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SnoringFrog

Advice for Beginning Musician (Bassist/Vocalist)

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I'm just starting out, and I've never played an instrument before. I'm looking at buying a bass from my friend who never plays his and trying to learn to play that. Any tips out there for that or just music/band stuff in general?

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not even kidding - the book 'guitar for dummies' is an excellent way to get into guitar. the same guy wrote a bass book, too - i'd look into that.

pretty much, learn some music theory and start playing along with the radio. that's how i started.

edit: also, your sig links are broken cause they're all run together.

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Prophet already said it, but the best way to elarn an instrument is probably to just... play along. ;)

That being said, listening, reading, and learning not just to play the instrument but to understand music. Play a little every day. I did that when learning guitar, and the basic chords came naturally after just one week.

Most importantly, enjoy it.

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I dunno if it's the same for bass, but a good way I found on 6-string guitars to get your fingers in shape (lol) to play is to just learn arpeggios for every position on the fretboard, and just play em till you know em inside and out.

Basic music theory is an absolute MUST. It's boring when you start out, but believe you me, to ignore it is to cement your feet in the "I'm ok, but can't really play" zone for a good deal longer than you need to be.

Believe it or not, I learned almost all my music theory on the piano, and found that 90% of what I'd learned could be easily transferred over to guitar playing.

It's been said already, but it must be emphasized that in order to stick to an instrument, you have to ENJOY IT! Put basic lines of a few of your favorite songs to muscle memory and play em while you practice to keep yourself interested.

Hope that all works out for you!

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I dunno if it's the same for bass, but a good way I found on 6-string guitars to get your fingers in shape (lol) to play is to just learn arpeggios for every position on the fretboard, and just play em till you know em inside and out.

Speaking of arpeggios I play this every day

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8Mh0-vOytk

Not up to that speed or precision but pretty darn good :P

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Being impatient as I am, this part definetley comes with time :\

Too be honest, I'd say part of the fun is learning to play the instrument, but its always better once you get pass a certain point.

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Also, make sure you don't develop bad playing habits in the beginning. I've known quite a few people who never learned some of the basics properly and while it doesn't hamper them when they're still beginners it starts to when they want to get into more advanced things. It's a lot harder to break bad habits and learn new ones then it is to learn the correct ones in the first place. As my old piano teacher used to tell me, practice makes permanent, perfect practice makes perfect.

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there's a lot of good stretches you can do to help your reach and hand strength. one that i do all the time is to curl in your first and third finger as far as you can, then uncurl them and curl in your second and fourth fingers...rinse and repeat. it's surprisingly tiring, and it really helps reach a four-fret gap when you're playing low =)

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there's a lot of good stretches you can do to help your reach and hand strength. one that i do all the time is to curl in your first and third finger as far as you can, then uncurl them and curl in your second and fourth fingers...rinse and repeat. it's surprisingly tiring, and it really helps reach a four-fret gap when you're playing low =)

Holy crap that's genius.

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not even kidding - the book 'guitar for dummies' is an excellent way to get into guitar. the same guy wrote a bass book, too - i'd look into that.

Haha, seems obvious now, but that never occurred to me.

(And I fixed the sig links, thanks)

Basic music theory is an absolute MUST. It's boring when you start out, but believe you me, to ignore it is to cement your feet in the "I'm ok, but can't really play" zone for a good deal longer than you need to be.

Ah, ok. That's probably going to be the worst part for me...I know next to nothing of music theory as it is. I'll definitely try to look into it.

Also, make sure you don't develop bad playing habits in the beginning.

Any forewarnings from anyone about potential bad playing habits?

there's a lot of good stretches you can do to help your reach and hand strength. one that i do all the time is to curl in your first and third finger as far as you can, then uncurl them and curl in your second and fourth fingers...rinse and repeat. it's surprisingly tiring, and it really helps reach a four-fret gap when you're playing low =)

Something I can do all day during class, yay! lol. Although curling my 2nd and 4th fingers is difficult on either hand right now...they don't want to go at the same time, or w/o taking the other fingers down with them.

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Ah, ok. That's probably going to be the worst part for me...I know next to nothing of music theory as it is. I'll definitely try to look into it.

there's a lot out there. i'd suggest starting with musictheory.net. there's a lot of material there that can be useful if you put in the time. learn and practice scales, learn 'the box' (google it), and you'll be ripping it up in no time.

Any forewarnings from anyone about potential bad playing habits?

stay away from open strings when you can. not that you can't ever use them, but learning to play up the neck will teach you a lot more than playing songs that are half on open strings.

Something I can do all day during class, yay! lol. Although curling my 2nd and 4th fingers is difficult on either hand right now...they don't want to go at the same time, or w/o taking the other fingers down with them.

it'll come with time. took me a while too. eventually, you can do some simple strengthening excercises like pushing down against the edge of your desk with your first and third finger (in a nice rounded position, no straight fingers), then flopping. nothing too strenuous - don't give yourself carpal tunnel - but just a light push. round your fingers so your palms are parallel with the desk. promotes good hand position. you can do it with both hands, too, since it'll help strengthen your right hand and increase endurance (probably my biggest issue generally). another good one is to tap the first two or three fingers of your right hand in order (not at the same time) against your desk lightly at a decent speed (about four taps a second...time it with the clock in the room). really lightly, don't attract attention. see how long you can keep it up before your arm starts on fire =) another endurance thing. eventually you can increase the pressure and do it against your leg or something. the trick is to NOT do it faster and faster, but to stick with that time limit. it'll prevent you from speeding up when you play.

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stay away from open strings when you can. not that you can't ever use them, but learning to play up the neck will teach you a lot more than playing songs that are half on open strings.

This right here. playing open strings is pretty the biggest cut corner new people take, and it's almost never expedient. Play as far up as you can, even for lower parts, and you'll get much more of a feel for where notes are.

Also, try to stay away from tablature until you can make your way around the fretboard competently. If you start out by relying on numbers on a line, you'll stay that way. Though it may not be terribly helpful to guitarists, you should learn standard notation (bass and treble clef) just so you already know if you wanna take up an instrument that uses standard.

EDIT: I didn't even notice that you also say you're interested in vocals. In that case, LEARN STANDARD NOTATION NAO!!!

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Ok, I heard back from him about the bass. It's one of these: http://backstreetmusicshop.com/prodD...php?id_prd=329

Standard notation, at least I remember a bit of that from those required choir classes a couple years back, lol. Although...I'm not sure it'd help much for the vocals I'd be doing...haha. Still would probably help for the bass though.

Endurance, be wary of open strings/tabs. Got it. I've been doing that curling 1&3 then 2&4 all day today. It's already getting semi-subconscious. I'm just waiting for someone to think I flipped them off and me have no clue what's going on, lol.

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learn some music theory

This. You'll find that even one semester will be revolutionary. I'm on my second, and I'm sure there's useful stuff to be learned here too.

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i've learned over the past to all out avoid "begginer" instruments, the low cost ones you try to see if you like that instrument, b/c over all they end up being teh suck and kill you dream cuz they sound bad in addition to yourlousy beggining skillz. (my english teacher would have a cow over that sentence)

Also depending on the style or specific sound of music you want to create, you'll want to look into various body designs, pick up, strings and even fret boards!

Good luck my friend

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Ok, I heard back from him about the bass. It's one of these: http://backstreetmusicshop.com/prodD...php?id_prd=329

Standard notation, at least I remember a bit of that from those required choir classes a couple years back, lol. Although...I'm not sure it'd help much for the vocals I'd be doing...haha. Still would probably help for the bass though.

Endurance, be wary of open strings/tabs. Got it. I've been doing that curling 1&3 then 2&4 all day today. It's already getting semi-subconscious. I'm just waiting for someone to think I flipped them off and me have no clue what's going on, lol.

whatever bass you can get is fine at first. don't spend a lot in case it's just a fad =) which it can be, i know it was for me.

just get a little practice amp - no bigger than maybe 30 or 40 watts - for getting used to it. you might want to get a 1/4" to 1/8" converter to allow you to use your ipod headphones with your amp so you can practice at night or when you don't want to disturb other people.

that 1&3 thing was a little thing i picked up, and it's pretty fun to do, isn't it?

notation and theory helps no matter what because it helps with harmonies and making cool-sounding vocal lines from simple chord structures. you learn what fits where pretty quickly.

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