#166385  by jackietreehorn
I set out to pick up a bass my sophomore year in high school and I'm getting around to it 25 years later. I have lofty goals of being good enough to someday be good enough to have a good time playing with friends. A couple months ago I grabbed a bass on CL (well 2, he threw in a second for $50) and a practice amp and have been messing around with one of those online "learn how to play" systems. Although I'm moving along, I have a feeling I'm picking up a crapload of bad habits and not really learning anything that makes sense in my brain. So, my question is, how would you recommend going out about learning how to play? Is there are particular online or youtube system? Is seeking out a teacher the way to go? Skype? Anything to look for in particular?

I'm coming here because the Dead is what speaks to me and I like a lot of the music that fellow fans of the Dead enjoy - be it jazz or whatever. I grew up in New England when Phish went from theaters to MSG to Mike Gordon was actually the first bassist who really got me to notice the instrument. I'm also coming here because I've been lurking for a while and you seem like you are genuinely helpful to each other, which isn't always the case on message boards. Thanks in advance.
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 #166386  by brbadg
Well.Here are my thoughts.You will need some ability to play your notes and learn the fingerboard.You will also need to develop your ear.Remember,Phil played the horn and then was literally handed a bass.He learned on the job.As for me,I started just learning blues bass lines.Grabbing a teacher for a few weeks will help with this.Learn how to walk some lines to get the feel.You can grab a lot of stuff off you tube.Spend a couple months just getting the flow going.Then you will reach a sort of impasse.This is where you can start listening to some Dead and specifically Phil.The whole problem is you won't be able to get any of this stuff in some course.It will be like going off a cliff! You should continue working on your ear and then maybe start to try to play along with some of the simpler tunes.You will have trouble at first,because Phil doesn't just stick to the low notes.This will take a bit.You have to keep going and don't get discouraged.Listen all the time,play along until you get tired.If you have the desire it will come ,but you have to work.Good luck!
 #166388  by lbpesq
Hi Jackie, and welcome to the forum. As a six-stringer I can’t offer much advice in playing those cables of yours, but you might want to ask your questions over at the Alembic Club forum. I’ve been an active member there for many years. Being a Phil fan, I assume you are hip to Alembic basses. If not, you are in for a treat. The great majority of the members are bass players, and many, if not most, are Deadheads and Phil Phreaks. And the Deadheads who populate both this forum and the Alembic forum are some of the most friendly and helpful people you will find on the net!


Bill, the guitar one
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 #166389  by ChinaCatMatt
These guys have offered sound advice. I would recommend taking a few lessons maybe a couple months maybe more if your budget allows it and you find a good teacher. Having someone to be in the same room and show you stuff when you are just starting out is really huge. Skype is probably pretty good too never tried that. A good scale book is worth grabbing too. The local guitar store should have a selection of bass books. But if not grab a guitar book and just ignore the 2 high strings.

Good luck and most of all have fun!

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