I've been playing the bass for only a little less than two weeks now, but I've been playing at least 3-4 hours a day and I'm absolutely loving it and my technical abilities are improving on a daily basis and it's extremely fun and encouraging seeing my progress in real time.

Anyways, I've gotten to the point where I'm antsy as heck in wanting to try to play along with some songs. I've learned all the bass parts for a few songs, but here's my problem. Now this might sound silly to some of you experienced guys out there but think back to your beginning days if you could.

What I'd like to be able to do is since I know the bass parts and the order they go in for a few songs, well I'd like to be able to play the song on CD in the background and I'd like to be able to play along with the songs. My issue is that how do you know/hear when it's time to play the parts? I find it real difficult in most songs to hear when I'm supposed to be playing. There have only been a few songs I've ever heard in my life where you can really hear all the bass parts.

So my issue is not that I can't play the instrument, it's that I can't tell when to play my parts. Even more so especially the little bass parts that come here and there, I'm like wtf, but I'm like wtf with all of it.

The thing is my sense of rhythm is very good and so is my timing. When I watch a friend of mine play the bass with a CD in the background I can play along with his playing, but when he stops and I'm trying to wait for parts and what not, I don't know when I should be playing and the beat, timing, or whatever I'm supposed to be following. I would ask him but I'm going to ask you guys first. I really really need help with this because my goal is to play bass in a band. What cues should I be looking for? What should I be following in the song? Or anything else that would help me. Thank you guys so much in advance--answers to this would really mean a lot to me as I feel it's truly the only thing holding me back.

Oh and the only reason I know the bass parts for these few songs is because of tab. Now how you guys actually just listen to a song and figure out the bass parts which you can barely even hear I will never know or maybe I will if anyone cares to answer this second part of the question. Thanks again
Last edited by smon2pro at Dec 31, 2009,
in most modern rock songs the bass will play whenever the guitar does, and usually in the same rhythm. As for fills and things like that, do your best to read the tab carefully and try to put it in where it makes sense
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get guitar pro or power tab
you should be able to play along to most songs
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listen to the drums and try to keep in time with them....it also helps to memorize the song itself and not just notes
Playing along with songs is something that you will pick up relativly easily over time. unfortunatly im not aware of any ways to quickly pick it up it just comes from experiance, just keep trying and youll get it
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Last edited by lordrcceaser at Dec 31, 2009,
Hearing the bass in songs comes with time, as you play the instrument more you'll notice the bass sounds in songs more.
Also, instead of learning just the tabs and notes, learn the timings, listen to the song and try to follow (without your bass) the tab with the song. Then try it with your bass...Then without the tabs...