The following are some areas that will dramatically improve your bass playing if pay attention to them.
- Learn the fretboard inside out
- Know the most common rhythms
- Count & subdivide the beat
- Get your timing and groove together!
- Liven up your playing with articulations (expressive techniques)
- Knowledge = Creativity (music theory)
- Create music
- The ONE big tip: Learn from music
- Learn to read chord symbols (chart reading)
- Organise a practice routine
- Play with other musicians
I go in to massive detail on these and more subjects in From Beginner To Bassist.
Scroll down for the backing track, PDF and more detail on the above.
Backing Track and Chord Chart
Learn the fretboard inside out
Make sure the bass neck is not a mystery to you.
Know the most common rhythms
Rhythms and how we play them is what defines us bass players.
Count & subdivide the beat
Counting should be as normal as breathing.
Get your timing and groove together!
Work on your timing everyday.
Liven up your playing with articulations (expressive techniques)
Hammer-ons, pull-offs etc. bring boring sounding notes to life.
Knowledge = Creativity (music theory)
Music theory is the key to your understanding and the more you know, the easier it is to create music.
Make sure to actually make music with all the ideas you learn.
The ONE big tip: Learn from music
Listen to music and analyse it. What can you learn from it? The answer is loads! Here are some excellent bass songs for you.
Learn to read chord symbols (chart reading)
Chords and how they relate to a key teach you so much.
This lesson will help you understand the harmony:
And these lessons will get you used to chord symbols and how to read them:
Organise a practice routine
This is the most important area for you to get a hold on. Develop good practice habits and the world is your musical oyster.
Play with other musicians
Either get yourself in a band or jam with some friends in a more informal setting. Failing that, play along to your favourite records.
Playing with other musicians is where you will learn what works and you really need to know (and what you don't need to know...).
If you enjoyed that lesson, I go A LOT deeper in my comprehensive beginner/intermediate bass course From Beginner To Bassist. There are eighty video lessons as well as a detailed workbook and plenty of backing tracks to play to.