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I’ve been a bass player since 2016 when a friend of mine needed a bassist for a project of his and couldn’t find anyone. Before that I was a guitarist and a highland drummer.

I wouldn’t be the Maiden guy. I’m a bit young for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Thanks Azrael. Never too young for Maiden though....just sayin. ;)

SO I figured out while I was playing through H&H again that I wasn't actually so much changing the 45° angle of the picking hand. I was changing the angle of the first joint instead. Phone isn't cooperating for a pic so maybe a short video on it later.
 

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You're moving air. Can't see it, but you can feel it, hear it. First thing I do is stick my ear to the horn of the bass unplugged, and hear what vibrations are living in that wood. Then hold it against the chest and check that one. All the amps, effects, and what nots are tools of the trade. They are there to help you transmit what you are feeling inside....about the world, about your life. You're holding down the bottom, creating the glue that set's up the melodic tension in the music. Playing bass is spirit check, 24/7, and is a noble endeavor.
 

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Discussion Starter #44 (Edited)
Highnoon, I get and agree with that. I don't think your post is directed specifically at my last question, but I will say that how you play an instrument and techniques used can directly affect the way your transmission of feelings comes across to those listening. Thanks for noting the same technique of listening to the Bass as I do with guitars of the 6 string variety. Right now, like I mentioned earlier, I'm approaching Bass as a brand new player on certain things. Just to pick the Bass players brains on method and madness. But you've encapsulated the essence in a very good, if not a little "high and mighty" way. ;)
 

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Well... this post ended up way longer than I thought, but once the words started rolling....

When I first started playing bass I had no idea what it was supposed to sound like. My first bass was a Godin P/J style bass that I occasionally used for recording, and I ran it through a plugin called American Bass that I thought sounded sweet.

When I got picked up to play bass in an originals band I started thinking I wanted a better bass. Because I hate Strats I played every bass in town that wasn’t a Fender and nothing was really jumping out at me. Active basses in particular were problematic because I didn’t know what the bass was supposed to sound like and all the extra EQ just made the problem worse.

Eventually, I picked up a Fender bass and my mind said, “So, that’s what makes that sound”. I did some more research, went to the store to buy a P bass, then left with a Jazz because I thought the Jazz looked cooler (Olympic white with red tort guard).

I had problems with the Jazz at first because I didn’t like the scooped out of phase to I got with both pickups full up. I almost exclusively soloed the neck pickup because it was closest to what I was used to hearing with the Godin bass. Then, one day at rehearsal I accidentally had both pickups up full when the band kicked off and the sound was killer. I cut through and could hear everything I was doing and the rest of the band somehow seemed clearer. That was a learning moment for me as a bass player... as a former guitarist I kept dialling in too much midrange. It was causing volume wars with the guitar players and complaints that I was too loud, yet I had trouble hearing myself. Once I started to embrace a more scooped sound I sat in the mix better, could hear myself better, the band sounded better, and the volume levels dropped.

Now, months have passed and the band I’m in has started travelling out of town for gigs, and as a budding bassist I felt I should own a Precision to go along with my Jazz. So, I do my research, went to the store to buy a P, and left with a Jazz again. This time I had a better understanding of what a Jazz should sound like and I found one that sounded like a 10 ton hammer. This was my first experience with modern vs vintage style Fender sound, and I feel that I’ve played enough Fenders to say that modern (Am Standard/Professional) is about clarity and articulation while vintage (Roadworn/AVRI/Am Original) is about wool. It’s a thicker, woolier sound that produces more density in the mix but comes at the cost of clarity. I currently own 4 basses, of which my Roadworn Jazz is by far the cheapest, and it’s by far my best sounding bass.

Fast forward a year or two and now I’m playing with a different band. They were going for an R&B/Neo-Soul kind of thing. I started researching old school tone, so I bought a P bass and put flatwound strings it. Problem is, even though I’ve been playing a Jazz I didn’t know what a good P bass should sound like. I picked up an American Professional because I didn’t know what to get and it seemed like a good starting point (that it was Olympic white may have also been a factor).

And, like before it turns out that as I played the P bass more and got a better ear for the sound I started to clue in that it was a little light on the low midrange. My Jazz bass kept swamping it in the mix. This is where I finally connected the dots about modern vs vintage Fender tone. So, I went to the store to buy a Roadworn Precision, which turned out to be difficult because they’re popular, almost everyone was sold out, and the only one I could find sounded like garbage. I even had them put new strings on and give it a setup because I didn’t believe it sounded that bad and the strings must’ve been corroded... but it did.

I wound up running the racks and the bass that spoke to me was an American Original P bass. I even left the store and came back later in an attempt to make sure I wasn’t listening with my eyes (this bass was also Olympic white with a red tort guard), but it was clearly the best sounding bass. I put money down on it and went back to get it when I had more money.

Lastly, I no longer had a use for my Am Standard Jazz I mentioned up near the beginning. After my various experiences I wanted to trade it for an American Original Jazz or a 5 string Jazz, but I couldn’t find one to demo. What I wound up finding is a Suhr Classic J (oddly enough, in Olympic white with red tort) that’d been hanging on a hook for a couple years that sat nicely between the Roadworn MIM and the Am Standard. It wasn’t quite as thick and wooly as the MIM, and it wasn’t quite as clear and articulate at the Am Std. It was a nice middle ground and gets a lot of use because of it.

All that said, while I have a clear preference for a thicker, woolier bass tone that tone doesn’t always work well with different bands. Sometimes what I’m left with after all the other instruments slot themselves in sounds like mud and a brighter, clearer bass works better. Other times the guitarists have a brighter, thinner sound and a little bit of wool is what the band needs. Some bands sound better when I use a P, others sound better when I use a J.

P.S. - I occasionally want a Stingray, but I still have no idea how they’re supposed to sound and sit in the mix, which still makes judging them in a store difficult. Moral: the process of listening and learning apparently never ends.
 

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Leo nailed it with his first try. Then he updated it a couple times in the 50's, body style, and split coil, hitting home runs each time. Next up the J bass....win. Then later nailed it again with Poppa Ball and the first Ray was born. And then again with George Fullerton he brought out the L1000 (Wunkay).....the MFD humbucker is a beast. Win win win win.....
 

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Discussion Starter #47
So I guess a White Fender Bass of any sort should do the trick! Awesome. ;)
Kidding aside, thanks for the detailed response @_Azrael as well as your take @HighNoon. I play a 79 LP deluxe with a midrange heavy SD Custom bridge. That sound that I know might be contributing to a few factors in what I want to hear and what I should be aiming for in a mix. This'll be mainly for recording, but it still has to sit in my guitar sound mix. Helps a lot and I appreciate the time you took to tell your story.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
I've been spending a good portion of my practice time just getting through Heaven and Hell for the last couple of weeks. It's coming along pretty well but the thing that's hooking me a bit is getting the alternate picking as strong on my middle finger as it is on my index. I've always been extremely technique oriented in all my instruments and the Bass is no exception. Trouble is I spent YEARS getting alternate picking technique down pat on guitar, so now I'm expecting it to fly right out of my fingers , which I know ain't gonna happen. It's coming along pretty good though. Having a couple of issues with some of the faster runs in the song partly due to poor setup and finger strength though.

Do you guys have any cool ideas on a fun practice routine for say 10 - 15 minutes a day on alternate picking runs and such. I can probably figure out a bucnh on my own but I'd rather hear from others on their approach.

Thanks much!
 

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I've been spending a good portion of my practice time just getting through Heaven and Hell for the last couple of weeks. It's coming along pretty well but the thing that's hooking me a bit is getting the alternate picking as strong on my middle finger as it is on my index. I've always been extremely technique oriented in all my instruments and the Bass is no exception. Trouble is I spent YEARS getting alternate picking technique down pat on guitar, so now I'm expecting it to fly right out of my fingers , which I know ain't gonna happen. It's coming along pretty good though. Having a couple of issues with some of the faster runs in the song partly due to poor setup and finger strength though.

Do you guys have any cool ideas on a fun practice routine for say 10 - 15 minutes a day on alternate picking runs and such. I can probably figure out a bucnh on my own but I'd rather hear from others on their approach.

Thanks much!
Any inclination at all to try it with a pick?
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Any inclination at all to try it with a pick?
Not at this moment for this particular song. I've used a pick previously to this and I'm fine with that approach too. First couple of songs I intend on learning are with finger style though. It's yet to be determined which way I land though. Might be a combination of the two. I might try the song with a pick tomorrow just to see how it works out.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
So I played the tune with both fingers and the flat edge of a 1.14 Dunlop with the flat edge. Pick of course was a hell a lot easier and I rifled through the whole tune with out much of a hitch. But after playing solely with the fingers for the last 2 weeks I feel obliged, technical issues and all, to finish it with that style of picking. I think a part of the reason I'm leaning with fingers is because I'm trying to seperate my guitar style from the style I'll adopt for Bass. I also get a better feel and overall tone that I slightly prefer over the pick. But hey, if I have to pick something up pretty quickly I can go to the pick since that's my main guitar thing. Nothing but a win win.
 

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Good for you for sticking with the idea of expanding your technique! I've been playing bass for over 30 years and I'm still working on my technique, probably more now than ever before. Here are 2 things to incorporate into your practice that can help:

1) practice scales over all ranges of the instrument using alternate picking. The important thing with this is to use a metronome and alternate which finger you start with. This will work on three things at the same time: consistent tempo, scale knowledge and finger independence. If you do this for 5 minutes every time you practice you'll notice improvement quickly.

2) play scales or even single notes in triplets and accent the first note. Better yet, play the first note at normal volume and ay the next two lighter. This will help again with finger independence and help you develop a lighter touch, which isn't as easy as it seems. Again, practice with a metronome as it helps you improve your timing and helps you track your progress.

Both of these exercises can be altered to incorporate and patterns you want at any tempo or plucking intensity.

I really need to get back to doing these exercises myself!
 

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This is my problem, or something I have to work on.
Keeping three fingers going consistently.
I'd love to be able to gallop like Steve Harris.
 
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Discussion Starter #54 (Edited)
Good for you for sticking with the idea of expanding your technique! I've been playing bass for over 30 years and I'm still working on my technique, probably more now than ever before. Here are 2 things to incorporate into your practice that can help:

1) practice scales over all ranges of the instrument using alternate picking. The important thing with this is to use a metronome and alternate which finger you start with. This will work on three things at the same time: consistent tempo, scale knowledge and finger independence. If you do this for 5 minutes every time you practice you'll notice improvement quickly.

2) play scales or even single notes in triplets and accent the first note. Better yet, play the first note at normal volume and ay the next two lighter. This will help again with finger independence and help you develop a lighter touch, which isn't as easy as it seems. Again, practice with a metronome as it helps you improve your timing and helps you track your progress.

Both of these exercises can be altered to incorporate and patterns you want at any tempo or plucking intensity.

I really need to get back to doing these exercises myself!
Thanks for that. I thought it would be nice to get a refreshing viewpoint from the players here. Back to basics is always a good thing. Right now I'm working on alternate picking starting on both i and m from the root and going up the major scale with alternates and going down with rakes/alternate. The mighty Metronome has been a mainstay in my practice routine for over 30 years so no issues there.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
This is my problem, or something I have to work on.
Keeping three fingers going consistently.
I'd love to be able to gallop like Steve Harris.
As a huge MAiden fan, that's one of my goals at this point. Steve uses the 2 finger alternates which apparently a number of Bassists find a problem with. I've checked a few lessons online and I haven't exactly agreed on the approach some of those guys are taking with it using 3 fingers. Just doesn't sound right and it loses the Legato feel to my ear. Just yesterday I was trying to figure out which Maiden tune I'm going to try. Gonna try to keep it simple(r) with Flight of Icarus or possibly some older stuff. The Trooper is a possibility but judging from where I am with Heaven and Hell I'm going to need to run through those alternate picking exercises previously discussed. It's starting to get there though.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Here's one for the guitarist turned Bassist, or whoever plays both types. When you did athe switch, did it have an effect on your approach to the 6 string sibling? I'm finding how I look at and feel the neck is quite a bit different when I pick up the Acoustic or electric. Along with shifting the tonal shape of how I listen to stuff after a little over 3 weeks of this, I'm also playing with more attention to what is or should be going over the parts I play. Whether it be noodling or playing a tune I already know. I think this was a really good move for me because there is a major shift in the way I've viewed things for so long. I'm also hearing where the different frequencies will fall a LOT clearer than before. Kinda wish I did this 20 years ago. Anyone relate to this?
 

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Here's one for the guitarist turned Bassist, or whoever plays both types. When you did athe switch, did it have an effect on your approach to the 6 string sibling? I'm finding how I look at and feel the neck is quite a bit different when I pick up the Acoustic or electric. Along with shifting the tonal shape of how I listen to stuff after a little over 3 weeks of this, I'm also playing with more attention to what is or should be going over the parts I play. Whether it be noodling or playing a tune I already know. I think this was a really good move for me because there is a major shift in the way I've viewed things for so long. I'm also hearing where the different frequencies will fall a LOT clearer than before. Kinda wish I did this 20 years ago. Anyone relate to this?
ENTIRELY changed my approach. I no longer have one lol, I quit playing guitar entirely. Oh, I'll pick up a pretty one at a store or someone's place and strum a few cowboy chords.

I know that wasn't helpful :p
 

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Discussion Starter #58
That was helpful actually. It's a pretty powerful and compelling instrument and your experience is pretty much proof positive of that.
 

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Here's one for the guitarist turned Bassist, or whoever plays both types. When you did athe switch, did it have an effect on your approach to the 6 string sibling? I'm finding how I look at and feel the neck is quite a bit different when I pick up the Acoustic or electric. Along with shifting the tonal shape of how I listen to stuff after a little over 3 weeks of this, I'm also playing with more attention to what is or should be going over the parts I play. Whether it be noodling or playing a tune I already know. I think this was a really good move for me because there is a major shift in the way I've viewed things for so long. I'm also hearing where the different frequencies will fall a LOT clearer than before. Kinda wish I did this 20 years ago. Anyone relate to this?
It pushed me into a much better understanding of arpeggios and arpeggios within the scales built on each degree of the scale.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Just checked this out. Seems like a pretty good reference for a few sounds to get to when needed.

 
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