Whether you want to get your basic fingerstyle together, master slap technique, or play chords on bass, there is a process to learning technique.
Without it, it's easy to get lost and end up never improving. This leads to frustration and ruts in your bass playing.
Luckily, there's a pretty simple process you can follow that will guarantee you success.
Scroll down for the bass line I play in the video lesson.
Start out without a metronome. Free from judgement, just play around with the new technique, looking to get inside it.
- Where should you be putting your fingers?
- What produces the best tone?
- Which parts of it are easy and which parts more difficult?
This will familiarise you with what you need to do to master the technique.
2. Work on mechanics
Mechanics simply refer to what your wrists, fingers, and hands need to do to execute the technique. In this part of the process, zero in a little more on the specifics of what you need to do to create a good tone.
It's about coordinating the hands and building the muscle memory that will render the technique automatic.
3. Isolate, slow down, repeat
At this point, you have some idea of what you're doing. Now isolate the trickiest section of whatever you're playing. You have to repeat correct movements so make sure your mechanics are good.
Now slow down and go round and round the section.
4. Get up to speed & in time
There's no point playing anything unless it's in time. However, it's a mistake to introduce a metronome, loop, or backing track too early. What you should do is get the mechanics down before hand, ironing out any technique errors as you go.
Once you've done that, introduce a metronome or backing track and use that to play bang in time.
Here's the backing track for the lesson (which was based on my previous lesson: 100s Of Bass Line, Fills & Solo Ideas!)
This backing track is 95BPM but the groove (below) sounds good up to 120BPM.
If even 95BPM is too fast, slow right down to where it's comfortable for you.
Then ramp it up 5BPM every week or so until you're up to speed.
Chords + Picking
The bass line I was playing uses free strokes with chords then transitions to a Bernard Edwards style funky picking line. Here it is:
Follow this process and develop a consistent practice routine and watch as you improve beyond recognition!
If you want a practice journal dedicated to bass, I wrote one: