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Top 5 Bass Playing Tips September 2015

What a month! I’ve been rushed of my feet but loving every minute of it. Here’s my top 5 bass playing tips for this month.

  1. Don’t cut the notes you play off too short. This means that when your playing a scale don’t leave any “gaps” in-between the notes. You want the notes to flow into each other and sound smooth and even. DISCLAIMER! sometimes we want notes to be cut off short to give us a different feel but when playing scales for practice or an exam they need to be played smoothly and flow. Imagine playing a groove and adding a nice major or minor scale run at the end, we want it to sound smooth and slick and not disjointed.

2. This one happened to me earlier this month. Make sure that you mute the strings your not playing. I recently purchased a new 5 string bass and had a hard time muting the low B string while playing higher up the neck on the D & G strings which resulted in unwanted overtones. The best thing it to rest your palm, thumb or other fingers on the strings your not playing to reduce the unwanted notes.

3. When learning tracks for bands or artists don’t write out the charts or “cheat sheets” using standard notes e.g. C F G. Use the roman numeral system I IV V. The idea behind this is that bands/singers will change keys all of the time and with no notice at all. I used to get caught out a lot before I used this system. So write out the roman numerals and learn the pattern or shape so that you can move it about freely across the fret board.

4. If you are going to a recording session for your band or you have been hired make sure your equipment works properly & that you have spares. This means that if your bass or cables cut out you NEED to sort it out. All it will do is waste the time of the band, producer & yourself! Always take spares including strings, cables, patch cables, power cables & finally a spare bass!

5. Have fun playing! This is the biggest tip ever. You need to have fun playing the music. if you don’t enjoy playing metal then don’t play it or if you only enjoy playing Jazz stick to that. To be a professional musician you really need to listen and play as many types of music as you can to learn to new things and be able to play different styles to get more work as a gigging bass player.

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