Want to learn Bass

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by Codeseven, May 15, 2017.

  1. Codeseven

    Codeseven Senior Member

    Messages:
    474
    Likes Received:
    201
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    Have any of you switched to bass (or learned it in addition to guitar)?

    It appears simpler (no offense), fewer strings, no chords(?), only notes(?). Can you guys recommend a bass guitar to start out on? Something worth playing but not too expensive in case I decide to go back to guitar.

    How about a bass amp? Are there bass amps that can also be used for guitar? ala Fender Bassman.

    Thanks
     
  2. penguinchit

    penguinchit Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    Likes Received:
    880
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2015
    I played bass at church yesterday. My wife and I usually sing/play in the praise team together, but this time she was the only one requested...go figure. So Tuesday she asked me what I was going to do while she was gone. I said I'd grab the bass and go with her and dink around to see how I fit in. I did a couple of things that actually fit very well and had loads of fun! They ended up asking me to play Sunday. It was pretty easy but a couple of things got me:

    That neck might as well be a 72" scale because I had a hard time figuring out where I was.
    My gorilla fingers are not as strong as I think.

    I never do runs...pretty much just chords and maybe a little color here and there. I figured out going from B to E, I could just go 7-5-4-2-0 on the E cable and it was pretty dope. I definitely want to learn more.

    My bass is a pawnshop special. It's one of those entry level Ibanez rigs...You know...The kind where you're lucky to get a pickup. It was at the pawn shop for $65, marked down to $45. It was missing the G, had a loose volume pot and needed the input jack fixed. I told them I'd give them $35 cash right there and then walked out the proud owner of a great bass! I didn't use an amp, just DI. I'd totally play it there again.

    As far as amps, the only thing I've heard is you're never supposed to use a bass on a guitar tube amp. Solid state is okay, although still not ideal. Don't know the reasoning though.

    Edit: It's an Ibanez Gio GSR-100. Great starter unit for me. I bet you'd like it.

    This is identical to mine:

    https://reverb.com/item/4600404-iba...oda-blue-finish-includes-gig-bag-and-strings?
     
    DarrellV likes this.
  3. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,890
    Likes Received:
    6,346
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Yeah Buddy! Another Bass player in the house of God! Woo Hoo! :cheers2:

    Watcha wanna know!

    I've done it for over 20 years! :band:

    30 years of bass if you include my early bar playing days...
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
    penguinchit likes this.
  4. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,890
    Likes Received:
    6,346
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Bass amp Fender Rumble are killer for the price!

    I have an SVT rig I've owned for years and I am a tone fanatic.

    My ears can hear stuff that make other people go huh?

    I love deep snappy bass.

    So when my local music store prop told me to try one I was like, mmmm, no. Don't like cardboard box cheap sounding bass amps.

    He assured me a local pro who's been at it longer than both of us tried one and has since bought 3!

    I have gotten compliments on the sound and light weight of it.

    Don't trust PA or monitor speakers to handle bass with any kind of fidelity or risk of damage to them.

    They also make bass floor monitors now, if that's all you need.
     
  5. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,890
    Likes Received:
    6,346
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    You will learn to do runs on bass and like them.

    I have found them vital for leading the direction of the song.

    You're new at this, so.. I don't know if I should be telling you this already,..... But you are really the man in charge.

    A good bassman directs the flow of the song and cues the singer and guitar players that changes are coming up and that you are aware of them. It eliminates the guesswork and anxiety of your band mates about whether you or they are going to hit the changes on time and, if done right, gently guides the singer into the changes.

    This is done by 'runs' in between the normal patterns.

    Stepping up and stepping down from the chord changes is how it's done.

    And they are fun! They really add to the feel of the song.
     
  6. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,890
    Likes Received:
    6,346
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Sorry, I thought ol Pengy was the OP!

    LOL!!!!!!:facepalm:
     
    penguinchit likes this.
  7. Leumas

    Leumas Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,910
    Likes Received:
    12,680
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    You can use any amp as long as you don't crank it. The real danger is blowing the speaker. As far as a cheap bass? You can probably find Squiers all over craigslist for less than two bills. Don't get trapped in the midset of it being "simpler". If you're going to lay on the root and play like you'd play power chords on a guitar, then yeah, it's pretty easy, but done right a bass is a COMPLETELY different instrument from a guitar. There's a ton of use of scales, countermelodies, chords (yes chords!), and different picking/strumming techniques that make it a blast to figure out.

    If you're going to give it a go I'd suggest picking up a tab book and getting familiar with side 1 of Abbey Road. There's a dozen lessons worth of styles in those 6 or 7 tunes. Good luck!
     
    SteveGangi, penguinchit and DarrellV like this.
  8. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,890
    Likes Received:
    6,346
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Suggest reading the 'playing a bass like playing a guitar' thread. We covered a lot of this.

    http://www.mylespaul.com/threads/playing-a-bass-like-a-regular-guitar.388788/

    But I can tell you OP, I switched to bass years ago because I thought a lot of the same things you do.

    Done right it is an art form in itself.

    Bass is a completely different animal and has to be approached very differently than a guitar.

    More feeling from the gut and heels of your feet than mental speed and discipline for guitar.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
    SteveGangi and X–Ray like this.
  9. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,890
    Likes Received:
    6,346
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Dang Leumas! Are you reading my mail again?! :rofl:

    I just typed dam near the same thing while you were posting yours! :wow:
     
    Leumas likes this.
  10. Leumas

    Leumas Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,910
    Likes Received:
    12,680
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Of course not. Why would I do such a thing? Oh, you need to tidy up your kitchen by the way...and wash your window properly, this Peeping Tom gig is hard enough as it is without all those streaks.
     
    X–Ray and DarrellV like this.
  11. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,890
    Likes Received:
    6,346
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Bad enough you've got me drawing the shades now when I rifle through my stack of Granny mags! :laugh2: :run:
     
    X–Ray and Leumas like this.
  12. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,890
    Likes Received:
    6,346
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    For years I played along with my bar band and then with our worship team all the while living the like the bass player in all those musician jokes.

    'How many bass players does it take to change a light bulb?' Who cares!"

    'Pay no attention to the bass player, he's still trying to figure out where his other 2 strings are' etc, etc.

    Our Pastor commented one day that he liked having my bass in the team.

    He described it as 'the foundation upon which the rest of the band rests.'

    I still remember that, and it started to change my outlook on the bass.

    Now I agree with Edro the Great who said it thusly " If you don't know how important a good bass player is, wait until you have to play next to a bad one!"
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  13. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,890
    Likes Received:
    6,346
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Sorry, don't mean to ramble but as I re-read OP's post more comes to mind.

    While it may seem simpler (no offense taken), and it does move slower, generally, than a guitar there is one huge difference between them that has nothing to do with technique.

    I am talking about responsibility. :hmm:

    Strange, you may think at first, but let my illustrate.

    Guitar players may be loud, or not, but the range of tones they play are further up the sound spectrum around the vocal range.

    If you hit a clam it will be heard briefly if your good at the comeback and life will go on. If you are really good no one else but you will even notice! :thumb:

    You hit a clam on the bass and not only does it immediately throw the entire band out of tune, but you and the audience can actually FEEL it. :wow::run:

    There is no covering it over, it's a physical sensation!

    If OP is at all familiar with tuning a guitar and has heard the 'beat tones' of out of tune strings and the discordant sound they make, it's quite another thing when you can FEEL the pulsing and throbbing dissonance and your audience starts yakking on their shoes like someone just punched them in the guts!

    Yeah, until they've been there, EVERYBODY thinks bass is easy.....:laugh2:

    Oh, and before I forget, don't miss a note or stop playing at any point either, LOL!!

    opens a BIG hole in the sound and everybody knows!!!
     
    Leumas likes this.
  14. TheWGuitar

    TheWGuitar Senior Member

    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    1,240
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Amen, brother! I used to think that too, until I bought a bass. My bass playing is pretty pedestrian for a beginner, but I will say that it's great having the root notes on E and A memorized from playing guitar, and having a hold on the major scale shape, as well as the pentatonic scales. That's what I do for right now, until I can broaden my horizons, is just play around on the major and minor pentatonic for some "color", while holding down the fort on the root notes.

    But even then, it's harder than it looks :shock:. The bassist and drummer really need to be on the same page, or it sounds like a trainwreck. LOL
     
    DarrellV and Leumas like this.
  15. Codeseven

    Codeseven Senior Member

    Messages:
    474
    Likes Received:
    201
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    Thanks guys, I appreciate it.

    I've become a little bored with guitar and was flipping through YouTube videos looking for something new to play when I came across this badass cover of War Pigs by Cake. The bass line blew me away and I told myself, I gotta learn that!



    I've been thinking about bass for awhile but that video sealed it for me. Here's one of a guy only playing the bass portion of the same video.



    Does that look doable for a newly to bass with guitar experience? Or am I being initially over ambitious?

    Also, I hang out here allot at MyLesPaul but came across another website called Talkbass that seems to have allot of advice and lessons for bass playing only. Any other suggestions for lessons/advice?
     
    SteveGangi likes this.
  16. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,890
    Likes Received:
    6,346
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Yeah, Buddy!

    You bring up another good point in the responsibility dept. that I forgot to mentioned.

    There are no guitar heroes in bass. Excluding bass solos you are essentially married to the drum set.

    Your right hand is an extension of the kick and snare drums.

    1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and ...... so goes the right hand as it thumps the strings. Move off that and its the end of the world, chaos ensues!
     
    X–Ray and TheWGuitar like this.
  17. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,890
    Likes Received:
    6,346
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    :rofl::rofl::rofl::run::run::run::run::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::laugh2::laugh2::laugh2:

    Sorry, that's just how it hit me. I listened to the opening bars and went, I don't even think I could play that one off the bat! :wow:

    It's a great goal and something to work towards, but we haven't even touched on finger and wrist strength, finger reach and span, dexterity or anything like that yet.

    Can you play this on guitar using only the first 4 strings?

    If you can then it's a matter of reach across the wider fret spacing and the span of your hand.

    Also, it's not cheating to use a pick in the beginning for faster stuff.

    Being able to fret and pick a guitar still doesn't help your right hand bass technique.

    That finger coordination is only learned through practice.
     
    Codeseven likes this.
  18. Leumas

    Leumas Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,910
    Likes Received:
    12,680
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    I agree with Darryl. That's ...ummm, lofty for a beginner, but it can be done. Start with a pick, get the left hand strength up first. I was in year three of dedicated bass playing before I put the puck down for good.
     
    DarrellV likes this.
  19. Codeseven

    Codeseven Senior Member

    Messages:
    474
    Likes Received:
    201
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2014
    Thanks, nothing wrong with being honest (realistic).

    That's a great idea to at least start out playing it on guitar using the first four strings.
     
    DarrellV likes this.
  20. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,890
    Likes Received:
    6,346
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Yeah, at least that long for me too!

    And using the pick just went away on its own after a while, I didn't just quit cold turkey, so to speak.

    Just started feeling more comfortable on some of the slower more intense bass lines for me. I could get more feeling into my playing with my fingers.

    i still needed the pick for faster stuff for a while but it gradually faded away. Now I use one for tone and attack more than need.

    People may laugh because it seems so simple in comparison to even the above mentioned song, but it is still true we have to walk before we can run.

    Slower driving bass beat songs are great tools at teaching timing, impact, and expressive playing through execution and tone, not speed!

    Bass, more than anything is a tasteful exercise in time! Like the drums that are your right arm, timing in Bass is everything!

    You can double the beat later and go off the hook when you are able, but NOTHING can replace developing your gut instincts for time!

    I have used this example before to exemplify what is to me, just the iconic bass tone, and a perfect example of a driving bass beat that really carries the entire song. And he got it on an Aria Pro bass! LOL!!!

    You just have to get past the 80's vibe LOL!



    Without it, there would be no song of any interest, but with DAT BASS! Its everything.

    Perfect exercise for timing and basic left hand movement. Easy to pick up and if you catch it right you will find your right hand slamming those strings!

    you can use a pick for the snarl, or i use my fingernails! Striking the strings with the back of my finger.

    Or you can claw-hammer and snap the strings.

    Whatever you do, you have to keep it going to the bridge where you'll hear softer double beat finger playing.

    There is also a decending bass walk in there that moves between a full octave from start to finish then repeats. See if you can catch that one! It's fun to play.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
    truckermde and Codeseven like this.

Share This Page