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-   -   Should I learn the bass? (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80556)

MapexDrums 08-31-2011 08:42 AM

Should I learn the bass?
 
Hey guys! I'll try to make this short haha.
I've been playing drums for approximately 3 years now ( Yeah I know that's really short time) But there were a few times in my music life ever since I started drumming, A feeling that I wanted to play the bass. And I wanted to ask you, should I stick to drumming or should I learn the bass but not as serious as learning the drums? As in trying to learn the bass from friends and myself/Internet? Drums is my #1 thing and no other instrument will come after that or among that.
So yeah, It's a feeling that I've had for quite a time now and it happened a few times earlier.
I really like the bass guitar and it's a beautiful instrument.
So what do you think? Should I stick to practicing drums or should I learn the bass?

Thanks for the help :)

Arky 08-31-2011 09:40 AM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Hell yeah! When you have 'A feeling that I wanted to play the bass', what the heck is keeping you from pursuing this and giving it a try?? That doesn't mean you'd have to stop playing drums. Just get started with the bass guitar and you will see what comes out. Having a drumming background is a superb foundation so you can hugely benefit from what you already know and can do. Starting a new instrument will give you a deeper understanding of music in general and will strengthen your perceptability/feel for what a given musical context needs and what will be inappropriate or 'too much'. Especially drums & bass are a great combination to enhance these skills.

I pick up everything which interests me - electric (6, 7, 12 strings), acoustic (6 string multiscale), classical guitar, electric fretted (6 string) and fretless bass (5 string), the sitar, recently drums (no full drumkit)... I only have one life so there's nothing to wait for.

Playing the bass, you have some choices to make: using picks or playing fingerstyle exclusively? (You could also do both of course.) How many strings? 4, 5, 6? Which scale length? Fretted, fretless, acoustic bass? Getting deeper into this might take some time. Grab various basses next time you're at a music store and see what suits you most.

harryconway 08-31-2011 09:53 AM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
By all means ... yes .... I second.
When I was in Jr. College, I took a bass class .... it fulfilled some "elective", and at that time I was already a drummer (with about 10 years experience there) ... sure, the bass, he's your rhythm brother-man in the band ... and I think any understanding of a fellow band mates "instrument" helps you work better, as a team.
Also, this opens the door to you, as a song writer. You bring drum and bass lines to the table, much easier for the guitars to pick up on ... than you just humming them a bunch of notes.

MapexDrums 08-31-2011 10:05 AM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Wow guys thanks very much xD.
The bass is a very amazing instrument. Sadly school is coming so it'll be more pressure but it's worth a try xD.
Thanks a lot for the help and I think I will try to buy a second handed bass when I learn about it more.

eddiehimself 08-31-2011 11:33 AM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Yes, you should. I don't see what you're so worried about to be honest. It's not as if the drums are going to get jeallous and leave you or anything. The bass is the new party in this agreement so she knows where it's at; the drums are your first love and always will be.

kettles 08-31-2011 11:45 AM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Yes do it! Bass is fun. I want to get a bass rig just so I can have a change from sitting behind the drums all the time. You should take at least an occasional lesson, and try learn some basic theory if you don't know any already, knowing the basic scales combined with some good technique will help you become awesome in no time. That's what helped me. and if you play with a pick, play hard, nothing worse than a weak bass player :)

PQleyR 08-31-2011 03:24 PM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Do it! Bass is great!

diegobxr 08-31-2011 04:04 PM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Hi there, man.

Well, first of all, I'll tell you: I've been drumming for almost ten years now. Like you, I also liked bass for a long time. Well... finally this very month I bought my first bass and started taking lessons. :) There you go, hell, if I can play bass, trust me, anyone can!!! LOL.

So, I agree with the rest. Yes, you should learn bass if you feel the interest to do it.

However...

Quote:

Originally Posted by MapexDrums (Post 885223)
should I learn the bass but not as serious as learning the drums? As in trying to learn the bass from friends and myself/Internet?

... I don't agree with this. :/

Don't make the mistake of learning an instrument "not as serious". It will never fulfill you. You won't feel the same joy playing an instrument you learned properly and put hard work on it than other that's "not as serious".You'll probably end up being an average player at best, it will bore you eventually and maybe you'll even quit playing it. Trust me, it happened to me with the guitar. I learned tons of "easy" songs on the web, never went to a teacher.. and that's it. Yes, I can play guitar, but no, I'm not a guitarist.

Now I'm learning bass "the proper way" and it's awesome. It's a great fun instrument. I'm learning how to read standard music notation and music theory: scales, chord progressions, etc. It's unbelievable. Learning and understanding all that "boring" stuff makes wonders for your musicianship and it's really interesting.

Anyway, go for it, but really.. try to take lessons, learn music theory, don't just learn "easy songs" on the web. You'll never discover the instrument's true possibilities that way. ;)

Cheers!

MapexDrums 09-01-2011 08:55 PM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Wow guys, Thanks a lot! :). I've been really wanting to learn the bass and hopefully I will soon.

Also, School just started so it might be a little tougher keeping up on schedule but it'll work things out and I think also that it'll be a little hard getting lessons from teachers because I already pay for learning music theory at my school which+ Playing with people and doing gigs. also playing in a musical school which gives private lessons (Which I currently have for drums) and doings gigs and stuff so yeah it'll be a little hard getting bass lessons xD.

The only thing I can afford is a quite cheap second handed bass guitar with a second handed amplifier.

Thanks a lot for the help :)

MapexDrums 09-10-2011 10:27 AM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Hey guys again. Sorry to be bothering you again xD. It's been a while but:
I talked to my parents about it and we had quite a long discussion. They said that they will split the money with me for a bass+case+ Amplifier so they'll pay a half and I'll pay half but it will only be in my birthday which is.. like.. 9 months from now so it'll be a long.. long....time. I am not saying that I am impatient but.. It's kind of erm quite stupid in my opinion. (Don't get me wrong about my parents they support me 100%).

Also, they think that I should think only about music theory and drums for now and focus on those which is very important but.. yeah.. what do you think?
Also, I don't know how I could get bass lessons cause paying for all of my lessons including theory is gonna be very tough.

What do you think I should do?

Arky 09-10-2011 10:49 AM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
I can't comment on dirt cheap (new) drums, but hey, you can get an el. bass at ridiculously low price new (or even cheaper when used). What about a beginner bass and 1-2 tutorial books & CD? It doesn't have to be a hi-end 6 string bass with spectacular veneer etc. A beginner bass package shouldn't be that expensive. You could even get away without an amp for the first weeks/months but still get into learning the finger picking, slap etc. You DON'T NEED LESSONS if you keep your eyes and ears open and follow the tutorial instructions. Sure lessons are a great thing but if money is a concern then you can do without when starting out. Try to avoid learning something the wrong way because reprogramming your muscles is an awful lot of discouraging work. If no lessons -> no need for a bass case (a gigbag is a good idea though).

As to drums: Consider getting a used set. It doesn't have to be a big kit. Hey, I don't have a full kit myself! Haha. (But 2 basses instead - fretted and fretless, and I can tell you it IS fun to play the bass.) --> EDIT: Sorry, you already have drums... I thought you considered a major upgrade or getting a brand new set. Even when upgrading, you could think of getting a (not ab)used set and thus, save much money.

I'm not your parents obviously, but if your parents understand that you're serious about this, then why wait 9 months? That's rocket science for me really. I wish you luck ;-)

MapexDrums 09-10-2011 01:43 PM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arky (Post 889218)
I can't comment on dirt cheap (new) drums, but hey, you can get an el. bass at ridiculously low price new (or even cheaper when used). What about a beginner bass and 1-2 tutorial books & CD? It doesn't have to be a hi-end 6 string bass with spectacular veneer etc. A beginner bass package shouldn't be that expensive. You could even get away without an amp for the first weeks/months but still get into learning the finger picking, slap etc. You DON'T NEED LESSONS if you keep your eyes and ears open and follow the tutorial instructions. Sure lessons are a great thing but if money is a concern then you can do without when starting out. Try to avoid learning something the wrong way because reprogramming your muscles is an awful lot of discouraging work. If no lessons -> no need for a bass case (a gigbag is a good idea though).

As to drums: Consider getting a used set. It doesn't have to be a big kit. Hey, I don't have a full kit myself! Haha. (But 2 basses instead - fretted and fretless, and I can tell you it IS fun to play the bass.) --> EDIT: Sorry, you already have drums... I thought you considered a major upgrade or getting a brand new set. Even when upgrading, you could think of getting a (not ab)used set and thus, save much money.

I'm not your parents obviously, but if your parents understand that you're serious about this, then why wait 9 months? That's rocket science for me really. I wish you luck ;-)

Thanks a LOT man. Also, I thought about your idea on a beginner bass setup with tutorial CD's.
I looked at amazon (here http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node...qid=1315654686) and stuff and saw Bass guitar beginner kits which comes with a bass guitar, An amplifier, A case and hopefully a tutorial CD or I can buy a CD somewhere in a local musical store (I hope). And it only costs 100$-200$ for a bass beginner kit Which is pretty cool.

I just hope that I won't suddenly lose interest in drums.

Anyways thanks for the help :)

diegobxr 09-10-2011 08:08 PM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MapexDrums (Post 889245)

I just hope that I won't suddenly lose interest in drums.

Haha, trust me, you won't.
Bass is great fun, but whenever I play it for a while and then I leave it and go to my drumkit.. wow.. what an amazing feeling. It's like "yeah, this feels like home". :)

About your bass.. IDK what your budget is, but there on the States, for around $200-$300 you can get a nice brand-new bass, with gig-bag and a little amp included. Then you have to get a tuner, a cable and a strap and get to practice.

For my first bass I bought a cheap "Caliber" Precision Bass copy. I just made sure that the neck was straight and that it could stay in tune relatively well. Took it to my teacher adn he said it was a great purchase. This bass is more than enough for me to start learning, it looks good and it's fun to play.

Anyway, good luck, Cheers!

KBadd 09-11-2011 02:18 AM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Bass and drums rule! In that order. I always, always, ALWAYS, look at my bass player and ask what did you play or feel like playing OR what do you want me to play. Bass guitar rules! Dee Murray, Paul Mc, John Entw, John P. Jones..................Ray Brown, to name a few.

Odd-Arne Oseberg 09-11-2011 10:49 AM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
If you want to and can, offcourse you should. It will also make you a better drummer.

MapexDrums 09-20-2011 07:46 PM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Hey guys it's been a while and sorry for bothering but erm.. It's about the bass.
I've been starting it and training technique and stuff on it but I also need to focus on drums right?. Anyways, I have a really rough schedule with school with so much.. much.. Homework and tests and it's really hard to keep up practicing bass that I am gonna get but currently on classic guitar and I need to also practice drums. It's really hard to keep up with all this stuff that I need to do and there are some days that I can barely get to practice anything.
What should I do? This has already effected the time limit that I train, In vacations and holidays it's 4-6 hours a day and now it's barely 20-30 minutes a day :/.

This is really hard, What do you think I should do with my schedule? school is very important and I need to somehow keep up with everything..
Thanks for the help :)

Arky 09-20-2011 08:32 PM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Try multi tasking! Find a way to do as many things simultaneously as possible - that's my strategy, works well for me.

E.g. while typing this, I'm having a salad, and my feet = doublebass.
When I'm eating at the PC or in my homestudio room and my left hand is free... guess what -> left hand workout. With or without doublebass going at the same time, sometimes the hihat. Or brushing my teeth - why waste those minutes on only this activity? Sometimes I don't have the time to do so, but I prefer getting to the double pedal and practice BD at the same time. (For variation, try learning to brush your teeth with the other hand - some drummer recommend this, it's not my original idea ;-)

Mostly when watching the TV I would either practice drums (handwork on pad, with or without hihat, with or without double pedal) or the guitar. I always try to keep my limbs going when possible. I'm only watching the TV without doing anything else in addition if I feel very tired. I just got adjusted to make use of the time I'm watching TV, else it would really be a waste of time.

Try to utilize time which normally would be 'wasted time'. When I'm doing a walk or doing the shopping, I always have a GripMaster to keep my hands busy. Recently I took up exercising my forearms, holding the sticks at the tip with my forearms rectangular to the ground and letting the butt end of the sticks hit my forearms - this will work with American and French grip. (I started doing this recently, when sitting in front of my DAW (digital audio workstation, hardware) and doing some edits or operations where my DAW is doing some operations which consume from a few seconds to minutes.) That's why I plan to get a 2nd double pedal (I already have 2 practice kick pads), to have 2 double pedal setups in different rooms at hand, instead of moving the pedals from one place to another.

Some people have a practice pad at hand when travelling in the metro or going by bus, but I'm not exposed to such situations (I'm at home most of the time, and also working at home).

Now it's getting experimental... Sometimes I practice doublebass and play an electric or acoustic guitar at the same time. I even have one original tune on the ac. guitar which I worked out to be accompanied by one bass pedal & hihat. It took me quite some effort, but it's getting better and better. I plan to record that tune in the next weeks so you might see what I mean.

Be creative, you can _always_ come up with time-saving ideas/concepts! I'm sure there's quite some potential you could discover.

As to the bass: Well, practicing finger picking (there's a plethora of variations from 1 to all fingers, _including_ the thumb) while watching the TV was what I was doing at some time. I've been neglecting the bass guitar though. You could read a book, having the bass in your lap and practicing. This works with basic exercises, not with very hard/fresh stuff, or with anything that your muscle memory has already 'saved'. Just try it, there will be a way to combine things. Don't forget that - also for variation - you can always practice both hands or one hand at a time. This works great on the guitar and bass. Right hand = picking, left hand = legato (hammer-ons, pull-offs, trills). There was a time when I was practicing right hand tapping quite intensely (only the right hand on the instrument, with the left hand completely eliminated), or for experimentation, I also practiced my right hand as if being left-handed, with the guitar flipped on the other side (Satriani does this!).

steve.b. 04-29-2013 08:20 PM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Hi All,
I am also interested in learning bass guitar along with the drums, but my question, is it best to try to get a couple of years or so under your belt with the drums or would you be able to learn both simultaneously?
Thanks
Steve

Otto 04-29-2013 10:24 PM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Cross train to as many instruments as you can while still having significant time to devote to your main instrument.

jodgey4 04-30-2013 04:07 AM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Bass is great to learn, because it can be nice and quiet for those late nights of learning when drums shall not be played!

BacteriumFendYoke 04-30-2013 02:33 PM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MapexDrums (Post 893180)
Hey guys it's been a while and sorry for bothering but erm.. It's about the bass.
I've been starting it and training technique and stuff on it but I also need to focus on drums right?. Anyways, I have a really rough schedule with school with so much.. much.. Homework and tests and it's really hard to keep up practicing bass that I am gonna get but currently on classic guitar and I need to also practice drums. It's really hard to keep up with all this stuff that I need to do and there are some days that I can barely get to practice anything.
What should I do? This has already effected the time limit that I train, In vacations and holidays it's 4-6 hours a day and now it's barely 20-30 minutes a day :/.

This is really hard, What do you think I should do with my schedule? school is very important and I need to somehow keep up with everything..
Thanks for the help :)

Here's a little bit of advice for you.

It helps to be patient. Nobody is telling you that you need to be great at all your instruments tomorrow. Sometimes, if all we can do is ten minutes of practice a day on an instrument then you might really focus that practice. The amount of time isn't important, it's how good your practice is. On top of that, stop pressurising yourself! It seems like you're really worried about everything - well, truth is that at this point in your life, you're not having to worry about supporting a family with your playing and it's something you're doing 'for fun'. Well have fun with it!

Incidentally, I play bass and guitar as well as the drums. I don't think about 'scheduling', I just pick up which ever instrument I feel with at that time.

alparrott 04-30-2013 03:38 PM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
I played bass for several years before I picked up the drums. I wasn't ever that great at it, but decent enough. After picking up the drums, I stopped playing bass for about sixteen years and then about 5 years ago picked it back up.

Just do it. If nothing else, you'll have a foot into chord theory and the other building blocks of a song besides rhythm, and you might actually get into a situation where you're on bass in one band and drums in another. Just don't expect to master it instantly, because you won't ... any more than you were a master at drums right away.

MikeM 04-30-2013 03:59 PM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BacteriumFendYoke (Post 1134987)
Here's a little bit of advice for you.

It helps to be patient. Nobody is telling you that you need to be great at all your instruments tomorrow. Sometimes, if all we can do is ten minutes of practice a day on an instrument then you might really focus that practice. The amount of time isn't important, it's how good your practice is. On top of that, stop pressurising yourself! It seems like you're really worried about everything - well, truth is that at this point in your life, you're not having to worry about supporting a family with your playing and it's something you're doing 'for fun'. Well have fun with it!

Incidentally, I play bass and guitar as well as the drums. I don't think about 'scheduling', I just pick up which ever instrument I feel with at that time.

+1. Have fun. Be patient. That's pretty much it right there. I've been drumming for most of my life and have goofed around with guitar and bass off and on over the years but lately I've been playing bass more than drums. It's such a fun instrument and so related to drums. I'm also on the steep part of the learning curve so there's always this big feeling of satisfaction whenever I'm newly "getting" something, which for me at this stage is very often.

My ability to communicate musical ideas is rapidly growing and becoming a very useful tool with the band. Now the guitar player is becoming more interested in learning drums, which I'm all too eager to help him out with. How awesome would it be for us to competently play each others intruments?

When it comes to playing instruments that are not your primary, I say the more the merrier!

As for scheduling, just do what you can and above all else, keep it FUN, or you'll be less inclined to spend more time with it when your schedule frees up.

StickIt 04-30-2013 05:10 PM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Man, a bass and a loop pedal...I love it!!! You can get a nice solid groove, loop it, and let your imagination run. Jam a little bass solo, or put it down, get on the drum stool, and let the loop be your guide.

I wish you the best...music is life-changing; it's pure magic.

steve.b. 04-30-2013 06:18 PM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
cool thanks guy's, i really appreciate your input, just wish i had not waited until my 49th year to start on this journey........

Arky 05-06-2013 09:06 AM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
1 Attachment(s)
Playing the bass is great fun, that's for sure!
I'm a guitarist primarily (with a focus on drumming for the last 2.5 years) but kept playing a little bass just for fun/in case and to arrange bass parts for my orig. music (most of which is written but not recorded yet). I have 2 basses - see pic - but didn't ever use them live (started performing live under a year ago, at age 39, haha) until yesterday. That was a rather small band - female singer, el. piano player, me on the bass, and a conga and trumpet player on a few songs. Besides the pure fun of just playing it will also raise your awareness of how songs work in their entirety and what/how everybody is contributing to the final result. You also get more into understanding harmonic structures - I guess this has already been mentioned in the thread, haven't read it completely.

Those basses are a 6-string by Tune (Asian manufacturer) and a Magnus Krempel (German luthier) 5-string fretless, I bought both of them used. I finished reworking that fretless (stripped the orig. finish and put some tung oil on it) just in time for yesterday's gig - used it on a couple songs only as my intonation on the fretless isn't perfect (yet).

Magenta 05-06-2013 10:14 AM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Gah, I knew I shouldn't have opened this thread. I've had a niggling desire to play bass for a while now.

Is there some sort of "49th Year Syndrome" or something?

BacteriumFendYoke 05-06-2013 01:54 PM

Re: Should I learn the bass?
 
Not 49 but I was 19 when I started playing the bass. It's a lot of fun. I've taken to practicing it more now than I ever did (at the expense of the drums, sadly) but if you can pick it up, do. It's a lot of fun. I have two basses and sooner or later I'll post pictures.


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