Try these seven bass guitar tips out:
- Technique - Use 'economy of motion'
- Timing - 2 & 4 metronome exercise
- Theory - Scale (or) mode to triad to arpeggio to chord
- Reading - Learn to play from a chord chart
- Fretboard Knowledge - 5 octave patterns
- Songs - Figure out easy bass lines by ear
- Practice - pick up your bass everyday for 5 minutes
Scroll down for more on each topic.
1. Technique - Use 'economy of motion'
Learn how to minimise movements in your fingers so that you can glide around the neck.
2. Timing - 2 & 4 metronome exercise
Set a metronome to feel it on beats 2 & 4 (the backbeat).
3. Theory - Scale (or) mode to triad to arpeggio to chord
From every mode or scale you can build a triad, arpeggio, and chord.
The hollow circles in the diagram below represent the arpeggio or chord tones. All the notes together make up A Natural Minor. If you play some of the notes together, you get a chord.
Experiment with making bass lines up with these patterns (refer to the video lesson for inspiration).
4. Reading - Learn to play from a chord chart
Reading from a chord chart (or lead sheet) gives you so much creativity and freedom. You do, of course, need to know what the chord symbols are and how you convert them into bass lines.
This chord chart and backing track is from my course From Beginner To Bassist where you'll find more like it and guidance on how to make music from them.
5. Fretboard Knowledge- 5 octave patterns
These five shapes will have you memorising the fretboard in no time!
6. Songs - Figure out easy bass lines by ear
Don't choose anything too difficult. A song like The Blue by David Gilmour is perfect because the bass doesn't move around much and it's a great song!
Here are more Easy Bass Songs.
7. Practice - pick up your bass everyday for 5 minutes
Hopefully, a five minute session turns into more!
You can check out my course if you want LOADS more tips, lessons, and guidance on using these elements of music to improve your bass playing.