Hey, James here!
I want to welcome you to our first lesson from 2023 and something super, super exciting—a brand new eBassGuitar HQ and this is the first video from our brand new filming studio. So before we get going today, I want to pay tribute to a wonderful eBassGuitar student and fantastic photographer Martin Evening.
Martin sadly passed away a few weeks ago, but I was lucky enough to spend some time with him and he gave me some great advice on how to spruce up the new studio. One of the things he really encouraged me to do was to use more color and that's the reason behind the choice of color on the wall! Expect me to wear fun colorful T-shirts from now on. 🙂 But I'd love to here your thoughts... How do you think I should develop this space? What ideas do you have? Please do let me know in the comments below. Now let's get going to the lesson!
I know learning an instrument can be an overwhelming process, let alone practicing it! It can get tiresome just trying to improve. So today I'm going to give you 5 tips on how to become the best bass player possible to give you the jumpstart!
1. Practice Regularly
There's no secret to this to become a better musician, a better bass player. You have to spend time on the instrument, but it's not as much as you think.
The key is to go slowly, but consistently. So I would love you to carve out 15 to 20 minutes every day to pick up that bass guitar and push your bass playing forward this year.
Now, if you want to get the most out of your practice sessions, I'm gonna put a link to a video below where I teach you the 3M Practice System. This system is a surefire way to get the most efficient practice sessions in your bass journey!
2. Learn music theory
I see so many students who are resistant to learning music theory, but when they dig in and discover, it's not as hard as they think A whole new world opens up.
They suddenly discover that they can memorize songs faster. They suddenly discover they can learn the whole of the fretboard and understand how it connects together much easier, and they discovered that their musical ear improves. It's that powerful. Now, there are a ton of music theory lessons that I've put together on this channel here, but if you want the quick and the concise guide to it, make sure you check out my book, the Complete Guide to Music Theory for Bass Guitar Players.
3. Listen to the Greats
This is super straightforward and doesn't even involve picking up the bass guitar! Listen to the greats and spend time absorbing their music. Whether it's listening to a great blues bass player like Tommy Shannon with Stevie Ray Vaughn, or the beautiful melodic bass lines of Paul McCartney, or someone like Marcus Miller coming out with technically extraordinary basslines... It is important to zone in and listen to their bass playing.
So I want to give you a challenge:
- Pick (10) ten of the greatest bass guitar players.
- Pick (5) five that you've never ever listened to before.
- Jump on something like Spotify, pick their most famous tracks, and just listen closely.
- Put a pair of headphones on, and just really absorb yourself. Try and pick out the bassline. Then listen to all of the other instruments.
- See what you can learn.
I promise you this is a really extraordinarily powerful way of becoming a better musician. And anybody can do this!
4. Experiment with equipment and develop your bass sound
The fourth tip is to have fun and experiment with equipment and develop your bass sound because the thing that inspires us to want to pick up the bass guitar is our sound. Part of that sound is our (1) bass guitar playing and (2) the equipment.
For years I was fiercely proud... I was just a bass guitar guy through the front of an amplifier. But over the last year, I started experimenting with pedals so much. I built my first ever bass guitar pedal board, which you'd have seen in a recent video because I wanted to experiment using the Octave OC2 and Aguilar filter twin pedal. You're gonna see a lot more of me using pedals and experimenting with this kind of technology the rest of the year.
5. Get help and support from an experienced instructor or coach ASAP!
Now I mean it when I say ASAP! I have seen this a bunch of times before when students are saying, "I'm just not ready for a coach yet!" They feel like they have to do a certain amount of groundwork themselves. I'm here to tell you that is absolute nonsense. As soon as you start working with an experienced instructor, the sooner you will start improving because they will shortcut your route to success.
This could be working with an old-fashioned based instructor where you go to their house on a regular basis and work one-to-one or this could be taking a self-paced-based program like the Bass Lab Plus, which I've put together over at eBassGuitar.com. Or it could be working remotely with a world-class based instructor, like on our Bass Lab VIP program, where you can work with the incredible Paul Geary. The options are endless! But the most important one is that you pick one, and start getting qualified and experienced help straight away. That will shorten your path to become a great bass player.
So those are the 5 tips. Simple, right? I hope you found these five tips super helpful. Remember, the key is consistency. Don't forget to have fun and seek support from others! 🙂
Here's to 2023. Let's have another awesome year of grooving! Happy New Year!
I'll see you next week!