Okay, so I'm really really really green when it comes to playing the bass. I'm sort of interested in ways that I can teach myself how to play without getting an instructor. How did the rest of you go about learning to play? Any advice at all would be helpful. Thanks!
I play it in hopes that one day I will be good enough to be wanted in bands among other reasons. Bass is simply great. Its one of the best things to happen to me in awhile, the only thing I regret is being so ignorant about bass for so long.

Anyways, get the Yamaha GigMaker Bass Pack. You get a very good bass and a better than average amp with this pack plus abunch of other essentials. Plus, the bass looks the sexiest out of all the other basses in the price range. (although I also like that Ibanez one but this bass IMO is better)
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I built finger strength by doing chromatic scales ( simple 1-2-3-4's. 1, being your index finger and so on ending with your pinky as the 4) Don't wuss out and not use your pinky! It will come back to bite you in the ass. After building hand strength I learned a few of my favorite tunes then took on theory. Always, always start slow then build up to speed. Another thing to do is work with a metronome (if you want a link to one online PM me) and play along smoothly with it. Honestly their is nothing better than a good teacher, not 100% necessary but it's a lot easer because they (if you get a good one that is and not one who just teaches you songs) have been were you have been and correct your bad habits.

Keep it up and don’t quit! It’s going to hurt at 1st more than likely but it will pass in time. If you got anything I can help you with I’d be more than glad to just PM me.


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Firstly you should really choose if you're gonna use a pick or not. If you're gonna use a pick, then try to get into slapping and stuff later, you're gonna be screwed. But if you're just gonna play normally, a pick might be good so you can concentrate on your left hand more. Then just start trying to play songs you like to get a feel for the bass, I wouldn't go with scales and warm-ups right away or you're gonna get bored.
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Hal Leonard books. If you aren't going to go the instructor route, they're solid. The lessons on this forum are good as well, but most assume you have some basic knowledge and experience with music theory and bass playing.

There was a thread floating around about 4 weeks ago on a related topic--you may want to do a search on the bass forum as well for more ideas.

I was self taught until a year ago. Some people can manage well without getting into classes or workshops, but honestly, getting a teacher really brought me up to a level I couldn't have achieved on my own. Beleuchtung is correct, teachers will fix your bad habits as well as push you musically and technically.