how 2 git gud at bass?



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how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby backwardsvoyager » Tue May 11, 2021 11:27 am

BASSISTS OF ILF - seeking suggestions for instructional material, exercises, videos, hot tips etc.

the whole half assed playing-bass-like-a-guitarist thing isn't cutting it for what I'm tryna write/record, I need to develop proper fingerstyle technique and stuff.

I was looking for similar threads but it's kinda difficult when 'bass' is ignored as a search term :?: :lol:
anything to save me wandering youtube tutorial hell forever would be greatly appreciated :)*
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby qersty » Tue May 11, 2021 11:37 am


has worked for me
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby coldbrightsunlight » Wed May 12, 2021 3:35 am

Can't go wrong with bootsy's formula
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby coldbrightsunlight » Wed May 12, 2021 3:51 am

For real though, my advice is to find bass players you like. Listen to them! Learn their lines. Repeat this for more players (Including Bootsy), and you'll get into the swing of things!

If you're more interested in technical/ba(s)sic technique stuff, hm I'm less sure because I've never had a bass lesson and have just picked it up so long ago I don't really remember how I learned what was right :lol:
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby Blackened Soul » Wed May 12, 2021 9:57 am

coldbrightsunlight wrote:For real though, my advice is to find bass players you like. Listen to them! Learn their lines. Repeat this for more players (Including Bootsy), and you'll get into the swing of things!

:thumb:

Also, to expand on the Boosty thang. Bass is closer to drums interns of band roll and while the notes you play are important the rhythms are even more so, and even more so is the space between your notes: where you hit the note interns of time [ahead, on top, behind the beat], how long you hold a note, what passing notes you NEED to play and what one you don't. So in really listening to your favorite band/bassists really listen to the drummers, listen to the bass/drum interplay and how a really great team flow together :thumb:
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby MechaGodzilla » Wed May 12, 2021 10:03 am

no great advice from me, another guitarist that owns and occasionally plays a bass, except i always seem to sound better when i play softly and let the tech do the heavy lifting. maybe my right hand is too heavy for the strings my left hand can fret comfortably
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby coldbrightsunlight » Wed May 12, 2021 10:52 am

Blackened Soul wrote:
coldbrightsunlight wrote:For real though, my advice is to find bass players you like. Listen to them! Learn their lines. Repeat this for more players (Including Bootsy), and you'll get into the swing of things!

:thumb:

Also, to expand on the Boosty thang. Bass is closer to drums interns of band roll and while the notes you play are important the rhythms are even more so, and even more so is the space between your notes: where you hit the note interns of time [ahead, on top, behind the beat], how long you hold a note, what passing notes you NEED to play and what one you don't. So in really listening to your favorite band/bassists really listen to the drummers, listen to the bass/drum interplay and how a really great team flow together :thumb:

^^^^^^ very this. Play just one note, but with a fantastic groove, and it'll sound good every time.
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby MaxMaps » Wed May 12, 2021 10:50 pm

Take what I say with a grain of salt as I am a pretty lousy bass player :Hobbes:

-the most important stuff is all ready mentioned - time , rhythm and groove are the foundations of a solid player. You don’t even have to have basic musical knowledge, just as long as your in the right spot and your in the pocket with the drummer your doing well

- Rinding you’re e string will only get you so far like it did for me - to expand on your lines there is a fine line between a good complicated bass line and something that is hot garbage. My advice is to hit root note and then add what you know. Some of my favorite bass players did some really basic bass lines ( Sean Yuselt , Nikki Six , Gene Simmons , etc)

- if your looking for lesions - Scott Devine and Daric Bennett do really good short YouTube videos. I was enrolled in Scott’s school but the vibe was all TalkBass esk and was a real turn off for me. Many accomplished bass players are really big jazz musicians because it’s one of the few styles of music that really pushes the bass player not only fill the bottom end and hold the groove but add complexity to the song. (take Flea for example).

-I have to mention Carol Kaye of the wrecking crew as someone you need to at least know about. Bass players swoon all over Jaco Pastores but Carol Kay in my option is the embodiment of a solid bass player. Music just oozes out of this lady - watch how she makes a metronome swing.

-Glen Fricker of SMG and Trey Xavier of Gear Gods have done some cool videos on bass guitar - both are guitar players but they know how to make a good bass line
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby Dapper Bandit » Thu May 13, 2021 6:15 pm

What sort of stuff are you trying to play? Because a link to a video examing Flabba Holt's technique won't help if you're trying to write a tech-death tune!
I've been pondering this and I'm not sure there's going to be a youtube instructional that does as effective a job as listening to basslines that inspire you. There are bassists out there that have written stuff that you dig, that's the lesson right there!
I've learnt far more just by listening to:
Bill Laswell
Paul Jackson
Tina Weymouth
Jah Wobble
Family Man
Bootsy
Bernard Edwards (for real, though)

These folks have recorded some incredible tunes that show you groove. Not a how-to, maybe not even the right genre but some masterclasses on feel in modern(ish) music.

But seriously, what music are you writing? My shameless love of funk and disco has completely avoided discussing the minutae of techniques useful in, say, a post-rock or thrash metal setting...
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby adamajah » Thu May 13, 2021 7:06 pm

I like this thread
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby MaxMaps » Thu May 13, 2021 7:42 pm

Dapper Bandit wrote:What sort of stuff are you trying to play? Because a link to a video examing Flabba Holt's technique won't help if you're trying to write a tech-death tune!
I've been pondering this and I'm not sure there's going to be a youtube instructional that does as effective a job as listening to basslines that inspire you. There are bassists out there that have written stuff that you dig, that's the lesson right there!
I've learnt far more just by listening to:
Bill Laswell
Paul Jackson
Tina Weymouth
Jah Wobble
Family Man
Bootsy
Bernard Edwards (for real, though)

These folks have recorded some incredible tunes that show you groove. Not a how-to, maybe not even the right genre but some masterclasses on feel in modern(ish) music.

But seriously, what music are you writing? My shameless love of funk and disco has completely avoided discussing the minutae of techniques useful in, say, a post-rock or thrash metal setting...


So much truth to this post. The style of music really dictates how you approach your playing but how you fit into the pocket. Bobby Vega is another player that comes to mind as an awesome Groove machine, watching that dude play with a pick is pretty much magic.
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Achtane wrote:Doom Weed, duh.
Doom seed is like...what you get when wizards jerk it.
Doom Weed produces Doom Seed.

BRO IS THIS EVEN KUSH??? IS BUFFERED? TRV BYPASS??? MY FRIEND DAMBLEDORE TOLD ME I NEEDED CRYSTAL LETTUICE.
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby backwardsvoyager » Fri May 14, 2021 12:20 am

You're all amazing. Thank you :)*

Dapper Bandit wrote:But seriously, what music are you writing? My shameless love of funk and disco has completely avoided discussing the minutae of techniques useful in, say, a post-rock or thrash metal setting...

I definitely should have mentioned that in the OP :facepalm:

90s math rock/post-hardcore/post-rock is my foundation. Stuff like June of 44, Slint, Rodan, Bark Psychosis, Dirty Three, Bastro.
Also majorly influenced by Cardiacs and The Residents, and a lot of J-Pop and IDM.

Having said that, I'm keen to take inspiration from completely unrelated music, so will be checking all the players mentioned here.
I've played guitar for ~15 years, and very little of my technique or philosophy comes from music that sounds similar to what I actually make now.
Just hearing about the ideas and techniques and players that helped you all get to where you are is more than helpful.

I'll be focusing on fingerstyle technique for the time being as it seems to complement my guitar playing (which is usually fingerstyle) more than pick playing.
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby goroth » Fri May 14, 2021 1:39 am

Get Alex Webster’s book.
Ignore that he tunes to BEAD and it’s for extreme metal. Dude is a finger style legend and the book is easy to follow.
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby sears » Sat May 15, 2021 11:29 am

Be there on the 1, or wherever the kick is if it's accenting right before. You can never go wrong by playing the root on the 1. IMO right -- plucking -- hand technique is much more important than left when it comes to bass. Like, you can focus on it 100%. Getting your dynamics and timing. Also, don't be afraid to play with a pick if that's what works.
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby Blackened Soul » Sat May 15, 2021 1:38 pm

MechaGodzilla wrote:no great advice from me, another guitarist that owns and occasionally plays a bass, except i always seem to sound better when i play softly and let the tech do the heavy lifting. maybe my right hand is too heavy for the strings my left hand can fret comfortably


I know some people that play light and there are a few pluses and some big drawbacks, same as pounding on the thing as hard as you can... ironically the issues end up being mirror images of each other: amp is turned up so high or low that playing with dynamics can be an issue, You spend more mental energy than you realize trying to play in time, you have trouble switching musical styles, you tend to be a slave to your personal rig vs being able to plug in and go in most situations... You really want to shoot for a middle ground on your "normal" attach that way you can play soft when you need soft and play hard when you need to depending on what the song/situation calls for. Also one thing that is really bugging me a lot is how many ramps I am seeing on basses.. I get their purpose.. and dislike it because to me one of the best tools you have at your fingertips in terms of getting different sounds and dynamics when playing finger style is when you pluck how much of and where on you finger you are starting the note: tip, middle pad, below pad and pull across the pad, these all make BIG changes :thumb:
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