#1
The other day my music teacher called me over and asked me to play bass guitar for my school. I've played guitar for about seven years now and she's given me two weeks to learn bass to about the level of a grade five player. Has anyone got any tips or techniques or any handy information to help me?
#2
fire your teacher
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
#4
Practice? It's honestly not THAT big of a change if you still use a pick. Things are just a bit more of a stretch and you'll have to learn to harmonize where you used to use one of your two extra strings coming from guitar.

Some things are way easier on bass, like chord sections, other things are way harder on bass, like technical picking sections. Practice and adjust.
#5
It shouldn't be too hard for you to learn. I've played guitar for only about 3 years now, and I decided to grab a bass, just for fun.

The only things that you really need to work on are: Training your fingers on the more wider frets and heavier strings of a bass, focusing on keeping rhythm/time, and fingerpicking, if you're not using a pick.

Other than that, your skills on guitar should carry you the rest of the way. Just practice every day for the next two weeks and you should be able to play at the level your looking for.

As long as your teacher doesn't expect you to play some super-technical piece, you don't have anything to worry about.
#6
Technique won't be a problem but you just need to learn to play like a bassist. Bass parts differ from guitar parts and what sounds good on guitar might not sound good on bass. So right now you will be able to play your bass pretty well (technique-wise) but you might not be able to play like a bassist yet. So maybe listen to lots of music and especially pay attention to what the bassist plays in the songs. You need to learn to groove.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#7
How many 'songs'? Are the parts written out. If all you are doing is picking out the root in a steady rhythm then you will have no problem. If this is a one off then I would avoid learning the alternate finger picking technique on the basis of keeping it simple. If you use a pick keep on doing so but you might want a heavier pick than usual (0.8-1.0) If not use your thumb.

Damping strings can be a problem, they ring on and muddy your sound. Palm muting helps a lot if you aren't used to bass, bass players use both hands to damp strings.

The main difference is in time keeping, you are a part of the rhythm section and timing becomes more critical, practice at least some of the time with a metronome or drum machine.

Good luck.
#8
Thanks, I have about 15 songs to learn, and most of them are written out so I'm ok with that. I only have a school bass to practice on so I can't play at home😟 but my current guitar teacher says he may have one for me to practise on soon😄. I will be the schools bassist for the next 3 years so its not exactly a one off! But thanks again for the advise.
#9
You say the parts are written out for you, so I assume that means they are written in standard notation. So the sixty-four thousand dollar question is: how good are you at reading music in the bass clef? A lot of guitarists who are fine sight-readers in the treble clef have trouble reading in the bass clef, because it is something they do not normally do. Given your time constraints and the amount of material you are being hit with, if this is a problem for you, then you should have the teacher write the bass parts in the treble clef. Seasoned studio guitarists out here in LaLa Land pick up on this trick early on, and they are often thankful for it.

If your sight-reading is good, and the bass parts aren't too difficult (no Victor Wooten tunes, I hope), then with a serious dedication to practice between now and gig time, you might be able to pull it off. I think your biggest problem is going to be that even if you nail the parts in practice, you have not played bass with the band before. That is going to make getting the proper feel and rhythm very difficult, but there isn't anything you can do about that. Try to get in some practice with the other musicians before you have to play it for real.

Good luck!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#10
Quote by TTCDguitarist
Thanks, I have about 15 songs to learn, and most of them are written out so I'm ok with that. I only have a school bass to practice on so I can't play at home😟 but my current guitar teacher says he may have one for me to practise on soon😄. I will be the schools bassist for the next 3 years so its not exactly a one off! But thanks again for the advise.

Are they in standard notation or tabs? Because if they are in standard notation, as FatalGear41 said, you will need to learn to read the bass clef and that takes some time to get used to. If they are just tabs, you could just practice them on your guitar. It's not that different to play the bass. Of course it's good if you could try to play them on bass before the gig. But bass and guitar share the same techniques so learning the technique is not a problem.

If you can play the guitar, you pretty much can play the same things on bass. It will just feel like a bit bigger guitar with thicker strings.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#11
get the calusses out of the way. If you play guitar and switch to bass youre definintely still going to get caluses, if you play a lot your hands will hurt and im not sure how much you can take in 2 weeks...but dont kill yourself, fire your teacher...and give yourself a year
#12
Quote by slap-a-bass
get the calusses out of the way. If you play guitar and switch to bass youre definintely still going to get caluses, if you play a lot your hands will hurt and im not sure how much you can take in 2 weeks...

The left hand of yours should already have developed calusses. And you can prevent the right hand from suffering by using a pick, if you like to.
Quote by FatalGear41
When you break a bass string, that snapping sound is the sound of six dollars going down the crapper.



Sterling Ray 35
Hartke Ha3500 head - Gallien Krueger 212MBE cab
Tech 21 VT Bass
Zoom b2
#13
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Are they in standard notation or tabs? Because if they are in standard notation, as FatalGear41 said, you will need to learn to read the bass clef and that takes some time to get used to. If they are just tabs, you could just practice them on your guitar. It's not that different to play the bass. Of course it's good if you could try to play them on bass before the gig. But bass and guitar share the same techniques so learning the technique is not a problem.

If you can play the guitar, you pretty much can play the same things on bass. It will just feel like a bit bigger guitar with thicker strings.


thanks! they are in a mix of standard notation and tabs, and I'm working on my bass clef reading... the two weeks are up... but I'm managing....ish. I've just been doing LOTS of improvisation and praying that I don't embarrass myself too badly.
#14
Quote by TTCDguitarist
thanks! they are in a mix of standard notation and tabs, and I'm working on my bass clef reading... the two weeks are up... but I'm managing....ish. I've just been doing LOTS of improvisation and praying that I don't embarrass myself too badly.

Tell us how it went after all!
Quote by FatalGear41
When you break a bass string, that snapping sound is the sound of six dollars going down the crapper.



Sterling Ray 35
Hartke Ha3500 head - Gallien Krueger 212MBE cab
Tech 21 VT Bass
Zoom b2