#1
I never want to learn any songs. Once in a while I'll learn a bassline I really like and learn it but that's all I like to do. I don't like to learn songs unless I'm playing for a band and need to learn them.

Most of the time I'm just messing around improvising a certain chord progression or just making basslines of my own up. I know I have to learn songs to make myself a better player but I really have no drive to do that.

Is this okay for me to do? Will I still learn more as a bass player if I'm just learning scales and improvising on my own instead of learning actual songs?

This probably sounds like a stupid question to you, but I'm kind of lost here.
BRIGHT LIGHTS PUT ME IN A TRANCE.
but it aint house music that makes me want to dance.
#3
Actually I do that, especially on bass. But, when I play guitar I'll try to learn the whole song but usually I'll just play the main riffs and improv the rest. I don't know if it is a good thing or not but who cares.
#4
It's not odd, but you should still learn songs to develop styles from bassists you like. Or even, from bassists you don't like is a great way to learn.
#5
I've started to do that more and more as well. I personally think its doing me more good than harm. As long as you're actually paying attention to what you are doing(cuz occasionally I wont). It helps you in a band situation because you can create more original songs with more ease.
#6
You don't have to learn any songs if you don't want to. Who says you need to learn songs to get better?
#7
thats what i used to do but you do have to pay attention to what you are doing because if you dont then you wont progress. i started playing in the praise band at my church but there werent any true to form bass lines, so as long as it sounds good and fits with the song i have a bit of freedom, but i still have to know where i am going
#8
I find that the more I play jazz and blues, the more I tend to make up my own basslines ala Duck Dunn to songs than follow the recorded bass line. I'll learn hooks and licks, and then spin off from there.
#9
i have learned less than 5 songs and i have been playing for 2 years and can outplay about everyone else. i just fool around and i progress. and my bass lines dont sound the same at all. so its good. as long as you know your progressing.
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#11
I learn riffs i like or the bassline to a song i like but i rarely learn a whole song unless i really like it/its not that complicated :P
#12
The way I was taught, was that a bass player shoudl learn HOW to play, not WHAT to play.
#13
I'm the same. I don't know whether it's due to my lack of determination or patience, but a lot of the time I just learn parts from songs, certain riffs. When I'm not doing that I'm just improvising around scales or trying to write some of my own songs/ riffs.
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#14
I'm not interested in learning other's songs. It's not that I'm impatient it's just that I don't care what they played, I want to play something different. Of course right now I'm learning Teen Town, but we're arranging it in my band for bass and drums, so it's a little different.
#15
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
I'm not interested in learning other's songs. It's not that I'm impatient it's just that I don't care what they played, I want to play something different. Of course right now I'm learning Teen Town, but we're arranging it in my band for bass and drums, so it's a little different.

Please, please, please record that and pass it along. I'd die if I saw that.
#17
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
^If we ever get it done, will do. We started and then realized the insaneness of our quest. It took us a week of practise just to get the main melody decent.

I'll post later on a video of my new proyect. It's a jazzy kind of thing, but instead of sax we got an orchestral oboist. I got an orchestral percussionist as a drummer and it's me on bass, though I'll do a shitload of tapping to "make" a piano.
Last edited by watchingmefall at Oct 2, 2008,
#18
I started by learning songs, and I still do at times, but I mainly learn things by patterns and sounds now. It's not odd at all.
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#19
LOL...this thread has gone on to almost 20 posts and no one's mentioned the fact that the guy who started the epic "I need bass songs to learn" thread has admitted he doesn't like learn songs.

Just proof of the on going dichotomy that exists in this forum...or maybe I've just taken too much Dayquil for my cold....
#20
it seems we all started this way but, to call yourself a player and not know any songs
to me says your playing "at it", but not really playing anything. after i started playing
other peoples songs, i realized how little i actually knew about writting my own bass lines. knowing how to play your favorite part, of a bunch of songs, does not make you a musician. it is my opinion that just "dinking around" is ok but, you really should
get in the habit of learning complete songs. it will make you a better player, sooner.
let the flames begin.......lol
#21
i dont really learn songs unless is to help learn or polish a new technique. other wise if im learning something its to help out with my sight reading and ita not quite learning it. but i find when playing bass improving is fun. even in rock and blues ensemble unless the bassline is a crucial part of the song i will just improv basslines over the progression.
#22
Quote by 83lespaulstudio
it seems we all started this way but, to call yourself a player and not know any songs
to me says your playing "at it", but not really playing anything. after i started playing
other peoples songs, i realized how little i actually knew about writting my own bass lines. knowing how to play your favorite part, of a bunch of songs, does not make you a musician. it is my opinion that just "dinking around" is ok but, you really should
get in the habit of learning complete songs. it will make you a better player, sooner.
let the flames begin.......lol


I agree when you're starting out, you probably will be better off with completely learning others songs (for technique and structure and whatnot). I go through periods of time where I won't learn someone elses song for a while and I'll just use what I've previously learned to create bass lines, then go back to learning songs of others, then back to writing my bass lines from what I learned recent songs and improve on old songs, then rise and repeat.
Yeah I'd probably be better off doing the simultaneously but I'm stubborn.
#23
EDIT: Doing what your doing helps my improv so yeah I do that. so when it comes time to come up with a bassline in my band I can easily improvise and come up with a kickin bass part.
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Last edited by SoftParade1967 at Oct 2, 2008,
#24
that happens to me!!
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#25
I was in the same position as you but then I realised learning songs only gives you idea and inspiration for your own writing. I write much better songs overall when I have learned others. You get alot better hold of structuring and complexity, and you will realise things you might not have if you didn't learn just *that* song.

My advice is to try. It might be hard at first but it's really worth it. Learning songs will make a you a better writer of them.
#26
There's nothing wrong with it; that's what I've been doing for the last year or so. If I hear a neato bassline I'll take the time to learn it by ear, other than that I'll just keep messing around on my own stuff.

However, it is a good idea to "expand" and learn some different songs just to get yourself out of the boxes you build for yourself whilst messing around on your own.
"Comedy's a dead art form. Now tragedy, that's funny." -Bender Bending Rodriguez
#27
I do pretty much the same as you TC, i can learn songs, usually by ear, but I get no pleasure from it. I'd simply say that, as long as you practice frequently and play basslines for a band, it genuinely won't matter. Bass is one of the few instruments that can be played purely by ear and/or basic theory.
"I hope I die before I get old"-Words of Pete Townsend, 1945-

"I hope I die before I turn into Pete Townsend"-Words of Kurt Cobain, 1967-1994

Funny old world eh.