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#2
Without hearing you, its going to be a general list.  Here's my two "items"

1. Groove.  A wise person once told me that you can get away with playing a bad note here or there, but if you don't keep a steady rhythm or "groove", people will notice immediately. Practice with a metronome or drum track until your so far in the pocket you're pulling out lint.   Most of Duck Dunn's bass lines were not all that complicated note wise, but he had amazing groove.

2. Play for the song, not your ego.   James Jamerson told Suzi Quattro " It's not what you play, but what you don't play, that counts." 
#3
Good Bassist - Plays the root note because it fits, not because that's all he knows how to do.

Crap Bassist - Plays the root note because he could not get in the band as a guitarist.

Good Bassist - Can play something that sounds great without just following the guitar root notes around, something that ADDS something to the composition

Crap Bassist - Overplays to show off

Good Bassist - Changes their strings and makes sure their bass is actually in tune

Crap Bassist - Plays a 10 year old bass with 10 year old strings that has not been tuned in 5

Good Bassist - Actually learned to play bass

Crap Bassist - The guy who took it up because it was "easy" or because his friend's garage band needed a bassist and he was a warm body, so fifteen minutes of playing the same four notes of Smells LIke Teen Spirit or Smoke on the Water in his childhood garage makes him a bassist - you'd be surprised how many of these sorts of guys are out there.
My Current Mains
- 1996 Fender Jag-Stang with EMG Pickups
- 1998 Fender Jaguar with Cool Rails
- 1982 Hondo Paul Dean II (DiMarzio Super II X2)
- 2010 "Fender" Jazzmaster (Home built)
- 2013 Squier VM Bass VI (stock)
#7
Quote by Deliriumbassist
"Good bassist changes their strings"

Someone tell the ghost of James Jamerson!

Or Bernie Edwards of Chic.  
#9
Quote by jay7801jf

This is a vid of my playing and sorry for the bad audio

Pro tip, when filming with your phone, turn it sideways. 
Gear:
EBMM Bongo HS 4
EBMM Sting Ray 5
Eden D410T
Tech 21 Sansamp RBI
Tech 21 Sansamp RPM
Art 341 Dual Channel EQ
QSC GX5 Power Amp
#11
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Pretty sure Duck Dunn changed his very infrequently.

Alot of the players in the 60s and 70s, believed in having some  “gunk and funk” in the strings.  It was a factor in that darker, older rock and R & B tone. 
#14
Quote by jay7801jf
Why are we taking about everything else besides what I could improve opon

Can't even hear what you're doing in the video, nor see.
Gear:
EBMM Bongo HS 4
EBMM Sting Ray 5
Eden D410T
Tech 21 Sansamp RBI
Tech 21 Sansamp RPM
Art 341 Dual Channel EQ
QSC GX5 Power Amp
#15
I also put another link but yet y'all prefer to talk about people who don't change their strings and shit
#16
idk how much is your equipment and how much is technique, but you sound more like a kick drum than a bass, and you never deviate from that rhythm. i don't know what the original part is for that track, but i feel like there could be a lot more chord leading

as far as just playing the part, you're doing fine, but it's just the same beat over and over again, 1 root note at a time. either you chose a bad song to demonstrate technique, or you just can't do much more than emulate a bass drum
Quote by Kevätuhri
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#17
Hail I would say that the song I chose wasn't the best to show of skills however have you listened to the bandlab link
#19
As long as you are serious about your playing and are determined to improve, then you are a good bassist who is on the way to becoming a better bassist.  The only crappy bassists are those who don't care about their abilities and just hammer out the tunes (or some semblance of them).  Don't worry about comparing your playing to others.  You will invariably compare yourself to professionals who have been playing constantly for years, and that is discouraging.  They will be more skilled than you are, but so what?  As long as you continue to improve, you will always be better than you used to be.  That is success, and it never stops.  So just stick with it and enjoy the journey while you keep the goal in sight.  Bruce Lee said it best: "It is as a finger pointing at the moon.  Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of that heavenly glory."  Smart guy.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#20
Dude, just keep playing. Playing an instrument is a lifelong activity. Assuming you have an open mind, you will never stop learning, and you will never stop growing. Along the way, you will hit what feels like talent/skill plateaus. They are not flat. You will still be improving, but your personal markers will be further apart. At times, it may feel like a rut or a slump. Just keep playing. I started playing more than 30 years ago. In my mind, I'm not good enough. And, I don't think I'll ever be good enough to satisfy myself. So, I just keep playing.

We are often our own toughest critics.
"Quick to judge. Quick to anger. Slow to understand. Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand-in-hand."
- Rush, "Witch Hunt"
#21
Quote by anarkee
Without hearing you, its going to be a general list.  Here's my two "items"

1. Groove.  A wise person once told me that you can get away with playing a bad note here or there, but if you don't keep a steady rhythm or "groove", people will notice immediately. Practice with a metronome or drum track until your so far in the pocket you're pulling out lint.   Most of Duck Dunn's bass lines were not all that complicated note wise, but he had amazing groove.

2. Play for the song, not your ego.   James Jamerson told Suzi Quattro " It's not what you play, but what you don't play, that counts." 

Excellent reply, Latching into the groove is the most important thing to learn, you can move around the genres if you're a groove jouneyman Bassist.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#22
Quote by Mad-Mike_J83
Crap Bassist - Plays a 10 year old bass with 10 year old strings that has not been tuned in 5

I rarely change my strings, and when I do I carefully wrap up the body of my bass, go eat some greasy pizza or fried chicken, give them a quick wipe to get the super wet grease off, and go to town. Also, I'll have you know I tune my bass at *least* once a year!
#23
Robb987123Bass Are you mad? Soaking the strings in fried chicken grease always improves tone. Hell, it's better than tonewood! Don't wipe any of it off!
#24
I'd say it is basically impossible to tell you if you are good or bad. For now, and for what I've heard, you're only playing the root notes and occasionally the fifth at a steady beat. Looking only at that, you're doing very well 
#25
Dude, you just posted basically the same thread a month ago. https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1738700

Why do you so desperately want to know how good or bad you are? You said you have been playing for a year. That's not a lot so just keep practicing and you will get better. Even the greatest musicians sucked in the beginning. And one year is nothing. So if you are not happy with your own playing, don't worry about it. You will get better, it just takes time. Nobody mastered the instrument in a year. It takes many years to actually get good at playing any instrument.

The quality of the video is bad so it's really hard to tell how good you are. Also, as I said in the last thread, if you really want us to rate your skills, you should play something that you find challenging. You want to show us your weaknesses, not just your strengths.

I would really suggest finding a teacher. That way you don't really need to spend time worrying about how good or bad you are and asking about it here. If you want to know how to improve, find a teacher.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#27
jay7801jf To be honest, if you stick to playing like this, you won't go very far... Spice it up, bring in some fills and your playing is suddenly 10 times more interesting
#28
Quote by anarkee
Without hearing you, its going to be a general list.  Here's my two "items"

1. Groove.  A wise person once told me that you can get away with playing a bad note here or there, but if you don't keep a steady rhythm or "groove", people will notice immediately. Practice with a metronome or drum track until your so far in the pocket you're pulling out lint.   Most of Duck Dunn's bass lines were not all that complicated note wise, but he had amazing groove.

2. Play for the song, not your ego.   James Jamerson told Suzi Quattro " It's not what you play, but what you don't play, that counts." 

Couldn't agree more 'anarkee' 'Groove' is what has got me so many jobs in bands of various genres from Rock, Blues, RNR, Country, Soft Rock, Trad Jazz Band, Big Band (Glenn Miller) resident club musician backing different artistes every night. All down to groove.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
Last edited by John Swift at Jun 19, 2017,
#29
Quote by Deliriumbassist
"Good bassist changes their strings"

Someone tell the ghost of James Jamerson!

Lemme correct you: "Good bassist changes his roundwound strings or uses flatwounds.
#31
Quote by HashtagMC
Lemme correct you: "Good bassist changes his roundwound strings or uses flatwounds.

Bernie Edwards of Chic never changed his strings.  Someone once asked him in an interview what kind of strings he used. He turned to his partner in Chic, guitarist Nile Rodgers, and said: "What kind of strings come on a MusicMan bass?"

So by logic your are saying Bernie Edwards was a bad bass player?

@Deliriumbassist is correct.  String preferences are not indicative of your quality as a bass player

 
#33
Quote by anarkee
2. Play for the song, not your ego.   James Jamerson told Suzi Quattro " It's not what you play, but what you don't play, that counts." 


I'm going to expand on this a bit. It goes beyond just playing for the song. I don't like that phrase because it's kind of vague and doesn't really mean anything if you aren't familiar with the phrase. More so the important thing is to be able to analyze the situation and use your judgement to decide on what is best. Good analytical skills and judgement are really the key to playing any instrument and really is an important concept in life in general.
Quote by Hal-Sephira
Shut the mother#%$& up, $^%got. You have a #$%^ing terrible muther&@$#ing taste in %#$@ing music, @&%$ing movies and %&$#ing video games. Every time I see you on the forums, you are always saying something overrated and some $@&#ing sh*t. You are just mother$^@%ing ignorant as a whole.

Get a #%$@ing life or you will get banned for life.
#34
Quote by theogonia777
I'm going to expand on this a bit.  It goes beyond just playing for the song.  I don't like that phrase because it's kind of vague and doesn't really mean anything if you aren't familiar with the phrase.  More so the important thing is to be able to analyze the situation and use your judgement to decide on what is best.  Good analytical skills and judgement are really the key to playing any instrument and really is an important concept in life in general.

Sorry but anakee is spot on, "playing to the song" makes perfect sense to musicians, I can latch onto the groove and "play to the song" almost right away because I listen to what is going on around me, the drummer is often the best person to get in the groove from. At one time I played in three different genres each week Pop/Rock, Big Band & Trad Band all required getting into the groove and playing to the song not yourself.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#35
Quote by anarkee
Alot of the players in the 60s and 70s, believed in having some  “gunk and funk” in the strings.  It was a factor in that darker, older rock and R & B tone. 

And then we wondered just what John Entwhistle and Jack Brice were doing because their basses initialy sounded like detuned guitars with the zing. Then people realised that there was more to bass than thud. In the early 70s I was one of the few experimenting with a high frequency driver (Horn or tweeter) in my home built cabs.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#37
Quote by John Swift
"playing to the song" makes perfect sense to musicians


You only say that because you are familiar with the term whereas for a novice the term might not be so obvious. Perhaps saying "playing to serve the song" is a more specific phrase, but even then for a novice they might not know what that means. Also this is just semantics, but when you change the preposition from "from" to "to" it changes the meaning of the phrase.
Quote by Hal-Sephira
Shut the mother#%$& up, $^%got. You have a #$%^ing terrible muther&@$#ing taste in %#$@ing music, @&%$ing movies and %&$#ing video games. Every time I see you on the forums, you are always saying something overrated and some $@&#ing sh*t. You are just mother$^@%ing ignorant as a whole.

Get a #%$@ing life or you will get banned for life.
#38
i don't remember where i heard it or who said it, but i remember somebody talking about session work for bass

they said the best thing you can do is to do so little that they're asking for more. that's not to say, be incompetent, but if you err on the side of doing something really basic perfectly, they'll ask you to step out into the spotlight more when they feel like something's missing. it's a lot easier to avoid stepping on toes that way, because if anybody ever asks you to "tone it down," that's a big red flag

i don't know how much i agree with that, but i think it's an important perspective to consider, and if it were my job to do session bass every day, i feel like i'd be more on the side of conservatism. it's easy to say, "play to the song," when you're doing a cover or you're the songwriter, but when you're playing professionally as a hired gun, you're not in charge.

where this comes to play with the TS is that he can play the basics decently, but if somebody asks you to do a cool fill or something, you need to be ready to come out from the background.

this is all kinda rambly, idk, i just feel like it's important to point out the difference between playing for fun/artistry and playing session work
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


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You win. I'm done here.
Last edited by Hail at Jun 19, 2017,
#39
theogonia777 

The term 'Play to the song' is the term that, in my experience, has always been used by musicians along with 'Getting into the Groove' which requires average and above inteligence to understand.
Unlike scored orchestral work where you're given instruction throughout the score regarding marks of expression, tempo etc (playing to the song and groove) you have to use your brain if you're ever going to become an accomplished all round Bassist
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#40
"Hail i don't know how much i agree with that, but i think it's an important perspective to consider, and if it were my job to do session bass every day, "

But around 99% of Bassists are not 'Session Musos' they are usually people who move around bands etc on the local music scene, they have to adapt all the same and I will reiterate thatis what has got me so much work in so many different genres by playing to the song or groove because unlike scored music you have to work it out for yourself and 'Play to the song or Groove'.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
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