#1
Hiya,

I'm curious. When I started guitar I took lessons for about 3 years but I had the feeling that I was learning more on my own, playing songs, than I ever did from lessons. The last year of those 3 I started to learn theory but I found it so un-interesting and boring that I quit lessons all together.

Now, after about a year and a half hiatus from playing music in general I wouldn't mind to really study theory (just enough so I know what I'm playing and know what would fit the note I hit, before I hit the next one). My question to the self taught bassists here is how did you teach yourself? Did you look up articles, buy books or just play along with songs until your hearing developed itself alongside your technique?

Is there any advice you can give me? I plan on becoming self taught because, even though I took guitar lessons, I know I can teach myself to play bass as I know what type of things to be wary of when it comes to false techniques. Theory is just a question of studying and applying in doses to me.

I've already found out that ''youtube teachers'' aren't the most reliable of sources (''Never ever anchor your thumb on your pick, keep your hand floating above the strings!'').

What I'm mainly interested in is the right hand. I know how I can educate my left hand to become more used to the 35'' scale and I know how I can make my muscles build up to develop more speed, but I'm still slightly clueless on what ''the right'' way of using your right hand would be. I.e do you use your index finger all the time and middle only when speed is required (16th notes for example), or do you use your ring finger aswell whenever possible?

When I was fooling around on a bass I found it easy to use all three fingers on my right hand whilst playing up and down scales and throwing in a groove with it, but I'm not sure as to if this is the ''right way to play'' because I know every finger makes a different sound.
My Gear:

Guitars:
Ibanez RG 7 EXFX (27'' scale, 2x EMG 707)

Amp:
Mesa/Boogie Studio .20 Caliber

Recording:
Line 6 Studio POD GX
#2
studybass.com is a great sight that will help you improve in most all aspects of playing bass.

As far as right hand goes, whatever is most comfortable to you. Most people alternate between middle and index finger, but some use three adding the ring finger, some use 4, some even use 1. Whichever is most comfortable for you. For me it happens to be a pick but whatever works best.

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Last edited by NakedBassist at Aug 11, 2009,
#3
I learned scales, slowly kept learning songs that use different techniques and learned the what the notes were on the neck.
He who knows all, knows nothing in the eye of a imbecile.
#4
If using three fingers felt easier and more natural, do that. Just be sure not to go out of order, like R, I, M, M, I, R, I, I or whatever. Go in order such as R, M, I, R, M, I or I, M, R, I, M, R.
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Peavey BAM 210 350w combo amp
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Monster Bass Cable, 21'

Quote by NakedBassist
Welcome to bass, you'll f*cking love it
#5
Major. Minor. Pentatonics. Blues.. SORTED! I learned scales, they drastically improved my improvisation skills. Apart from that, playing along to songs made me see patterns of notes on the fretboard which was a relevation to me. Hope this helps, sorry if it seems strange, i'm a bit drunk.
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#6
I've just been learning all of the songs that I can,but I'm also taking a music theory class this year. By playing a lot of songs,you start to notice some things and you can practice good technique by doing so,too.
#7
+1 to the study bass site, helped me a bunch

Theres a good cut of articles on this site which help with learning theory and technique even though most of the bass forum is usually "what should i buy" threads. There are also some pretty good lessons on youtube that can teach you a bunch if you can get a grip on what the teacher is at least trying to say. Theres also the talkbass.com forum which is also pretty helpful until you realize that theyd also rather talk about how sweet their basses are instead of how to get a beginner to play one.

Lessons arent really difficult to come by for bass so its all good . Songs help alot too anyway, you can probably get by with just that and natural ear training.

Also, the more you play with three fingers the better the callouses will become and that'll even up their attack. Keep alternating at all times no matter how slow ... its just a good idea cause you could make a habit of it.
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#9
I taught and still teaching myself by my own. www.studybass.com ; educational videos; books mostly. Had mostly trouble with fretting hand, picking one went pretty natural.
However, I guess i will take up at least few lessons in the future to clean up any flaws in technique. Well, that is IF i find a bass teacher over here...
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#10
I found learning the chords that're in the scale off by heart a great help also. you know, like,

for c major:
C D E F G A B
it's like, major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, then 1/2 diminished or some pish:

C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, B(1/2dim or some pish).
#11
Quote by t3hrav3n
If using three fingers felt easier and more natural, do that. Just be sure not to go out of order, like R, I, M, M, I, R, I, I or whatever. Go in order such as R, M, I, R, M, I or I, M, R, I, M, R.


Do that? you can't just tell some one what to do. Do what ever feels natural, even if it's use a plectrum.
#12
learn the modes dude. what i did honestly its gonna sound weird, but i would pick a note like i dont know "e". then i would say to myself, where's all the "5ths". then i would find all the 5th's on the neck, then i would say where's the 3rds, then minor 3rds and so on. i started to find finger patterns you know like say if you hit the "a" note on the e string, then the note in the same fret was the minor 3rd, and so on for all the notes on the e string!! do that, and work w/ all the patterns on all the different strings. then i started to learn modes

sounds weird, but the dim modes are the coolest!!!
#13
Quote by TheMcDay
Do that? you can't just tell some one what to do. Do what ever feels natural, even if it's use a plectrum.


Did you read the TS post? He said that he found it easy to play with three fingers, the man who you quoted simply reinforced that you can do that but should do it in a good set order.

If you played R I M M I R I I ... youd probably have some serious problems with emphasis anyway.
"Rome wasn't built in a week"

"Yeah but when they built rome, they didnt go "hey look, there's a functional building" AND ****ING KICK IT OVER AND PISS ON THE ASHES BECAUSE THE PEASANTS WERE CRYING THAT IT WAS TOO GLORIOUS AND AWESOME."
#15
Quote by TheMcDay
Do that? you can't just tell some one what to do. Do what ever feels natural, even if it's use a plectrum.

You should learn to read. I told him to do what feels natural, but I told him to go in order because know proper technique like that will enable him to go father, faster. Learning bad technique like going out of order will hinder him at some point.

And yes, I can tell him what to do, since he asked.
Millie, my Peavey Grind Fiver
Peavey BAM 210 350w combo amp
Sansamp Bass Driver DI
Modded Ernie Ball VP Jr.
Monster Bass Cable, 21'

Quote by NakedBassist
Welcome to bass, you'll f*cking love it
Last edited by t3hrav3n at Aug 12, 2009,
#16
Quote by t3hrav3n
You should learn to read. I told him to do what feels natural, but I told him to go in order because know proper technique like that will enable him to go father, faster. Learning bad technique like going out of order will hinder him at some point.

And yes, I can tell him what to do, since he asked.


And yes, that was actually quite good advice =p.

Similair to alternate picking it would make sence to keep up the pattern of R, M, I because if you don't I can foresee rhytm problems aswell as emphasising problems.

I'll definetly continue using 3 fingers whenever I feel it's more comfortable, though with most standard 4/4 songs I can get along with 2 fingers, alternating between index and middle quite fine.

That studybass site has some really helpfull stuff, the explenation on intervals was quite nice. I'm heading out to buy my bass tomorrow (I'll naturally make a thread with piccy's =p), I'll definetly be studying that when I have it.

Really helpfull advice thus far =)
My Gear:

Guitars:
Ibanez RG 7 EXFX (27'' scale, 2x EMG 707)

Amp:
Mesa/Boogie Studio .20 Caliber

Recording:
Line 6 Studio POD GX