There are a handful of musical elements that are common to hundreds of songs.
So rather than think of that next gig you have to prep for as being a load of distinct pieces of music, each one unique; find the commonalities in the music.
- Harmony - songs tend to use chords from one key (diatonic harmony).
- Bass patterns - the same patterns crop up in bass lines ALL THE TIME.
- Music theory - patterns are just scales, arpeggios, triads, etc. So learn some basic theory (my course covers it all).
- Song structure and form. Songs are made up of sections that contain a certain number of bars. This brings a real clarity to each song.
Watch the video lesson below and read on to learn more about what you need to know.
How To Learn Songs On Bass
In the video above I mention a few things you need to know as well as a few lessons I have explaining them.
You may want to bookmark this page as there's a lot to learn but this can form the basis of your pratice routine over the next few weeks and months.
Study these things to make learning songs easy.
- Bass Guitar Music Theory: The 7 Arpeggios From C Major
- How To Analyse Jazz Standard Harmony
- Harmonising The Natural Minor Scale: Play Bass Lines, Chords & Solos!
- How to Quickly Make Lifesaving Charts for Gigs
- My Favourite Ever Bass Patterns [PENTATONICS – RnB, Soul & Motown]
- 9 Rhythm and Blues/Soul Bass Patterns
- 10 Music Theory Tips For Bass Players
- What Is A 2 5 1 & How Do I Play Over It??
- Music Theory Jargon Explained
- The Beginner Bass Player’s Guide To Chord Progressions
The key is to learn as many songs as you can - in all styles but prioritising the ones you're actually going to play in your band.
It's only from this personal experience you have with learning songs that you'll understand the connections I'm talking about (especially in terms of the key/chord progressions, and bass patterns).
Put in the work and you'll be rewarded!