#1
I've only been playing the bass for about 5 months, and I have to say that I'm coming along pretty well. However, I hit a roadblock a few weeks ago... I just didn't feel like I was advancing anymore. I tried fixing my problem by learning to use the floating thumb technique and improve my left hand fingering, as well as some new warmup techniques. I asked a more experienced musician than myself if 1-2 hours a day of my routine would advance me at a decent rate, and he told me that as long as I'm playing with purpose, I'll get where I want to. I know that part of playing with purpose is partly actually wanting to play, and not playing without passion. Now I need to ask, as far as my actual routine goes, does it seem like I'm 'playing with purpose' and not playing things that will get me nowhere? I'll list what I normally do on a daily basis:

Simple warmup exercise that involves me switching strings at increasing speed

Exercise to stretch/strengthen my ring and pinky fingers.

Exercise to help with faster alternate plucking

Galloping exercises

Scales

A killer exercise that helps with independent finger movement that can be seen here: http://www.cyberfretbass.com/misc-wisdom/weinkum/steve-bailey-hazard-exercise/index.php

Then I run through all the songs I know pretty well 1-2 times, followed by practicing the songs I learned recently that need work. When I feel I can play them decently, I move on and learn more. Note: I'm not focusing on making my own music at the moment, but rather working on improving my technique. I do know a good amount of theory, though.

What do you think of my routine? Should I eventually switch up my warmup exercises, or will this routine work for me for a long time to come?
#2
You say you know a good amount of theory, you take 1-2 hours a day to do all that, you're at five months. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say you're doing just fine. Hah. The things you're doing definitely have purpose. Just make sure you aren't doing the exact same notes, exact same area of the fretboard while you do your exercises. I don't know exactly how much theory you know, but if you don't know all the notes yet, then you have to do it soon. In my opinion, it separates the posers from the bassists. You said you aren't interested in making your own lines, but you need to at least be able to create lines fora guitar player. That all can be found here:

http://www.cyberfretbass.com/first-fret/note-names/index.php
http://www.cyberfretbass.com/line-creation/index.php

Also, just a side note: It's good that you don't move on to the next song you want to learn until you get the current one down pretty well. That's a mistake I've made. I spend 90% of my time just improving bass lines for songs while someone is jamming chords. But when I'm just playing... I only know about 10 entire songs. I just know a lot of lines from other songs. BTW I'm 9 months in to it.
I'm not a fan of facts. You see, the facts can change, but my opinion will never change, no matter what the facts are. - Stephen Colbert

#3
Join a band. If you find you've hit a rut, join a band. Making your own music is the best feeling ever. Don't get me wrong, you still need to keep up with your practice (your schedule looks good, by the way), but playing in a band is where you need to be. After all, the greater purpose of playing music is to perform with others right? So get out there.
#4
Thanks for the responses!

As for the amount of theory I know... I do know where to find each note of the bass of course, but I can't do it instantly. For example, if someone pointed to the 8th fret of the G string, it would take a few seconds of thinking before I figure it out that it's F. I need to work on memorizing the whole fretboard.

As for starting a band, a friend of mine and I were planning on starting a Rush cover band eventually. We can both play several Rush songs (including the infamous YYZ... although only at 75% speed so far), but finding a drummer as good as Peart is going to be difficult. I think the reason I've come this far in 5 months is the fact that I focused mainly on Rush and Dream Theater basslines, which can be really intense.
#5
Try out Band in a Box if you haven't already. It has all the styles of music you can think of to play around with. It is a good way to practice technique (i.e. simply running scales over a progression) and timing, but it also simulates playing in a band. Obviously it is not nearly as fun, but it is a good way to progress as a musician.
#6
Quote by flapz
Thanks for the responses!

As for the amount of theory I know... I do know where to find each note of the bass of course, but I can't do it instantly. For example, if someone pointed to the 8th fret of the G string, it would take a few seconds of thinking before I figure it out that it's F.

That's not F. Try Eb.

Anyway, just join a band like Jazz said. It's the most rewarding part of music.
Quote by PatMcRotch
The term grammer nazi is from the camps in the lolocaust made by Adrofl Hitlol...


Quote by Wasted Bassist
Be sure to rape the blue note (augmented 4th). Rape it hard and exploit it like the skank it is.


Founder of the All-Tube Bass Amp Owners Club. PM me to join.
#7
Quote by Your41Plague12
That's not F. Try Eb.

Anyway, just join a band like Jazz said. It's the most rewarding part of music.


Haha... that just furthers my point. I need to work on that.

Also, I will look into this Band in a Box thing.

Thanks guys!