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thebigyin

Daft as it may seem

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What is one of the most important things you have learnt whilst playing Bass? This might sound very stupid to the well educated on our beloved instrument but when I first started out (I was a very late starter on Bass but a vocalist prior to that) roughly about 20 years ago I started playing Guitar but gave up pretty quickly and decided to give the Bass a bash went for about 3 or 4 lessons and learnt some very basic scales and the major and minor arpeggios in the root position ect...shortly after this I joined a 50s/60s club band which played a lot of rock n roll covers at my audition they play Oh Carol Neil Sadaka version......A, D, E and F sharp minor......learning them basic first position arpeggios put me in good stead as they realised I knew the difference between major and minor lol....apparently there previous bassist didn't and played the entire song chord changes in major....anyway my first audition and I got the job I know most of the songs we played were mostly easy 12 bar stuff but I had only been playing around 6 months at the time so I was real chuffed with myself lol....what I considered a bit of boring theory payed off way back then.

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2 minutes ago, thebigyin said:

What is one of the most important things you have learnt whilst playing Bass? T

Finding a chit hot drummer, and what a miracle it is when one turns up.  Really tigthens up your playing, especially if you thought you were on the ball beforehand, with lesser drummists

A good drummer will expose sloppy playing ( so i discovered many moons ago )

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Probably the most important thing/things I’ve picked up along the way are playing what the song requires, rather than being flashy and showing off my chops so to speak, and getting the sound I use to be the right sound for the band.

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36 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

Probably the most important thing/things I’ve picked up along the way are playing what the song requires, rather than being flashy and showing off my chops so to speak, and getting the sound I use to be the right sound for the band.

Perfect! 👍

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1 hour ago, thebigyin said:

What is one of the most important things you have learnt whilst playing Bass? This might sound very stupid to the well educated on our beloved instrument but when I first started out (I was a very late starter on Bass but a vocalist prior to that) roughly about 20 years ago I started playing Guitar but gave up pretty quickly and decided to give the Bass a bash went for about 3 or 4 lessons and learnt some very basic scales and the major and minor arpeggios in the root position ect...shortly after this I joined a 50s/60s club band which played a lot of rock n roll covers at my audition they play Oh Carol Neil Sadaka version......A, D, E and F sharp minor......learning them basic first position arpeggios put me in good stead as they realised I knew the difference between major and minor lol....apparently there previous bassist didn't and played the entire song chord changes in major....anyway my first audition and I got the job I know most of the songs we played were mostly easy 12 bar stuff but I had only been playing around 6 months at the time so I was real chuffed with myself lol....what I considered a bit of boring theory payed off way back then.

agreed. When I started playing in 1981 I already had 6 years of violin and scales. The arpeggiating thing worked for me (helped me learn guitar chords too) so I quickly learned how to play rock n roll stuff.

But it took another 7 years to understand 'walking bass lines'

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Never assume the guitarist who has been playing for 35 years is capable of tuning his own guitar to itself .

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Don't use tin foil from a KitKat wrapper to replace a blown amp fuse at a gig :dash1:

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1 hour ago, police squad said:

agreed. When I started playing in 1981 I already had 6 years of violin and scales. The arpeggiating thing worked for me (helped me learn guitar chords too) so I quickly learned how to play rock n roll stuff.

But it took another 7 years to understand 'walking bass lines'

Would like to get into walking basslines myself...im reasonable with straight ahead blues, shuffle and rock n roll 12 bar lines but the jazz stuff Im a long way short...can get round a simple R.3.5 progression but a work in progress I know John Pattitucci said its a lifetimes work mastering it, but been unable to read I find it difficult and if it doesn't sound melodic I switch off.

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1 hour ago, thebigyin said:

Would like to get into walking basslines myself...im reasonable with straight ahead blues, shuffle and rock n roll 12 bar lines but the jazz stuff Im a long way short...can get round a simple R.3.5 progression but a work in progress I know John Pattitucci said its a lifetimes work mastering it, but been unable to read I find it difficult and if it doesn't sound melodic I switch off.

If you know your basic scales, walking should be a doddle to pick up. There are a lot of you tube lessons on walking bass.

Funnily enough, I had never played a walking bassline until a band I was in wanted to cover Kid by The Pretenders.

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Play along to every genre of music even if you don't like it, learn where 3rds and 5ths are in major and minor chords on every fret, use a metronome once a month and record yourself. Don't feel you have to use all your fingers like the other guys - Jamerson used just one.

Never assume you're okay, stay humble - every day's a school day.

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Completely agree about the usefulness of nailing scales and arpeggios and knowing major from minor. I'm grateful that my teacher has drilled this into me. Any time I work on a new song, I'll play through the scale in that key a few times, over the whole fretboard (which is quite a lot on a 24-fret 6 🙂 ). Then nail the sequence and groove of the root notes. Then I know where the other scale notes are for little fills and runs and ornaments, and I can improvise confidently in a jam. 

As said, walking lines then make sense - not that I can play them well yet, but I understand what I'm trying to do. 

The other thing I've learned the hard way is just how hard it is to be Really Precise in timing. Every time I switch on the drum machine I realise how sloppy I am without it. Must work harder on that. 

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.. and then kick the guitards butt

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10 hours ago, josie said:

The other thing I've learned the hard way is just how hard it is to be Really Precise in timing. 

That brings me on to my epiphany - timing is everything! You can play pretty much any note you like as long as it's in time but play out of time and you're done for.

Edited by darkandrew
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I’ve learnt a lot recently about EQ.

You do not need to dime the bass control just because it’s a bass guitar.

A great tone in isolation doesn’t neccesarily mean that tone will also sound good with a band. 

Don’t be afraid of the mids. 

It is perfectly acceptable to cut frequencies; don’t assume that boosting surrounding frequencies will have the same effect.

The tone control on a passive bass does not need to remain fully open at all times. It can be very useful, so use it. 

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