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Author Topic: Exercises for beginners bass practice  (Read 470 times)

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Annie Salter

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Exercises for beginners bass practice
« on: March 12, 2020, 03:07:06 PM »


Hello!

I'm sure this is a question that comes up frequently for newbies. I've only been learning for a month or so and been really surprised at how quickly I'm picking up tunes and enjoying playing. But now I'm starting to add in the bass and I'm completely stumped.

Any tips beyond keep practicing?!  Recommended exercises for D/G? Have you repeatedly practised left and right hands then put them together, close your eyes and hope each hand remembers what they are meant to be doing?

I don't want to speed ahead with my right hand and ignore the left, otherwise I'll never get around to it! But finding it super hard to get the rhythm correct on both hands!

Thanks all!

Annie
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Nigel Plant

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Re: Exercises for beginners bass practice
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2020, 03:18:37 PM »

I share your pain Annie. I too thought I was doing ok until I tried to play with both hands! I hope some more experienced players have some tips.
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Jesse Smith

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Re: Exercises for beginners bass practice
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2020, 04:24:13 PM »

Hello Annie, and welcome to Melnet! I think everyone has trouble with the basses at first, it's just one of those "rub your stomach and pat your head" things that is hard to untangle until you practice it a bit.

You could start with just playing a simple oom-pah oom-pah rhythm on the left hand and once that is steady just start adding some right hand notes. Just play some notes in rhythm with the basses, and then once you've got that, try playing up and down the scale while maintaining the rhythm.

When you are first learning, it is usually OK to just stay on the pair of buttons with the root and the 5th bass and chords. (So in the key of G, the lower left pair of buttons.) Most of the time the chords will fit the melody, more or less.

Are you learning from a book? I used Dave Mallinson's "D/G Melodeon - Absolute Beginners" and I thought he does a good job easing the new player into using the basses.
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Annie Salter

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Re: Exercises for beginners bass practice
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2020, 03:35:48 PM »

Thanks all! I'm using Eds book, and trying to trust the method but struggling to get the rhythm right! I'll keep persisting.. 15 mins a day..
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Québécois

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Re: Exercises for beginners bass practice
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2020, 03:38:19 PM »

Go slowly, learn to play a tune half-speed then slowly increase the tempo. After a while, playing bass will become natural and you won't even think about it  :D
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Exercises for beginners bass practice
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2020, 01:52:11 PM »

Simplify!

Especially true of ternary rhythm tunes.  You might feel Dum Cha Cha compulsory, but  Dum [space] Cha is equally OK, as is Dum Cha [space]

It's less for your muscle memory to think about too. Get some of these solid (respecting how your tune's push pulls go on Rt end) and then bring the right end back in.   

You'll end up with a much lighter bass than the alternative, or Dum cha dum cha for 4/4.  A week or so's practice (my experience 1994) and it'll become automatic.  You can then go back to fretting about the Rt  ;)
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Exercises for beginners bass practice
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2020, 03:02:45 PM »

Hi Annie,
You are completely right in trying to get both hands going together. As you identify, speeding ahead with your right hand leads to difficulties later, possibly re-learning a tune with a different push-pull sequence on the right hand as you have to fit in the basses. Keep persevering.

Sticking with it slowly is the key.
Stay with a couple of easy tunes, where you know the melody and can play it reasonably easily.... then try and add the basses slowly. Very slowly, a few bars at a time!

It is a real head banger to begin with but keep at it.
One day the door opens...  and you're there!
Once that happens you'll find you relax into the tunes. You have established a relationship and coordination between the hands and that then sticks in the mind.
You can then get on with the next thing to tackle in your learning.
Good luck!
Cheers
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!
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