Need some bass advice

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by Skyblue, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Skyblue

    Skyblue Regular

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    Feb 19, 2010
    Hello everyone~
    I'm in need for some advice, and this place seemed to be the most fitting. Anyway, up with it:
    My birthday has come and passed, and my parents still haven't bought me a present (even though I'm to blame mostly, as I had no idea what to ask them for, so we decided on them not buying anything until I'll decide =P )
    Now, lately I've been getting more and more interested in bass, so I thought I could ask my parents for a bass~ All seems nice, but here's my problem- I'm currently serving in the army (I live in Israel, where army service is mandatory, in case you don't know). That means I'm only coming home every other weekend pretty much, at least for the upcoming year, when it might change to 2 weekends at home, 1 at the base. Taking the bass with me is not an option, as I barely have time to breathe there, way too much work.
    So my question is this- Is it even worth getting a bass? I'm a guitarist, so I might not be learning completely from scratch, but it's still quite a bit of learning.
    I'm also a bit worried of learning technique wrong- I learned guitar with a teacher, so I'm not really used to learning by myself. That also means I'm not really sure HOW to learn- Just learn songs? Scales? Something else?
    That pretty much sums it up.

    As for another, smaller question- I've been dreaming of a fretless bass, but I don't know if that's a good idea for a newb. It'll be a lined fretless, but still. So any thought on the matter would also be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for reading this whole thing, and if you didn't, well, I guess you can go on with your business now.

    Good day! :)
  2. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    May 7, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland.
    If you're not confident with learning technique on your own then I'd stick with frets. Less new technique to learn.

    Do you intend to play bass with your fingers or a pick? If you're planning on a pick then technique won't really change much but if you're planning on picking with your fingers then it might be worth you playing guitar fingerstyle for a while, to get your fingers in practise. I don't just mean acoustic fingerstyle, but just general playing with as many fingers of your right hand as you fancy. That'll at least prepare you for the change.
  3. jarrhead

    jarrhead Regular

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    Jan 5, 2011
    Fayetteville, NC
    Being in the bass forum, we're all gonna say it's worth it.

    Left hand technique is nearly the same. Just remember to move to lower strings with your elbow, not your wrist.

    Right hand finger technique takes a bit to pick up on. Here's my pointers:

    Let your arm down to your side and see how your hand just falls with no muscle tension. That's the position you want over your bass (though your elbow will be bent, the (slightly) angled wrist with long fingers is what you want.

    When you pluck, pluck through the string and rest your finger on the string above it. This will kill lots of ringing tones and make you a faster and cleaner player. (This may take a bit.)

    Later, you can learn the "floating thumb" technique, which is where you keep your thumb hanging down and loose as you play with your fingers; it rests on the strings above what you're playing, and also allows you to move up and down freely to be faster and cleaner while preventing Carpal Tunnel.

    Fretless is a bad idea for a noob. I consider myself more towards the advanced side of the spectrum and still don't have or want or like fretless. it all depends on your style of music. If you're going to be doing nothing but Jaco, then get a fretless. Otherwise, frets.
  4. Nmaster

    Nmaster Regular

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    Apr 16, 2011
    Twin Falls, Idaho
    I would just stick with a fretted bass, so that you are still in somewhat familiar territory.

    With learning songs, you can always look up tablatures etc. or even just play off of the root notes or drum beats. Once you become more experienced you'll be able to just hear it, but it's also really fun and worthwhile to improvise.

    I would definitely recommend getting a bass. It's just so damn fun. :hbang:
  5. iron blast

    iron blast Northern Winds

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Chicago, Illinois
    I feel any competant guitar player should be able to adjust to bass fairly easy as long as you understand you aproach bass different than guitar. I say if you want to learn fretless borrow a buddies standard bass for abit before you buy and see how it feels first if you feel confident look into a rondo music sx, Douglas, or Brice to test your fretless waters on if you decide you like it Warwick corvette fretless basses are about $600 and sound phenominal.
  6. steve1

    steve1 Regular

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    Jan 16, 2011
    i just got my first bass, a fretless with side dots only. it was the cheapest bass in the shop so i thought screw it, i like a challenge.

    Its not easy, but it is fun.

    If you only get the chance to play every two weeks then I'd say get a fretted one, i'm finding i've got to play regularly to retain a feeling for where the notes are

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