how 2 git gud at bass?



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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby coldbrightsunlight » Sat May 15, 2021 1:50 pm

Excellent advice Blackened. You need to be adaptable, the ideal setting for any gig is a volume where you play comfortably most of the time and can get a little louder for the loud parts but drop back when needed! I'm sure anyone who's played out a bit will have done the gigs where the sound is fucked and you need to either play with a feather touch to avoid deafening people or hammer it to be heard though. And in order to be able to face that when it comes, yep you need control of your dynamics and attack! Essential for expressiveness and also practicality.

Couldn't agree more on ramps. Learning to control your tone, attack and volume by changing your plucking/picking style is so crucial.
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby MechaGodzilla » Sat May 15, 2021 6:17 pm

Blackened Soul wrote:
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:

i dunno what a ramp is but i think your idea of my "soft" might be softer than my actual softness! by which i mean i agree with you
Last edited by MechaGodzilla on Sun May 16, 2021 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby Blackened Soul » Sat May 15, 2021 8:51 pm

MechaGodzilla wrote:
Blackened Soul wrote:
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:

i dunno what a ramp is


Image
It's the wooden block between the strings that acts like trainingwheelz

MechaGodzilla wrote:but i think you're idea of my "soft" might be softer than my actual softness! by which i mean i agree with you

:hug: :thumb: I know a few players that that when I pick up their bass I am twice as loud as then without even hitting my comfort zone attack :idk:
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby ibarakishi » Sun May 16, 2021 11:51 am

No love for Thundercat in this thread?
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby Blackened Soul » Sun May 16, 2021 12:07 pm

No.have a nice day.
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby adamajah » Sun May 16, 2021 4:31 pm

ibarakishi wrote:No love for Thundercat in this thread?

Thundercat hell yeah
Mono Neon hell yeah
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby MaxMaps » Mon May 17, 2021 1:05 pm

adamajah wrote:
ibarakishi wrote:No love for Thundercat in this thread?

Thundercat hell yeah
Mono Neon hell yeah


Two incredibly talented Bass players - Thundercat who is an R&B six stringed bass anime boss who makes some killer lines and Mono Neon who is a modern Boosty Collins but leagues ahead in technical bass playing. Out of the two of them Mono Neon has been a real inspiration in my approach to bass playing and just my art medium in general. He is known for bass guitar but really is more on a multi instrument guy ( kind of the reason why I am picking up an electric guitar now) his band Ghost Notes is out of the fucking world .... so much talent from that group.

MechaGodzilla wrote:
Blackened Soul wrote:
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:

i dunno what a ramp is but i think your idea of my "soft" might be softer than my actual softness! by which i mean i agree with you


On both of theses, bass ramps IMO are more of an answer to raising your pick ups and dropping your action low enough to allow for fast complicated bass playing but have a different tone profile. I agree with you in terms of some of your best dynamics on Bass come from your playing style ( IE Bobby Vega..... another reason why he is so astronomically good)

Many of my metal god bass players ( Alex Webster, Cliff Burton, David Vincent) do something just as technical who no ramps at all - just pure bass playing rage!

To me there is no wrong way to play the bass - fuck I think Mike Watt from the Minuetmen used a quarter as a pick. Just be into what your doing which is something I am guilty of not doing myself.
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby Blackened Soul » Mon May 17, 2021 7:59 pm

MaxMaps wrote:fuck I think Mike Watt from the Minuetmen used a quarter as a pick.



Mike Watt wrote:I do not think using a pick is "cheating or being less expressive" - not at all. it's just another way of doing things and has its own set of advantages and disadvantes. I think a more versatile bassist can use both (and more!).

the last song I recorded w/the minutemen using a pick was "s h i t from an old notepad" off of "double nickels on the dime" back in early 1984. it's the only song on that album where I used a pick. all the records done before that had me using the pick. I never recorded w/fIREHOSE using a pick. j mascis got me to try it again after seventeen years and I felt foolish for having lost the ability by not doing it. took a while to get back w/it and it's still tough for me!

my advice is to nurture all your techniques unless they're physically hurting you.



MaxMaps wrote:Just be into what your doing which is something I am guilty of not doing myself.

:lol: so true!
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby MaxMaps » Wed May 19, 2021 6:55 pm

I love me some Mike Watt - dude is legit crazy but in a good way.

Not creepy crazy which is Fat Mike from NOFX
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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 friendship » Sun May 23, 2021 11:13 pm

As said before: rhythm rhythm rhythm rhythm rhythm. Play with a metronome, but do not play metronomically. The grid is a guideline, not a prescription*. Bass functions well when it engages in a push and pull game with the percussive instrument(s). If in doubt, practice using just the root notes the chords in the song but focusing intensely on your timing. If you can practice with a human drummer, do so. If you can't, give your drum machine some swing or groove quantization. If you can't do that, let the beat be metronomic and focus on making your groove swing.

Second: learn about functional harmony. Play roots, fifths, and octaves, and throw in other scale degrees for color and movement. Bass is a dominating, powerful instrument. It determines the harmonic context for what's being played on top of it. That means that a root and fifth focus will fit most situations, while changing the root note can completely change the context of the passage. It's important to learn what other notes you can play on the underlying chord to give it a bit of movement and interest.

I'm not primarily a bassist so I usually have to do many, many takes before my hands get the idea and I no longer have to think about it.

*I should say that in some styles, like technical metal, having machine-like precision is an asset. If this is your goal, you should absolutely try to play as close to the metronome as possible.
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby Deltaphoenix » Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:24 am

What Friendship said is a whole lot of gold for getting up to speed on playing baselines for rock songs.
Tap your foot while you play along with the metronome, so you can internalize that clock more. Play the ands, the eees, the ughs. Really experiment with your right hand - dig in with your fingers, pull up in the strings, use your finer nails as a pick, thump with your thumb, slap the shit out of it with your thumb. Do this on all strings, in different areas (by neck, by bridge, points in between) in time.

Learn to spice those extra elements into your baselines to get that ability to play fills and dig in when adding an extra element to the bass timbre is what the song needs.

Take some of your guitar skills and see what flies too. Tapping, raking, etc can be legit. Scales/modes transfer. Knowing the notes in a chord help you build out bass parts.
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby cosmicevan » Fri Jun 11, 2021 8:56 pm

My advice is to simply play a ton. Get a looper, jam with yourself. Explore what can be done over a loop. A really inspirational player is Janek gwizdala. Check out his YouTube stuff, especially his solo work w a looper.

The sad part is that the only way to get good is to play a ton. I was fortunate to start when I was 13...having played for 30 years I couldn’t commit the time now that I did then, but I still focus on getting better. Learn a thing, practice it. Learn another thing, practice it. The more things you learn the wider your playing vocabulary will be. Explore, experiment...don’t play the same riff every time you touch the instrument...play note patterns you wouldn’t normally choose, play rhythms you wouldn’t normally play.
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby MaxMaps » Sat Jun 12, 2021 11:58 am

cosmicevan wrote:My advice is to simply play a ton. Get a looper, jam with yourself. Explore what can be done over a loop. A really inspirational player is Janek gwizdala. Check out his YouTube stuff, especially his solo work w a looper.

The sad part is that the only way to get good is to play a ton. I was fortunate to start when I was 13...having played for 30 years I couldn’t commit the time now that I did then, but I still focus on getting better. Learn a thing, practice it. Learn another thing, practice it. The more things you learn the wider your playing vocabulary will be. Explore, experiment...don’t play the same riff every time you touch the instrument...play note patterns you wouldn’t normally choose, play rhythms you wouldn’t normally play.



I would be light years ahead if I just kept on playing. This is probably the best damn advice ever.

Even if its just noise - the more you do the better you will become.
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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 cosmicevan » Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:13 pm

The weird part is how full circle the whole process is. When you commit a ton of time and really develop a skill it becomes about letting it all go and being ego-less and in the moment. I once saw a quote attributed to jaco (cliche...I know, but whatever) that was "When I play, I try not to think, but I try to concentrate." and that kinda says it. You learn a ton and then try to let it all go and just play and let your fingers and all that experience just ooze through you and express and emote.

But if you look at the flipside...where you don't have the skill or the confidence, you are in the place of curiosity that the skilled player is striving to be at...but you've got no ego to let go of and you've got no skill to lean on. It's such an advantage, but such a disadvantage at the same time. I think the best musicians are those who are willing to explore instruments outside of their comfort zone where they've achieved a level of experienced amateur on an instrument. Zappa always considered himself a composer who happened to play the guitar. I LOVE that. I try to be that.

A keyboard player friend and I took a private lesson with a hero of ours (drummer - Billy Martin from Medeski Martin Wood) and we spent a few hours with him in his private performance space and we improvised and talked and it was all about letting go and being playful and just doing...not relying on that riff or your bag of tricks.

That being said...explore the instrument. Play a note...play the note right next to it in either direction. How does it sound? How does it feel? Play a few more notes...which feel right, which feel wrong...which feel wrong in all the right ways??? Just play...
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Re: how 2 git gud at bass?

Postby coldbrightsunlight » Mon Jun 14, 2021 4:08 am

Yeah there's a lot of truth to that! Practice is all about instilling that muscle memory so that when you're jamming or performing you're not thinking too much. Good thoughts :thumb:
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