First off, what motivates you to become a great bass player?
You don’t have to answer, just think of a great reason.
As long as the answer is not “because I think it is easy,” you are good to go :)
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You control that low end in a band. That extra rumble and great solid tone that drives and locks in with the drummer. Just massive!!
But you can also “move” the band more than you think. And I don’t mean speed up or slow down (because you can play with that too :) but if you do some bass study and know some music theory, you can add some great chords in there. (heads up, simple music theory ahead)
As an easy example. Instead of following the guitarist with the root of the chord, you can also try to add the 3rd or 2nd and see where it leads you.
4, 5, 6 strings?
That question is all over the internet. What should I choose, a 4 or 5 or 6 or 18 string bass guitar?
Maybe pointless regarding becoming a great bass player, but still a valuable question in a certain way. You want to know what type of bass guitar you want. If you really need those low notes, and that full range of notes high up, and just bought a 4 string, you’re missing out.
But if you bought a 6 string, and are just beginning to play some simple Pop covers, you might be overwhelmed with the huge range of notes. (and you probably won’t use half of it along the way)
To avoid this, see what style of music you want to play, check out the bass players of your favorite band and see why they have that certain style of bass. That can be a good guideline to determine which bass is best for you.
As with most instruments, basses range from cheap to super expensive.
My personal opinion is, that if you find a bass that fits/suits you, plays awesome and is properly set up, your good to go. In the journey to becoming a great bass player, you will develop your style and see what you like more.
Why this method? There are so many options, long scale, short scale, humbuckers or single coils, active or passive, cheap or expensive, gold or silver…..
You know what I mean. In the end, the instrument should suit your needs.
That should be your goal. The most expensive one does not have to be the best one for your needs.
What else do you need?
The very bass-ics (that was stupid, sorry for that) are a bass, strap, cable, and amp.
Bam, you’re done and start rocking people’s socks off.
But you might want to add a decent gig bag if you play in a band, or a decent bass stand to store your bass for those 2 hours a day that you DON’T play your bass.
Ok, again, stupid joke, no you don’t have to practice for 22 hours…..
20 is enough…
As a bass player, you can also try some effects. Same as with guitar effects the sky is pretty much the limit. See what your favorite bass player uses and see if you like it in your setup.
2 things I want to add, practice often and change strings often.
Why? You don’t want to be THAT guy…
In practice, you could use some awesome youtube videos, but don’t underestimate the power of a great music teacher. Find one that suits you and see if you connect. Then see if he can learn you what you want to play. There are many bass techniques that require a great teacher to point out how it should be done. Learning the wrong right-hand techniques or finger technique might haunt you for years.
The last tip, try to bond with your instrument. Yes, it sounds strange, but the more you connect with your instrument and make it yours, the more you will respect it for what it is. That is what every great bass player has. A super connection with their instrument.
Try to avoid the feeling of “this is just a temporary instrument, I will buy a better one later.” Try to get the best out of it and see where it brings you. Even with all its flaws, it can make you the great musician that you want to be!
And, Yes, I still have my first bass guitar. It plays awesome in my opinion because I know all the ins and outs of that beautiful instrument.
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As always, keep creating awesome music and share it with the world.
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