In this bass guitar lesson, we will talk about the 3 biggest mistakes that bass players make and also discuss how we can fix these problems...
I've been asking a lot of students what their biggest technique challenge are and there are 3 things that keep coming up over, and over...
"Lack of Fretting Hand Discipline"
The first mistake that I see all off the time is a "Lack of Fretting Hand Discipline". The result of this is that the bass player seems to get in a mess with their left hand. This ultimately slows them down and gives out inconsistent tone and timing.
The bass line from "The Chicken" played by the Legendary Jaco Pastorius, is a great example that there are specific bass lines that would only work if you know exactly what finger will play a note. Without a strategy in place, pulling it off can be really tricky which is why we need to have a solid fretting hand discipline.
The "1 finger per fret" technique comes in handy in this sort of scenario. Whenever I teach this to my students, I always tell them to start on the 8th fret and exercise starting with the C note onward.
This concept is what I like to call "Curing the Crab" because this will put the left hand discipline in place which will help you know which finger needs to be in a specific note.
"Undeveloped Alternate Fingering Technique"
Not Developing the Alternate fingering technique on the plucking hand (properly or consistently) is also one of the things I've noticed as a mistake that players commonly commit.
Alternate Fingering will help you build up your speed with your plucking hand. The problem is, Some players use this technique but they lack the consistency in doing it.
The alternate fingering pattern is:
But what inconsistent players do is:
You can Develop consistent alternate fingering by practicing.
You can actually have it integrated along with the "Curing the Crab" concept where you can practice the 1 finger per fret technique and do it with alternate fingers on your plucking hand.
"Ineffective muting technique"
Not having an effective muting technique in turn will cause the player to have a muddy or dirty sound.
This dirty or muddy sound happens when there are open strings left to ring. It may be subtle but it may take over your sound if you're not careful.
The thing about muting is, everybody uses a slightly different technique to do it. So you need to figure out what's the most comfortable way for you to do it.
You might choose to do what Jaco Pastorius does; where he lock two fingers down on the bottom strings, or you might use the hybrid technique where you use both hands for muting strings not used.
Lesson Wrap up
To wrap things up, we discussed the 3 Biggest Technique mistakes that bass players make and how to fix them.
We've also talked about how the exercises that we can do to be able to overcome this problems.
Remember that this will require a lot of discipline so take your time in doing this exercises and you'll see the improvement in your sound and speed soon enough,
There’s also a free checklist that comes with this lesson - 5 Steps to Faster Fingers - you can download that by clicking the button on the blog post.
Keep groovin’ hard,