#1
Hey all who read silly forums

I have started playing Bass about 3-4 weeks ago, I own a Yamaha RBX374 and a Fender Rumble 60 watt amp. I have learn a couple of good songs... http://www.youtube.com/user/ladiesbass .... But i am interested in learning some great bass playing skills... what should I do music wise to learn quickly. The most challenging song I have learn would have to be lunchbox by Marilyn Manson... but when i look back on it... it's mediocre compared to what i could be learning... Anyone have any tips ... and please tell me in english becuz i don't really understand half of the terms that people use on here lol.... still a newbie!
#2
One thing I noticed straight off the bat- you have four fingers on your fretting hand!

The way basses are tuned, the 5th fret is the same as the next string up (open), the 6th fret is the same as the next string's 6th fret etc. A good little exercise, and one that will serve you well- is looking at how you're playing things at the moment and minimising the area your fretting hand ahs to move- it's much easier to go up to the 1st fret on the next string than the 6th fret on the same string. Also, if you're playing around the same area, the "4 fingers to 4 frets" mantra comes to the fore- so you have one finger serving the 1st frets, the next one at the 2nd fret and so on. So if you're playing on the 1st fret of the E string and the 3rd fret of the A string, you aren't moving your whole hand to get that 3rd fret- you just stick a finger out. It isn't a necessity to go one finger per fret, but it's a good guideline that will increase the dexterity of your fretting hand. Also, try and keep your thumb on the back of the neck- this will anchor your hand a bit better, giving you a firm base to play from and it's easier to move the hand around if less of it is contacting the neck.

If there's anything you didn't understand from that, or would like some more explaining of, don't hestitate to throw things.

EDIT: Oh, and welcome to the forum. Don't be afraid of going into our off-topic threads and becoming part of the community. We're much nicer than our six (tiny) stringed brethren.
#3
Yeah, welcome to UG! Where the bass forums are the safest and most friendly.

I would start with basic theory, the natural scale, and learning all of the notes on the fretboard as well. After that, you can have some fun with a simple blues line.

-------------------------------
-------------------------------
--------2--4--5--4--2--0---
-0--4-------------------------

Starting out, I'd play variations of this line religiously in different keys.

I apologize for copying this from a previous thread, but these songs really helped me develop my bass skills early on as well:

-"Science of Selling Yourself Short" by Less Than Jake
-"Are You Gonna Go My Way" by Lenny Kravitz
-"Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" by The Clash
-"The Joker" or "Rock'n Me" by Steve Miller Band
-"Polar Opposites" by Modest Mouse.

None of the songs are particularly difficult, but serve two purposes: They put you in the bass mindset, which is all about rhythm, but they also are all over the neck, making you comfortable with your instrument. They're more lead centric, too, but still support the total sound of the song, if that makes sense. Similar to how I play bass.

Best of luck!

MusicMan SUB4
OLP MM2

Gallien-Krueger 1001RB-II / RBH410 x2
Trace Elliot SMX Dual Compressor
Boss CEB-3 Bass Chorus
ZVex Wooly Mammoth Fuzz
#4
We're much nicer than our six (tiny) stringed brethren..... That made me laugh! someone told me about the trying to keep your fretting hand in about the same area... and I don't like using my pinky... its weak and i have to apply a lot of pressure just to get the note to sound the way that it should.
http://www.youtube.com/user/ladiesbass

Bass: Yamaha RBX374 (4 String)
Bass: Schecter Damien-5 (5 String)
Amp: Fender Rumble 60
Future Stack: Ampeg SVT-7PRO Head, SVT-410HLF Bass Speaker Cabinet
#5
When I started off (playing guitar and bass) I agreed with you. I would actually slip my pinky behind the neck of my instrument, out of the way of the frets. But that hurts you so much in your growth. Trust me when I say that improving pinky strength, especially for bass, is one of the most important things. The frets are too far apart for you to just slide your fingers, and everything will be just that much smoother with an extra finger there to guide your basslines. It also helps tremendously with slapping/popping octaves

MusicMan SUB4
OLP MM2

Gallien-Krueger 1001RB-II / RBH410 x2
Trace Elliot SMX Dual Compressor
Boss CEB-3 Bass Chorus
ZVex Wooly Mammoth Fuzz
#6
what does slapping and popping mean? I have a friend at work that says that i need to learn how to slap and pop...
http://www.youtube.com/user/ladiesbass

Bass: Yamaha RBX374 (4 String)
Bass: Schecter Damien-5 (5 String)
Amp: Fender Rumble 60
Future Stack: Ampeg SVT-7PRO Head, SVT-410HLF Bass Speaker Cabinet
#7
Quote by LadiesBass
We're much nicer than our six (tiny) stringed brethren..... That made me laugh! someone told me about the trying to keep your fretting hand in about the same area... and I don't like using my pinky... its weak and i have to apply a lot of pressure just to get the note to sound the way that it should.


Keep practicing using your little finger. Practice isn't meant to be fun, and the best things are always the hardest to achieve. Stick at it, and get that little finger moving. It'll come. It'll take a while, and you might cramp up a few times before it becomes useful, but it'll come.

Slapping and popping is basically this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMSq__vg7Gs

Where you slap the string with your thumb, and "pop" another string with your other fingers (literally pull the string away from the body and release). It's not really a technique I'd recommend jumping into early on into your bass playing career- everything builds upon each other. If you haven't got your fretting down properly, or your plucking co-ordination, you aren'tgoing to get far with slap.
#8
cramping... yeah... Ok i am a nerda**.. before my xbox was stolen i was an expert on guitar and bass on rockband and guitar hero... my pinky would also cramp up and i would get so fing annoyed i decided to learn to play with with three fingers.. i did get pretty good at it but its not easy.... I know totally irrelevant to a real instrument but i know how it feels.
http://www.youtube.com/user/ladiesbass

Bass: Yamaha RBX374 (4 String)
Bass: Schecter Damien-5 (5 String)
Amp: Fender Rumble 60
Future Stack: Ampeg SVT-7PRO Head, SVT-410HLF Bass Speaker Cabinet
#9
OMG He makes it look so easy yet really hard all at the same time... is there any recommend things to learn this easily?
http://www.youtube.com/user/ladiesbass

Bass: Yamaha RBX374 (4 String)
Bass: Schecter Damien-5 (5 String)
Amp: Fender Rumble 60
Future Stack: Ampeg SVT-7PRO Head, SVT-410HLF Bass Speaker Cabinet
#10
When you come to a point where you feel you're in a place to learn slap, there's a great lesson in the Bass Forum Archives by Applehead (Rest his Forum Soul) here:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=494268

Take some time to read through other threads in the archive- there's some great lessons.

Also, take a flick through the FAQ at the top of the bass forum page.
#11
Quote by LadiesBass
cramping... yeah... Ok i am a nerda**.. before my xbox was stolen i was an expert on guitar and bass on rockband and guitar hero... my pinky would also cramp up and i would get so fing annoyed i decided to learn to play with with three fingers.. i did get pretty good at it but its not easy.... I know totally irrelevant to a real instrument but i know how it feels.


First off welcome to the forum. Nothing against the wonderful guys, but its nice to have another chick about who rocks the lower end.

On the pinky. What really strengthened mine was spider scales. There's a couple of decent You Tube videos out there that demonstrate this exercise. Take it slow and over a few weeks, you'll see your pinky and stretch improve.

Good luck, welcome to the fun bunch here!
#12
pinkys are IMPORTANT. like oh my god important. I know right now its this small wimpy little finger, but in the months to come it will be one of your most used fingers.

check sailors hornpipe for a really good pinky exercise, the last bit is probably too technical for someone starting out, but the first bit is really pinky Dependant..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIKV4KeprHQ&feature=channel
this is the first video I saw of it. he goes on and does other stuff afterwards. the tabs are on this site.

and welcome to the forums.
no sir away a papaya war is on
#13
Don't worry about slap and pop, tapping, double thumbing, or playing harmonics. All of those are eye candy. What you really ought to work on is your left hand. Your fingers are all bunched up when you fret, and you rely too heavily on your index finger. That is why you have some hiccups now and then when the groove changes. Try to break that habit you developed from Guitar Hero. Keep your left thumb anchored to back of the neck, and practice w/ one finger per fret. Also, add some permutation to your daily routine, and you'll be a more solid player in no time.
#14
thank you all for all the sound advice but please by all means keep them going. The more the merrier! Yeah I know I relay to much on my index finer... I have been trying to use my other fingers lately I have been using my ring finer... I will start working on my pinky when I get home from work, and the thumb has a mind of its own... I try and keep it on the back of the board but sometimes it retaliates I will have to keep and eye on that.
http://www.youtube.com/user/ladiesbass

Bass: Yamaha RBX374 (4 String)
Bass: Schecter Damien-5 (5 String)
Amp: Fender Rumble 60
Future Stack: Ampeg SVT-7PRO Head, SVT-410HLF Bass Speaker Cabinet
#16
Quote by Deliriumbassist
One thing I noticed straight off the bat- you have four fingers on your fretting hand!

The way basses are tuned, the 5th fret is the same as the next string up (open), the 6th fret is the same as the next string's 6th fret etc. A good little exercise, and one that will serve you well- is looking at how you're playing things at the moment and minimising the area your fretting hand ahs to move- it's much easier to go up to the 1st fret on the next string than the 6th fret on the same string. Also, if you're playing around the same area, the "4 fingers to 4 frets" mantra comes to the fore- so you have one finger serving the 1st frets, the next one at the 2nd fret and so on. So if you're playing on the 1st fret of the E string and the 3rd fret of the A string, you aren't moving your whole hand to get that 3rd fret- you just stick a finger out. It isn't a necessity to go one finger per fret, but it's a good guideline that will increase the dexterity of your fretting hand. Also, try and keep your thumb on the back of the neck- this will anchor your hand a bit better, giving you a firm base to play from and it's easier to move the hand around if less of it is contacting the neck.

If there's anything you didn't understand from that, or would like some more explaining of, don't hestitate to throw things.

EDIT: Oh, and welcome to the forum. Don't be afraid of going into our off-topic threads and becoming part of the community. We're much nicer than our six (tiny) stringed brethren.

This is all solid advice. I'm not a bassist primarily but it's true anyway. Never let your thumb go to the same side of the neck as your fingers. Ever.

Also, EG is nice for the most part! Except for all the damn schecter threads.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#17
lol he's already made me laugh I like him lol. I will make it do my bidding!!!! Damn thumb!!! you will respect my authority! Kinda like I had to learn to give my foot a brain for drumming...rockband.... It was hard but I forced it to my will!
http://www.youtube.com/user/ladiesbass

Bass: Yamaha RBX374 (4 String)
Bass: Schecter Damien-5 (5 String)
Amp: Fender Rumble 60
Future Stack: Ampeg SVT-7PRO Head, SVT-410HLF Bass Speaker Cabinet
Last edited by LadiesBass at Sep 1, 2010,
#18
^I finally got mine to behave by torturing it with an upright.

Another piece of advice I would give is to get a metronome. It will help even out and make your timing consistent and will train your ear for an external beat (aka the drummer).
#19
I have been in a band before... Trumpet if you must know....so I know all about drummers and beats.... Just need to remember everything from school that was 6 years ago
http://www.youtube.com/user/ladiesbass

Bass: Yamaha RBX374 (4 String)
Bass: Schecter Damien-5 (5 String)
Amp: Fender Rumble 60
Future Stack: Ampeg SVT-7PRO Head, SVT-410HLF Bass Speaker Cabinet
#21
As a bass player, you really need to lock with the drummer so that skill is worth keeping to the forefront. You really need to think about yourself as the melodic member of the rhythm section or as one of my bass teachers once said, a drum with strings.
#22
Quote by anarkee
As a bass player, you really need to lock with the drummer so that skill is worth keeping to the forefront. You really need to think about yourself as the melodic member of the rhythm section or as one of my bass teachers once said, a drum with strings.

That's actually a really good analogy as to what a bass player should do.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#23
that's awesome I know another bassist that played trumpet in high school who obviously plays bass now lol
http://www.youtube.com/user/ladiesbass

Bass: Yamaha RBX374 (4 String)
Bass: Schecter Damien-5 (5 String)
Amp: Fender Rumble 60
Future Stack: Ampeg SVT-7PRO Head, SVT-410HLF Bass Speaker Cabinet
#24
My little brother played trumpet before adding on bass(and like 8 other instruments) to his repertoire. I wonder if, after brass, guitar just feels too weak? Haha.
#26
i came from guitar. I feel all alone among you mighty brass players.

and get a music stand if you don't have one. apparently people wih music stands practice 15% longer, which may be crap but it definately is better than having J.S. bach pieces taped to your TV like I do.
no sir away a papaya war is on
#28
Quote by anarkee
As a bass player, you really need to lock with the drummer so that skill is worth keeping to the forefront. You really need to think about yourself as the melodic member of the rhythm section or as one of my bass teachers once said, a drum with strings.

Yeah, that's been my main advice to people I know. "Pretend you're playing the drums..." It works so well. I don't really mean it in a percussive sense, but just as a rhythm sense.
Lord Gold feeds from your orifices and he wants to see you sweat.
Lord Gold probes you publicly and makes your pussy wet.
Now say his name.....
#29
ok... So I decided to restart from basics... So I pulled out my basics for bass books... Yes I own 2 of them cuz I couldn't decide on which one I wanted to buy... And one of them I haven't listened to the cd yet so I decided to pop it into the player and I went thought the whole cd in own setting... I discovered that it does teach the slap pop tech.... But I'm confused on the slap.. Is it basically like a retard strum with ur thumb? Cuz that's what it sounds like to me... Slapping and popping is going to be a tuff one to learn but I will wait on that atleast I have the basics on the slap pop handy
http://www.youtube.com/user/ladiesbass

Bass: Yamaha RBX374 (4 String)
Bass: Schecter Damien-5 (5 String)
Amp: Fender Rumble 60
Future Stack: Ampeg SVT-7PRO Head, SVT-410HLF Bass Speaker Cabinet
#30
retard strum is a decent definition of it. use the boney part of your thumb and hit it against the strings perpendicular to the body.
no sir away a papaya war is on
#31
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE0rcaurcx0


Let me know what you guys think... i have been trying to put everything you guys told me to do and learn and i have been working on it... The song sounds a little off in certain parts becuz i am still learning to strum with fingers fast enough for certain parts.
http://www.youtube.com/user/ladiesbass

Bass: Yamaha RBX374 (4 String)
Bass: Schecter Damien-5 (5 String)
Amp: Fender Rumble 60
Future Stack: Ampeg SVT-7PRO Head, SVT-410HLF Bass Speaker Cabinet