I was always the type of: If you wanna learn something, do it the best way you can. I really want to read notings, or write them; or to learn the fretboard by heart (something which is not that difficult since I had a guitar and I remember easily till fifth fret). The best thing I ve ever got from DMAN was the vid about the Cmaj scale. It was too easy. you see, we Greeks don't note music as alphabet, but diffirently. For example:

B is 'si'
C is 'ndo'

You can catch the problem can you?

and when I saw that vid I grasped and said "dear almighty Carbonara its just a-b-c-ds for crying out loud" and really I got it easily.
So a teacher would do mostly for theory to me, because I went to a guitar teacher many years after I first start selfteaching guitar, and the book wasnt for begginers. Tho, they didnt help me much with theory. Not at all I would say.
And yes dear, I HAVE HUGE PROBLEM WITH BEATS. lol
Apart from the fact that I die with a bass' sound, I always believed that it actually WILL help me know the music structure as best as it can get, since a bass it's the ambient rythm. I already have a midi metronome (like those dman has on site but offline) and I really get along with the drum kick nicely. In common time.... YET....

As for the practice time, believe me it's never enough for me. I even walk the bass without the bass. On my knee, on the table. I really feel devoted to this instrument. I even put some headphones on amp in the nights and play play play play. Play what? Excersises on the frets, 1-2-3-4, 2-1-4-3 etc etc on all strings watching TV at the same time. lol

Mute is a difficult thing for me yet, since I havent done it on guitar, on bass or wherever. Too much sync for me I assume, but I will learn some day Wink Thanx for the tips though, enlightning Very Happy

I loved that post I am gonna hang it on a wall or something lol



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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Dropthelines585 on Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:30 am

I like Stryf, he goes all the way.
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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Nocturnal_Pulse on Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:30 am

Dropthelines585 wrote:I like Stryf, he goes all the way.

Yup and he's very helpful too hehe
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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Stryfer on Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:37 am

Thanks guys Smile Glad I could help.

Yea, forgot to metion that part about walking the bass on the knee and the table, I do it all the time too - it's a reflex Very Happy

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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Nocturnal_Pulse on Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:45 am

Stryfer wrote:Thanks guys Smile Glad I could help.

Yea, forgot to metion that part about walking the bass on the knee and the table, I do it all the time too - it's a reflex Very Happy

Good because I thought I was the only one doing it lol - sure thing is that those 2 fingers are my strongest because of that hehe

Well maybe I am not optimistic because of watching Patitucci to much. *rofling*

Oh yes I forgot to mention something from your post; yes I do have EarMaster but not yet very into it... Since you suggest it I might have to change this Razz
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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Fuzzy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:15 am

As always, a wonderful post by Stryfe!

*mutters the gonads and strife song*

...

tongue

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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  akyra on Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:14 am

I'm not even atempting to read all of that right now ¬¬

Kidding... read Every word Stryfer Razz






Whats the point in going to the hassell of doing it alone, when you have so much help avalible to you.
Why make it harder than it needs to be XD Easy route is alwys the best Very Happy

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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  SuperMaximo93 on Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:19 am

+1 rep for Stryfer from me Smile


maxf13 wrote:
SuperMaximo93 wrote:Both me and my friend/bandmate/guitarist have been teaching ourselves using the internet and books for a year now. I'm okay I guess, according to a saxiphonist I'm amazing after an epic Pow jam we had in jazz band lol!. My friend is freaking epic for the time he's been playing (he used to practice for 10 hours a day before he got a job)... Practice is key Smile

that reminds me how is Funk Mail coming on?
Scrapped the name, and after endless jamming, changing genre, messing about, still having fun but getting nowhere, we're finally moving forward Laughing Guitarist now has singing lessons, and he's finally got a guitar he likes (he's been through many of em Razz), a MIM Fender Strat. We're now an Indie Rock band (even though the term indie is pretty ambiguous, but yknow like Bloc Party and Interpol and Editors and bands like that) and we've very nearly finished our first song that actually sounds good cheers

/off topic Razz

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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  BlackF89 on Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:13 pm

I'll just throw in (if it hasn't been mentioned) that Mr Claypool is self taught

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Re: Learning bass without an actual teacher...

Post  Dropthelines585 on Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:01 pm

SuperMaximo93 wrote:+1 rep for Stryfer from me Smile


maxf13 wrote:
SuperMaximo93 wrote:Both me and my friend/bandmate/guitarist have been teaching ourselves using the internet and books for a year now. I'm okay I guess, according to a saxiphonist I'm amazing after an epic Pow jam we had in jazz band lol!. My friend is freaking epic for the time he's been playing (he used to practice for 10 hours a day before he got a job)... Practice is key Smile

that reminds me how is Funk Mail coming on?
Scrapped the name, and after endless jamming, changing genre, messing about, still having fun but getting nowhere, we're finally moving forward Laughing Guitarist now has singing lessons, and he's finally got a guitar he likes (he's been through many of em Razz), a MIM Fender Strat. We're now an Indie Rock band (even though the term indie is pretty ambiguous, but yknow like Bloc Party and Interpol and Editors and bands like that) and we've very nearly finished our first song that actually sounds good cheers

/off topic Razz



Maybe you should just play whatever comes out. I've discovered that just picking a genre doesn't work. Your chemistry is what decides what kind of music you play. but that's just me.
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