I just recently got a bass, and i was wondering if anyone has any pointers or tips for someone just starting out. I was told to practice scales, but every site i go to says they are done differently. Help?
honestly if you're just starting, you should memorize which frets are what note, practice running (two fingers just running across the strings to build stamina, strength, and speed), and do strength exercises. Do a lot of chromatic practice to build synchronization, speed, and strength.
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There are always different ways to play scales, and the more ways you know to play a particular scale, the better off you will be. One of the best books for bass scales is called Fretboard Alchemy by Scott Hubbell. It covers a great many scales for 4, 5 and 6-string bass. Pair it with any book on bass chords and you will be well on your way to developing a solid foundation. As for playing technique, try instructional DVDs. There are several good ones out there. I find learning technique from a book is nowhere near as informative or as useful as watching the techniques performed. And with that in mind, the best thing you could do is find a good bass teacher.

Good Luck!
listen to the bass in music, find out what makes it do certain things. you can do this without scales (it's easier with them) and learn to replicate that feel in your own playing.
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