Once you have mastered the basics of bass guitar playing, you will be itching to improve your skills. As you can imagine, you will need plenty of practice until you do get better. However, repetitive practice alone isn’t going to do you much good. You need to be aware of the right way to rehearse until you progress as a bass player. Here, you will find some tips and guidelines to help you do so:
Get the Right Instrument
When you first started out, you may not have paid much attention to the instrument you were playing. The only thing that probably mattered was that you were, in fact, able to get your hands on a bass guitar. In the beginning, this is perfectly fine, but as you begin to improve, you will realize that you need a proper instrument to play on. This is why you need to make sure that you have a high-quality instrument that is right for you. You can look through guides or even head down to your local music shop to determine what this should be.
Find a Balance between Practicing Scales and Playing Music
One of the reasons people give up the bass guitar – or any guitar really – is the technical elements needed to master the instrument. For instance, if you ever took lessons with an instructor, you would know that they are filled with never-ending training on scales, arpeggios, and chords. Now, if you are someone who merely wants to explore your love of music, this can be one of the most boring things to do. As such, it can make you want to quit and start learning how to play your favorite songs by yourself.
Well, the key to your success is to have both of these aspects in moderation. While learning songs and playing music can help you become a better musician, you will still need to have an understanding of the fundamental elements of playing the bass guitar. It is only then that you will truly be able to evolve as a guitarist.
As mentioned, though, there is still a lot that you can learn from actually playing various songs. Some of the tunes you should consider practicing are Jaco Pastorius’ “Come On, Come Over”, Led Zeppelin’s “The Lemon Song”, and The Who’s “My Generation”.
Watch Your Hands
As with most people, you probably spend a lot of time focusing on your fretting hand when playing the bass. While this is certainly important, it is a good idea to switch your attention to your strumming hand every now and then as well. Why? Well, the positioning of your strumming hand can actually determine the overall sound. For instance, if you are plucking the strings with just the tips of your fingers and they are placed near the bridge, you will get a rather punchy sound. However, if you are plucking closer to the fretboard, you will get a more slap-like sound. So, adjust your movements according to the end result that you want.
Learn Whole Melodies
Something you will find most bassists doing is focusing on only their part of the song. This makes sense because this is the portion that they need to concentrate on. However, if you want to understand a song better, and thus, play it more smoothly, it is helpful to learn the whole melody. While this may make your practice time a little more challenging, you will find that your bass playing improves as a result.
These are some of the tips to keep in mind when you are on the road to improving as a bass guitarist. They will undoubtedly come in handy in the long run.