Hey Mr Bass Man!

So, I’ve just arrived home from my first bass guitar lesson. Things I have learned:

– Walking around with a guitar slung across your back makes you feel cooler, even if you can’t play it.
– The Ladies take more of an interest as well. I’m just sayin’ is all.
– Keeping your thumb straight when plucking is important.
– So is keeping your arm off the body of the instrument.
– Guitars are heavy.
– Seriously, I need to get a strap for this thing. Damn.
– I will have to wait and learn fundamentals before learning to play slap bass, regardless of my very earnest claims that I “got the funk.”
– Proper music notation is not at all like Guitar Hero.
– Bass tabulature, however, actually is quite like Guitar Hero. Who knew?

Suggestions from any bass playing readers for stuff that a n00b can do when learning, are very welcome.


  1. I imagine the conversation went something like this

    “You got the funk?”
    “I got that underwater funk.”
    “You got the pfunk?”
    “Forget the P-funk. I got the sea funk.”
    “You want a Bailey’s?”

  2. Don’t get too caught up in theory or “technique”. Most contemporary musicians never took lessons. They just practised till the right noises came out. So while lessons are great and can bring you along in leaps and bounds, don’t get too stressed or caught up in it all.
    About 90% of guitarists can’t read traditional music. That’s why they invented TAB. The rest of us that studied music theory – forgot it all when we left highschool *wink*

  3. I’m still struggling with a normal guitar. At least I’m getting practice almost every day now, waiting for my computer to finish doing stuff.

    I don’t even know if chords are applicable to bass guitars, but one terribly useful thing to know about them is that they’re composed of scale notes. Not many guitar books get round to mentioning that fact.

  4. I’ve found that, unlike a guitar, you can’t just stick a bass on your lap and play it while looking at chord charts on your computer. You really do need to stand up to play it correctly.
    Try palm-muting the neighboring string if it’s doing that annoying beginners’ buzzzzzzzz…

  5. Yeah, I was really surprised by just how heavy the
    things are.

    Gave me new respect for those who can dance around on
    stage with one for 2 hours.

    – MugginsM

  6. Rules:

    If you can play the guitar, then you can probably pick up the bass. If you can play the bass, there is no guarantee that you’ll manage a guitar.

    Bass gear will always cost more. The amps are dearer, the instruments are dearer, even the strings are dearer.

    The lower your strap, the cooler you look.

    Learn your Peter Hook stance. This is much more important then the actual playing of the bass.

  7. Practice when you can. Even with my long days, I’ll try to play for about ten minutes a day, every day.

    Warm up your fingers first.

    Enjoy yourself.