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u/Belgand · 1 pointr/Bass

Having a written schedule helps a lot. It lets you focus on the areas you want and keeps me from getting off track. I take weekly lessons as well so I usually develop a practice routine for the week with my instructor, but on occasion I've added to it a bit or worked out my own.

There are two things you should do first: determine how much time you have and what you want to work on. Be honest with the time you have, not just how much you want to have. If you're not going to actually practice for four hours every day it won't help if you work out a schedule for it and then end up skipping most of it. Anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours is typical, I personally tend to aim for 1 hour and allow myself some flexibility to go longer if I want to. If you can't do a single longer session consider trying to play in several shorter ones and break things up between them.

Figuring out what to work on is often the harder part. Having a teacher to work with will definitely help you not only determine where you need to improve, but how best to do it. Otherwise try to have an honest assessment of your skills. If you're working on something new and notice you're having trouble with part of it write it down and add that to the list of things you want to work on. Maybe you're having trouble with triplets, getting a smooth articulation, you need to improve your knowledge of the neck, or want to improvise better. Pick a few of those areas to work on and then begin looking into how you can focus your practice on improving them.

Personally I tend to break a practice routine into a few areas: warm-up, technique, rhythm, ear training, reading, improvisation/composition, and repertoire. Here's a sample routine of mine from May:

  1. Modes in all keys, one per day (i.e. Monday - Ionian, Tuesday - Dorian, Wednesday - Phrygian , etc.) at 90 bpm. [10 minutes]

  2. Bass Aerobics #1; play to backing track. [5-10 minutes]

  3. Bellson p. 23, 90 bpm [5-15 minutes]

  4. Black Sabbath - "Electric Funeral". Learn bridge (2:17) by ear.

  5. Improvise over Em riff. [5-10 minutes]

  6. Play for at least 30 minutes.

    I like to start off with scales and arpeggios as a warm-up. I'll switch them up over time depending on what I want to work on and to keep from getting bored. In this case I follow a pattern of playing the scale up and down and then the chord tones (i.e. 1-3-5-7-8) up and down as quarter notes. Always to a metronome. Whenever you're playing something and aren't just slowly working it out, play it to a metronome. Don't be a in a rush either, speed comes from precision and you get that by doing it right at a slow tempo. Currently I'm doing the same thing with two octave minor scales in each key which presents a number of other challenges and is giving me a lot of practice on shifting and fretboard knowledge.

    Next I move on to cover an exercise I happen to be working on. In this case I was working from a book I'd purchased recently that's nothing but technical exercises. Often I'll work on something that my instructor has given me, for example at the present I'm working on playing ghost notes with better articulation so I'm going over some simple exercises he gave me.

    After that I had been doing some rhythm studies. Louis Bellson's "Modern Reading Text in 4/4" is a great book for this and an absolute classic, especially among drummers. It's just pure rhythm without any pitch, but it will help you learn to read better (including things that are written awkwardly in places) and focus on getting your time and rhythm down solidly. Once you have a rhythm down it's also great to then go back and start adding in pitches. Maybe picking a few bars and looping through them exploring what you can do with it and how pitch and rhythm interact.

    Ear training is one area where I'm a bit less disciplined. I include it in my weekly routine, but I often won't get to it every day. It can tend to suck up a lot of time and cause you to get distracted from the rest of practice until you've spent an hour on it alone and then don't have more time to finish. I like to put a little bit of time in on it though when I can and once I start getting something down I want to work on it for the rest of the week. That's why it gets listed here. Sometimes I'm learning a new song from notation though and it will go in this slot or I'm doing both. After the drier exercises I like to switch to something more musical, but that's still a bit of work so that's why it tends to show up at this point in the routine as well. You should try to always be learning a new song as well, whether it's by ear or from notation.

    In addition to just learning songs by ear I also like to use software to work on my ear training. Personally I use Perfect Ear 2 for Android and would highly recommend it, but there are plenty of other resources out there. Just spending some time every week working on intervals is going to help you out a lot and will make learning songs by ear that much simpler. You won't even realize it when it happens, but you'll listen to a song, start to work it out, and find that you got it perfectly the first time without really thinking about it. It's a great feeling and you get there by working on your intervals.

    The improvise step from this week is something that's sort of lost to time. If I recall correctly I'd been noodling around a week or so before and had come up with a simple riff with a couple of different fills. This was simply taking a little time out to play around with that. Often I'll be working on playing a song just from the chord chart so that will take this place. Some weeks I don't do any improvising. But just having something really simple like finding a backing track online, playing over a basic 12 bar blues in the key of your choice, or comping a jazz standard ("Autumn Leaves" is just about everyone's first standard) will let you take some time out to work on this basic skill.

    The last part of every practice for me is to just play. I have a playlist on the computer that includes everything I know or have been working on recently. I'll usually try to focus on the most recent songs I've learned since they often need the most work, but after running through each of those (and a second time if needed) I'll flip it over to random and just play along to whatever comes up. I like to keep it on random in particular because it means I need to quickly get into the song and don't have a lot of time to think about it. You have to just hear it and go. If I'm having trouble with a section I'll stop and repeat it or take some time out to work on it specifically. Either going down to the metronome to slow it down or just taking it note by note until I have it down again and can start playing at speed. Then when I have that section I'll work on transitioning into and out of it before I can finally just play through the whole song. I try to put in a minimum of 30 minutes of playing time, but usually I'll go even longer because I'm having fun.

    This is actually a key aspect of this sort of schedule to me. Most of these areas have a pretty variable time. Sometimes I'll just play an exercise through once (e.g. scales) and move on, but other times it takes longer because you need to slow things down and work on problems. Or it's short and you play through an exercise several times once you have it down solidly. I prefer to set minimum times that I'll work on something and let myself keep going longer if I want to. When I start to get bored or frustrated I have something else to move on to. If you have less time available to you though it might make more sense to enforce minimum and maximum times so you can be certain you're able to get through everything.

    In this case I've included a couple of books I've been using to get exercises from, but that's not the only source. I'll also find stuff online, get them from my instructor, work on reading/practicing pages from a method book (The Hal Leonard Bass Method in particular is very good and well-organized into discrete lessons that break down easily into a practice routine) or any number of other sources. The web has a wealth of resources out there that will give you stuff to work on to improve your playing. Scott's Bass Lessons is particularly well thought of around here and provides things like a weekly riff to work on with notation and a workbook (also included for the regular lessons if you sign up for the paid section).

    So, yeah, really, really long, but hopefully this gives you an idea of how to create and organize a practice routine. With each subsequent week I'll move on to another page/exercise in the books I'm working on, the next section in a song I'm learning by ear (or a new song altogether), a new scale to warm-up with, or whatever. Find out the routine that works best for you though and the time you have. Add in more exercises or take some out. Spend five minutes just working on standing in front of the mirror and playing open strings up and down (then skipping) and focus on your right hand technique. Whatever you do, plan the work and then work the plan.
u/jetpacksforall · 4 pointsr/Bass

One important thing is to relax, and especially relax your fretting hand. If you've got the strings in a death claw, it's going to sound bad and you might eventually wind up with carpal tunnel.

Instead of trying to do hammer-ons right away, force yourself to go back to fundamentals. Set the metronome (you must have a metronome) to 40 beats per minute and play one finger per fret. Your fingers should fall immediately behind each fret. Whole notes, half notes, quarters, eighths triplets and 16ths...make sure you're playing in time with the clicks. Try to relax completely and use only the minimum amount of pressure it takes to sound each note without buzzing. The idea behind this exercise is to teach your muscle memory the exact amount of pressure you need to play a given note. Forcing yourself to play slow will give your muscles time to readjust in order to sound the notes accurately. Your fingers, wrists, body posture, etc. should be completely relaxed and comfortable throughout. If you start tensing up or feel pain or burning in your fingers, make yourself relax and loosen up.

Couple other popular hand exercises.

  1. The Soft Touch. Play exactly as above, only leave your fingers on the frets until each finger is ready to move up to the next string. Example: you play index A on the E string, middle finger A#, ring finger B, pinkie B#, keeping each finger in fret position. Now leaving your mf, ring and pinkie down on those frets, pick up your index and move it to D on the A string. Then pick up your mf and move it to play D#, ring to E, pinkie to F and hold. Then continue up the D and G strings the same way. It might help to start higher up on the neck, like C on the E string. Throughout this exercise, the most important thing is that you relax your hand. There should be no pain, no strain, no bizarre wrist angles. Just smooth, slow, relaxed and locked in to the 40 bpm pulse.

  2. The Spider. Purpose of this exercise is to learn independent control of index/ring fingers and middle/pinkie fingers. Play A on the E string with your index, then E on the A string with your ring finger. Then A# on the E with your middle, followed by F on the A string with your pinkie. Then switch up and hit B on the E string with your ring finger, followed by D on the A string with your index, then B# on the E with the pinkie and D# on the A with the middle. Alternating 1-3, 2-4 fingers the whole time. Practice that until it's comfortable (could take a few days), then play the same pattern skipping up to the D string, and finally all the way to the G string. The full spider pattern is played E string to A string, then E string to D string, then E string to G string, then back down E to D, finally back to E to A.

    For books, there's a big difference between a good one and a bad one. I can personally recommend Serious Electric Bass, Bass Logic, Bass Grooves, and Standing in the Shadows of Motown (this last book is less of a beginner's guide and more of a project you could spend a lifetime on: i.e. learning from the great James Jamerson). Also highly recommended is Ed Friedland's Building Walking Bass Lines. I also have and recommend The Bass Grimoire, but it is more a reference book for advanced scale and chord building, as opposed to a beginner's guide. Bass Guitar for Dummies is actually pretty good and comprehensive.

    And there are some good online resources as well: is great and starts from a beginner level. Scott Devine is an amazing teacher especially with more advanced techniques, but also for fundamentals. Paul from How To Play Bass Dot Com just steps you through a bunch of popular rock & r&b tunes...not bad for picking up new songs, but it's far better to learn the theory & structure behind a song than just memorizing the finger patterns. MarloweDK is a great player with hundreds of videos, but he's highly advanced.

    Finally, has some great ear training exercises you can do any time, in addition to a wealth of info about basic theory that applies to all instruments.
u/thelowdown · 4 pointsr/Bass

This was one of my first books. It starts off fairly easy, but gets moving pretty quick.

This is the Tao Te Ching of bass.

This was one of the books that helped get my technique to where it is today. I'm not sure if the new version has all of the same exercises.

Always read notation. Tab becomes a crutch, and the quicker you learn notation, the more you'll use it, and the better you'll get at it. It's a skill, it's frustrating at first, but it's worth it.

This is my favourite Music Theory book.

Transcribe music. Not only learn how to play it by ear, but learn how to write it down as well. It's really hard at first, but it's probably the best thing you can do to learn to jam, interact with other players, and communicate your ideas to anyone at any level.

Want Chops?

Find a qualified bass teacher in your area. Don't go to that guy who plays guitar and teaches bass on the side and only uses tab because he's never had to read. It may not seem like it, but there are differences in technique that an experienced bass player/teacher would know that a guitar player may not. Find a teacher that pushes you every lesson and makes you want to sit in a chair for hours working on technique, transcribing, and listening.

On top of getting an instructor, scour the internet for every piece of information you can get. At first you'll get some bad advice, but you'll find that there is a lot of great information out there. Always test the boundaries of what you're being taught by anyone with the information you're absorbing for where ever you're getting it. One of the best teachers that I had said "If you're teacher tells you there's only one way to do something, it's time to find another teacher".

I'll give you more great advice from a different teacher. He was this old grizzled player that played Jazz before, and after, Jazz was cool. He said:

"There are only three things you need to do to be a successful musician. One: Show up. If you show up every time you're going to be ahead of 95% of the rest of the musicians out there. That means every lesson, every rehearsal, every gig, every time.

Two: Know your parts. If you show up every time, on time, and know what you're supposed to play, you're going to be ahead of 99% of the players out there.

Thirdly: Play your heart out. If you show up, on time, know what you're playing, and love what you're playing, no matter what it is you're playing, then you're going to be in that 1% of musicians that actually get steady gigs."

Have Fun.

u/camelFace · 1 pointr/Bass

Sorry for the long post -- I don't want to be discouraging, the best times I've ever had were playing or listening to jazz. The feeling is indescribable.

Most importantly:
Getting some lessons from a jazz bass player will help big time. If for nothing other than some direction, a teacher can be a huge help.

On "walking a bassline":
Boiled down, you will be tasked with outlining the chord movement and keeping time by playing (roughly) quarter notes with a slight emphasis on beats 2 and 4, as opposed to 1 and 3.

The rhythm is critically important. You might be the only timekeeper playing at certain points. This doesn't mean you have to always be playing quarters, but you do have to be focused and have solid time: other people will depend on you. You can make embellishments -- the more effective the less frequently they are used -- leave rests, play long notes, imply a different time signature, etc. My favourite part of playing jazz is walking chorus after chorus and jamming on different rhythms with the drummer.

Harmony is your other job. This has to do with note choice. Like your rhythm, this will become more sophisticated with time but start simple. In a small group you'd have more flexibility but big bands will necessitate a straightforward approach: in short, chord-tones are good, avoid-notes are bad. You might need to get comfortable playing in some weird keys but if the band is centred around a horn section, you'll be playing in Bb and Eb a lot. Learn some melodic minor harmony, the m.minor, augmented lydian, and altered chords are all very common sounds in jazz and you'll need to be comfortable navigating these.

Albums to listen to and their bassists:
Miles Davis - So What (Paul Chambers)
Oscar Peterson Trio - Night Train (Ray Brown)
Modern Jazz Quartet - anything at all, these guys are awesome (Percy Heath)
Bill Evans Trio - Waltz for Debbie, Portrait in Jazz (Scott LaFaro) - It feels weird mentioning these guys without also saying something about Sunday at the Village Vanguard, but this is about walking lines and LaFaro was on fucking fire for that recording.
Diana Krall - Live in Paris (John Clayton) - Lots of straight standards, exemplary accompaniment from John Clayton.
Keith Jarrett Trio - Up For It (Gary Peacock)
The Quintet - Jazz at Massey Hall (Charles Mingus) - Superband with Bird, Dizzy, Bud Powell, Max Roach, and ol' Crazy Mingus. Dig the beboppy goodness.
Thelonius Monk Quartet ft. John Coltrane - At Carnegie Hall (Ahmed Abul-Malik)
Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm section (Paul Chambers) Same rhythm section from Miles' "So What," cool recording with egalitarian distribution of solo time fairly ahead of its time, and entirely fueled by heroin.

The albums are all fairly straightforward with plenty of walking going on. You might even be able to find a few at the library and there are plenty of more examples online. Sorry for the lack of electric bassists -- these are all DB players -- but the prevailing variation in jazz is the double bass. Truthfully, a huge part of the sound that characterizes a "walking bass line" (and other ostinato bass lines frequently used in jazz) is the quick note decay of an upright bass. The note envelope is very smooth on an electric bass by comparison and as a result many electric jazz players elect to accompany in some other distinct manner.

Some materials:
Rufus Reid's "The Evolving Bassist," is aimed primarily at new upright jazz bass players. Some of the DB-specific information might be unnecessary but this is absolutely the best instructional material on jazz bass I've ever seen.

Mike Downes' "The Jazz Bass Line Book" is, like you might expect, about making great basslines. Downes is a monster and his book is bitchin'.

tl;dr - This is a big question, and there's no real easy way to answer this. Basically, it's asking "How do jazz bass." Getting started is deceptively simple but great musicians have made their entire careers off of beastly walking.

u/bass-lick_instinct · 2 pointsr/Bass

Any basic recording interface would do, you usually just need an available USB port on your computer to plug it in. You can find them used for $50+, but the most popular go-to is the Focusrite Scarlett.

I recommend getting an interface with at least two channels. You may only ever use one channel if all you ever do is record your bass, but having a spare channel is always nice, for example if you are wanting to record live with a friend, or if you want to sing/play at the same time, or if you want to split a stereo signal into two mono channels, etc.

For good quality recordings you basically need a recording interface, a DAW (digital audio workstation), a computer, and an instrument.

A DAW is basically a digital studio that will allow you to lay down tracks, mix, add effects, and a whole lot more. It can be a bit daunting at first, but just keep things simple, there are a TON of features I hardly ever use in my DAWs, so don't make it too hard on yourself.

The Focusrite comes with Ableton Live Lite, which is perfectly capable for a wide range of needs and will cover all the basics. If you find later on that you want more out of your DAW then check out something like Reaper. Reaper is cool because it has a free trial that never expires (it will nag you from time to time), but if you like it then I recommend purchasing a license for $60. It's an amazingly powerful DAW for the price (not affiliated in any way, I actually use Logic Pro X, but that's a bit more pricey).

Pair your new studio with a *cheap MIDI keyboard and you'll have almost unlimited creative potential.

It's amazing how powerful this stuff is now-a-days. Back in the pure analog days all this power would have cost tens of thousands of dollars (maybe even hundreds), and now you can have it all for $150 or less.

I highly recommend people getting into recording, there are a TON of uses for it outside of just making music. I use mine constantly for practicing and reviewing my playing, which has done a ton to accelerate my progress.

u/peanutsfan1995 · 6 pointsr/Bass
  • Stamina, stamina, stamina. If you're bored or need something to do while dinner is heating up, grab your bass and just do 8^th or 16^th note runs. I've never used a grip or finger strengthener, but I've heard good things about them.

  • Stretches. Do lots of left hand stretching exercises. This will be really valuable as you continue. This is a brick wall that I've been hitting lately.

  • Learn blues and jazz. They really help.

  • Invest in a nice fuzz pedal, compressor pedal, and a wah pedal. As you get further in, you'll be able to use these to really shape your tone. Also, playing Cliff-era Metallica or Black Sabbath/Heaven and Hell songs is much more fun when you have distortion.

  • Don't overplay. As soon as it starts to really burn, stop. If you over-exert yourself, you're just fucking yourself over. Callouses are fine (and are a badge of honor, IMO), but if you start bleeding or really ripping up your fingers, set down the bass.

  • TalkBass is a wonderful community. They are very willing to help you with songs and just shoot the shit about bass. There's a strong metal community on there.

  • You should think about getting Alex Webster (of Cannibal Corpse and Blotted Science)'s instructional book. It's been a big help for me, especially on working on my stretches and three finger technique. (I'm not an affiliate, so no monetary gain from that link for me)

  • Have fun. Seriously, just enjoy it. That's the most important thing, isn't it? :)
u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/Bass

Went through this whole dilemma this past week. I'm not the most experienced but I learned that the strings are definitely going to go with what you want to play.

The three kinds of strings you have are: round, half-round, and flat. They'll all give you different tones. Flat strings will give you a warmer and more mellow tone and round will give you a cooler and more traditional tone.

Since you're playing the following sitations

  • Jazz band, pep, and the pit for school
  • Your youth group
  • Your band

    I'd recommend going with round or half-round as you have a diversity to play. I've only played with rounds and flats, so I can't speak for the half. You'll also want to decide on a material, but just to be safe: choose nickel. It's common and you can't go wrong with it.

    So I'll give you something good, but just take it as a recommendation, not a law or anything. Get these. They're cheap, but damn good. They'll get the job done. Just remember that the genre you play influences what strings you should get. I'm learning all this. Playing with some of my first flatwounds, and it's interesting. Best of luck to you!
u/NorswegianFrog · 3 pointsr/Bass

My first band (and second one, for that matter) focused wholly on original material.

In the 2nd one trying to corral four people in a room on a consistent basis was our biggest challenge, let alone make some creative spark happen without it all devolving into distractions. We ended up just jamming on chords and going nowhere.

Back to the first - few of us had any experience. One classically trained guitarist who was very good, another guitarist on an acoustic who had pure talent and could make almost anything he played sound good, a singer/poet with personality, humor, and his own style, and me, the guy who thought "I can play bass."

That band (still my favorite) met at least once a week, played for at least an hour or two (sometimes more, rarely less) when we got together, and worked up nothing but original material for the few short months we were together. I still have a tape of our songs, all recorded in a single small room on a 4-track. It's rough, but beautiful, and we were all growing together as musicians. I still know those songs and am still proud of the creativity that spawned them.

The key I've found in playing since then is to be yourself and have fun most of all. As you play more, you'll get better, even if you're getting bored practicing. Victor Wooten has some interesting points to make on practicing in this book, The Music Lesson. Highly recommended.

u/OZONE_TempuS · 2 pointsr/Bass

With jazz one of the most important things is to have a very developed understanding of theory, I played in my college's jazz band this year and a lot of the time I was expected to go off a chord chart. Adam Neely does a good video of quickly breaking down some of the important aspects when approaching chords and Scott Devine has a good video on phrasing. Both of them have really good videos on the subject and I'd definitely recommend referring to their content.

Two good books that I've used are Ed Friedland's Jazz Bass and Joel Di Bartolo's Serious Electric Bass, the former covers a lot of standard concepts and while it doesn't really go into too much depth all the information is well presented and useful. The latter goes over a lot of scales, arpeggio patterns for certain chords and scales and it even gives you blank staff to come up with your own ideas.

Honestly though I think your best bet is to go listen to some jazz players, I would recommend Ron Carter and Paul Chambers and then learn their bass parts (preferably by ear) and analyze what they're doing in certain situations and what they're doing over certain chords. There's a lot of freedom and personal style in jazz and it's not something that can be easily taught by reading and watching videos X and Y, at least in my opinion. Don't take that as don't use videos or books just don't feel you have to abide by a certain technique or approach that is mentioned.

u/the_freudian_slit · 2 pointsr/Bass

Practice is important, but the focus should be on learning good upright style position playing, especially in first and second position. And learning to really incorporate open strings in your playing, as that definitely helps you 'calibrate' unconsciously. Learning to walk changes like that will easily dial it in, esp. if you start working to tempo. Use iReal Pro and just practice random Real Book changes, or the standard jazz exercise sets available.

I have students switching to fretless pick up the Rufus Reid book [The Evolving Bassist] ( to learn double bass position playing and walking/2 feel lines. (I use the [Chuck Rainey](The Complete Electric Bass Player, Book 1: The Method books for fretted players, which i heartily recommend in general, btw)

Mostly its a matter of getting a steady, repeatable hand position in the lower registers and letting the muscle memory develop.

Perfect intonation is a goal, but i never worry about it when i get moving in a line or solo. Developing a good vibrato and approach/slide covers a lot of minor mistakes. And on stage, no one will notice a few cents out of tune especially if you play expressively and use good vibrato and slide movement on approach notes.

u/jmone33 · 2 pointsr/Bass

You need a target or goal or an end point. I was in a similar funk as you. I needed to figure out WHAT I wanted to work on and be better at. I was stuck making 30 second funk covers for Instagram but not really making any progress. You can play scales all day but if you're not learning them to play over chords then what's the point?

I've found what works best for me is to get a book. For instance say you wanted to work on improvising and writing better lines, then pick up something like this book and just read it cover to cover. You're now making progress towards a single goal.

You mention not being able to play those fast Geddy licks. Is that the goal? Then start trying to learn some Rush songs. Start slow. Get an app to slow down the song so you can hear it, and work on your speed.

Your timing feeling off? Get a syncopation book.

u/bassbuffer · 3 pointsr/Bass

There are books that will help, like Ariane Cap's Music Theory for Bass Players, but finding a local teacher is probably a better idea.


  1. Having a teacher forces you to practice stuff you usually wouldn't and forces you to be honest about your practice schedule.


  2. The right teacher can see what you're doing wrong and fix it, and can also see when you're ready for the next piece of information.


    The HARD part is finding a good teacher. There are plenty of amazing players who are not good teachers. Ask around locally, or ask on for a good teacher in your area. Try to watch vids or see them play BEFORE you ask them for lessons, to make sure you like the choices they make.


    Once you find a teacher, ask them if they have a lesson plan or syllabus or something like that: a linear progression of stuff they plan on teaching you.
u/Nohoshi · 1 pointr/Bass

There are a lot of ways. To learn theory, you can ask your teacher, or, if you're self taught, look for some books. Ed Friedland has some great books and I suppose most books and DVD's from Hal Leonard are great too. Berklee Press sells awesome books as well. You can find a lot of lessons online, but it's a lot harder to find valuable material, in my opinion.

The best way to learn about genres is listening to enough music and play as much as you can. When you learn enough songs, you'll automatically learn to apply that when you're creating your own lines. Starting from a book may be a good way to get you started, but the knowledge you learn will be too limited. Learning the songs by ear is a good way to train your musical ear, but there is no shame in buying some songbooks too.

The most important thing is to apply everything you learn. Try to create your own bass lines, loop some chords and play around with your scales, maybe analyze some songs, stuff like that.

u/blackb1rd · 2 pointsr/Bass

It's called a dominant[0] resolution and it's one of the most common harmonic techniques you'll find in basslines. Going to the fifth (i.e. the dominant chord) creates instability which wants to be resolved by going back to the root; it's a way of creating tension and release.

You've probably noticed chromatic resolutions coming up a lot as well, i.e. playing a note one-half step either above or below the note you're about to play.

Generally, you want to place the note you're resolving to on a strong beat of the bar (usually the first or the third beat) so try playing around with creating basslines or fills that put a note a fifth above or below the root, or a note one half-step above or below on the 4th beat of the bar or the '4 and' of the bar. You could try this on the 2 or the '2-and' too.

For more information like this check out Ed Friedland's 'Building Walking Bass Lines'. It doesn't sound like a walking line would be appropriate for the music that you're listening to right now but the information in this book absolutely is.

When I'm playing this I'll typically use the same finger to fret the note across two strings and roll the finger across the two notes to play each one. This didn't come naturally to me, I had to work at it a lot. I played major /minor scales in ascending/descending 4ths to practice it [2]. I find that if you can play these with the same finger (rather than one on each string) you can playing some pretty sick sounding fast pentatonic runs.

I'd be happy to clarify any of this if you'd like me to.


u/ToxicRainbow27 · 10 pointsr/Bass

Standing the Shadows of Motown is the book that has had the single greatest impact on my playing overall.

The first part is a cool bio about James Jamerson and the Motown studio origins, and then it is super well done transcriptions and explanations of his bass lines which are some of the most innovative and influential bass lines of all time. The book also comes with cd's (if those are still relevant) of the songs with bass mixed to front so you can play along which was super helpful. Using that book taught me the bulk of note reading, taught me the mechanics of writing bass lines that compliment melodies, rhythms and complicated arrangements and really cemented a sense what is groovy and what is catchy.

I cannot recommend standing in the shadows of Motown enough

u/SubstanceOfMemories · 2 pointsr/Bass

I think the best thing I can recommend, and I know this isn't what you wanted, is for your child to either

a. Read method books, this Hal Leonard one is pretty good (

b. Because your child can read bass clef (he played piano so I'm assuming he can), he already has a huge advantage as a player. Have him learn how the notes relate to the frets (, and he can begin to read transcriptions and play pretty much whatever he wants

Definitely get a teacher, and just encourage him to practice. That's about it.

u/thefrettinghand · 3 pointsr/Bass

I looked in my gig bag for inspiration - it turns out that I just have way too much shit in there, most of which is under £15. Cheaper DIY options offered where applicable:

  • The snark SN2 clip-on tuner. Absolute must-have.
  • A decent multi-tool
  • Allan Key Set if the multi-tool doesn't have the right sizes (metric is normal unless you play something made across the pond, but in case you need imperial, and have lots of space in your gig bag)
  • Dunlop strap locks are a solid addition to any bassist's set-up
  • Some fret-fast (I'm too lazy and disorganised to get new strings very often - you could just sub a rag and white mineral oil, but this is a convenient little package)
  • A couple of spare 9V batteries for your bass, or your (more likely your guitarist's) pedals
  • A fold-away bass stand that you can take to practices, comes in just over budget, but is a good addition and folds up to about the size of a tube of Pringles
  • Some cheap bric-a-brac like electrical tape, gaffer tape, write-on-anything pens - all good additions
  • A decent set of ear-plugs to protect your hearing
  • Foldaway music stand if you ever play with sheet music; alternatively, if you have a car or are near public transport then this guy might be more bang for your buck; light in case you have one and play in dark venues sometimes and bag in case, like me, you're always leaving the house on gig-day carrying too much
  • Patch cables if you use several stomp-boxes or rack units
  • Cable ties to stop your cables getting mangled (can always use zip-ties instead - less neat but much cheaper)
  • A cheap soldering iron is not essential, but it will be good to have one for that odd occasion where you need it - I've actually been in situations where I've saved some poor soul's night (occasionally mine) by having one of these on my person
  • Owning a padded guitar strap has saved me much back pain over the years.
  • A decent torch for last-minute backstage repairs and adjustments, lighting your pedalboard, etc

    Conspicuous consumerism at its finest, ladies and gents.
u/Dr_Poop69 · 2 pointsr/Bass

Real books are great. When you feel comfortable find a jazz jam in town, playing with people will help.

Here’s a book I enjoyed:

Building Walking Bass Lines

You should also get this book:

The Improvisers Bass Method Book

The improvisers bass method book is an industry standard. The beginning may be things you already know, but it does a great job providing you with practice techniques that will actually help translate knowledge to playing. I’d highly recommend both in addition to going through the real book. Outside of that just listen to some jazz. A lot of the key is listening. Go put on some Bill Evans or Miles or Mingus and listen to their bassists

u/Bracket_The_Bass · 6 pointsr/Bass

Start off by listening to a ton of jazz. Afterwards, learn your major, minor, dorian, and mixolydian scales/modes. Check youtube, there's a ton of good tutorials if you don't know them yet. Then buy a real book and start attempting to follow along with the changes. Start with just the root notes and later add the 3rds and 5ths. Here's a book that I think explains walking basslines pretty well, and another one if you're interested in soloing.

Here's a list of jazz songs most students learn early on:

Afro Blue

All Blues

All Of Me

All The Things You Are

A Night In Tunisia

Au Privave

Autumn Leaves

Beautiful Love

Black Orpheus

Blue Bossa

Blue In Green

Blue Monk

Blues For Alice

Body And Soul


Cotton Tail

Don’t Get Around Much Anymore

A Fine Romance



Freddie Freeloader

The Girl From Ipanema

How High The Moon

How Insensitive

Lady Bird

Maiden Voyage


Mr. P.C.

My Funny Valentine




Red Clay

Satin Doll

So What

Song For My Father


Take Five

Take The “A” Train

There Will Never Be Another You

Tune Up

u/Gefiltefish1 · 1 pointr/Bass

Since you seem to enjoy working through things on your own, I'd suggest working from front-to-back with a good bass method book, like Ed Friedland's 3-volume set. You'll be able to move through the early material easily, but it will force you to read. Reading is essential to moving forward and you can't really develop a complete understanding of theory if you can't read.

As others have said, joining a band is a great idea for moving past your plateau. In addition, you can use playalongs (music with all the instruments except for bass) from youtube, the web at large, or through programs like Band-in-a-Box or apps like iRealb. These are all good for working on rhythm and developing your own lines.

u/Clayman0809 · 2 pointsr/Bass

This guy here is awesome!

Sure, you can find cheaper M-Audio and knockoff ones, but the preamps in focusrite interfaces are worth every single penny! I used an M-audio Mobile pre for three years and it got the job done, but I didn't know what I was missing till I upgraded to Focusrite, I wish I did it right from the get go.

The advantage of this type of interface is not only can you record Bass and Guitar, you can also record at Mic level, so you can plug in a microphone with an XLR to record, even a condenser that requires phantom power. As well as line level, which would be like keyboards or an already DI'ed signal.

If you plan on recording your own stuff, even if it is just for demos/ personal use, an interface like this will make a world of difference and will help you realize your potential as a musician.

u/emptyshark · 3 pointsr/Bass

A lot of bass players swear by this book and for a good reason too. I personally don't own it, but when I used to take lessons my teacher would use it and my playing improved tremendously. If you wan't to learn why bass is played like it is today, get this book.

As for my listening reccomendations:

Paul McCartney (The Beatles)- the man practically invented pop rock bass playing.

John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)- you would think that the guy playing in the biggest hard rock band of all time would be rather straightforward, but he could do it all. JPJ came from a studio player and could do jazz, blues, funk, you name it. He and John Bohnam could straight up hold it down.

Geddy Lee (Rush)- Sure Rush is technical and flashy (that's kind of the point) but Geddy Lee is the epitome of power trio bassists. He carries the melody, fills space, holds down time, and sings. At the same time.

u/twotoomanycats · 3 pointsr/Bass

Get this book. It's been a tremendous help to me.

I also recommend getting the free trial of Scott's Bass Lessons and going through the Bass Guitar Foundations course.

With learning any instrument, you have to learn to crawl before you can walk, walk before you can run. Having strong fundamental skills will save you a lot of frustration down the road.

I'm not much of a pick player, but I've watched one of my favorite bassists who exclusively uses a pick, and she anchors her pinky finger below the bottom string on the body of the bass. I tried it, and I found it helpful. She (and, I believe, most pick players do this) also wraps her thumb over the top of the fretboard to mute the top string when she's playing the string beneath it, and when she frets a note, she uses that finger to mute the strings below it. Here's a video of her playing (it's an acoustic bass, but everything still applies).

u/FeatheryAsshole · 1 pointr/Bass

You will definitely need an audio interface, which is basically an external soundcard that includes a preamp for microphones and guitars/basses, and a MIDI in/out (you don't need MIDI for bass recording, but it's nice to have). e.g. Behringer U-Phoria (I have the two channel version).

You can then either get a microphone and mic your amp, or plug your bass directly into the audio interface's input. Each method has its pros and cons - micing your amp is a bit 'meh' if your amp is not that good, and buying a half-decent microphone is additional cost and effort. Plugging directly into the interface ('direct-in') gives you a lot of freedom to process the signal, but it's more effort to make it sound okay (especially if you don't really know the software), and you'll have to figure out how to hear yourself while playing without blowing your speakers. If you have a rough idea of how to use the software, and half-decent headphones/speakers, this is totally doable, but it's a tad risky if you don't know anything.

I'd recommend using the mic method if you can spare ~$100 for an okay microphone and a mic stand. I have a Rumble 25 as well and the sound is quite usable with my cheapo t.bone microphone.

u/Ratharyn · 6 pointsr/Bass

Sounds like you're going about it the right way. Speed is about muscle memory so there isn't a quick way to learn it. Start slow, with a metronome, and build up the speed when you've perfected the slower tempo. Muscle memory sticks with how you learn it, if you practice perfect slow technique then that's the technique that develops, if you fudge it to rush to faster tempos then that will be reflected in your technique.

I can highly recommend this book:

It's a great selection of finger twisters that will really help both hands.

u/ZombieRitual · 1 pointr/Bass

I wouldn't normally recommend a book, but Bass Fitness has the perfect exercises for getting your left hand fingers to get used to moving independently. If money's tight, just take a look at the first few pages on amazon and you can get an idea of what the exercises are. Play even just those first few chromatic patterns up and down the neck again with a metronome and your motor control should start to shape up pretty quickly.

u/creede73 · 6 pointsr/Bass


>What is a good groove bpm?

There isn't a single reasonable tempo (40-220, maybe) where you can't groove. It takes good note placement to groove, and you can have good note placement at any tempo.

Second, you would be doing yourself a huge favor by looking up Scott's Bass Lessons and watching his videos on groove, as well as Victor Wooten's Groove Workshop.

Third, you won't be able to create any type of groove if you don't have good timing or if you don't know how to play different note values.

u/Cat_Shampoo · 6 pointsr/Bass

Bass Fitness is, for me, the golden standard to which I hold all guitar practice books. It's a no-nonsense text that offers little in the way of guidance or assistence, but stick with it and you will notice a difference in your playing in due time. It's not perfect by any means -- in fact it is quite rough around the edges -- but it works.

For more general resources, check out 101 Bass Tips, which features of a plethora of different tips and tricks for the working musician -- everything from set-up and maintenance, to technique, to recording and tone, and much more. It's also accompanied by a CD with examples and practice songs you can play along to.

Once you've got the basics down and you're ready to move into the more advanced facets of bass playing, you might want to try out some books on musical theory. I suggest this, this, and these. Hope these help!

u/skyraiderofreddit · 4 pointsr/Bass

Always warm up before playing. Take 5 minutes to do a 1 2 3 4 finger pattern up and down the neck. Bonus points if you use a metronome.

Switch up the pattern for a good finger dexterity practice exercise. E.g. 1 3 2 4, 1 4 2 3, 4 3 2 1, etc...

Start by doing these across one string and then slowly start incorporating multiple strings.

This book is a great resource for these types of exercises.

Good luck!

u/LOLREKTLOLREKTLOL · 3 pointsr/Bass

Get a Hal Leonard Bass Method Book. It's fucking great. Definitely the best 15 dollars you can spend to help learn bass. You can read a lot of awesome information without actually owning the bass yet. Once you get your bass, every single page in that book has something for you to practice or learn.

u/stonistones_ · 2 pointsr/Bass

Take private lessons! I teach privately and there’s something so awesome about working WITH someone directly (vs learning thru YouTube or something) — also if you don’t know how to already, learning how to read music would definitely give you a leg up as a musician in general and might give you a different perspective to things you’re already doing well now.

I love the Hal Leonard book for bass, the wound one has books 1-3 in it and is very affordable ($15):

There’s so many gigs I can say YES to because I know how to read music, so if you can play by ear already learning how to read music will definitely make you a more well rounded musician.

u/reid-o · 3 pointsr/Bass

I get this problem, because I like to run my Aguilar head without a cab into my mixer or audio interface and plug the headphones in there. At least, that's how I can practice silently with some reasonable sense of my tone, since that's the head I play through live. I usually run my pedals on this setup, too, so that's more gear I'm tied to / tangled up in.

When I'm focused on running sets, though, and only worried about my hands (and not so much the guitar's controls or my amp tone) I use a vox amplug. It's the v2 bass model, if anyone is interested, I've recommended / discussed it in this sub before. The tone is acceptable, but the real benefit is that this battery powered unit plugs into the bass, and my headphones into it - no other gear required. So I'm only tethered to the instrument and not to the board or my amp head. Plus it's cheap and the battery life is pretty darn good. The tone and beats to play along with aren't really for me, but might suit some players.

At least, that's what works for me.

u/jdch28 · 10 pointsr/Bass

Nah, hand size won't mess you up. A lot of people say "My hands are too small for bass", when in reallity hand size doesn't affect too much (there are a lot of bass exercises that will allow you to properly extend your hand on the fretboard)

The Hal Leonard method is a pretty good book, go with it.


Also, if you're not getting an amp I reccommend to get a Amplug or something

u/DWTBPlayer · 5 pointsr/Bass

My suggestion is to focus on the backing track stuff first. Know the backing tracks forwards and backwards, pick a particular idea and stick with it to nail it down. If you want to improve your musicianship chops, write out the part you are going to play. Like on staff paper and everything.

I am not the best person to give advice on improv, because I have always sucked at it. If anyone has any tips for how you can learn to improv effectively in 5 weeks, I'll be quite interested in their advice as well. Though one thing I have learned about improv is that nothing is truly improvised. Building a library of licks and stringing them together on the spot isn't the same as pulling notes out of thin air. Even the most impressive improv musicians have a basic idea in their head before they start.

To practice sight reading, get a Real Book and run through it. Sight read the melody lines, and then build bass lines from scratch over the chords. Learn the style and tempo terminology. Understanding the directions at the top of the page is as big a part of sight reading as the notes themselves.

Aim to be completely prepared one week before the actual audition. Then spend that last week running through it all again. And again. And again. You want to let muscle memory kick in when the nerves start fighting you in the audition chair.

My favorite musical aphorism: "Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong."

u/jaffa56 · 8 pointsr/Bass

This book is pretty good. Most of it is about James Jameson, but in the back are loads of his Motown basslines accurately transcribed by some of the top session musicians. Comes with some CDs of them playing the bass lines too. Some of the bass lines are pretty solid, but there's some easy ones in there too.

u/Aireroth · 2 pointsr/Bass

I have some callous on my fretting hand index finger, as it gets the most action. But you should aim to get the clean tone with applying as little force as possible. For this, try to place your fingers right next to the fret.

If you want to build up your fretting hand strength and flexibility, there's a nice book for it:

The exercises aren't the most fancy ones, but if you stick with them, you should notice improvement in a couple of weeks. Just start slow and don't overdo it, focusing on getting a clean and consistent sound.

u/Dyspeptic_McPlaster · 6 pointsr/Bass

First off, you don't have to spend a fortune to get decent gear, we are in the golden age of cheap, decent gear. I would look at the Squire CV or VM line, both are really great instruments for the price. If fenders aren't your thing Ibanez also makes some really good entry level stuff.

As far as learning, nothing you have learned so far is a waste as long as you build on it. I would start out just getting used to playing the bass, both physically and then once the bass feels natural in your hands and you think about playing bass lines instead of guitar lines when you are playing, dive into jazz as a bass player.

The Evolving Bassist is one of the books that I see commonly reccomended to beginning jazz bassists.

Welcome. :)

u/andresonbass · 1 pointr/Bass

Check out Bass Fitness. I scanned this a while ago, but I dunno if I still have the file around. Pretty awesome for finger strength and independence.

u/macaronist · 2 pointsr/Bass

I don’t know all the tricks about amping a bass, but I use this and I love it! It’s perfect for my use in my apartment and I can bring it anywhere easily.

u/quintios · 1 pointr/Bass

The chord changes form the structure of a song.

Everything I say after this is opinion.

As a bass player, I find that you follow those chord changes. You play the root note of the chord. What make a bass line more fun (and at least to me, more interesting) is to find ways to transition between those chords by playing other notes that "fit".

The boring stuff is when you just play the root note of the chord. Even if you're doing that you "own the one", as Bootsy would say.

Always own the one, and when it's tasteful, jazz it up between the chords of the song.

An OUTSTANDING resource is this: Building Walking Bass Lines

It's not what you think. Trust me. Get it.

u/j0llysnowman · 4 pointsr/Bass

I watched a few videos of it on YouTube. It does seem pretty fun lol. I'm tempted to get a copy for myself.

On the other hand, you can get these four books for the same price, and take advantage of your existing knowledge in reading music:

u/Dylennis · 5 pointsr/Bass

Probably not the answer you're looking for, but Alex Webster's book, "Extreme Metal Bass", has helped me more than you could imagine. It's not really metal stuff (even though the scales and intervals are common in extreme metal), but the exercises in the book are absolutely amazing at building speed and precision. Not even exagerating, but in only two months of practicing just tje first few exercises, I am able to play songs that I thought I would not ever be able to play.

It goes over fingering patterns, crazy scales, stretching exercises, tapping exercises, string skipping, and many combinations of those. If you don't mind the fact that it is a an metal-based book, I would absolutely recommend this book. 15$ on amazon and extremely high quality, and comes with an access code to hear the exercises online.

edit: link

u/JustLoggedInForThis · 3 pointsr/Bass

You might want to look into headphone amps. They won't replace your regular amp, but they are inexpensive, and great for when you want to practice without disturbing others.

For example this one. I have an older model and I'm am happy with that. There are also other makers.

u/I_Am_Okonkwo · 3 pointsr/Bass

Technique:, hell, he JUST made a technique video

Theory/reading music: and note: he uses British terms for notes (what Americans call a 16th note, they call a semi quaver)

Scales: . You need to know Major and minor in "zombie mode". To the point where you don't think about where the notes are, you just play them. Not saying it happens overnight, but those scales are 98%+ of what modern music uses.

This has every scale you'll ever need...and more. It has scales that are super esoteric but can be useful (one of my favorite lines I made has a F Hirojoshi scale!)

Note: the circle of fifths is on the cover. It is crucial that you memorize it and understand what it means. Father Christmas Got Dad An Electric Blanket. Blanket Exploded And Dad Got Charred Feet. Once you see the circle, you'll understand what these devices are referring to.

u/PhillyHx · 1 pointr/Bass

Serious Electric Bass. My good friend who mostly plays upright nowadays gave it to me. I haven't really gotten around to playing through it all, but it seems like a REALLY good book.

u/el_tophero · 1 pointr/Bass

This has a bunch of easy standard tunes with everything, including the bass, written out:

Plus it'll give you scales and arpeggios for all the chords for each tune.

Here's a sample:

It's great for getting a handle on how Jazz works and also for starting up a combo.

Also, Ed Friedland's excellent book can help you:

u/disintegore · 3 pointsr/Bass

You need an amplification system of some kind. One very cheap way to go about it is to get a cheap USB interface like this one and to use your computer as an amp sim. On top of that you'll just need a pair of studio headphones (I strongly recommend these) and of course a cable. Total under 50 murrican bucks. Cheap, portable and highly versatile setup. Main downsides are that it can be very difficult to get working for a beginner (especially on Windows) and, well, you need to be wearing headphones unless/until you get decent monitoring speakers.

Of course if you can afford an actual combo amplifier you should get one. Even this is far better than nothing. Same price range. Problem with ultra cheap gear is that you will with 100% certainty want to replace it at some point.

Do not play electric bass unamplified. You will teach yourself to play way too hard in order to be audible, and will miss out on some crucial skills like control over dynamics and tone.

u/AzraelVerusLucifer · 1 pointr/Bass

if you are self taught,i would highly recommend the book hal leonard bass method,with that you can learn how to read music and pretty much all the theory you need (well for now at least,after this book feel free to explore other things) like learning the fretboard ect and if you just wanna read tabs the second book (theres 3,but you can buy one that contain all 3) include tabs as well as regular notation and you can skip some things in the book to learn scales and such.

u/Catechin · 2 pointsr/Bass

Does your amp have a DI out? A Scarlet 2i2 + Reaper would run you $210 and allow you to do everything you need. I honestly highly recommend Reaper over most other software. Once you've used a proper DAW you won't want to go back.

If you don't have a DI out on your amp it becomes much trickier. While you're fine mic'ing a guitar cab with an SM57 you may find it lacks low end with bass and something like a Beta 52A tends to be a lot more expensive. If you don't have a DI on your amp, your best bet would probably be to buy one, and a decent DI is going to eat your entire budget at least.

u/jumpinin66 · 1 pointr/Bass

This is a great book. It's based on 12 bar blues in several different keys and gradually introduces more concepts. It's a great place to start and will also help if you're new to sight reading.

This one too

u/Ferniff · 2 pointsr/Bass

I have a habit of buying music books but then never really using them. What did you like about that book, pros and cons? How'd it help you?

I would also recommend the Bass Grimoire if you want scales, scales and nothing but scales.

u/odichthys · 1 pointr/Bass

Standard tuning going from the thickest to the thinnest string is E-A-D-G. If you think the E string is too deep compared to the rest of them, play the 5th fret of the E string along with the open A string. The notes should be the same if tuned correctly and should resonate. If you hear a kind of "pulsing" beat sound then they are not tuned correctly to each other.

If you're looking for a new tuner, I'd recommend this. I have one and in terms of accuracy and ease of use it blows other chromatic tuners away.

If the strings turn out to all be tuned correctly and you still feel like your E string is a little looser than you would like, you could invest in a heavier gauge set of strings. This would help to maintain the string tension and make the deeper strings less floppy.

u/maroonblazer · 1 pointr/Bass

Similar to you (although piano instead of guitar) I've recently taken up bass. I'm working through this Hal Leonard series (currently on Book II) and it's really good. The backing tracks that you play along with are surprisingly good.

You can pick up all three books/CDs on Amazon for $15.

u/EssMarksTheSpot · 4 pointsr/Bass

Just to add onto this if you're like me and enjoy having a physical book to work through: shout out for Josquin des Pres' Bass Fitness exercise handbook. The exercises in there start out with "simple" permutations on one string up and down the neck and then branch out into more complicated spider-type exercises. These exercises really aren't anything you couldn't find online, but I have a lot of trouble following a routine if it isn't already written out for me.

I've been working through the exercises for about a month and I can already see some progress when it comes to fluidity and crossing strings. Definitely recommend it!

u/HeyGirlsItsPete · 1 pointr/Bass

If anybody here is looking for a good list of warmups and exercises to do to build up speed, accuracy, and finger strength, I strongly recommend checking out this book.

u/ChuckEye · 1 pointr/Bass

More on the mindset of playing bass than any one specific technique, but I highly recommend Victor Wooten's Groove Workshop or his book The Music Lesson (the audio book version is nice too, narrated by Wooten and features some playing between chapters.)

u/Korvaz1120 · 4 pointsr/Bass

I'd HIGHLY... HIGHLY... HIGHLY recommend watching Victor Wooten's groove workshop. It completely revolutionized my perspective as a bass guitarist and allowed me to more freely express my musicianship away from being self-conscious about notes. Plus you can listen to some epic Wooten snippets along the way.

You'll likely be convinced by the end of it that although notes are important to a degree, as a bassist keeping the GROOVE is Priority A. And groove isn't limited to 12 notes.

u/msim609078 · 3 pointsr/Bass

I don't have one myself, but a friend loves his:

u/ehansen · 1 pointr/Bass

Depends on what you want to get out of it.

Are you wanting to write your own tunes? Then start with a little bit of music theory and apply that to playing (i.e.: play the A note everywhere on the board).

Are you wanting to join a band? Start looking at songs on sites like Ultimate-Guitar or Songsterr.

In the mean time, try to understand what you're doing. I bought this book at the recommendation of my teacher couple years ago and have to say, while some parts are a little dry, it will definitely get you going if you follow it:

u/1311854 · 3 pointsr/Bass

I live in an apartment... I don't think I would be able to practice without headphones.

I plug these into a DI and they sound pretty good..

If you are looking for headphone advice, check out r/headphones; It is a great sub with a lot of good advice on buying headphones.

u/Bluefunkt · 3 pointsr/Bass

Hi, there is some advice in the FAQ article:

I live in a house with lots of neighbours, so I use one of these headphone amps:

That way I can plug my ipod into it as well as my headphones, and play along to my favourite songs without disturbing anyone.

If you don't want to buy an amp then you will find that it's hard to hear what you are playing, and also you will tend to play harder and not notice certain mistakes, like bad muting. Not impossible but I would definitely recommend to get some sort of amp, or interface to plug your guitar into your computer.

u/belly917 · 2 pointsr/Bass

I picked up a used mint condition Ibanez SR500 after seeing it constantly recommended here.

I've been playing piano (poorly) for 30 years and always wanted to play bass.. so here we go.

My wife picked me up 2 books to start learning:

Hal Leonard Bass Method - Complete Edition: Books 1, 2 and 3 Bound Together in One Easy-to-Use Volume!

First 50 Songs You Should Play On Bass

I also picked up a Vox Bass headphone amp to practice while the kids are asleep.

Finally, my late grandfather played bass in many jazz bands, both electric and upright. My father still has all of his instruments. But I just inheirited his Polytone Brute Mini III amp.

So, I'm all set with equipment, now I just need to learn & practice!

u/epo916 · 2 pointsr/Bass
It's only $50 and comes with basic recording software.

Also to improve, try joining a band or just playing more. I found rocksmith was a fun way to get better also. You'll be less dependent on focusing on what you're doing and bass will become more subconscious.

u/TangoSierraFan · 22 pointsr/Bass

Do yourself a favour and start learning from a classical standpoint right now. Seriously, you will have an enormous leg up on 99% of other players if you do.

Hal Leonard's Bass Method is an amazing resource for beginners. It starts you off at the fundamentals and takes you through everything you need to get started.

You might also want to invest in a bass scale poster for your wall. Practicing scales and shapes is absolutely key to learning how to properly support your band because it teaches you the muscle memory you need to play in various keys.

In addition to this, my three golden rules for practice are:

  • Practice to a metronome. Develop good timing from day one. Tightness is not negotiable.

  • Start slow. If you are not able to play accurately, you are playing too fast for your current skill level. Playing fast sloppily damages progress by cementing bad habits into your muscle memory, which you will then have to undo.

  • Practice mindfully. Don't strum your bass while watching TV. Sit down in a private space away from distractions and focus on your practice. Make goals for yourself, visualize them, and keep your nose to the grinder.
u/giubaloo · 1 pointr/Bass

I have no idea what you mean by "strings for that'll cut through sound wise" but these are great, inexpensive strings. A 2 pack is only 10 dollars more. If you're using standard tuning I'd recommend them.

u/jambobo · 2 pointsr/Bass

I'd highly suggest this book

A lot of the charts are kinda hard to read, but there's a ton of great songs ('Darling Dear', 'For Once In My Life', 'What's Going On' to name a few), music to practice a long to, and a couple little exercises as well

u/Cool_Hwip_Luke · 2 pointsr/Bass

I'm a beginner/intermediate player who went 10+ years without touching a bass. I picked this book up recently. It's helped me get familiar with the instrument again.

Music Theory for the Bass Player: A Comprehensive and Hands-on Guide to Playing with More Confidence and Freedom

The author also has some free videos on YouTube.

u/HoneyBucket- · 1 pointr/Bass

I own Rocksmith 2014 and a Focusrite 2i2, and have an Irig in the mail. The Rocksmith cable works just fine if you set it up correctly on your PC. The Irig is for my Ipad so I can jam out in the living room late at night. The 2i2 is a real piece of hardware that will work with multiple instruments (I use it for guitar, bass, keyboard, and mic) and is much more reliable than the Cable or the Irig, which both have quality issues. The best part about the 2i2 is that they go on sale all the time for $99(US), but you can grab one now for $125, which is still a great deal for such a versatile piece of hardware.

u/TheNinjaLord · 1 pointr/Bass

Lessons help A LOT, especially when first starting, but also books can help you get a feel for things also, I recommend this one. Some easy songs to start with are ones by the Arctic Monkeys (Do I Wanna Know?, Why's You Only Call Me When You're High) the Beatles (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds) and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (Otherside, Californication)

u/aaryanbatra · 1 pointr/Bass

Hi, these are the textbooks at home. How much of help will they be?

Essential Jazz Elements:

Standard of Excellence Jazz Ensemble Method:

The second textbook has songs in it to play (for sightreading?), will that do instead of the Real Book

u/mondor · 14 pointsr/Bass

While I do love Vic and Jaco, I think that Standing in the Shadows of Motown should be required reading for anyone serious about playing the bass. I bought it 5 or 6 years ago and still play out of it all the time. Completely changed the way I play and view the bass

u/blackmarketdolphins · 2 pointsr/Bass

this book is a great starting point. Make sure you're learning notes and not just shapes. The shapes are good to know, but once you forget the notes in them, you're in for a bad time (which is what I'm fixing in my bass/guitar playing right now).

Scales: Major, Nat Minor, Harmonic Minor, and Melodic Minor and their modes. Whole Tone, Diminished (both whole-half and half-whole), and the blues/pentatonics scales (which is where most people start). You really need to know your major scales inside and out, as well as the major, minor, and dominant chord for each note.

Chord Progessions: major and minor 2-5-1, and acknowledging that a dom7 chord function as a V7, a m7 will function as a ii7 before a vi7, and a maj7 functions as a Imaj7 before a IVmaj7. Just get in the habit of thinking in iim7-V7-Imaj7 and ii7b5-V7-Imaj7/im7. A lot of jazz is based on that pattern, often with a bit of modulating. Also learn the rest of the cycle of 4ths, ii-V-I is just the end. Rick Beato has a good video on it, and you can see the normal ii-V pattern and it plus modulation.

Beginner pieces: Autumn Leaves, All the Things You Are, Blue Bossa, Lullaby of Birdland, and Giant Steps (kidding)

u/iboughtshoes · 1 pointr/Bass

This book helped me tremendously when I was studying how to write basslines.


The Beatles/Paul McCartney lines are great examples. All my loving, Something, Taxman, etc.

u/zorbinski · 4 pointsr/Bass

I second the Vox Amplug (Bass Version)- One of the absolute best things I've bought! The fact that it has that aux port allows you to plug your phone in and use ANY JAM TRACK on the web, i.e. youtube. And if you're not able to plug in for some reason, it has a few built-in beats to play to (and you change the tempo!)

You can even plug it into effects pedals at the end, as long as you have a long enough headphone cord! It's literally just a small pocket-sized amp that feeds headphones!

Here's an amazon link

Seriously, buy one now. You will NOT regret it.

u/TheLessonIsNeverTry · 6 pointsr/Bass

I don't know about the workout you are referring to, but Bass Fitness is a book of exercises to be drilled to a metronome for about 15-20 minutes per day with the aim of improving strength, speed, and dexterity.

u/agmatine · 2 pointsr/Bass

I'd recommend this instead, unless you need the extra outputs:

Plugs straight into the bass so less cables and more portability (powered by 2x AAA), has a tone control, and even a built-in drum loop/metronome with its own volume/tempo control. The metronome tempo is controlled with the volume knob and there's no display so you can't really get a specific tempo, but it's certainly more functional than a regular headphone amp, and probably sounds better.

There's also these if you want to go a step further and put the amp into the headphones:

Haven't tried them but the headphones are made by Audio Technica so they're probably decent.

u/EMoneySC2 · 3 pointsr/Bass

I highly recommend these Superlux headphones. Fantastic at their price point.

Superlux HD668B Dynamic Semi-Open Headphones by Superlux

u/ZardozC137 · 2 pointsr/Bass

I am a new bass player, trying to learn more about the gear. I play with a passive ESP Bass through my Vox Headphone Amplifier for Bass Guitar with some old shitty Best Buy Sony head phones I got a couple years ago. I’m looking to get a bedroom practice amplifier with the hopes of one day both recording and playing in small bars with a thrash metal band.
I was thinking maybe the Fender Rumble Studio 40 am I looking in the right direction? This is just a hobby of mine I’m trying out, money isn’t really a concern, I just know I should most likely get a combo amp to practice in my room until I can work my way up and get something else.

u/science_diction · 2 pointsr/Bass

Playing bass without a drummer is kind of pointless. Bass is part of the rythym section after all. Try to practice and play with people as much as you can. You don't want to be one of those musicians who is great by themselves but can't play at all in a group.

Get a drum machine or drum machine app with some loops and jam along learning to improvise.

Look up scales on the net or just figure them out yourself by playing along to music. It's not that hard, tbh. If it sounds off key, you're a half step off.

I can't recommend this DVD enough: Victor Wooten: Groove Workshop.

Buy it, watch it, live it.

Chords: Honestly, learn to play guitar if you don't know already. They are the same. Bass typically only uses diads and traids anyway, or you can pick up a 8, 10, or 12 string if you want that sound. But, I came from guitar so I'm sure some will disagree with me.

u/ProgHog231 · 1 pointr/Bass

I've been pretty impressed with the Behringer uPhoria. OTOH, as you'll see from the reviews, some people seem to have experience with quality issues, which is not uncommon with Behringer.

Another option, for about double the price is the Focusrite Scarlett Solo. The 2i2 is quite popular, but more like $150.

u/Turbosack · 3 pointsr/Bass

I'm thinking about pulling the trigger on my first bass. Specifically, I'm looking at this Yamaha. From looking around on the subreddit, it seems like most people agree that it is quite good for the price. I just have one question about it if anyone happens to know: the model name listed on the sites ends in a Y (RBX170Y), where most instance of the model name I've seen elsewhere don't have it. Does that mean this is a different version of that bass? Maybe a lower quality one somehow (I know places like Walmart will do something similar where they sell a TV or whatever with a slightly different model name that is inferior, which is why I'm worried).

A second question, I wanted to be polite to the other members of my household, so I was thinking of getting a headphone amp. Do these work well enough for just practicing on my own? I figure that's all I'll be doing for awhile.

u/Chili_Time · 2 pointsr/Bass

For $17 on Amazon you can get the Hal Leonard Bass Method Books 1,2,3 combo and 3 play along CDs. If you already learned to read bass clef once you should move through the books fairly quickly. Multiple genres (rock, jazz, reggae, country, rock, blues) to keep things interesting and a little over 150 play along exercises. Hard to beat the amount of stuff you get for $17. Avoid the kindle if you try this and get the spiral bound hard copy. There is a little section where tab is introduced and explained but for the most part it is just notation.

There is also a Tablature and Notation forum on talkbass where folks load transcriptions so if you just want to relearn to read you could try that for free.

u/MrLKK · 2 pointsr/Bass

It's kinda the default answer and it doesn't have a backing track, but The Real Book.

If you're trying to explore jazz and improve your music reading, there really isn't any other way. A lot of jazz bass books just have the bass line which could be as simple (and boring) as a transcribed walking bass; with the real book you get the melodies and the chords which is what jazz is all about. Plus if you meet some other jazz guys there's probably a handful of tunes you can play with them (and they might have their own real book too).

u/bassp1aya · 2 pointsr/Bass

Rufus Reid's book on bass is an excellent source for breaking down walking lines:

I always tell students to find recordings of lines they connect with and enjoy and then transcribe those. You get a three-for-one lesson if you transcribe yourself from the album. You learn the actual line, train your ear to hear the intervals, and inadvertently pickup on the oh so important subtleties of the style.

u/harpo787 · 1 pointr/Bass

As tidesofblood88 said music is a language. This bit from Victor Wooten also speaks of music as a language, and elaborates a bit more on that. If you like what you hear in the clip, I'd recommend reading his book The Music Lesson. While it is a novel and a work of fiction(?), it provides a different way of looking at music, rather than looking at it from the POV of scale and theory.

u/ThatNolanKid · 3 pointsr/Bass

I've been suggesting this book recently, having started to go through it myself I can promise you'll learn a lot even by yourself. Book and YouTube can teach you only so far in your abilities, a professional bass teacher can sculpt your technique and evaluate your playing better than anything, but will cost the most.

Here's that book, I bought it digitally on Google Play for 13$

u/IPYF · 2 pointsr/Bass

This is 'the' book IMO:

Right now you might be like "Dang motherfucker. I told you I was a rock/metal bassist. What's this improvisational jazz shit?". Well this book will do a bunch of things to make you a much better heavy bassist, and a better musician in general. For starters it'll force you to learn bass clef, and theory from basic to advanced. By the time you're done with this book, you'll be kicking literal arse in every conceivable genre. Take it from another, albeit former, metal bassist, this is the book you want to get your paws on.

u/ArasBekar · 6 pointsr/Bass

You want exactly amp or something to trevel with and play for yourself? All little amps sounds weak. But Vox amplug is good. 3 types of gain, 9 types of drums with different speed you set by yourself. Decent overall sound. And aux in for mp3 player

u/Jay_is_on_reddit · 1 pointr/Bass

Here are my accessories in a backpack I take to every gig:

u/I_SHAVDMYBALLS_4THIS · 3 pointsr/Bass

And they're cheap. AND apparently you can set them up as a recurring purchase on Amazon! Oh amazon, how I love you.

u/DixonBass · 5 pointsr/Bass

Having just done an enormous essay as a critical evaluation final assignment at my last year of a BMus Jazz course on technique and hand/wrist troubles - i recommend you check out these 3 books, they completely changed my playing style, for the better!

Electric Bass technique Builder, Todd Johnson:

The Bassist's Guide To Injury Management, Prevention and Better Health, Kertz, Randall D.C:

Bass Fitness, An Exercising Handbook, Josquin Des Pres:

You may also want to look into 'The Alexander Technique' - as this gives great information about postures and stance and how you wear your instrument.

Also - has your bass been professionally set up? If the strings are too high you can get the action lowered, this greatly improves fretting ability.

u/crashandburn · 2 pointsr/Bass

I use the vox amplug 2:

Its pretty good, has gain/tone settings, and has a built-in rhythm machine/metronome.

u/throw_up_n_away · 1 pointr/Bass

I was looking at this book at SamAsh last week, lols pretty interesting.

u/alkanetexe · 4 pointsr/Bass

Standard gauge is made for E-standard tuning, so dropping to D with a standard set of strings will leave you with a slightly-looser-than-normal lowest string.

Moving one gauge up for the lowest string (e.g. from 105 up to 110 as /u/ir1dium mentioned) will give you standard tension when tuned to D, and slightly tighter tension when tuned up to E.

Personally, I really like Ernie Ball Slinkies, excellent tone-to-price ratio in my experience. The Hybrid Slinkies are my favorite for normal tuning and the occasional drop-D jamming, but if you really want that .110, you can order a custom gauge set through Bass Strings Online (a highly reputable site run by a well-known face over at

EDIT: So I meant to make the point earlier, that string gauge is pretty much up to your preference of how much tension you want on the lowest string. Also, /u/glubaloo mentioned trying the D'Addarios, which are also really good strings, and tend to come a bit cheaper than EB Slinkies.

u/vizz1 · 1 pointr/Bass

Read this

I was at a similar mental place with playing music in general a few years ago and a friend recommended this book to me ---

it absolutely changed my life.

u/FunnyPocketBook · 7 pointsr/Bass

Focusrite Scarlett Solo/2i2 as audio interface. If you are certain that you're only going to record one thing at a time, the Solo will be sufficient.

I've seen many people recommending Reaper which is the WinRar version of free DAWs (I think?)

u/pandablunt · 3 pointsr/Bass

Roundwounds for sure. Brand is all about your preference really. Some of those bands use drop tunings (D/Db) so you may want to consider a slightly thicker gauge for the low E. Just keep in mind that thicker gauge generally equals harder to play but gives you a thicker tone. Personally I'm a fan of D'Addario and would suggest These.

You can toggle between some of the different gauges on there if you don't like those.

Best of luck!

u/XVI_Carlos · 2 pointsr/Bass

During my student teaching semester, I was faced with a task of teaching students how to learn bass to be in the 3rd Jazz Ensemble. I had 3 students and with all of them I used the Hal Leonard Bass Method. It taught them the basics of rhythm and individual notes and positions. It wasn't until I purchased the book that I realized I didn't know how to start beginners and teach certain methods, but it benefited myself and my students. 3 books in 1 and it goes to more advanced techniques in books 2 and 3 from playing above the 4th fret and introduction to funk(pop/slap).

u/2muchcoffeeman · 1 pointr/Bass

OK, but how is this better than something like the VOX amPlug I already have?

u/Conspiranoid · 1 pointr/Bass

What OP is using is a Vox amPlug, or in his case, a copy. The thing (the one I have, at least) isn't really to die for, but it's a nifty gadget to always have in your gigbag, in case you need to hear yourself playing in emergency cases (like warming up backstage, etc).

IMHO, plugging it directly into the JBL might lack some processing, if I were to go the 1/4 to 1/8 way, I'd add something in front of it, like a small preamp pedal (in my case, I have an Eden WTDI, which I also take everywhere, since it's a lifesaver in cases of terrible amps when you depend on others' backlines).

Not sure if I have 1/4 to 1/8 cables at home to try out... When I'm there, I'll try with the amPlug and the Eden at least.

u/cotdag · 1 pointr/Bass

it's not the best buy for 50 bucks it'll sound demo worthy.

I use this with logic and the built in compressors are good enough to not sound awful.

u/CRCP-10325 · 2 pointsr/Bass

A Vox Amplug may also be an option if you don't have any amps on hand, I have one myself and they're decent for the price, you plug it straight in and connect a set of headphones, or a speaker if you want

u/squiresuzuki · 1 pointr/Bass

A tuner is the single most important device you will ever own.


Because honestly, you don't need to drop more than $20 on a tuner.

u/Meekl · 1 pointr/Bass

So, I'm looking to start learning bass after being interested for at least a few years now, but I have zero knowledge on this kind of thing. What kind of devices would I need to run this bass (Squier P-Bass) into my PC as a microphone/line in device? I'm thinking this would do it, but I don't know that for sure. My backup plan would be to use a Vox Amplug 2 Bass, but those run on battery and I hear they hiss too. I have *zero knowledge* in how a bass interfaces with a computer, so I'm kind of shooting in the dark here. Do I have this right?

u/Thewes6 · 4 pointsr/Bass

Semi-related, if you're looking to learn/improve your walking basslines, this book is what you want. It really is fantastic.

u/abusivebanana · 1 pointr/Bass

For the budget minded folks, I got these headphones and they work great, come with an extension cable, and have a jack adapter.

u/InterruptedI · 2 pointsr/Bass

I'm all about this book

But like everyone is saying, learn scales (and modes), arpege, and bass lines. Transcribe lines, play with records and people.

Try to focus on the I and V (this is a very general rule, don't feel grounded by it) when constructing your lines. Always be in time. Yada Yada Yada

u/jedibassist · 2 pointsr/Bass

I use a snark tuner. Love this thing to death. Works on everything, guitar, bass, drums, trumpets... No reason to put another pedal in your chain if you don't need it.


You probably won't need a compressor, as the pf500 has one built in for ya. :)

Pedals are completely up to you depending once again on your music. I played with no pedals at all for years. But I do have a few OD's/Fuzz, Bass Chorus, Bass Wah and some others that I like to funk around with from time to time.

u/sektorao · 1 pointr/Bass

Check out Bass Fitness it has some good warm up exercises. Start slow, and go up and down the neck. If you can't reach largest frets, start with one you can.

u/Astrixtc · 2 pointsr/Bass

you need lessons for both.

In the mean time, start with this for walking jazz lines, and this for latin lines and styles.

As stated, this takes a lot of time and practice. I have been playing jazz bass since I started 6 years ago, and I consider myself an average jazz bassist. The only reason I'm even that good is because I studied jazz trombone all through high school and college before that.

u/GodModeONE · 1 pointr/Bass

As an addition to all the tips, I highly recommend picking up Alex Webster's Extreme Metal Bass. Helped me a lot in developing my 3 finger playing technique, and a must read for all extreme metal bass players.

u/dirkdice · 1 pointr/Bass

It sounds like you're doing everything right to set yourself up for success. As someone else mentioned, you can use one finger (many of the greats did), but if a pick works, stick with (many of the greats did this, too). I personally have to recommend this book: . It's boring, but if you start slow and build up you speed with these exercises, you'll get the dexterity you're looking for.

u/crystalcastles · 2 pointsr/Bass

This isn't firewire, this is USB.

4.5 Stars on 129 reviews

Was virtually plug-n-play on my Windows 8 Computer, super easy to use.

I dealt with shitty drivers/support with my Mboxes and got this and have never looked back.

u/TheDerpiestHerp · 6 pointsr/Bass

You mean the Real Book? Pretty sure it's only chords and melodies though.

Edit: My mistake, they actually did make one for bass clef:

u/dnbrandon · 3 pointsr/Bass

I use one of these when I want to jam and not bother anybody. Works pretty well, but haven't tried looping it into the pedals: