Bass Lesson – How to Master Difficult Bass Lines

Mastering Difficult Bass Lines

Hey it’s Mike from Bass Guitar Rocks and today’s bass tip is going to be about how to play difficult bass lines.

What’s covered in this video:
0:20 – Need to be able to hear the bass line
0:30 – Listen to it repeatedly
0:38 – If you can sing the part, it’s easier for you to learn how to play it.
1:26 – Repetition is one of the key ingredients for education
1:33 – Start slow and gradually speed up
1:40 – Sometimes simple bass lines played fast seem more complex than they really are.

Okay, so …how do you learn how to play difficult bass lines?

Well, the main thing is you got to be able to hear the bass line right? So the first obstacle is that you have a somewhat isolated bass track.Then the next thing is that you have to listen to it repeatedly. One of the tips that they give is that if you can sing the part that you want to play, it’s easier for you to play it.

So, if you can’t sing it…if you can only sing a few bars of it and then you stop – that means you haven’t listened to it enough.You don’t really have it “in there”. Once you can kind of sing the part, it’s a lot easier to remember it as you’re learning to play it. When you hit that little stumbling block – you can kind of go back in your head and sing it and then work that part where you get kind of messed up with your hands.

So you need to isolate the bass part. You need to play it enough times that it’s really engrained…that you really understand how it goes.

Then the last thing is that practice makes perfect right?

Repetition is one of the key ingredients for education. So, you just want to repeat it and you want to start slow and generally – gradually work your speed up.

You know, sometimes bass lines that are not overly complex but they’re played really fast – they sound really difficult but when you slow them right down and get them under your fingers, get used to how it goes. Get the rhythm in there, get the feel for it. Lock it in to a metronome and then gradually speed it up…this is basically the way that we do

It seems kinda magical when you’re first starting out. You’re trying to learn how to do this stuff and somebody can do something that you can’t and it feels like, “…man why can’t I do that?” and it’s no big deal really.

It just comes down to 1) isolate the track 2) memorize it – play it so much so that you really understand how it sounds 3) and then just repeat it. Repeat it slowly and gradually
speed it up.

Anyway, that’s my bass tip for today on how to master difficult bass lines. Thanks for watching and we’ll talk to ya later on Bass Guitar Rocks.

Have a friend who could use this bass lesson to learn a tricky bass line? Share this page with them.