Ok as anyone who has read any of my crazy threads knows i am new to bass. Now I figure I would work on getting my finger work done first (with the fret and strumming the strings) the very basics. What I have done for excersizes with these is basicly start off with doing spiders up and down the fret board. Than playing scales than I will pick out a song I wanna learn and concentrate on making sure my technique is correct.

I figured I would continue with these type of things untill I got them down pretty well. Than I Figured I would move on to hammer on's and pulls offs. Now from there I am unsure on what I should try. I was thinking I wanted to do Slapping and plucking... than learn tapping after I get that down. Anyone have any suggestions on what is probably the best course to do these things? or perhaps what order they learned them in.

I am trying to find a good routine of practice to make sure I get good technique and such.
OK, firstly...there is no correct order. There are conventional ways of learning, like if you were going to a professional tutor, and there are unconventional ways of learning (from people off the web).

Personally, as people here know, i am a stickler for the rules, and i like to do things the proper way. They are done that way for a reason, afterall.

You are off to a good start. The spider is good for finger independence but dont spend too much time on it. are you warming up first as well? You can hurt your hands otherwise. So, i just do some simple major and minor scales for a warm up. at least five mins of just this. Slowly, it's not a race. Then when you are warm, you can up the tempo a bit and get faster. DO NOT go faster than the speed where you are making mistakes. You should be able to play it with no mistakes or you are going to fast. Dont be scared to turn the metronome DOWN. Then try some chromatic runs. Again, up the tempo as necessary. Mix up the fingering for the chromatic runs, so instead of 1, 2, 3, 4...try 1, 3, 2, 4 and then 1, 4, 2, 3 etc.. This is MOST important, whatever you d, make sure you do this lots. Then i recommend playing the major scales in 2nds, 3rds, 4ths and 5ths. (Look these terms u if you are not sure what they mean - it's the best way to learn). These are excellent exercises which will help your finger style immensely. If i were you, i would spend a YEAR on these things. Which might sound a long time,but trust me it's not. You are working on the bedrock of bass playing here, this is far more important than slapping and popping anything.

Add some hammers and pull-offs. I used to do my major scale and try and use as few a plucks as possible. 3 on the way up the scale and 3 on the way down is what you're aiming for. at the end of your session, if you feel you wanna do a bit of slap.. that's fine. but i would wait at least six months or so before seriously spending time on it. And forget tapping for now. it's an advanced technique which requires hours of painless drills.

Good luck.
So perhaps better to start off with the scales than doing the spiders with as you suggested. That may work out Better ill start doing things that way. Though normaly after I am done with that I will work on a song and try and get that done. I am not sure if that is a good idea, but the way I am sorta looking at it is just doing scales would probably get old after a month or two. So I figured that stuff for starters for practice and warm up. Than the songs to keep things interesting, and it adds to the practice because you got make sure you are doing it correctly.

I would like to get good like most people I would like it to happen know but I know that it wont. One of the perks of being a martial artist is that I know perfection comes through doing the movements slowly as to build proper muscle memory and cordination.

Though when I do the songs sometimes they buzz out, and I am not sure if it is due to the fact that my fingers arnt giving the string enough pressure as to hold it down. Or if something else is outa wack. I find that if I add a bit more pressure to the string it will normaly not buzz.

This may also be something to perhaps Create a forum on and sticky it is perhaps something for new people to come here and look up how people practice and general ideas or excersizes. Though I think new people also have a tedeancy to wanna make sure they are correct, I know thats why I like to double check half the time is it takes alot of time to change a bad habbit that you have formed from improper practice.
I am also a maretial artist, and i think there are many similarities between the two disciplines.

OK, let me set the record straight now. Real practice is BORING AS WATCHING PAINT DRY. There is no two ways about it - playing the same thing over and over and over again is painful. But is is the most important part of developing yourself on any instrument. People who are prepared to put in the hours on the boring stuff are the poeple that turn out to be the best on their instrument. Learning songs should be left for the "Fun Time" at the end. Practice is serious. it's not to rock out to. I know you dont wanna hear it, but honestly dude, i wanna help you...and this how you get good. You should be able to play a major scale without even thinking about it,let alone looking at your fingers. The way to keep drills interesting is to mix them up. So, i do major on the way up the scale and minor on the way down. 3rds on the way down, 5ths on the way back up. That kind of thing. Yes, it's still boring. But not as boring as before!!

The most important thing when starting out is to do everything slowly and cleanly. There are too many poeple who say "Yeah i can play fast", and then you hear them and it's just mud. They are not fretting cleanly at that speed. Take your time. Spend a week or more on things - there is no rush, honestly. After a year of all this you will be well on your way.

You should set up a schedule - work out how much time you can spare. Dont say "four hourss anight" unless you really can do that. Split the time up and work on different things. GET A NOTEBOOK and write down what you do in that session, the tempo you reached and the scales you learnt. I would say spend a week on each scale. Remember, you need to know them inside out and back-to-front, not just "Kinda know". There is no such thing as "Kind knowing", you either know or you dont.

Part of your practice should be to learn a song or two. But when i say learn it, i dont mean learn the main riff and go "hey check me out". I mean learn it so someone listening would not know it was you playing. Learn every note, hammer, pull, and nail it properly. Dont be scard to play something a little harder every now and again - it makes the easier stuff seem easier. Just dont get caught up trying to play things that are too advanced as you will get frustrated. I remember when i first started playing i really wanted to play New Born by Muse. it drove me mad so i gave up. I can play that without even thinking about it now. I was just too ahead of myself. A common mistake.

Then, at the end of your session, you should jam. Do you have a drum track? If not, there is a thread called Funky Junky where i have put a drum track. Download it now before the link dies. Just play to that. Dont worry if it sounds crap, you are a beginner. The point here is to develop your creativity. It's fun, sop dont take it too seriously.

And finally, warm down with some slow scales. You may laugh, but seriously this is a great trick someone told me to stop your hand cramping up later on or the next day.

Your buzzing is as you said, pressure. Just play slower, apply more pressure as you have done, and you will be fine. Remember, you never use the tips of your fingers for anything more than holding a pen, so this will come as a big surprise to them!! The good news is, however, that they soon get used to it. The tips will start to go hard, this is natural, although your girlfriend might not like it!!

edit: i forgot two important things. USE YOUR PINKY AND BUY A METRONOME
Last edited by Applehead at Sep 5, 2006,
This is very good advice and yeah I will get what you said and I have a metronome got it with a program that came with my amp.
you may also want to start learning theory alongside your practicing, and implement the two together. By all means, learn scales and stuff, but ear training can come in very useful too. Google for an ear trainer that'll get you to be able to listen for different intervals etc.

Use some of your practice time to watch other bassists and study how they do things. I learnt a lot from just watching videos of Larry Graham and Victor Wooten.

Always go back to the basics. I've been playing for nearly 4 years, but every 4 days or so, without fail, the only thing I do when I practice is right hand technique, making sure that I'm still playing correct note durations at whatever bpm. However, I go from 120 to 190, then work 120 downwards- playing slow is a lot harder, it requires more thought. If you get stuck at a certain bpm, stick to it until you get it right- no skipping.

Jam with other bassists now and again, practice with them. They could teach you something, you could teach them something, you now belong to a big community.

Happy practicing, good luck for your future with 4 (at least) strings.
Where would I learn about theory? I have wondered what exactly theory is.
theory is basically the science of music. It's not quite that, but its what has become conventional knowledge of how what works and what are ways of making good music. Some people get trapped in conventional music theory and lose their edge - always finding themselves writing songs in one way, sticking to this or that, sticking to a key, etc.

You would learn it in lessons or in Musician's talk or on the internet by searching for music theory or asking a question here. Scales, keys, chords, all music theory.
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BA in Music theory
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Ahh I see I will have to look around for that, one thing I have ran across just a few mins ago however is that there was two ways to do fretting? Think one was termed the cup which was three fingers to fret and the last was the 4 finger strech. This was on fenderplayerclub and I have been practicing all four fingers, but it says here that three fingers are better? Is that true or a opinion?
where does it say three fingers is better here? If it was said on UG, it was probably referring to playing hand and not fretting hand.
Quote by casualty01
the RIAA can't shut us down, interpol can't shut us down. the U.S. gov't can't shut us down and CERTAINLY not YOU can shut us down.

BA in Music theory
MusicMan Bongo, SUB -> Orange Terror 1000 stack

Quote by waterproofpie
it's a UtBDan sandwich. Awwww yeah!
no it doesn't... it even says fretting with four hands is better, and just gives an example where if you can't keep time and you fret with four it doesn't matter.

It's just saying to each their own, but it states very simply 4 fingers is the way to go.

"use all four fingers over three frets"

it... states it really clearly bro. Where's the confusion?
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the RIAA can't shut us down, interpol can't shut us down. the U.S. gov't can't shut us down and CERTAINLY not YOU can shut us down.

BA in Music theory
MusicMan Bongo, SUB -> Orange Terror 1000 stack

Quote by waterproofpie
it's a UtBDan sandwich. Awwww yeah!
I think its in the fact that shouldnt all four fingers be used on 4 diffrent frets? thats what I have been doing, maybe I got that wrong or misunderstood some were along the line.
^ using four fingers over four frets, ie one fret per finger, is the most economical way to play because the entire scale is available without moving your hand at all. you can do what you want, but this is the best way to fret. Some people dont develop their pinky so only use three
Well, if you come from playing upright bass, some people teach you not to use your third or fourth finger (depends on the teacher)... maybe you picked it up from that.

4 fingers is definatly better on fretted bass.

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I find that at my lowest three frets, it is a bit of a stretch to reach four frets. My instructor and I both only cover three frets there. Perhaps this is the sort of thing that is being confused? Because I could not imagine playing well with 3 fingers.
^ It will come with time, you need to do it every day and your fingers will streth apart. I could never play the 2+6 harmonic in PoT - i used think that was basically impossible, now i can play it and it feels comfortable.. just takes time.
Well I can tell the diffrence in it already, my fingers are much more amp to move on their own and stay spread apart. However how many major scales are there as it seems all the major scales (that I have) are on the first 4 frets. Think I have 6 in total, and they are the same damn thing just 1 string lower. for the most part.

Like e Major and A major except E major starts on e String and A major starts on the string lower than that.

(well I was a bit wrong g and c major go down to the fifth fret.
You need to learn about modes. I am not going to go into them now because they are quite deep, but there are some good lessons about them on here and all over the web. Have a read and if you have any questions, search around or ask in the musicians forum, where people really know their theory.. Dont spend too much time at the moment on that, just try and nail the major, minor and pentatonic for now..
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Hum whats pentatonic?

pentatonics are whole steps on the frettboard i believe.

i assume you know what a whole step is? 1 frett apart. half steps are no fretts apart. between your notes, there is a whole step, like from A to B. the only notes that are only a half step in between are B and C, and E and F. if you can run a C major scale, say the note names as you do it, and this will become very clear if its not already.
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a pentatonic is a 5 note scale, constructed in this way:

Major pentatonic- scale tones I, II, III, V and VI of the major scale

for example:

C MAJOR (Ionian) : C D E F G A B C (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII)

therefore the C Major (Ionian) pentatonic would be C D E G A

basically, to construct any major pentatonic scale, take the major scale of any key, and omit the 4th and 7th note.

there are 4 other modes:

thirdless with major 6th (Mixolydian pentatonic):

I, II, IV, V, VI (in the key of C would be C D F G A)

thirdless with minor 7th (Dorian pentatonic):

I, II, IV, V, VI# (in the key of C would be C D F G Bb)

minor (Aeolian pentatonic):

I, II#, IV, V, VI# (in the key of C would be C Eb F G Bb)

fifthless (Phrygian pentatonic):

I, II#, IV, V#, VI# (in the key of C would be C Eb F Ab Bb)

I hope that clears up what a pentatonic is. Crazypeanutman, a whole step on the fretboard is a tone (1 frets), and no fret is a semitone.

There is another way to construct a major pentatonic, and that is by using the notes that AREN'T used in the octatonic, or natural, major scale. Therefore, by listing these "missing" notes we get: Db, Eb, Gb, Ab, Bb. But which scale do these notes belong to? evidently not that of the C Major pentatonic scale, as we already know that this is C D E G A. I'm not sure about this, but look at the word pentatonic. Pent= Five. So, if we take the note that is flat of the 5th note in the scale (in this case, being G, so Gb), and find the pentatonic major of that note. The natural Gb major scale is:

Gb, Ab, Bb, B, Db, Eb, F, Gb (the B should actually be written as Cb, but for simplicity's sake, we'll leave it as B)

By omitting the 4th and 7th notes as I described above, we get:

Gb, Ab, Bb, Db, Eb

Do those notes look familiar? Well, they should do. Those are the notes that are omitted from the C major scale. I believe this is how the circle of fifths works, but someone correct me if I'm wrong.

So, the rules are:

1. Take a major scale, and remove the 4th and 7th notes

2. In order to find the RELATIVE major pentatonic of a major scale, write down the notes not in the major scale. You should have a note that is the flat of the fifth note in the major scale. These omitted notes make up the major pentatonic scale of that flatted note.

A second example of rule 2:



G# is included (the fifth note flatted will always be found in these omitted notes)


G# A# C D# F

to doublecheck:


take away the 4th and 7th notes: voila: G# A# C D# F

I hope that clears up pentatonics for you.
Last edited by Deliriumbassist at Sep 7, 2006,