Aside from b2ba..what has improved your playing the most?

Whats your ‘one simple trick’ … Bassbuzz course and generic ‘practice’ not acceptable.

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but… but…

ok, given those rules I would say:
Stop thinking in notes, start thinking in patterns.
After you got the patterns engrained: stop thinking in patterns, start thinking in intervals (which are patterns still, but with more musicality to it)

This last one improved my improv and composition skills tenfold

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Playing with a real drummer. Hands down. Playing with other people is great. I play in a crappy neighborhood garage band. It makes a huge difference. But actually sitting next to a drummer, even if he doesn’t haul out his full kit and just plays cajón, makes me actually listen to the rhythm/pulse and adjust my timing and dynamics in a way that playing with a metronome or drum loop doesn’t.

ETA: Learning drums cues has also been a treat. When you zone out and can’t remember whether you’re on bar 15 or 16 of the guitar player’s noodley bit, hearing that double tom fill and cymbal crash that says, “we’re going to the chorus now” is a godsend :grin:

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The number one thing other than B2B is the advice from others in this forum on other things to work on/with.

Talkingbass.net (Mark Smith)
Ari Cap
General advice

The other thing the forum folks have improved is the size of my gear pile.

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I don’t have one single trick but I can tell you it wasn’t all the hours I spend watching YT :joy:

I’m going to say it was mostly SBL players path for working on stuff over and over and over until I got it all right and finding the best ways to fret/pluck a song. More recently it’s been Yousician for the volume of playing, variety of enjoyable songs and fun.

My biggest struggle was always finding songs I like and want to play and working on them long enough before I get bored.

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This is true. And I want to add, that analysing the song instead of just learning to play it makes you understand and value the song itself a lot more.

By analysing it, I mean something as simple as looking at the chord progression and examine how the bassline reacts to the chords being played. “Is this a 5th? interesting. Is this a 5th an octave lower?”

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Yes :point_up_2:

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the SBL course “Beginning Jazz Survival Guide for Bassists” was really good for that.

Also the Players Path from about level 5 requires you to write/improvise over chord progressions.

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Turning on a drum machine and just jamming with it.

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+1 to this. Playing with other musicians has made a huge difference for me. I have learned a lot from the people I’ve played music with. Playing with others has also taught me how to create bass lines that fit into what the band is doing as a whole instead of just doing my own thing.

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Buying a Zoom B1 and using the in built drum machine. My timing is waay better for using this every day.

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I’ve not done the BassBuzz course, or any other course for that matter, as I tend to do better teaching myself.

One thing that was a real eye opener recently was with reading rhythms, which tended to trip me up, always counting 1 e and a - 2 e and a - 3 e and a, and so on. Instead, I just find the smallest subddivision in a bar such as a quarter notes or 8ths or 16ths, and then divide each bar into convenient chunks.
I’m also getting much more of a feel for rhythms now, so I only need to count them when I’m stuck.

Developing that natural sense of rhythm and timing is the heart of a bass player.

Definitely agree with the start thinking in intervals bit. I think it’s important to know the intervals all over the neck and not just ones that are in a box, knowing where any major 3rd, 5th or minor 7th is relative to the root. When jamming I practise zipping from, say, the root on 8th fret E string to a minor 3rd on the 4th fret B string, to a 5th on 12th fret G string. I practice finding all of the chord tones all over the neck.

This helps you to see the entire fretboard as a whole rather than just seeing the immediate box that I’m currently playing in. Thinking this way is massively advantageous for improvising and knowing the fretboard intimately.

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This. After B2BA, forget about other classes for a while. Just put on some drum loops and play.

This will help you more than anything else you can possible do, more than any other class you take online. Once you have the fundamentals down, which is what B2B gives you, you need to immediately start applying them. Solidifying them this way is much more important than anything else.

Plus it’s fun, and that really matters.

So, forget about lessons or classes for a bit, and just enjoy playing music. Drums are way better for this than a metronome. Try different tempos and styles! Play slow! Play fast! Just get in to it and jam it on the beat.

Seriously. I’m not going to say nothing else matters but this… but it’s close.

…and this is an excellent way to do it :slight_smile:

Lots of fun effects and amp sims in there too.

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I have a drum machine app on my phone, Loopz I think it’s called, and I play it through my amp at home. Last couple weeks at my in person lesson, my teacher picks a random drum track, I figure out bass line, my teacher comes in on guitar, and then things evolve.

Everything you know just comes into play.

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Well jamming, advices from people, fingering practices…
I like going to https://chordify.net/ find some of the songs I like and try to lay down my own groove, using this also helped me memorize fretboard.

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Find all the notes on the neck in different spots.

Focus on a note, say the C, and find it all over the neck and fret the note.

Mix it up so you force yourself to find the note way down the neck and way up the neck.

Then in another month move onto E sharp. Then F, etc… and find that note all over the neck. This unlocks the neck.

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That’s not going to be very challenging a step :slight_smile:

(they are the same note)

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I slow the tempo down to 70% and slowly increase to 100% when learning new songs.

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My mistake.

You get the point though.

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