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new to bass advice


archmeg

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Advice. Don't do fretless. Listen to songs concentrating on basslines. There is more there than you may think. Grab a good teacher for at least a few good lessons. You'll do fine, probably.
"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there" Mrs. Brown
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Why do you find fretless more attractive at this time? Playing bass takes a completely different mindset from playing a guitar. You really need a good teacher to guide you.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

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Also much harder to 'fret your note' as you don't actually have a fret, and have to rely on your ear to tell you that you are bang on the intonation.

 

It's one of these things you either have, or you haven't.

 

I played a fretless just fine the first time \i picked it up, while my mate can't hit the notes to save his life, & he's a damned good fretted player.

 

G.

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I switched over to fretless after about 2 years of Fretted Bass playing. My fretless has lines where the frets would be, so it took away a lot of the guess work when I started playing. IMO, playing fretless improved my ear and the transition was pretty seamless.

 

Whatever your instrument, you know whether or not you have a good ear, and if you tune properly, you'll be able to stay in tune pretty easily.

 

Try the bass out if you can, if you like it then go for it. I played my fretless both in church and in a rock band, and it did both jobs very well.

 

 

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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I've played both fretted and fretless basses for many years. Generally a fretless doesn't have enough punch for a rock band. There are only a handful of name bass players playing fretless in rock bands.

 

It won't be any easier on your hands or technique. With your guitar playing background, you should find the left hand relatively easy. If you decide to play with your fingers, you'll need to build up some callouses on your right hand fingers.

 

When you switch to bass, make sure you don't ever play guitar parts on it and make sure you are always there on the "1".

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i would think the action is smoother, reduced buzz and a bit easier on the fingers?

It can be, but your notes will be cleaner on a fretted bass and you already have left hand strength built up. Stamina will be the more challenging aspect of switching to bass. Be careful though, you may not want to go back. :grin:

Be sure to get enough amp to cut through the mix, too.

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While being perhaps the worst bass 'player' here, I too have some comments. I took up bass in a similar way - through the 'Weekend Warriors' program here. They were short of bass players, so I put my hand up. I had fooled around with guitars (mostly acoustic) for years, so the changeover was not too hard. I was an instant convert to bass - I loved it from the first private practice at home. Soon I found I was hearing the bass lines in elevator music and supermarkets - they just popped out at me. I loved the physicality of the bass - it shakes in your hands when playing on the E and A string. When playing a gig - feel that thump in the floor? That's you.

 

As for learning bass lines - I -umm - used tabs.

 

 

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While being perhaps the worst bass 'player' here, I too have some comments. I took up bass in a similar way - through the 'Weekend Warriors' program here. They were short of bass players, so I put my hand up. I had fooled around with guitars (mostly acoustic) for years, so the changeover was not too hard. I was an instant convert to bass - I loved it from the first private practice at home. Soon I found I was hearing the bass lines in elevator music and supermarkets - they just popped out at me. I loved the physicality of the bass - it shakes in your hands when playing on the E and A string. When playing a gig - feel that thump in the floor? That's you.

 

As for learning bass lines - I -umm - used tabs.

 

 

 

What was that?

"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there" Mrs. Brown
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OK. I'll chime in. Although you're a noob, truth is you are not really a noob at all: whole buncha years (Two Decades!!!)on guitar, so it's not like you're learning a foreign language. As such, don't let the others scare you off of fretless. If you can make some good noises come out of that thing and you dig it, then buy it. Frets are for pu$$ies. There. I said it.

 

And bass ain't rocket surgery. Crank up the ol' Victrola with the treble all the way off, and listen. You'll do fine.

 

As for the fingertips: flat wound strings or nylon tapewound strings will be easier on your fingertips. As will turning up your amp instead of hitting the strings harder.

 

And like JC said; always be there on the one.

 

What kind of music are you playing???

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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I'm a guitar player who switched to bass. Here are some things I discovered when I first started playing bass.

 

The first big thing you'll notice when switching to bass from guitar is the amount of stretching your fingers will have to do to fret the bass. In some cases the old one finger per fret you learn as a guitarist may not apply in the lower positions. It will take some getting used to. This is even a bit tougher with a fretless as it takes more precision in finger placement to keep somewhat in tune.

 

It will also take some stamina building and finger calluses if you plan to play fingerstyle. Start off slow, as you can hurt yourself if you don't pace yourself, and build up stamina.

 

As far as how to play music wise, as everybody has said it's a bit different animal than guitar. There is a different approach to playing bass than a guitar although a lot of what you learned on the guitar will carry over.

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

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I might add this to what has been said;

The bass player is the bridge between melody and rhythm. The drummer is your friend and you are his. Everybody else rides on the foundation you guys create. Listen for and lock up with the bass drum for the largest part of your lines. You can dance around the bass drum beat a bit here and there, but always come back to it and you'll play great bass.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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Wasn't Phil Lesh a trumpet player or something when Jerry Garcia asked him to play bass for the Warlocks? Phil adjusted pretty well to the bass if history and current events serves me. Isn't Phil around 70 now?

 

I read in a bio of Jimi Hendrix that Noel Redding, who played bass for Experience, was a guitarist who had never picked up a bass until he auditioned for Hendrix.

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I'm another converted guitar player, but I've always been a better acoustic rhythm player so the transition was easier.

 

My (very) humble opinion is to remember, especially if you played lead guitar, that you're now in a supporting role. Yes it's an important role and yes you have the power to change where a song is going by just one note, but ultimately your job is to support and be the solid backbone.

"Of all the world's bassists, I'm one of them!" - Lug
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Going along the same sentiment, the tendency of people I know who play guitar that pick up bass for certain things is the tendency to overplay. Just be sure to think out your parts like a bass player, not a guitar player.

 

As far as amps, I like the GK I have. They generally make pretty reliable and good sounding stuff. Just get enough power- 2-300W minimum.

 

Welcome to the Lowdown :)

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My (very) humble opinion is to remember, especially if you played lead guitar, that you're now in a supporting role. Yes it's an important role and yes you have the power to change where a song is going by just one note, but ultimately your job is to support and be the solid backbone.
+1

 

The bass role in an ensemble is different from the others.

 

Unless you play jazz be prepared to never be asked to play a solo again in your life.

 

Also, please don't play barre chords across all 4+ strings. That screams, "I'm really a guitar player who just picked up a bass for the first time". ;)

 

Depending on the genre you may be able to get away with a plectrum (pick) without being told you aren't a "real" bass player.

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