I've been trying to learn bass for 3 years now. I had a teacher for 2 but quit once I realized learning a whole song (Iron Man) isn't supposed to take 2 years. Now I know the intro to Scream of the Butterfly and still know absolutely nothing about scales or anything technical about playing. Hell, I can't even learn what the actual notes on the bass are besides the open strings...I don't want to give up though. Any advice?
Practice chromatic lines major and minor scales, if you can, with a metronome. And try to say or identify the notes when you play said scales. Start with C Major.

Besides, how many hours a week do you practice?
Half an hour doesn't seem like much. I usually play for an hour or more per day, or how ever long my wrist lets me.
You also might want to make sure you have no distractions while you're playing.

Another good tool to invest in is guitar pro. It's a tab reader/player that makes learning songs and what not really easy.
Quote by FatalGear41
In the end, the only question is: what bass would Jesus play?

I think he's a Fender Jazz guy.
That's a good suggestion, but there's Songsterr (essentially the same thing but free). But neither program will actually help me get better. What am I supposed to actually DO?
Learn scales, also learning some theory would help as well. Playing with a metronome will aid in timing, and with the bass timing is nearly everything. Try to set aside a bit more time in the day to practice. You can also do what I do and noodle on your basswhile you watch TV. I do it with the bass unplugged.
Quote by FatalGear41
In the end, the only question is: what bass would Jesus play?

I think he's a Fender Jazz guy.
Half an our every day is enough if it's focused practice (and it's better to play half an our every day than four hours once a week). You don't need to practice for 5 hours a day to become good. Play as long as you want to play. How did you learn to play Iron Man? Did you use tabs or ears or what? It might not be the easiest song to start with. But yeah, seems like your teacher couldn't teach. You could get another teacher.

When I started playing guitar I just played Metallica songs (back then it was Metallica or GTFO ). I listened to the songs and played the rhythm parts by ear (I couldn't play the solos of course). Sometimes I used tabs. I also transcribed my own tabs. Though I think it was easy for me to start playing guitar because I had been playing trumpet for a long time before I got my first guitar. It really wasn't focused practice, I played what I wanted to play.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.


Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
honestly, you need to man up about the notes, theres patterns you can find in them, and things repeat themselves, also when I first started, the first 2 years I'd go at it for 2 - 4 hours a day cause it wasn't practice/work to me, it was fun
A bassist is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.

The Pit operates under a pseudo-Murphy’s Law state of mind. You can make a comment and "whatever wrong assumption that can be made about it, will be made about it."
Determination. Better yet, discipline to use that determination (I know being determined and actually doing what you're determined to do are totally different. I still have that problem sometimes... lol)

As for what you should actually DO, look up some physical exercises. Look up some theory. The Theory FAQ in the Musician Talk section has a lot of useful information. Exercises you can find on youtube, in tab, just try googling it. For learning the notes on the fretboard, it really helped me that I had other guitarists to play with. That way I could see what chord they were playing (I play guitar as well so I knew what the chords were) and play the note on the bass. At first it was slow, after a while you'll be able to do it instinctually. Also try saying the notes while you play through a scale (look up the major scale shape or find it in lessons). Learning the major scale will help you learn some theory, which helps a lot for understanding what you're playing.

Another way I worked on learning the notes on the fretboard was learning to read music. Bass sheet music is hard to come by so I used an app on my phone for a while. It basically displays a note on the staff, and you're supposed to recognize and hit the button (A,B,C etc) that the note is. I added an extra step and made myself play the note before I pressed the button. That helped me learn the notes and be able to find them without looking. You can find a good handful of free apps that do pretty much the same thing. I would practice recognizing the notes on the staff for a bit first though, so you don't have to spend forever figuring out what note it is and then finding where to play it on the bass. Having a little proficiency in that first helps not getting frustrated.

One thing I'd really recomend is a timer and a metronome. If strapped for cash there are decent metronome apps (find one with good reviews, some can't keep steady time) for free, and your phone likely has an alarm built in or you can download a countdown style (I prefer that, can set for five minutes or two minutes rather then setting to an exact time that the alarm has to go off) one for free too. Plan your practices, really discipline yourself to do everything you need to do for as long as you think you need to do it. It helps a lot.