Re: Beginner bassist looking for advice.

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Posted by James on January 15, 2001 at 09:33:07:

In Reply to: Beginner bassest looking for advice. posted by Jade on January 14, 2001 at 16:41:52:

To begin with, there is no one bass that would be perfect for you to learn on. What would probably not be a good idea is to go out and spend a thousand dollars on a brand new bass that you may get frustrated with and never play again. Same goes with the amp. Check your pawn shops and look for what's affordable and cheap. Ibanez, Samick, and Yamaha's are fairly good to learn on as they can take a beating, don't sound bad, and are dirt cheap so if you wreck one in learning to play, it doesn't cost you an arm and a leg. Find a decent mini-amp, Fender and Peavy make some good ones. YOU DO NOT NEED A 4x10" STACK RIGHT AWAY.

For learning to play the bass, find some good friends who can show you the fret positions and how to find them. When they've shown you this, find a steady teacher at your local music shop or music academy. Pay the money to a professional to have them teach you. While you're learning, whether it be rock, punk, or what have you, listen to music outside of your personal taste, jazz, blues, hip hop, whatever to find out what the bassists are doing. Then, take this music in to your teacher and evaluate it with him. See what aspects of it can be taken and put into your own music.

Whatever you do, learn theory! Despite what most people say, learning to read notes, the ability to transpose, being familiar with common chord progressions, will only help you in jamming, songwriting, and your overall playing. People who poo-poo theory and technique generally sound okay, but they're still limited to what they can do and the dynamics behind what they're doing.

And make sure that you practice. You're bass playing only improves the more you play. Cause and effect: I practice, therefore I can play. Learn finger strengthening techniques, control techniques, etc and then learn your scales and arpeggios, playing them in 4/4 time, 5/4, whatever you can. Vary the tempo as you go along as well, but make sure that it's not wild and go back and practice where you made your mistakes.

All of these things are important but especially finding a good teacher. He can teach you the things that are outlined here, as well as show you what you're doing wrong and how to do it right.

Keep us posted on the progress too. :-)


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