Teaching bass

Discussion in 'Lessons & Techniques' started by Madmatt, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Dave_Death

    Dave_Death Well-Known Member

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    Lots of versions of that song on youtube ... try this one

     
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  2. Madmatt

    Madmatt Active Member

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    Thats working! Tanks
     
  3. Heket

    Heket Well-Known Member

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    Rhythm first and foremost. Rhythm, timing, groove, all part of the same parcel. Start simple then introduce shuffle, syncopation and unusual time signatures. If all you can play is root notes no one will care if you're grooving your (and everyone elses) ass off. There are loads of drum tracks on Youtube, I use the ones by FreeDrumTracks to practice with.

    About small hands, you need to get her shifting - finger per fret does not apply to bass, except maybe once you're headed to the dusty end. Move the hand. The bass is a large, physically demanding instrument and you don't want to make things harder for her. She also may in the future like to consider a 5-string bass. I just got one and it makes playing those lower notes that much easier.

    Arpeggios/chord tones are the key to understanding and creating melodic bass playing. Get her up to speed on her chord theory and how they are used within a song (progressions, Nashville number system)

    Transcription - possibly the most important thing you can do after rhythm (sorry, this list is a bit topsy turvy). She needs to be learning songs by ear and applying her theory and technique in context to a song. Examples of easy songs: Come Together by the Beatles, London Calling by The Clash, Sunshine of Your Love by Cream, I Love Rock n Roll by Joan Jett. If you or her are a bit unsure about transcription let me know and I can give further advice.

    Teach her the fretboard - knowing where the notes are makes it so much easier when you're needing to improvise or jam a bassline and also makes transcription quicker.

    Practice routine - This depends how serious she is. If it's just a hobby to tinker with every now and then it's not that important, but in order to progress it's a good idea to set time aside every day to practice, even if it's just 15 minutes at a time.

    Lastly - scottsbasslessons.com
    There are other online bass lessons, but Scott is my favourite. He has nigh on 200 free bass lessons at the moment for you to study.
     
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  4. Madmatt

    Madmatt Active Member

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    Good advice thanks! Definitely check out that site.

    Right now, its all about the bassics, vut she has a regular practice schedule and introcing new meterial all the time.

    The 5 string though, what a about it makes it easier ?
     
  5. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    she doesn't have to reach as far! right on Heket! Take it from a girl bassist who knows...
    although I maintain that keeping the thumb behind the neck and using it like a pivot will free
    her from worrying about reach, but Heket's been teaching herself bass and hanging out on
    bass guitar fora, so I'm sure she knows. Get her talking to Heket, and cease being the monkey
    in the middle.
     
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  6. Heket

    Heket Well-Known Member

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    Having the extra string means you don't have to strain your hand playing repetitive fret 1-5 riffs down at the long end of the neck. Instead you can play them in the middle of the neck on the 5th string. Yes, the timbre changes, but it's swings and roundabouts. I started learning She Caught The Katy on a 4-string and the main riff used Bb, G and F and that gave my hand a real tough time on frets 1-3. With the 5-string I can play it at frets 6-8. There won't be many songs in the genres she likes that will make extended use of the lowest 4 fretted notes, unless she's into the really heavy stuff.

    You'd have to make sure to get a good 5-string though, not all of them are easy to play. Mine is light and has a nut width of 43mm, which is barely bigger than my 4-string P-bass but the 5-string P-bass was like trying to play a cricket bat.
     
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  7. Heket

    Heket Well-Known Member

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    Heeey Kernal :) The thumb point is also a good one, you have to have your thumb in a good place in order not to stress your fingers, and as you say, to maximise reach.

    I'm not only a bass player but a bass player with arthritis, so I know about how not to stress small hands. A 5-string will always be harder than a 4-string to play stuff that doesn't require you to access those low notes F-A because of the wider neck, smaller string spacing (although a few people like this), and some have a 35" scale to get that B-string sounding tighter, but if she finds herself stretching out a lot it's something to consider.
     
  8. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    HEY HEKET!!! HOW YA DOIN! :smile:

    5 string bass eh? Did you do a NGD post????? Picsies? What kind ya get ????
    I have been GASing on this ----but in all my years I have never played a 5 string----I am a little scared......
    http://www.rondomusic.com/eb9701trrd.html

    THoughts??
     
  9. Madmatt

    Madmatt Active Member

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    Oh okay! Makes sence... I was confused because The 5 string basses I've seen in person have all been real monsters.

    She hasnt run into a big problems with sifting or fretting, yet. Maybe as she moves to more complex music, but Her bass is pretty well designed for small hands, and the exercises shes doing do seem effective, so hopefully it'll never become a massive problem.
     
  10. Heket

    Heket Well-Known Member

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    Is this her bass? CR13

    [​IMG]

    If so, then it's a short scale (30") bass, which is great for small hands and will eliminate most of the stretching and straining problems. They have their own particular sound and feel compared to the long scales but if she likes in then no problem. Your only issue might be finding new strings, you'll probably have to order them online. Not many smaller shops stock short scale strings.

    Did you know the Gibson SG basses are also short scale? Hmm? Maybe a future present? ;)
     
  11. Madmatt

    Madmatt Active Member

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    It's pretty much that one, put it just has the one pickup. And a maple finger board i think. Its that design, but alittle older/lower end.

    It seems to take normal strings fine? I restrung it for her after she got it and I just cut them to length ... The fit into the tuning machines

    But definitely on the sg bass, I've been telling her we need new his and hers sg's
     
  12. Dave_Death

    Dave_Death Well-Known Member

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    Gibson SG bass is a short scale bass.

    Eipiphone has made a long (34") scale version of it, as well as the regular 30" version. The long-scale one is very neck heavy





    The bridge on that 2015 must be designed by Babicz, who has been working with Gibson on their basses for a couple of years. I just knew there had to be some good news hidden in the 2015 Gibson lineup somewhere, and it was in the basses. That's one high-end bridge.

    http://www.bassplayer.com/gear/1164/new-babicz-bridge-featured-on-gibson-2015-basses/49061
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015

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