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julietgreen

what are your best tips?

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Even as a mediocre sax player, there are lots of useful tips and tricks on playing reeds I've picked up over the last twenty years or so. But I'm pretty new to the world of bass; I'm sure some of you veterans (and others) have some great tips for bass playing. Care to share?

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Always make sure your amp is connected to your cab before making an emergency call to your amp tech... :D

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Learn backwards.

Learn the last part of a piece first; then the bit before it; and so on. That way you're always going from hard stuff to easy, and you don't fall into the trap of never getting to the end.

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Always carry a drum key, sticks, spare guitar strings, plectrums, spare instrument and speaker leads, plug and amp fuses, side cutters, screwdrivers, super glue, gaffa tape and so on and so forth - because your drummer and guitarist never will! :D

Edited by discreet

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Everyone spends a lot of time, and money, chasing 'their' sound. Trying to get EXACTLY what they want coming out of their speakers. But bear in mind that a} 99.9% of gig punters won't care about the finer nuances of your tone -- most often, you will be the only bugger in the room who gives a toss -- and b} if you're going through a PA your sound will be unrecognisable by the time it emanates from the FOH anyway.
So don't spend too much time and energy tweaking. Concentrate on your playing first. Most of your tone is in your fingers, after all :)

Edited by UglyDog

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[quote name='UglyDog' timestamp='1405859987' post='2505856']
So don't spend too much time and energy tweaking. Concentrate on your playing first. Most of your tone is in your fingers, after all :)
[/quote]

Extremely good advice which I consistently ignore. :lol:

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Don't play hard sh*t, play good sh*t.
sh*t that works inside the music that is.

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[quote name='UglyDog' timestamp='1405859987' post='2505856']
So don't spend too much time and energy tweaking. Concentrate on your playing first. Most of your tone is in your fingers, after all :)
[/quote]
Yes, extremely good advice. Alongside which - a new bass/amp/whatever won't make you a better player.

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Dont forget to work on your timing and groove. Being a master of good technique and theory amounts to very little, if your timing is not up to scratch.

Edited by Coilte

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Work on timing before cleverness.
Buy a bass that your ears and fingers like, rather than your eyes (great if you can please the eyes as well tho).
Buy practical gear - my back is ruined, not just through heavy bass cabs, but I`m sure it wouldn`t be as bad if I`d had the option of lightweight gear in my younger days.
Always get the sound that`s right for the band, not necessarily for yourself.
Have fun, and love each song you play.

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* EQ settings: What sounds nice at home on your own (lots of bass and treble, not much in the middle) may not work in a band context. When you're with the full band, try rolling off some bass and boosting the middle. It can sound odd in isolation but it may sit better in the overall mix.

* Onstage at gigs: Don't lurk at the back in the shadows. Get up front and be part of the show (unless it's going to seriously piss off the frontperson :lol: )

* Economy: If in doubt, play fewer notes and concentrate on getting the most out of each of them - placement, dynamics, harmony, etc.

* 'Bass player' leather porkpie hat: Don't. Just don't.

* Have fun: It's all about fun.

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Always double check the mute switch, just to make sure it isn't still engaged.

And, yes, what *is* wrong with leather trilby hats? :unsure:

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Don't upset PA crew or engineer - they have the power to make you sound rubbish out front. Buy them a drink.

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Always buy the best instrument and speaker cables you can afford - cheap ones are false economy.
I recommend Rock Wire (obbm on this forum): [url="http://www.rock-wire.uk.com/"]http://www.rock-wire.uk.com/[/url]
Top quality components and good value.

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You, as the bass player, are never too loud.

Learn how to sing/do backing vocals. This may be the difference in getting your dream gig.

And no hats. Period.

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Always carry a torch in your gig bag - or you will find yourself grovelling about on stage trying to connect up your rig in the dark.

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Never assume you can use the headline act's equipment. Ask in advance, buy the bassist a pint, be nice to the gear.

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Listen to the sound of the rest of the band and find your niche.

pay especial attention to the drummer/percussionist and lock in.

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[quote name='andydye' timestamp='1405880014' post='2506102']
...pay especial attention to the drummer/percussionist and lock in.
[/quote]

Good advice. And you can only be as good as the drummer. If they are not up to much, neither will you be.

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[quote name='toneknob' timestamp='1405878085' post='2506074']
Groslch bottle washers make the [s]best[/s] cheapest straplocks.
[/quote]

Corrected.

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