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Bassist Holly Franklin

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9 Ways To Improve Your Bass Playing

9 Ways To Improve Your Bass Playing

This month I will share 9 Ways To Improve Your Bass Playing…

9 Ways To Improve Your Bass Playing… We can sometimes get into a rut when it comes to playing bass. As someone that has played for over 14 years, I wouldn’t still be playing if the passion and drive were not there. Sometimes we need to take a step back and evaluate how we want to improve our bass playing. 

Whether this is from lack of motivation, being too busy or simply not knowing what to play, here are some fun and valuable tips to have you excited to play!

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Learn Music Theory

This is one of my favorite tips to give to anyone wanting to learn music and any instrument.

Knowing the components of a song from start to finish will help build your composition abilities and help you to learn virtually any song that you want.

Whether you want to get better at ear training, reading sheet music, or just overall theory, it is never too late to start learning.

If you need an easy-to-understand guide for music theory, scales, and more check out my book, “No-Nonsense Guide to Music Theory, Scales, and More!”

Work on or Learn a New Technique

This takes away from the monotony of just playing the same style or technique over and over again. If you are a pick player, you may decide that you want to learn to play with your fingers or if you’ve wanted to dabble in drop-tuning you could try out that type of sound and style.

There are so many techniques, music genres, types of basses, and much more out in the bass world to keep your playing fresh and exciting.

My YouTube channel and Bass Musician Magazines YouTube channel have a ton of videos and exercises for learning to play different techniques.

Learn To Read Music or Enhance Your Music Reading Abilities

There are lots of online resources to purchase sheet music or read it for free. Depending on the type of music, artist, and genre you want to play will be tailored to the resources available online.

This is great to learn music in a way that isn’t ear training. Take the time to properly identify the notes, key/time signatures, different musical terms, and more when reading beautiful sheet music.

There is no reason not to try to learn to read music. It can open a lot of opportunities including playing in a studio, orchestra,

Private Lessons

If you have the financial ability, getting private lessons from a reputable instructor is a great way to improve your bass playing. There are many instructors on Bass Musician’s website that you can reach out to get amazing instruction. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help in your playing. Constant improvement is key to getting better and becoming a stronger musician.

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Listen To Your Favorite Songs

Sometimes listening to your favorite songs and bass riffs can light a fire under you to play. You may hear a familiar melody or something new that you want to experiment with. 

Try To Learn The Basslines To Your Favorite Songs

In combination with the previous tip, trying to learn your favorite basslines will build confidence, repertoire and make you more likely to want to keep playing. 

This will not only build confidence in your playing, but you will be able to see the different progressions, rhythm, time changes, and other musical qualities.

This does take time so don’t get discouraged if things don’t sound good right away. You can do it!

Watch Video From Your Favorite Bass Players/Teachers

A free and enjoyable way to improve your bass playing for sure.

Whether you want to better learn the double thumping technique from Victor Wooten or want to play Dawn Patrol by Megadeth, finding your favorite artists and teachers online is a valuable resource.

There are so many free instructional videos on YouTube that you can reference.

Jam With Friends

This one may be a bit tougher to execute with everything going on, but you can still make it work. There are apps out there where you can jam with other musicians from around the world. 

Of course, if you can meet up with your friends or other musicians to jam this is a fantastic opportunity to progress further. Whether you are writing some songs or just jamming, there is never a bad outcome when it comes to playing with other musicians.

Check out these apps to connect with other musicians:

Meet Other Musicians Online & In Your Community

There are different online forums where you can communicate with other bass players about different guitars, styles, education, advice, and more. A few websites that have great forums include Bassbuzz.com, Talkbass.com, and Basschat.

Social media is also an awesome place to interact with other bass players and musicians. Facebook has a few bass guitar-specific groups that you can join.

Meetup.com has groups from all around the world that meet to play guitar and enjoy music together.

If local shows are going on in your area, this can be another great way to meet and interact with other musicians.

I hope these tips help in your journey as a bass player. Keep rockin’ on friends!

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