What’s going on Basschicks and Bassdudes!
I hope everyone is out there staying safe during this time. With everything going on the world it can be scary and crazy to think about the sudden changes that have come into our lives. This is a time now more than ever, to learn and improve upon our bass skills so we can rock out the masses again!
I know for a time I knew the basics of playing the bass, my fretboard, playing the scales over and over again and playing some techniques but became bored. I know this happens to all of us musicians because the joy of getting and playing a new instrument is exciting. This can wear off if you do not know where to go afterwards.
I figured out things along the way to make each and every time I play an enjoyable and pleasurable experience.
I am going to give you five tips below on how to overcome boredom and be creative in your playing!
Tip #1: Find Good Quality Books!
There are many books on the market that you can use to improve your bass playing and musicianship. I really love books from Musicians’ Institute and Hal Leonard. You can also see if your favorite bass players has published any books, tutorials, etc. to peak your interest.
You always want to improve your playing and become a better musician through studying. Working with different authors and people from different musical background will help increase your understanding of music, show you different aspects
- No-Nonsense Guide to Music Theory, Scales and More!
- Harmony and Theory: A Comprehensive Source for All Musicians (Essential Concepts (Musicians Institute)
- Bass Fretboard Basics: Essential Scales, Theory, Bass Lines & Fingerings (Essential Concepts)
- Billy Sheehan: Basic Bass
- Billy Sheehan: Advanced Bass
- All About Bass: A Fun and Simple Guide to Playing Bass
*Let me know in the comments below your favorite books!
Tip #2: Learn To Read Music!
Sometimes as musicians if our only goal is to write music and play in a band we may not think that learning how to read music would make sense. But it makes more sense than ever to read music! Even with all of the resources out there on the internet, let’s just say that you are trying to learn a song from your favorite band and there is only written music that you can find online. There is no tablature, no MIDI, none of that. Then knowing how to read music would be the only solution right?
Well thankfully, there is music that you can learn to read that also has tablature as well. So if you are looking to refine your tastes a bit and learn to compose and read music this is a great time!
A lot of the books above have written music in there as well tablature to help you understand what the notes are. If you are looking for a fantastic song book to learn to read music I would suggest J.S. Bach for Electric Bass: Three Duets and Five Solo Pieces Arranged for Bass Guitar Paperback.
Johann Sebastian Bach was fantastic at writing arpeggio based music and this book does not falter on that.
Tip #3: Learn Your Fretboard
Master your fretboard as a new or semi-new bass player. This is critical when learning music whether by reading or hearing. The video below is a great guide to showing you how to navigate your fretboard.
Tip #4: Practice Ear Training
If ear training is not your strong suit, try looking up free metronomes online and playing along to the different beats. If you are trying to learn a song from ear training here a couple tips to help you out:
#1: Take it slow – You don’t have to play up to speed right away if you are trying to learn a faster paced song. I would suggest when starting out, to choose a song that is slower so that you can really hear the notes and feel the beat.
Songs I Would Suggest:
- Alice In Chains – Rooster
- Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water
- Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
- Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine
#2: Listen to the beginning of the song – The intro is the most important part of the song because it has the keys, rhythm and notes that you are going to be playing in for the rest of the song.
These tips along with listening to the song a few times will help improve your ear training.
Tip #5: Improving or working on your techniques
The last tip is taking the time to improve or work on techniques. I remember being very self-conscious about my slap/pop technique for years because of a couple responses when I had first started to play it from my bass teacher. It made me nervous to want to play it but eventually I got the courage to practice it again. It is by far one of my favorite techniques to write music and when ear training for solo bass a great addition.
This is a time to it slow to learning or relearn techniques such as, slap/pop, two-handed tapping, strumming,
I hope these tips help you and if you have any tips for keeping up with your bass playing let me know in the comments below!