Want to learn Bass

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

  1. LDS714

    LDS714 Member

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    Playing with the fingers takes a lot of practice, rather than plucking the strings the way you would on a guitar it's more like you 'caress' the strings, letting them more or less 'roll' out from under your fingertip. It's tough to describe, but once you get it to happen a couple of times you'll understand.

    Digging in to the strings is more of an effect for most styles of playing. To hear a good range of string attack and the difference it makes in the sound, take a close listen to Rio by Duran Duran. It has everything from light caresses to sharp snaps. Not really my favorite band but a very well-played song and fun to cover.
     
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  2. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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    Cheers....really never expected to have to play so light to clean notes
    My classical guitar has hard tension strings, can play that much harder and get nice clean notes....comparing apples to oranges tho I suppose!

    Can hear the bass clearly on the Duran Duran track, need a song to learn instead of the usual Messin about!

    2 things I think are going to bug me about the guitar I've bought....
    The electrics are poor, there's an interference hum noise more noticeable with sustained notes. Its better using the neck but can still hear it.
    One of the controls seems the same between 1 - 9 then a big jump to 10! Also when using a tuner the meter is quite jumpy/erratic when using the bridge pickup but much smoother with the neck, dunno if that's relevant

    Should have maybe went with 4 strings, prob get used to.it over time but it throws me off a bit.

    30 day return policy where I bought it so we'll see!
     
  3. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Yeah! Bass is a good way to toast PC speakers! :shock:

    Actually, bass is a good way to toast just about ANY hi-fi, stereo, or full range speaker.

    Full range speakers are meant to reproduce just that, full range.

    This means that the sound energy, and its electrical equivalent is spread over the whole sound spectrum more or less evenly.

    This translates inside the speaker as a division of the total power (watts) by 2 in the crossover coils and speaker in a 2 way system, and divided by 3 in a 3 way speaker.

    Usually a manufacturer will spec the components of their speaker systems with this in mind and use lighter duty and lighter wattage speakers in their systems because of the protection offered by the crossover and full range signal they are made to receive.

    A 100 watt rated full range speaker can typically use say a 50 watt woofer and a 20 watt tweeter.
    The rest is lost as heat through the crossover and speaker losses.

    Pure bass guitar, on the other hand has not been processed and tamed by the recording process before it reaches the speaker.

    All of its energy and the raw force of its attack when you snap that string go directly to the woofer and its crossover coils ONLY.

    That 100 watts of power in our example amplifier is now concentrating the full 100 watts of power directly at the 50 watt woofer! POOF! :sadwave:

    Headphones are good at a moderate level but you can do hearing damage with those if you are not careful.

    High volumes of deep bass can hyper extend the tiny bones of your middle ear and damage the joints and cartilage between them resulting in arthritis and the resulting deafness caused by their inability to move freely any more. :shock:

    You are also missing the fun of feeling the wind coming from a good bass cabinet blowing your pant legs around! :rofl:
     
  4. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    ^this! :thumb:

    I use what I call a piano hammer technique. Don't know where I picked it up, it just evolved over time in my quest for deeper bass tonez.

    I found that by hammering the strings straight on my finger tips didn't mute so much of the fundamental and 'piano like' overtones like what happened when I rubbed my finger tips over the strings.

    I recommend drum rolling your fingers on the desk and curling them in after the strike.

    See if you can even out your roll into evenly spaced (timed) taps. Its harder than it sounds.

    If you can get used to the feel and timing using your right hand, this will translate into a more controllable and better timed attack on the strings. The rolling will also helps with faster beats and neat things like triplets on the bass.
     
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  5. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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    was messing about a few nights ago, getting in to it...went to hit an open E and rattled the B string....
    took off the B string to see what it was like, instantly felt the familiarity of a guitar again instead of some new beast! put the string back on, and packaged it up for return
    then went looking for a 4 string...

    ended up with a Yamaha TRBX174, still under £200 but feels so much better than the bargain basement 5 string...everything just feels better, lower action without buzz, lower at the nut, better finishing etc...


    IMG_20170623_210326[1].jpg
     
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  6. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Yes! Good move!

    Good bass from a good maker! 4 strings! Now you'll make progress.

    You can always branch out to 5 later if you need to.

    Look for a Fender Rumble bass amp. Same price range as your guitar (or less) but great tone!
     
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  7. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Never lose the One. Chord tones on the beats, walks in between, and move the song forward with your pulse.

    Much easier said than done.

    I loved my old 5-string. It took getting used to, but having that low B let me walk up to the E in rock and blues numbers.
     
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  8. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    John Taylor's playing on that song is a good primer for many of the styles popular then. Surprising to find such a busy player in such a poppy band.
     
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  9. truckermde

    truckermde Senior Member

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    You did well to get a Yamaha.

    When you get a 5er, look at the Yamaha BB series. They have a lovely asymmetrical neck that is super comfy. BB also have old-skool style, and have been used by the likes of Michael Anthony and Nathan East, to name a couple.
     
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  10. truckermde

    truckermde Senior Member

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    John Taylor has roots.

    Friend & pupil of Bernard Edwards.

    John can still be seen playing Bernard's Stingray.
     
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  11. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    I didn't know that. Sure does make sense, though.
     
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  12. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    While you guys are discussing Mr. Taylor I'd like to add a plug for 'Hungry like the wolf'. The bass absolutely drives that song!
    When he goes to half time on the do do's it actually changes my breathing pattern!

    And if I'm doing something repetitive at the same time, I have to slow down to match up with him! I'm pretty sure that's just a bass player thing!

    Like I can't help bopping along with or rolling my fingers to a catchy groove that I hear around me, and I don't care where, you'll see me boppin' or pickin' in line at the local Walmart or sittin' my car at a light! LOL!!
     
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  13. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Body language is the key here.....

    I try to point this out to people i have worked with to try to help get the timing down.

    Watch a video of good bass players or even yourself after a while and you'll prolly notice a gentle (or not) swaying with the beat, like a pendulum.

    Also, I tap my right hand against a muted string in between beats to help keep the time. It just sort of happened because it felt right doing it.

    Lately I have noticed other big name bassists doing something similar while they were playing.

    The point is, unless the song calls for it, don't try to cover up a beat or try to skip one.

    Bass and drumming are at their core time keepers first, and at least for the bass musician second.

    Goes back to my earlier comment about it being nice to play eruption on the bass, but who can play along with it?

    Only after your time keeping function is securely fastened into your psyche and you always know what beat you are on in the song in relation to the 'one' Thumpy is talking about, do we get to loosen up a little in between and have some fun.

    That's not to say keeping the time with precision is not fun and gratifying in itself.

    Just listen again to the examples I provided earlier and you won't hear a lot of frills, but dang! Is it ever fun to lock in time with!
     
  14. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Listen to a guy like Pino or Geddy -- they can get busy at times, but they always land chord tones on the beat, and that is what helps to connect the drums to the guitars -- which, in rock, is the function of a bassist.

    There's nothing wrong with frills, so long as they're in time, move the song along, and move the rhythm, rather than obstruct it.
     
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  15. truckermde

    truckermde Senior Member

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    Amen!! :applause:
     
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  16. efstop

    efstop Senior Member

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    This is a very entertaining and informative thread! I bought my used Squier P-Bass on Wednesday but didn't have any time to play it until this evening. I plugged my AmPlug into it, switched on the delay and proceeded to noodle away. The short riffs I play on guitar don't seem to be the type of riffs I want to play on bass, and there's one of the differences between guitar and bass: a repeating line on guitar (to me) sounds unfinished. A repeating line on bass can be the base of the melody, and still a big chunk of the rhythm.

    Speaking of melodic bass: this song has my favorite bass lines of all time. The bit around 1:15 esp.

     
  17. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Thank you Thumpy! Love Geddy's work. A great example of this, to me, is Bastile day. During the solo Geddy is at least twice as busy as Alex is on guitar.

    But if you listen close, Geddy is always on the right note for the changes. Then he goes off the hook as usual! :shock:

    You said a mouthful @efstop ! It's so true! You've crossed over to the dark side of guitar playing...the bass! LOL!

    Two different, yet related worlds that cannot always be played the same way.

    As you mentioned unfinished it reminded me of one of my favorite type of interplay between bass and guitar, or any other instrument really.

    Some call it 'call and response'. Its where a part or section (bar) of the melody is played on one instrument (like the bass) and finished (or answered) by another (like keyboard or guitar). Its really cool to hear the melody tossed back and forth like a volleyball in your brain!

    If you are curious how this sounds here is a great example by one of my favs and mentors Simple Minds.

    In this example you can clearly hear the exchange between the keys and bass throughout the song!

    Together it creates a dark, brooding and haunting kind of effect behind the vocals...

    Derek is using a fret-less bass on this which gives a very noticeable hook to this. Just brilliant! (to me anyway)

     
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  18. paradice

    paradice Senior Member

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    loving how there's no G to B string jump that messes up all the shapes and patterns! like on the guitar

    I spent a while with this chord tone soloing book last year https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chord-Tone-Soloing-Guitarists-Improvising/dp/0634083651
    so all the root shapes etc are still fairly fresh in my head, which is making playing this bass pretty f'in enjoyable!
    but the thing that always got me was that G to B string difference!

    something I never did properly with classical was right hand muting...trying to use my thumb for muting just now but whenever my thumb is in contact with a string it just wants to pluck it....which causes all kinds of nonsense with my other fingers, even on the left hand sometimes! getting better tho so hopefully get that sorted then start groovin...
     
  19. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    You'll get it!

    I subconsciously started using my thumb to mute I don't know how long ago.

    I rest the pinky side of my right hand on the strings near the bridge. Usually on the low 'E' to keep it quiet as I'm playing on the other ones.

    What I found when I was teaching a friend was that as I was walking through the scale and across the strings, I was using my thumb as a mute on the lower strings as I worked on the higher ones.

    I was just leaving it flat on the low 'E' as I played on the 'A' then slid it over the 'A' as I was on the 'D' and slid it to cover all three as I played on the 'G'.

    I was curling and using my finger tips to play the active strings and using the thumb as a movable mute and anchor pivot for my right hand.

    Also left hand muting is very tricky sometimes.

    I see a lot of people pick their hand up off the strings and then try to bend one finger down to play.

    Bollocks! Leave all 4 fingers resting on the strings! They will mute the un-played ones, and all it takes is a little finger pressure to fret the note you want and as soon as you release, it will mute. Gives much better control of the timing.

    And no need to worry about those other fingers touching the strings. Any guitar will only play the note that is fretted, nothing behind the fret matters.
     
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  20. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Ok, I'm going to go out on a limb here and if I make a bigger fool of myself, then so be it!

    I've been describing my different techniques and giving advise like beating the strings in between notes to help keep time and the like.

    And how a bass should add something to the song and really gives it a direction and sets the mood.

    And finally, bass should be fun!

    OK! This vid has it all!

    First some disclaimers:

    I had worked with these guys in the past and in the studio on these songs, but they live many miles away and we don't see each other very often.

    They don't have a bass player so her songs were all written with just her guitar.
    They were very impressed and amazed at the different feel and direction that the bass took her songs.

    She said some sounded completely different to what she had envisioned when she wrote them, but that they all sounded good.

    RiverFlyer.jpg
    When we did this I got a phone call out of the blue. We hadn't played together for several months before this event, and got no practice ahead of time. Just show up and wing it!

    I was buzzing on about three cups of good strong church coffee and chocolate chip cookies by the time this was taken. So yeah, I'm a little hyper, but having a great time!

    It is a crappy recording taken with a small camera so the sound is terrible and the focus is questionable, but you can see my imposing form and right hand technique pretty good. It never stops moving even when I play single notes! Cripes! Looks like I'm on crack or something!

    In this little ditty I alter the bass line from single stomp notes in the first verse to alternating (1-5) bass in the second verse.

    Then in the chorus I go all stupid with walking bass to really liven things up.

    Through a key change and then some stop time for fun!

    At the end I alter the walk a bit and you can hear my bass following her voice to the end.

    There ya go, Bob!

    Bob is the drummer....He had his doubts I could pull it off live with no practice beforehand.

     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
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