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Developing your own personal style


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As a bassist you probably think bass as a normal state of mind,so you probably make up bass in your head as if your mind was the instrument.Taking your creative idea's and applying several different techniques to that your will find what technique thats fit your bass playing.And also by the influences that your follow, whether there a bassist or your teacher they all give you idea's for music.And you take that knowledge and apply it, work with it and put it into place.
Pete Combs...
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When I first started playing bass, the only thing I could think about was creating my own unique way of playing. But as time went on, I realized that just laying back and playing was all I needed to do . . .



Words of Inspiration:


Not everyone needs to be Jaco. Sometimes your band just needs a bass player, somebody to just play root notes - Dirk Lance

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I have a style, and it comes from the things you mentioned (player influences, music influences, etc.). I was not up on anyone's technique and didn't take lessons so that wasn't a factor for me. It is a good influence for many others.


I think the need to flowing and melodic influences my playing quite a bit. Along with a never-ending search for a good line. Sometimes this search takes place will in a song (one past keyboardist called me "active"). Mostly I think I hold it down enough to be cool (no one's ever complained).


I love the power of music in things like a well accented triplet, neat accent, or an unexpected harmony. I always seek those things out in the music and support them. Sometimes I play with them, sometimes I do something else (well, not too often).




Acoustic Color


Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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I really don't have a style that I try to emulate off of some other bassist, nor do I actively search for "my" style. Though there are few things that I do, that I have gotten from other bassists, however, they do not directly relate to my playing. One thing, that I remeber Victor Wooten saying, is to be completely relaxed when playing. I also remeber him saying that during a solo, if he found himself getting too tense, he would just stop, breathe, and continue. When I play, I relax and let music flow from my minds ear, to my fingers, to the crowd. Not usually actively thinking of particular notes. Thats what "muscle memory" is for (if I recall from Psychology, thats called implicit memory). That is also why when I woodshed by myself, I may just jam to a met, playing riffs over and over so I don't have to think "1 a & & 4e&a" Once I get every basic building block down, I am at liberty to mess around and create new riffs, some may have been done before, some might not have. (One I'm working on is to a crescendo on a single note w/o touching a volume knob or an expression pedal)


Hope I didn't stray too far from the topic,


groove, v.

Inflected Form(s): grooved; groov·ing

transitive senses:1a.to make a groove in;1b.to join by a groove;2.to perfect by repeated practice;3.to throw (a pitch) in the groove

intransitive senses:1.to become joined or fitted by a groove;2.to form a groove;3.to enjoy oneself intensely;4.to interact harmoniously

- groov·er noun

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Worrying about developing a personal style is the last thing anyone should ever think of.


Learn how to play everything.


In 20 years, maybe you will have developed a personal style which is recognizable in any playing situation.


Maybe sooner.


Or maybe you won't.


Does it matter?


I thought the point was to enjoy playing music and expressing yourself through your playing.


I wasn't aware that developing a personal language in which to express yourself was a necessity.

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Well, as a matter of playing style, I can't really compare mine to anyone elses, even though I was once asked if I listen to a lot of Geddy Lee. What that was supposed to mean, I don't know.


As for the other answers on this thread, I'd agree that developing your own style should be the last thing you should do. Let your style develop you... (I know that sounds twisted, but what do you expect from me?)


But, to describe mine in the best words as possible, I'd say it was kinda jazzy/bluesy/rock-y/funky. I usually end up slapping and popping the notes, even when I don't mean to, especially on my Peavey (the action is just that low). I keep the low end boosted, but the steel strings (DR LowRiders) have that trebly punch that can't be ignored. It all ends up being a real funky sounding whatever I'm playing...and people like it, which is one of the most important things you'll encounter in music.

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Must second Jeremy on this.


Just let it happen. And it will while you concentrate on getting better.


Good time, tone, articulation...Really learn to play music.


Then one day you sound like you but...you didn't suck in the mean time.


If I might stretch this a bit - as John Lennon said "Life's what happens when you're making other plans..."



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I guess style is just that difference between myself & another player that makes me think when I hear them play, "Wow, I wouldn't have thought of that!" At some point, every player can say this of every other player (Hendrix knew this, & that's why he listened to everybody--even people others told him were a waste of time). It's good to be in a place where you can do things that other people find special to you & which puts a smile on faces (I imagine; maybe someday I'll know for myself!). But if you focus on it, beware. It's a bad place to be if you're contriving to make people go, "Wow I wouldn't have thought of that." Be yourself, & see what that turns out to be. Oh, and learn everywhere you can!
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When I first started playing, I wanted to just get as good as possible on the instrument. The first six years I practiced (or played) an average of 8 hours a day, everyday. One thing that helps in developing your own style is not trying to emulate other players or focus on one specific style. It got to the point where I sounded just like my main influence, Geddy Lee - so much so that my style was TOO much like Geddy Lee's. Eventually I developed my own style which is significantly different and I don't sound like anyone else that I've heard.
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