It’s always exciting trying a new hobby, and learning how to play the bass is no different. The bass is a fantastic instrument that can bring you lots of fun in your life, as well as a way to meet other musicians and other people. Hey, Jay here, bass enthusiast, musician, and writer. Today I’m going to share with you my 5 secret techniques I teach everyone who works with me that wants to learn how to play the bass.
The first trick is to purchase the correct bass and the necessary gear. Some people start from scratch, and that’s okay. If that’s you, I recommend getting a bass guitar package. The reason for this is that it will come with everything you need. Not only do you get the bass, but you’ll get the amp, picks, strap, tuner, and a carrying case to take with you to gigs.
You’ll want to have a good instructional guide. Whether you just rely on a printed book, a video set, an online program, or in person lessons with an instructor, you need a tool to learn. If you don’t know what you are doing, you are not going to make much progress in learning how to play the bass. You want to make sure that you have a program that is going to teach you the fundamentals so that you can build your skillset accordingly.
The biggest pitfall to avoid when learning how to play the bass is losing motivation by learning complicated theory first, instead of learning songs you truly enjoy. Begin by researching the tabs to songs you love, and then learning how to play those songs. This will give you a positive emotional boost you’ll need if you are to tackle the more complex and heady music theory that you’ll learn as you progress in the bass guitar.
You must practice often. If you truly take to the bass, you will want to practice every day, especially when you are just getting started. I remember when I first started out, I would play for hours a day. You may not have that much time, but even playing for 30 minutes a day is important if you want to build this skill. Make sure that you can practice in an area that is free from distractions. You really want to be focused on your playing. Also make sure that you can be loud in your practice space – the frequencies from a bass guitar travel through walls easily, so make sure you can play as loud as you need to in order to really feel the music. Note that you can also use headphones if you need to.
You must have fun. Make your practice sessions fun! Alternate between sitting and standing to get the blood flowing in your body. Really get into the groove of the music. Bass is all about laying down a sweet groove, a great melody, that carries a song and moves it forward. Be the bassist! Getting into the music not only helps you learn faster, but will inspire your fellow band mates and the audiences that you will play to. Make the bass a part of you, and your music an expression of yourself, and you will succeed at bass, whether you are playing classical music, jazz, or heavy metal.