T Nation

Bass Players

Who here at T-Nation plays the electric (or upright) bass ? What are your favourite songs to play, who inspires you and What gear do you have/want ? Also, what kind of difficulties/obsticles did you overcome along the way and how did you do it (i.e. not just practice a lot, that’s a given…as in what sort of things did you work on).

I just started up about 5-6 weeks ago now. I am glad I did, but damn can it be frustrating. Sometimes even basic scales give me fits. One of these days I figure I will be good (those days are a wee bit down the road yet lol).

Right now, speed isn’t an issue if the notes are on the same string. I can hammer out 8s like a machine lol (not that big of an accomplishment). It’s just when a song moves all around the frets that gives me nightmares. I guess I just need to work on it. I can rememeber week one with the bass, Parklife by Blur was hard for me to play.

I can play a lot of Rammstein, a little Ac/Dc and a couple other odds and ends so far. My favourites to play so far to play are Spiel Mit Mir and Weisses Fleisch.

As far as artists go: Jon Paul Jones, Alex Webster, Ollie Reidel, Flea, Bill Wyman, the dude from Prong whose name escapes me (he played from the 80s to late 1990s), Mike Dirnt, Hunter Burgan (sp?) of AFI and the dude from Refused whose name also remains a blank in my brain.

As far as gear goes, I have a Yamaha rbx 270 j-bass and a washburn 30 watter. A good starter bass, but in a year or two when I actually have skills I will look into something better. So far Fender P-basses have really impressed me. Spector basses sound good too as well as Modulus.

http://fender.com/products/search.php?partno=0257802321

http://ampeg.com/products/bassamp/ba500/index.html

My gear. Ummm, if you like fast technical metal, learn Extreme Unction by Necrophagist, fun song to play and sing too.

I’ve been playing since the seventies. My first bass was a 1973 Fender Telecaster, natural ash finish, with the old style Humbucking pickup and forward tilt tuning pegs. I still play it once in a while, it’s my first love.

I currently play a 2002 Fender P-bass. Check out the photo in my profile to see it. I have an old Ampeg B-18X combo amp, 2 channels. It’s old school, but it can blow out your windows with a thick, punchy sound.

If you want to hear a few of my riffs, search for the T-Park videos by PGA on this site.

This guy in the picture was my first bass hero. I got to know him for a short while before he died. It’s Jaco Pastorius.

The best advice anyone ever gave me was to get a comfortable strap and learn to play standing up. It’s a heavy instrument that gets even heavier during the second set. Best of luck to you.

I’d start learning some Etudes if I was you, and learn all the premutations to get your fingers in shape.

Keep plugging along. The bass is an awesome instrument.

My biggest pieces of advice would be:

Practice with a metronome. Your timing is crucial.

Keep working your scales, they are key.

Keep practicing daily and don’t get discouraged. What is hard today will be easy tomorrow if you practice I promise!

Find players who are better than you and learn from them.

My favorite bass that I have is a Warwick 5 string Thumb Neck Through. I also am a big Ampeg fan and have several pieces.

Good luck in your endeavor and hold the bottom end down.

I’d recommend that you drop at least $300 for an acoustic guitar (nylon strings) and learn to play classical. The finger dexterity is completely applicable to both and you can make some excellent music with those kind of skills at your fingertips.

For bass players, in no particular order, Flea, Les Claypool and Geddy Lee (obviously.) Also Steve Harris, Victor Wooten and Geezer Butler. Bass is a wonderful instrument and the mastery thereof is a great way to make friends and influence people.

[quote]Mr. Clean & Jerk wrote:
I’d recommend that you drop at least $300 for an acoustic guitar (nylon strings) and learn to play classical. The finger dexterity is completely applicable to both and you can make some excellent music with those kind of skills at your fingertips.

For bass players, in no particular order, Flea, Les Claypool and Geddy Lee (obviously.) Also Steve Harris, Victor Wooten and Geezer Butler. Bass is a wonderful instrument and the mastery thereof is a great way to make friends and influence people.[/quote]

You forgot John Paul Jones.

[quote]BigRagoo wrote:
Mr. Clean & Jerk wrote:
I’d recommend that you drop at least $300 for an acoustic guitar (nylon strings) and learn to play classical. The finger dexterity is completely applicable to both and you can make some excellent music with those kind of skills at your fingertips.

For bass players, in no particular order, Flea, Les Claypool and Geddy Lee (obviously.) Also Steve Harris, Victor Wooten and Geezer Butler. Bass is a wonderful instrument and the mastery thereof is a great way to make friends and influence people.

You forgot John Paul Jones.[/quote]

IDK man, he was a good musician, but I don’t think he was anything special on bass.

[quote]detazathoth wrote:
BigRagoo wrote:
Mr. Clean & Jerk wrote:
I’d recommend that you drop at least $300 for an acoustic guitar (nylon strings) and learn to play classical. The finger dexterity is completely applicable to both and you can make some excellent music with those kind of skills at your fingertips.

For bass players, in no particular order, Flea, Les Claypool and Geddy Lee (obviously.) Also Steve Harris, Victor Wooten and Geezer Butler. Bass is a wonderful instrument and the mastery thereof is a great way to make friends and influence people.

You forgot John Paul Jones.

IDK man, he was a good musician, but I don’t think he was anything special on bass.[/quote]

Hahahahahaha!!! You gotta be kidding. It was he and Bonham that gave Plant and Page the freedom to do their thing. Me thinks you should go back over their albums.

[quote]BigRagoo wrote:
Me thinks you should go back over their albums.[/quote]

Spoken like a true Led head.

[quote]BigRagoo wrote:
detazathoth wrote:
BigRagoo wrote:
Mr. Clean & Jerk wrote:
I’d recommend that you drop at least $300 for an acoustic guitar (nylon strings) and learn to play classical. The finger dexterity is completely applicable to both and you can make some excellent music with those kind of skills at your fingertips.

For bass players, in no particular order, Flea, Les Claypool and Geddy Lee (obviously.) Also Steve Harris, Victor Wooten and Geezer Butler. Bass is a wonderful instrument and the mastery thereof is a great way to make friends and influence people.

You forgot John Paul Jones.

IDK man, he was a good musician, but I don’t think he was anything special on bass.

Hahahahahaha!!! You gotta be kidding. It was he and Bonham that gave Plant and Page the freedom to do their thing. Me thinks you should go back over their albums.[/quote]

I did, and I’m sticking to Jaco and the like.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
BigRagoo wrote:
Me thinks you should go back over their albums.

Spoken like a true Led head.[/quote]

Born and raised as.

I’ve been playing the bass guitar since I was six, and it is a huge part of my life. I’ve studied jazz, rock/metal, funk, blues, etc.
My bass I use is a custom built Yamaha.

If you’re not already, being open minded when it comes to music can be helpful. Try experiencing many, not just one, styles of music.

As far as influences go:

I have way too many, but Cliff burton and the Scott Harlan(jazz bassist) are HUGE inspirations to me and are what made me pick up the bass.

Does anyone have any pages, websites, etc, where their bass playing can be heard?

[quote]Cthulhu wrote:
I’ve been playing the bass guitar since I was six, and it is a huge part of my life. I’ve studied jazz, rock/metal, funk, blues, etc.
My bass I use is a custom built Yamaha.

If you’re not already, being open minded when it comes to music can be helpful. Try experiencing many, not just one, styles of music.

As far as influences go:

I have way too many, but Cliff burton and the Scott Harlan(jazz bassist) are HUGE inspirations to me and are what made me pick up the bass.

Does anyone have any pages, websites, etc, where their bass playing can be heard?

[/quote]

Burton fucking ruled! Damn shame he was taken from us so soon.

I have been playing guitar and bass most of my life. I mostly play guitar.

I can’t really add much. The above posters have covered a lot.

I will say one thing. Once you have been playing for a while you will develop a love for music and playing will be like a feeding. Seriously. When I was in high school I played for 6+ hours a day. The more you play the more you will want to play.

In a couple of years, you will start searching for the tone that suits you the best. It will become like a journey. You will love every minute of it.

Oh, definitely focus on theory and timing.

You have many hours of fun ahead of you. :slight_smile:

[quote]chewie wrote:
I have been playing guitar and bass most of my life. I mostly play guitar.

I can’t really add much. The above posters have covered a lot.

I will say one thing. Once you have been playing for a while you will develop a love for music and playing will be like a feeding. Seriously. When I was in high school I played for 6+ hours a day. The more you play the more you will want to play.

In a couple of years, you will start searching for the tone that suits you the best. It will become like a journey. You will love every minute of it.
[/quote]

Bah, that’s guitar player talk. Bass players don’t care about tone, they care about feel.

(and yes, I’ve been a bass player(and drummer) my whole life)

Thanks for the advice, folks. It’s really cool to see so many lifters who also play bass. I actually work scales A LOT; I don’t know a whole lot else right now. I am getting in a half-hour everyday.

My buddy’s brother plays bass (he has also at some point played tuba, baritone, upright bass and guitar also). I plan to work on stuff with him once or twice a week.

He’s already corrected my rather sloppy form and I’m just getting back again to the basics and re-learning the technique properly. Lots of chromatics and major scales with some songs interspered to keep me from getting too bored.

I figure in another week or so I will have my hands much more flexible and stronger compared to before. In another month, I figure I will be 10x better and so on and so forth.

The most important thing for me is to learn things properly. I wanna develop actual skill. I don’t wanna be some wanker who can play a couple blink-182 songs and think he’s hot shit.

I was moving my hands far too much which is a sign that I need more finger-stretching/scale work. Also, the strings would hum far too much…another classic clue I need to make the digits stronger.

[quote]Malevolence wrote:
Bah, that’s guitar player talk. Bass players don’t care about tone, they care about feel.
[/quote]

That’s why I actully bought a bass…well one of the reasons. I like a good gut-rattling bassline in a metal track that I can feel as much as hear. I also like the thought I am the one making the people move on the floor in a good funky and/or dance-y song.

Also, I initially bought it because no one really picks up a bass compared to the guitar. But I realize that in future I might wanna learn the guitar to some degree. I really do like the way a great guitarist can just shred a song; guys like Dimebag, Kirk Hammet and Richard Kruspe I admire a lot for that reason.

On the subject of Jon Paul Jones…come on now ;). BigRagoo is right, Jones is essential to Zepplin being awesome.

Yup, I’m a bass player. Started playing guitar about 19 years ago and bass about 13 years ago.

Influences include Les Claypool, Flea, Ryan Martinie, Cliff Burton, Steve DiGiorgio, Victor Wooten, and Geddy Lee.

I play two Warwick Streamer Standard 5’s and a '74 Fender Jazz Fretless 4 (my first bass) through a Peavey T-Max head and Wooten-designed Ampeg cabs.

I’m currently in an alternative / progressive rock band called Razed Hero. Check us out at:

http://www.razedhero.com

Played a lot of different styles throughout my life. Probably prefer funk best (at least as far as bass is concerned).

I think that about sums it up.

[quote]t3h_Squirr3l wrote:

On the subject of Jon Paul Jones…come on now ;). BigRagoo is right, Jones is essential to Zeppelin being awesome.[/quote]

See, I told yall.