String instrument playing is a skill that, like anything else you enjoy, you may want to hone. Playing an instrument is a tonne of fun, and it’s a great way to spark your imagination. Playing a stringed instrument is a great way to disconnect from the outside world and enjoy yourself.
Even for seasoned musicians, chord theory can be difficult to grasp for a novice. When you’re playing a simple bass line, it’s possible to add some flavour to it by playing chords and double stops on the bass.
Because they contain the notes required for bass lines, scales and chord structures are essential for bass players to master. You can improve your bass guitar technique by engaging in the practices listed below.
Bassists’ use of the slapping technique is particularly striking. Plenty of genres uses this bass technique. With groups like Funkadelic and Parliament, for example, Bootsy Collins played a significant role in popularising slapping in the funk genre.
Also, Flea introduced slapping to the rock audience during his time with Red Hot Chili Peppers, while Marcus Miller incorporated it into his work with Miles Davis.
Slapping has become commonplace in popular culture, despite the fact that it can sound comical at times. Posido Vega’s method of teaching chords is fun and easy to follow. It’s all about hitting the string against the fretboard with the edge of your thumb knuckle.
Pulling the string from the fretboard and then releasing it quickly causes the string to snap back against the fretboard. On a bass guitar, you can use both techniques at the same time or alternate between them.
An even feel for even the most complex basslines can only be achieved by mastering your fingering. You must keep your hands relaxed while playing the bass guitar because any tension can make moving across the instrument more difficult.
It’s also a good idea to use different fingers each time. You’ll be able to play with a more even attack if you use this technique. When you first hear some of the more difficult technical passages, they may seem insurmountable.
Even the most difficult bass lines can be made to sound effortless with regular practice and a gradual increase in difficulty.
3. Pizzicato (Finger Picking)
One of the most popular ways to play the bass is with fingerpicking or pizzicato. The Who’s John Entwistle, a master of pizzicato, can be heard playing on YouTube. The technique for fingerpicking the bass guitar is a little different than that for the guitar.
Bassists, in contrast to guitarists, use the entire fingertip instead of just the nail. In the beginning, it is sufficient to learn to play one section of the string. You can begin to experiment with different bass guitar tones as you become more skilled. However, it is best to avoid picking too hard. If you want to avoid finger injuries or buzzy strings, you should always pick the strings gently.
Few things are more enjoyable than a well-defined bass line. It is important, however, that you also pay attention to the sound while playing. if they are not muted, you will notice that your bass guitar strings continue to vibrate for much longer than you might prefer. A muddy sound can result from prolonged vibrations, especially if different notes are mixed together.
There are a variety of muting methods available, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Practicing the muting technique at a slower tempo is highly recommended before attempting anything fast.
5. Plectrum (Playing With a Pick)
When it comes to bass picks, some players have a sort of purist mentality. Guitar picks, on the other hand, are just another tool in a bassist’s toolbox. To achieve a specific sound or tone, the most common reason for using a pick is to do so.
The grit and brightness of your bass can be enhanced by using picks. You can play anything you want, but louder and heavier music will benefit the most from that extra growl.
6. Concentrate on Right Hand Finger Movement
Your left hand is responsible for selecting the notes on the bass guitar’s fretboard. Your right hand, on the other hand, is in charge of ensuring that your notes are consistent, rhythmic, and energetic.
Harmony and melody are inextricably linked to rhythm and cannot be separated. To achieve a fluid and consistent playing style, you must establish a regular practice routine for your right hand.
7. Control Your Attack
Excellent performance is one that has been fine-tuned to perfection after determining the type of music you are playing. The initial sound source has a significant impact on your ability to control your stringed instrument (how you physically strike the string).
Controlling the attack of a note can have a dramatic effect on the sound you produce. Once you get the sound you want, it’s just a matter of rehearsing it over and over again until it becomes habitual.
8. Practice with a Metronome
For stringed instruments, a metronome is a device that produces an audible beat at a specific tempo. As your technique improves, you can gradually increase the speed of the metronome by starting with simple exercises at a slow tempo.
You’ll improve your ability to keep time with other musicians by practicing this skill. The use of a metronome while learning new pieces is also a good idea, as it can help you keep your tempo consistent throughout the entire piece. Metronomes can be fun to practice with if they have optional rhythms or melodies that you can choose from.
The way you play chords on a bass guitar differs from how you do it on an acoustic. Chords are essential to understanding harmony, enhancing your bass lines, and preparing you for solo bass acts. You must be patient with yourself when you practice. The fastest way to improve one’s playing is to practice regularly and deliberately.