Progression/frustration

Hey everyone. Just about to wrap up module 8, half way point. First off, loving the course!

I am progressing rather nicely, and feel I have much sounder technique than I did a few years ago when I first attempted to learn bass. I typically take 2-3 days to master the “hard” play-alongs, and onto the next.

Im finding it harder and harder to not get “frustrated” with the immense amount of information out there. As I move through the lessons, I can’t help but feel I’m leaving some valuable takeaways behind.

It would be impossible to learn everything all at once… I guess I’m just looking for some validation. Where should I be skill-wise for being half way though? Should I be supplementing with other techniques or teachings?

Admittedly, I’m not as focused on theory as I should be. And that bothers me. It’s not that I don’t want to learn or not care… I’m just struggling with capacity. Playing time vs module mastery vs technique improvement… there’s so many conflicting priorities!!

Haha. Sorry if this was more of a vent. I think I’m on track, but I’m struggling not having tailored feedback and direction. Thanks for listening!!

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Hi there!
Don’t worry man probably most of us are/were in a similar position.
I work full time, have some quality time with my family and some hobbies at pro level (with tournaments and stuff), and play bass…
…so, time is a constraint for me too.

My recommendation? try to not feel overwhelmed, just do whatever you can and, most importantly, whatever you want with your free time.
Idk if it’s your case, but I’m not trying to be a pro bassist, so, sometimes I focus on learning new songs, some times I dig into music theory or whatever I feel I want at that time.
Basically, no pressure, just enjoy your learning with your bass.

Probably, there are some ‘most efficient learning techniques’ out there… …but, at least in my case, I try to enjoy it as a hobby, as a passion.

Idk if that helps at all, but are my 2 cents!

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Hi @bstaff03

I’ve been playing bass for about a year and a half, and sax/trumpet for many many years prior.
If there is one thing I have learned, is that you will learn and relearn the same concepts at various times, sometimes they stick more than others, sometimes they click at different times.
You can’t boil the ocean with music, its a lifelong pursuit, always learning and relearning, always getting better (unless you stop).

Take what your brain can, let the rest stew up there until it latches on to something or is re-awoken by another class/course/song/lesson.

Once you are done kicking yourself for not learning sooner/younger, take a breath and enjoy what you are learning. Try to understand where you are, and what you need to learn next to reach your goals. Set small goals, just enough out there to push yourself. If those goals are getting hard/frustrating, readjust them.

It’s all good man, its part of the ride, don’t let it own you, embrace the journey.

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Great start.

This is normal. The main thing is DO NOT GIVE UP!!!
As far as leaving valuable takeaways behind just remember the lessons are always there for you to go back to. A lot of people taking the course redo it a second time and a lot have said they are amazed at lessons they can do now that they struggled with the first time through.

OK - You are validated. :slightly_smiling_face:

In my opinion no. Just complete the course as is.

All the theory you need as a beginner is covered in the course. When you are satisfied with your playing and are enjoying playing songs you want to play there is more than enough time to go deeper if you want.

I would say you should be right where you are. Compare what you know, and can do, now to when you first started. You are already half way through the course and that did not happen by accident.

As far as supplemental training I would say just stick with the B2B course to the end for now.
IMHO getting involved in anything else may just muddy the waters.

No need to be sorry.
It sounds to me like you are on track.

I think you need to get together with like minded people on a one-to-one basis, and I do not mean a teacher. I know Covid has screwed that up quite a bit but find out if there are any jam sessions in your area. If there isn’t start one. I live in rural Ontario Canada and there was nothing in my area 6 years ago. I started a weekly jam session that grew to two and then three within a year. We still stay in touch but have not gotten together since February 2020 but hopefully soon will be back to regular weekly sessions.

One last thing - Have you checked out the 50 Songs Challenge - BassBuzz Forum and the Discord server. Lots of good material there you may be interested in. Just a thought.

I hope this helps you with some validation on your journey :+1: :+1: :+1:

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Hi @bstaff03

I’m 8 months in. Goofed around with a little guitar before but never put the work in. The thing that helped me this time was to find something that was fun to play and within my grasp. So whenever I got frustrated I’d take a break put on the drum machine and play a simple groove.
It reminded me that I didn’t completely suck!
Here’s an example of something that may be within your reach. If it isn’t you can use the speed function on YouTube (little cog wheel) to slow it down to a tempo that you can play along to.

You can also loop a specific section of a YouTube video using a program such as Endless Video (click on the edit timing button and drag the sliders to adjust).

So find little groove that you love to play that makes you want to pick up the bass and just have fun playing.
After I’ve been working on a new song that I’m struggling with I’ll often end with something simple to just wind down.
Cheers

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Wow! That’s it? Dude you’re awesome. I thought you’ve been playing way longer.

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You can always do the course again, many people do, and pick up what you didn’t grasp the first time around.

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@bstaff03

One of the things that @JoshFossgreen stresses is proper fretting hand technique ie. The angle between your fretting hand and arm should be as straight as possible.

In the video @Barney posted look at the angle Yonit’s fretting hand is making with her arm in the video.
At times it is about 90 degrees.
This is very bad fretting hand technique and will lead to all sorts of issues and possible injuries over time.

There are those on this forum that have personal experience with this problem.
Maybe they can elaborate regarding fretting hand technique.

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That’s a good point about the fretting hand. I just haven’t been playing long enough to even notice these things in others to be honest. I’m sure there are lots of professional musicians with horrible technique. Just like any industry.

But I do enjoy the groove.

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I find it very difficult to keep a “straight” hand position unless the bass is something like an 80 degree angle. I simply cannot physically play it horizontal.

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Thanks for posting that video @howard.

A lot of beginners do not realize how important this is.

A second point that is just as important, and not mentioned very often, but so easy to correct is hearing protection. For the sake of less than $100.00 for a good pair of earplugs why ruin your hearing for life.
Hearing loss is not reversible and the constant ringing in your ears from tinnitus has got to be awful.

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Neither can I but horizontal is not good technique anyways.

Please watch the video @howard posted.
I believe @JoshFossgreen also covers this right at the start of the B2B course.

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Hey @bstaff03 ! You already got some great advice here, especially

But just want to add - I’m always available to answer questions to help you along! Just post em on the lesson pages, or here. (just make sure you tag me @JoshFossgreen on the forum so I catch it)

Bass on!

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Learning to play the bass can be a bit challenging is probably an understatement. There are so many things to learn if you want to understand it well. It’s one thing to pick up a bass and learn a song from tabs\sheet music but if someone says hey I can’t sing that song in that key you may not have enough understanding at the point where you are at to place all those new notes in the right key. I learn something new each day and think I still only know a fraction of what I hope I will know. The great thing I find about it is I love that sound so much I won’t ever stop learning. Each time I get a new thing to learn I work it, change it, add 16th notes maybe or drop a note and add a different one play with it in various ways, play it backwards to hear how that sounds. I always try different fingerings even though the suggested fingering for learning the new item is put in front of me. My hands don’t fit the one finger per fret thing well in all locations on the fret board so I try each fingering till the one I can do with excellence. Even if that means movement up and down the fret board to hit all the notes. I also look at each bar and think where my fingers should be to get to the next bar the best way for my hands. Later as I learn another song I will spot a phrase that I learned in something else and the lights come on and I see how and why it fits. As I learn I now have the ability to look at the sheet music and understand why the phrases are what they are and how you can reapply them to other things. Course if you are learning just to play to the original song for fun it’s a bit different. I see a lot of online video where someone will post how easy it is to learn to play bass. They picked up the instrument and in several hours or a day learned to play a song. They say this really isn’t that hard. Try playing Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and see if you feel the same way? Once you have it mastered have someone say “can you play that in the key of A Minor or any other key” and the deer in the headlights look may appear. As I learn a lot of Motown songs I can see how James Jamerson progressed in his capability on electric bass. He was a genius. I can’t ever imagine being at his level. My idea of what heaven may be would be to spend eternity with James and his bass. Sorry for the rant…I think we all get that to learn how to do this well is something that takes time, and a lot of “Patience”

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True that.

I have been at this for over 60 years, but only started the Bass at the beginning of 2021, but am still learning. My take is that the Bass is easy to learn BUT but requires a whole lot of different skill sets than guitar which I have played, and still do, for 50+ years.

One question - Are you taking Josh’s B2B course?

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There is no place that you should be at a certain time; it’s not a race, it’s a journey. A lot of people want to learn everything as soon as possible and then they get burned out in a year or less! I suggest you pace yourself… it’s like a wife’s todo list: there’s always going to be more on there :slight_smile:

Part of the beauty of the bassbuzz course is that you really dont need to supplement with other material or spend a lot of time practicing. Just relax and enjoy things, there will be time later to learn more theory and other techniques. At the beginning you often don’t even know what you don’t know and you don’t want to do things just because random people tell you that you should.

When i played music in school, i HATED theory! I didnt do it, i didnt really need it so i wasn’t interested. Now, I do a lot more theory because bass has given me a reason to use it, for writing music and improvising over chord progressions. It’s much easier to learn something if you start with the problem and use theory as a solution. Trying to learn theory for the sake of learning theory is like reading the dictionary for a language you dont speak; it’s not going to do you much good.

There’s a jazz piece that took me about 6wks of practice every day before i could play it through well. I’m on level 5 of yousician, it usually takes me several hours of practicing a song before i can play it through with no mistakes. I was working on the first quarter of one the other night and it took me about an hour of saying “ok, just one more try, ok just one more…” before i played it through with no mistakes. I don’t find it frustrating so much as i worry a bit for my sanity after the 30th time of that :smiley:

I suggest you do what you enjoy, don’t worry about what you “should” do and learn things as you require them. If you can’t play a song on fast and it frustrates you, skip it and come back later; it’s not going anywhere :slight_smile: Try and think about how a child learns things… do you think a young child worries about which words they’re going to learn that day or that they haven’t mastered the use of a spoon yet? :slight_smile: To me, as long as i’m learning a little bit of something new all the time, even if it’s very slowly, i’ll still be progressing over the long term.

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