#1
I've been playing bass for 8 months and feel like I am decent, but my one problem is that I don't have a style. I enjoy all kinds of music from ska to death metal to soft alternative rock. I like playing all of them, but I want to "major" in one of them. I'm not incredible in all of them, but I have a basic understanding of each. My friend plays guitar and when we jam, it's usually Hendrix and SRV and he can rip blues stuff all day. I'll play the basic 12 bar blues over and over again for half an hour, but I asked him later about what he thought of my bass playing and he said I was good, but should master a style. He said that he played blues constantly and listened to the old blues music like B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Hendrix and that's why he can play what he does. Honestly, the way I play bass is centered around my mood at the time, but is usually the same patterns. Should I pick a style and constatly play it and what would you advise me to do to start thinking outside the box?
#3
Open up your years and listen. Don't restrict yourself to one genre. Learn different techniques.

I don't think mastering a "style" is important--I think learning as much as you can about your instrument, building good solid technique and then from that developing your own style is the main objective of any musician. We're the sum of all our parts. Why sound like someone else or like a "blues" bass player when you can sound like you.

The greatest compliment I ever got from a bass teacher was the day he told me that I had finally played in a unique style. That I sounded like Tammie and not someone else.
#4
learn what your favorite things are in various genres and learn how to mix them all up.
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#5
Do your own thing. I've got a weird combo of old school blues combined with punk/grunge.
#6
I agree with doing the own thing. I love playing in pop-core type band situations, but do I just jam roots? Nah, I have fun with it and incorporate all sorts of techniques (I love doing walking basslines when the guitar is pounding power chords.. or should I say jogging or running? We play fast).
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#7
i incorporate my favorite bassists' styles into my style (a genre far different than any of theirs). let your influences do just that. influence you. don't become them though. take bits of your favorite funk bassist and bits of your favorite jazz bassist. study their styles and then mix it altogether into a unique smorgasboard with what you play.
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