#1
I was recently thinking that I need to actually focus on a skill and strive to 'perfect' it. What can you guys recommend for me to do for me to "get serious" about my bass skills? I already have a teacher in mind [how is $50/hr for a relatively wellknown session bassist?] Also, how long a day should I be practicing for? [Yes i know that regularly is better]

Another thing is, should i work on attaining a fretted bass? The only thing I have atm is a fretless.

thanks
My Gear:
MIM Jazz fretless
180W Ashdown 12"
GAS:
NOTHING
#2
get a fretted bass, and pratice near to 1 hour every night if you want to be serious

however i just practice for a bout an hour every so often
#4
Quote by Guitar Sushi
Fretless bass?... and you're serious about it.... wtf...


Can you explain? It seems to me like a fretless would help him develop his intonation and there's really no need to use a fretted.
Last edited by mooselord at Apr 28, 2008,
#5
I don't play bass, but starting any instrument with a tutor I'd say half an hour every day would be enough. More is better of course.

Once things get more complex, try to play at least an hour daily.

Since mastering an instrument consists in acquiring automatic skills, much like driving a car, it's more important to play regularly than to play a lot. So it's better to play 6 times 15 minutes a week than to play an hour and a half every Sunday.

50$ an hour seems like a lot to me, even considering the dollar is in free-fall. In most European countries music is heavily subsidized by the state. I have two music teachers and I paid 180 Euro for the entire year. For kids it's about a quarter of that I think.

If you have absolute pitch or well developed relative pitch, you could consider a frettless bass. But otherwise I wouldn't do it. Your teacher should advise you on that.
#6
I feel as though i have decent relative pitch. Been playing bass for over a year [had a fretted first] and i played an orchestra instrument for 7+

As for the price, I was shopping around [Chicago, USA] and they all pretty much lie in the same price range, so i picked the guy w/ alot of experience. He also says he has a student discount, so it could be less. Thanks for the responses
My Gear:
MIM Jazz fretless
180W Ashdown 12"
GAS:
NOTHING
#7
Stay with fretless. Nothing bad could POSSIBLY come out of that. Work on getting a fretted if you want, but if you're pleased with the fretless don't worry about it.

You're definitely doing the right thing by getting a teacher. The other thing I can recommend to you is don't over do it. Don't force yourself to play a long time every night for a week, when you have other stuff going on, it's just going to get hectic. Just grab your bass for 15 minutes a night a PRACTISE. Don't play, practise. If you do 15 minutes of good practise it's 1000x better than sitting there jamming on a song.
#8
Quote by InvaderRen
I feel as though i have decent relative pitch. Been playing bass for over a year [had a fretted first] and i played an orchestra instrument for 7+

As for the price, I was shopping around [Chicago, USA] and they all pretty much lie in the same price range, so i picked the guy w/ alot of experience. He also says he has a student discount, so it could be less. Thanks for the responses


I concur with Bales that you are making a great move. On the practicing, I tend to put a few 30 - 60 min blocks aside during the week and use that as "class related" practice and then make sure I get a few jam sessions in during the weekend. And make sure when you practice you are not doing it while engaged in another activity, like watching TV. You really need to focus on what you are doing 100% to make those small blocks of practice very effective. (I do admit that I will do scale work during commercials tho' with the sound muted)

On the cost, that's actually cheaper than most pros are charging in the Bay area (CA). The two bass teachers I have used (both pros) charge 35 USD for 30 minutes for private lessons.
#9
This seems weird to me. When I was looking in to teachers, the pros in my area were only like $60 a month. You guys are talking $50 an hour? Sheesh.
#10
practice walking.
practice while watching TV
if you do not watch TV play around two hours a day
dont pay $50 for a lesson, go with $15 because you only need to learn the basics from lessons
I'll lay waiting, just waiting for my time to come
#11
Quote by InvaderRen
I was recently thinking that I need to actually focus on a skill and strive to 'perfect' it. What can you guys recommend for me to do for me to "get serious" about my bass skills? I already have a teacher in mind [how is $50/hr for a relatively wellknown session bassist?] Also, how long a day should I be practicing for? [Yes i know that regularly is better]

Another thing is, should i work on attaining a fretted bass? The only thing I have atm is a fretless.

thanks



Definitely stay with the fretless, unless you hate it (in which case I don't understand why you have one ) - you'll develop superior intonation and will be able to rip up a fretted bass like no one's business, since you'll know where everything is on the fretboard.
#12
Quote by mooselord
Can you explain? It seems to me like a fretless would help him develop his intonation and there's really no need to use a fretted.
You develop relative pitch (or intonation as you call it) by hearing correct intervals. If you're listening to slightly out of tune notes, this will not help at all.

So it's better to study on a well-tuned fretted instrument.

@InvaderRen: What other instrument did you play before?
#13
^No. For one, you'll have a teacher there to tell you when you're out of tune and two HE'LL know when he's out of tune. And he'll know quickly. Trust me, after about a month of playing a fretless instrument, you have a very good ear for out of tune notes and how to fix them. For instance, I know on double bass my F is usually flat and if it is I can hear it right away and adjust. It'd be the same thing with fretless. Also, with fretless the entire thing is based on relative pitch. How are you going to find out where a C on the G string is? Why, by relating it to another pitch, like an octave or fifth or what have you.
#14
I play(ed) clarinet.
Thing is, I'm not sure if i should start seeing the teacher now, or when i go back to school in september [Am at uni in chicago].

A weird question: If i expect to be unable to get a hold of my bass for 2 years, would it be prudent for me to wait after those two years to get lessons?
My Gear:
MIM Jazz fretless
180W Ashdown 12"
GAS:
NOTHING
#15
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
For instance, I know on double bass my F is usually flat and if it is I can hear it right away and adjust.
To develop relative pitch, you have to get used to correct intervals, and thus train your ear with music that is in tune. If you have to 'make' these notes yourself by guessing where to put your fingers, and you are not trained to correct them on your fretless board, you risk getting used to out-of-tune music. You won't really notice when it's wrong.

I think you already had a well developed relative pitch before you started, Jazz. Maybe you have absolute pitch.
Quote by InvaderRen
I play(ed) clarinet.
You might have developed a good ear in the meanwhile. Can you hear when a note is off?
Quote by InvaderRen
Thing is, I'm not sure if i should start seeing the teacher now, or when i go back to school in september [Am at uni in chicago].
If you pay by the hour, you can visit him when it suits you. It doesn't matter that you miss three months of classes and continue right after.
Quote by InvaderRen
A weird question: If i expect to be unable to get a hold of my bass for 2 years, would it be prudent for me to wait after those two years to get lessons?
I'm not sure I follow you. You want to get serious about playing bass, you want to get a teacher, but you don't have an instrument for two years?

If you mean you only have a frettless base and can't afford another instrument, by all means, start playing the frettless one. I'm only saying a fretless base is more difficult and if you don't have a good ear you might never play in tune. But if you can train your ear with other music, it might not be that bad.

Besides, I've heard dozens of musicians that have #1 hits with records that are so far off it almost makes me cry. It's just a shame.
#16
Quote by Withakay
To develop relative pitch, you have to get used to correct intervals, and thus train your ear with music that is in tune. If you have to 'make' these notes yourself by guessing where to put your fingers, and you are not trained to correct them on your fretless board, you risk getting used to out-of-tune music. You won't really notice when it's wrong.

I think you already had a well developed relative pitch before you started, Jazz. Maybe you have absolute pitch.


hahahahahahahahahaha

Absolute pitch. My relative pitch sucks, never mind absolute pitch.

I still think a great way to improve relative pitch is the fretless bass. You're wrong in one thing saying you're guessing where the notes go. Actually, you're using your ear to decide where the notes go. Plus muscle memory, plus visualization. I know where a C is roughly on any bass I would just have to use my ear and muscle memory to get it dead on. And you know what's frightening? After playing a fretless instrument for a while your ear actually guides your hands. I can't possibly explain it, it's far too supernatural.

Persoanlly I think most everyone has enough of a relative pitch that fretless is of value tot hem.
#17
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
hahahahahahahahahaha

Absolute pitch. My relative pitch sucks, never mind absolute pitch.

I still think a great way to improve relative pitch is the fretless bass. You're wrong in one thing saying you're guessing where the notes go. Actually, you're using your ear to decide where the notes go. Plus muscle memory, plus visualization. I know where a C is roughly on any bass I would just have to use my ear and muscle memory to get it dead on. And you know what's frightening? After playing a fretless instrument for a while your ear actually guides your hands. I can't possibly explain it, it's far too supernatural.

Persoanlly I think most everyone has enough of a relative pitch that fretless is of value to them.


I agree--a fretless is great ear training. I have a story here.

One thing you have to remember is that in my area of the universe, humidity and temps can change dramatically in hours, which plays havoc on tuning instruments at times. One time I was running late for class and tuned my fretless at the house. Got to class and my teacher had his fretless bass as well, which he had been playing for over an hour and had not retuned. We started working through a complicated be bop tune (switching between melody and walking bass lines). I knew I was out of tune in relation to his playing and spent the song constantly adjusting to his pitch. What I didn't realize was that he was doing the same thing. Long story short, when we ended and got the tuner out, we were slightly over a semitone off from each other (he was 1/4 note flat and I was 1/4 note sharp). But it was a great ear training exercise!
#18
If you are getting lessons, usually you will have a certain amount of time you are supposed to practice.

It is best to practice about 45-90 minutes every evening if you are serious.
~Insert Signature Here~
#19
Quote by anarkee
when we ended and got the tuner out, we were slightly over a semitone off from each other (he was 1/4 note flat and I was 1/4 note sharp). But it was a great ear training exercise!
I cannot believe this. Your teacher couldn't adjust to the correct pitch by himself? No disrespect but how much is this guy charging you?

Aren't you just proving my point here? Both you guys were getting used to be out of tune because neither of you had a correct reference.

I've played the violin for over a decade, including a few years in a string orchestra together with two girls who couldn't tell the difference between a middle A and a washing machine. Besides the fact that this was almost unbearable for me, I think it was a waste of talent. If they had been playing the guitar or the piano, they would probably have developped into fine musicians. But after years of passionate hard work, they've never been able to play properly, although I'm sure they're convinced they have.

Quote by jazz_rock_feel
My relative pitch sucks, never mind absolute pitch.

I know where a C is roughly on any bass I would just have to use my ear and muscle memory to get it dead on.
How?

How do you know it's dead on if your (quoting you) relative pitch sucks?

Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Persoanlly I think most everyone has enough of a relative pitch that fretless is of value tot hem.
I think we're not going to agree on this, Jazz. But I do respect your opinion.

I don't play the bass. I've never even seen a frettless base in real life. Also I'm not sure if I have realtive pitch or absolute pitch and nobody's ever been able to point it out to me. I just have a very accurate ear and I think it's unacceptable for any professional musician to play out of tune and not feel bad about it.

But maybe you are right about the fretless base. I certainly know I've been wrong before about many things.
#20
^^^^^^^^^^

Having relative pitch is a hard thing to have, and I don't see how that should effect how much you pay a teacher. Okay, they may not be perfectly in tune on his own, but in a band situation, I have a lot of difficulty staying out of tune for any period of time.

And since I started playing Double Bass, my ability to get pitch has progressed to the point where I can sing a C straight off and pretty much be pefect. Fretless does help.
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