The Biggest Obstacle To Learning Bass
When thinking about what could be the biggest obstacle when learning how to play bass, the first thing that comes to my mind is - staying inspired. I guess this is true for all music instruments, including bass guitar. If we are not inspired, then we won’t pick up the instrument to practice so often.
On the other hand, if we want to get any good at playing bass, we do need to practice as much as possible. There are surely so many bass players out there who have their basses hanging on the wall or sitting nicely tucked in their cases, gathering dust. They once had the inspiration, they were enjoying it and then all of a sudden - the sparkle was gone. They didn’t feel the urge, excitement and joy, so they just decided to quit.
When students ask me what should be the most important part of their practice regime, I always tell them the same thing: “You need to have fun playing.”. If playing and/or practicing is fun, then we’ll do it every day. This will keep us going and to do so, we need a strong dose of inspiration to go along and drive us towards looking forward to picking up the instrument whenever we get home.
Attend local gigs
One of the ways to stay inspired is to go to local gigs. There are always tons of great shows we can attend in local clubs. Go out, have fun and absorb the energy of a live show. This is one of the best ways to get inspiration to play and practice the instrument. Playing live shows is surely everyone’s dream when starting out. Attending live shows is fun, especially in small clubs as you can get close to the musicians on stage, and be a part of the performance.
Watch concert videos
You could rent a blu ray disc with the concert of your favorite band. Watch it in your home and enjoy the show. I bet that it will inspire you to pick up the instrument right afterwards. Also, if you know how to play some of the songs, you could jam along. That’s a great way to have a lot of fun while practicing! I do this all the time when learning and practicing cover songs.
There are tons of amazing bass videos on Youtube. Take time exploring the channels and discovering new talented bassists. You can also view instructional materials on Youtube to get ideas for your next practice session. Youtube can be a great way to stay constantly inspired.
Have fun practicing
Now, back to my initial advice. You need to have fun when practicing the instrument. This means that if you are getting bored playing scales or repetitive technique exercises up and down the neck - don’t do it. Learn famous songs that you enjoy and play along with the recordings. Only practice things that are fun to you and you find inspiring. You don’t need to become a master of tapping if you don’t find it fun. You can play the simplest of bass lines and still have loads of fun, and this is what will keep you going. Music is not a chore. Sure it takes a lot of work to get good at it, but on the other hand - the lifetime is not enough to master it. What matters is the journey, and you should make it as interesting as possible.
Finally, I want to say that everyone can learn how to play bass. There are no prerequisites such as talent, heritage, genetics or any other factor. Literally, ANYONE can do it with a bit of practice. Also, everyone can have fun do it. It’s just that we sometimes get lost with our goals and desires, so that we forget what’s it all about.
I really hope that this post has inspired you just a bit to pick up the instrument. Why not do it now? Pick up the bass, plug it in and jam for a bit. Maybe practice a new technique, just jam or learn a new song? Have fun grooving.
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