My two pennies' worth...

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Posted by El Pájaro on August 25, 2000 at 10:36:27:

In Reply to: Your opinions, please posted by Asbestos Man on August 25, 2000 at 08:44:54:

: I have very little musical theroy knowledge, and I want to improve my improvisational and songwriting skills. What are the best things to learn, and the best ways to learn them?

Hey there,
Kyla's right: a solid rhythmic knwlodge will only improve your abilities on the bass.
However, I'd like to add you should learn as much harmony as you can. Why? Because most musical skills (songwriting, improvising, and ...hey ...creating good bass lines!) rely largely on good, solid harmony notions. Harmony is where it's at: for example, it will allow you to analize your options for a bass line (you don't have to always stick to playing roots of the chords, you know), it will allow you to determine which notes can and cannot be played over any given chord progression (and that's improvisation stripped to its core), and it will allow you to easily and quickly find which chord/s are most appropiate to complement a melodic line (that's called harmonization, and it's perhaps one of THE most important songwriting skills).
Now, how do you learn those all-important skills? I'll sound repetitive once again, but nothing replaces a good teacher for such a task. You will find a shitload of books out there, but still you'll need a capable teacher to put that information in perspective.
Hope this helped. Buena suerte and keep your bass up front in the mix,

El Pájaro

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