Mistakes When First Learning Bass?

Set some targets for what you want to achieve and when. I spent far too long completing the course (over 9 months) and then didn’t really have plan for what I was going to do next apart from learn a handful of songs I liked so was easily distracted by things like PS5. I would definitely have moved onto a B2B intermediate course if available (hint hint Josh). I’ve joined a local Rock Project where i get to play with other musicians and the songs are picked for you so there is motivation is to get them nailed. Also the first thing I quickly realised is that I needed to go back and learn the notes of the fretboard rather than staring blankly at the tutor when he said ‘so next is an F Sharp followed by B’. Also started some Talking Bass lessons and between those and B2B putting together a list of stuff to practice such as arpeggios, 7ths etc.


Hi Jhon! can I ask you why playing standing? just for playing with a band or something in particular?


I would start over with a p bass. With a tone and volume, and that’s it. My first bass had knobs and switches and I wasted too much time with them when I should have been playing.

I practice a lot on my MDB5 which has a thicker neck, though not a 2x4. If I can do it on the MDB5 with the thick strings, I can do it on anything.


@Nico Funnily enough I prefer practicing standing up most of the time.


For videoing covers and for playing live.


My guess is many people do.

If I were still playing in a band, I’d practice standing up. But I’m not, so I sit when I practice. That said, I hold my bass between my legs, with it barely touching the top of my left thigh, at the same centered position relative to my torso, as if I were standing.


Me too. I play standing up exclusively.


This is a big pet peeve of mine. I suspect many people get put off by this and never learn how simple it actually is. So many people post that they are afraid to adjust their instruments, and that’s really unfortunate.

Especially since you can actually do a better job without the extra tools and guages anyway. In the end, how it feels to you is all that matters, and that will always require tweaking beyong the last measurement to get optimal.

My education was all about measurement, and there’s a lot of it in my day job, but musical instrument setup is a case where I can confidently say measurement is drastically overrated. If you’re a luthier, setting up instruments for others, it’s important to measure to spec. For an individual, spec is a ballpark at best and very likely not what will feel good to you.


Ha, I find it difficult to play sitting down!!


This :point_up:


I’m exclusively the opposite although I keep threatening to try this standing thing out :joy:



  • Don’t mess around being all over the place. When I started, the first I tried to play a song, then the next day I’m watching a ‘How to play with a pick’. The next day, I’m learning the major chord. Then…

I didn’t had a road map to learn and I have lost too much time doing nothing.

  • Set up your bass. It costs 20-40€ and you will play more comfortable and the sound is way way better. I regretted not doing it with my first and I did it with the second bass I bought. Well spent money.

  • Don’t play too much, but not too litle. Do you get tired? Your fingers are in pain? Better stop and play tomorrow than play 15 min extra, then missing 5 days of playing because now you have to rest.

  • If you want to play fast, start slow. Then speed up, bit by bit. It is better to play slow hitting all the notes than playing (a bit) faster hitting 75% of them.

  • Have a balance of learning and having fun.

If you don’t learn new things (chords, triads, stretching, etc) you won’t progress. If you don’t have fun (playing things you want) you won’t get the bass. Don’t make playing bass a chore you have to cross from your daily routine and allow yourself to enjoy it, but also learn too

P.S: What I do nowadays is doing a B2B lesson, maybe some repetitions on the faster track, revisit some of the theory sometimes, then play songs I like on my own.


I have put away my bass for 10 for the same reason. Bass is the instrument that makes move but I’m pretty bad with string instruments. So I figured I would never ever ever be able to play with a bass…

It turns out I can. One day something “clicks” and you see yourself improving daily. Then you don’t want to stop :slight_smile:


:rofl: Me too!

It’s fun and I think the exploration of your instrument is important. But it’s almost like anti-practice. Where practice is defined, noodling is exploring and seeing what you can find that makes you say, “Oh, that’s cool!”


Practice with some kind of drum machine/drum app/drum pedal etc. Not a metronome with a horrible click click click sound. A drum machine will mean you get used to listening to the drums right from the start. The drums are your friend.
Practicing a scale? Drum machine. Slow the tempo down down down until you can play every note cleanly.
Noodling around? Drum machine. Play with being on, behind and in front of the beat.
Developing my internal sense of rhythm has only worked by practicing everything with a drum machine.
Oh did I mention this? buy a drum machine before you buy another bass :face_with_monocle:


Or load an app on your phone and plug your phone into the aux port of your amp as an alternative. Drum tracks really do help


This is something that I definitely need to do more often!


Yes a cheaper excellent solution. The reason I don’t want to have my phone with me when I practicing is it can be a distraction.
Hence a dedicated drum pedal. Before using the BeatBuddy I used my Zoom B1. Built in tuner, looper, drum machine and multi effects for less than $100.
Close the door, plug in my bass, drums on and go.



I used to hold the bass flat and square across my front.
It was so hard to move down the neck!
Somebody finally told me, “Hey, try holding it on an angle away from you.”

  • Lightbulb moment -