#1
Lately ive been wanting to pick up bass really bad. I have some musical background, I can read and count music, played a year of french horn in school, and I can play guitar, but really badly. I know a pretty good amount of theory too. Is bass something that can teach myself and still learn at a good pace?

I also want to develop my ear. I play horn so my ear is getting there, but what should I do to develop my ear for bass?

Where can I find an explanation of fingerpicking technique?

Also, what are opinions on sheet music notation vs tablature?
#2
um, well if you can play guitar, and you can read music, your fine. i mean really all playing bass is, is playing the bass note of a chord, its farley easy to pick up. i've been playing for about two years and ya, the only difficult thing is learning different styles
#5
Well, I don't think you need a teacher, but having one would definitely help out.

Knowing theory and playing other instruments is going to help, you a bit, but you need to learn certain basics to grasp the idea.

Finger picking is essentially brushing the strings with your first and second finger alternating, trying not to hook your finger around the string too much, there are more detailed explanations in the FAQ I think which is stickied.

If you can read sheet music and the bass clef then sheet music will always be superior because you can play a song without having to hear it first, its also pretty much needed if you want to have a career in music. However, tablature is good if you don't know how to read music and you have access to the song to hear how it goes.

Hope that helped.

EDIT:
Quote by EllttEll
um, well if you can play guitar, and you can read music, your fine. i mean really all playing bass is, is playing the bass note of a chord, its farley easy to pick up. i've been playing for about two years and ya, the only difficult thing is learning different styles

Bass is often so much more than playing the root of the chord. Don't assume because you can play guitar you can play bass, TS.
If music was the food of love I'd be a fat romantic slob.
#6
Quote by greekorican5
Lately ive been wanting to pick up bass really bad. I have some musical background, I can read and count music, played a year of french horn in school, and I can play guitar, but really badly. I know a pretty good amount of theory too. Is bass something that can teach myself and still learn at a good pace?

I also want to develop my ear. I play horn so my ear is getting there, but what should I do to develop my ear for bass?

Where can I find an explanation of fingerpicking technique?

Also, what are opinions on sheet music notation vs tablature?


Fingerpicking technique is simply 'stroking' your index and middle fingers alternately over the string, making it vibrate horizontally (parallel to the fretboard).

Watch some Youtube video of bass and you should see it fairly easily.

As for fretting, use all four fingers, and keep your thumb as a pivot on the back of the neck. Do not wrap it around the neck.

Both tab and sheet music is availible. Best to learn both.

Developing your ear comes with time. Just get used to recognising intervals and some notes.
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+1
#7
IMO in modern days a teacher is not vital. Sure it helps, but a bass teacher can really only teach you how to play techniques properly, speed and fluency come simply with lots of practice. There are so many easily accessible ways to find theory on the net via books you can buy sitting comfortably in front of your computer. Applying theory well is also something that takes a while with a lot of trial and error. If a person is very motivated, a teacher is not necessary. Where a teacher REALLY can help is pushing you to the limits and motivating you to learn new stuff.
#8
Ive also got a question about composing basslines. Do you play in the same scale as the guitarist? Ive also heard that you play in the key of the chord that guitarist is playing, so I'm confused.

Garage sales are tomorrow, i hope i get lucky and find a bass. I know how to set intonation and adjust the truss rod on a guitar, change string height, ect. Is the setup for a bass the same?
#9
Quote by watchingmefall

Oh yeah, And because I'm mexican.

yeah, that's mexican, not mexican't.

i too, am self taught. i do however believe the routine of regular lessons will make you better, faster. but that only works if you practice everyday, same as self-taught.
#10
It should be. The mechanics of how to opperate the bridge etc. vary from bass to bass though.

As for composing, it is generally a good idea to stay in the key of the piece. Venturing outside is a skill learned with time and a lot of practise.
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#11
Quote by watchingmefall
I am self taught, but I could do that because I'm pretty awesome.

Oh yeah, And because I'm mexican.


Of course you're awesome mijo, you're my kid!


But back on topic. Many people are "self taught" and do well. It depends on how you learn, but I always advise getting a least a sit down with a pro or good teacher to evaluate your playing. I did the self taught route and managed to acquire a boatload of bad habits as a "guitarist who wanted to play bass". Getting a teacher can correct or avoid bad technique as well as accelerate a learning process.

And in my case, its also lead to a few stints of regular gigs, but that's another story for another day.
#12
The bass player in my highschool jazz band was self taught, and she got a thousand dollar scholarship to collage, and kinda owned. Just make sure you teach yourself right. xP
#13
Quote by DEEVIOUS1
I knew nothin about music and im completely self taught


how can you know nothing about music and be smart enough to teach yourself a MUSICal instrument
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#14
I played french horn for 9 years, then drums 1 year, then guitar 1, and after that I picked up bass. Self-taught in guitar & bass, but with the background i had, it was a pretty smooth transition.

I would recommend a teacher though, they will notice all your mistakes, and tell you how to become perfect. Simply the best way to become a good musician.
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#15
i taught myself- i still do, if it felt right, i did it and it turns out i wasnt far of my technique so i'd say look how other people play, try that and change it to suit yourself,

also i used tabs but am slowly picking up sheet music due to playing flute for 8 years, i can read the notes, i just have to learn where they are on the fret board, good luck anyways
#16
I've never had a lesson - pretty much everything I know about playing bass has come from listening to music and trying to replicate the sounds I like. I guess it depends on what your aim is. I just wanted to be able to play all my favourite songs and to jam with friends at parties.
#17
Quote by watchingmefall
I am self taught, but I could do that because I'm pretty awesome.

Oh yeah, And because I'm mexican.


I'm self taught too, and that's 'cos I'm a badass Israeli motherfunker.
#18
you can teach yourself ENTIRELY through YouTube videos

anyone agree?
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#19
No. Jimmy, that is false.
you can't teach yourself entirely through youtube- they do not tell you if you're doing something wrong. you can self teach to an extent, but technique is rarely as effective when you have taken lessons.
you can get away with minimal lessons, like three classes on how to play, what the notes are, where to put your thumb. there are few techniques that are easier to do self-taught. you can try.
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#20
i aint need no learnin
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#21
I started out knowing nothing about music theory or anything like that and taught myself Guitar, Bass, Harmonica, Piano and Alto Saxophone, if i can do that you can teach yourself how play bass, also if you already play guitar you should have at least some knowledge of the fretboard, and most scales can be transfered directly from guitar to bass.
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#22
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
most scales can be transfered directly from guitar to bass.

Scales don't change just because the instrument does. They are exactly the same, all the time, no matter what.
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#23
Quote by Eklund
Scales don't change just because the instrument does. They are exactly the same, all the time, no matter what.


yeah the intervals are always the same, but in this case the fingering is also the same, which is what I meant.
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