What are you struggling with?

I just began playing bass in July of this year, 2023. I get together with a friend about once a week to play music. She plays rhythm or lead guitar. I am trying my hand at keeping up on bass. We are working on The Trill is Gone. I am struggling going from second fret on the A string to the 5 fret. When I manage it I get so trilled I forget to continue playing.

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Struggling to finish the b2b course since we are not living at our own place. I literally have to dig out my amp every time I want to rehearse and most of the time the labtop is not available to me. Just sucks

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Trying to get back to playing! Still recovering from covid during which time I’ve lost momentum and motivation. Although the covid symptoms were fairly mild, its been 7 weeks since I tested negative and I’m still not 100% OK :frowning: . Just need to get going!!
When actually playing I do find the alternating plucking technique difficult. I have small hands and fingers so the middle finger is much weaker than the index finger. Anyway … working on it!

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It can take quite a while but don’t fret (pun intended), it will come back.

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Will try to pluck up enough motivation to get going!

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I started with a J-bass and always played near the bridge pickup. Now that I’m trying to play closer to the bridge for certain songs feels like I’m having to re-learn how to play from scratch.

It’s like when you use someone else’s keyboard. You know how to type. You’ve been typing for a while now. Get on a new keyboard and it’s like you’re typing with someone else’s hands AND WHERE IS THE DANG “/” KEY!?!?

Same thing…but with bass.

I already know the advice (“slow down, practice more, get gud scrub”). I’m just venting.

Let it out! Unleash your venom! :face_with_monocle:

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Been struggling playing 34" scale basses since I injured my left arm 7 months. Started PT a couple weeks ago, been feeling better.

Just played my telebass for about 15 minutes. Tightness but no pain, and not sore now.b

I am over the moon. Will start b2b tomorrow and relearn how to play a big boi fretboard

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How am I just realizing this site has a forum!?!? Hello! So been going through the course for a little bit and now that I know this exists, I have a question!

So I’ve been having a few issues and I know some of this chalks up to me thinking I could just pick up an instrument after not playing for a long time and I will suddenly be as good as I was before and of course, realizing that no, I’m not.

This is the 2nd time I’ve played bass; I certainly wasn’t like a bass boss or anything and while it was easy for me to pick it up and start learning (I’d already had 14, 15 years of playing in band/choir), but I feel that I had better control then versus now.

So one big problem I have is I feel like I sound out of tune ALL THE TIME. Now, my bass seems to be out of tune all the time and I did try doing a set up on my bass like Josh showed in his YT video, but just when I thought I had it, I ended up reversing everything after hearing buzzing on all first frets.

So question #1 is - should I go to professional (and in my case, that would be Guitar Center) and have my bass set up? I never did that with my first bass, but then again, I also bought it at GC.

My second issue is my fretting hand - my pinky is a problem and no matter what, it’s just not gonna cooperate and I’ve actually been learning to not use it. So I’m just at 3 fingers (there’s nothing wrong with my pinky. It’s a good pinky for other things, just not bass apparently), but I also can’t seem to keep them close so that when playing it doesn’t like I’m a drunk cow.

Honestly, I don’t remember having this issue when I played before and it could just be because so much time has passed? There are times when things sound great, so maybe it’s more confidence in playing or that I’m playing a much slower song, not sure.

So 2nd question - is there any way to combat the fast flying fingers, as Josh would say? Pretty sure the answer would be practice, but as an added question - I actually have two basses: an acoustic one I got as a present (which is right handed) and I bought an electric cause I thought that would be easier to practice on (which is left handed).

Maybe orientation isn’t important, but I am right handed, however I play left handed cause my right hand is just that dominant. Would it be better to practice on the RH bass and learn that way?

First of all, welcome to the forum.

Secondly, there are many folks here who have played bass previously, but came to B2B to (re)learn to play using proper technique and/or theory. I am one of them.

Thirdly, there is something going awry with your bass setup process. Setting the proper neck relief with your truss rod should be the first step. Then, setting the string action at the bridge should be next, followed by setting each string’s intonation so it is in tune when fretted anywhere up and down the neck.

Fourth, if you’re right-handed, play right-handed.

Lastly, practice using your little finger of your fretting hand. Go slow and methodically and it will respond by doing what you need. Josh has a walking bass line intended to help get your fingers working as a team without flying around.

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Sounding out of tune across the fretboard but in tune with open strings means tour intonation is off. I strongly recommend NOT going to GC for a setup. I’ve seen too many terrible things happen to folks. Learning to do it yourself is key, and not that hard. The problem is there are lots of ways to go about it to get the same result (where to measure, how to measure etc), but you need to know what change effects what.
Fret buzz can be caused from incorrect trussrod bow (buzzing around frets~4-9 or string height too low in your setup 9buzz all over) OR can happen because of a nut that’s too low (might be string specific) , a neck that’s a bit twisted, or high frets. (Buzzing here or there. These hardware issues can sometimes (in very bad cases) be overcome by adjusting the setup a bit higher before having to have actual work done.
When doing your setup, make certain you are tuning after every adjustment and rechecking your measurements when in tune only.

All that said, measurement guide points are starting points and should then be adjusted to your playing style. If your s picker or aggressive plucker, you might have to raise your action (string height) by 1-2 64ths across and that might be the buzz issue.

I found that the setup guide / method on the Sadowski worked best for me. Look for a few others and one might be easier or fit best for you (John Carruthers is another method). Don’t be afraid to tweak from the recommended settings. For good intonation make sure you are using a good tuner and go slow and always retune each time you adjust. It might take a few tries in the beginning. Don’t worry, you won’t break anything.

Flying fingers and misbehaved pinkies = practice practice practice and time. It will come. And yep. This is harder when we are older than when we adapt quicker as kids. There are exercises Josh has on his YouTube channel but honestly keep playing and it will sort out.

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As others have said, sounds like the bass needs a proper set up. Of course, you can try this yourself, but you can also go to guitar tech and get them to do it. In my case, by the Power of Google, I found a local chap who doesn’t charge shop prices (a set up was half the price I was quoted at a local music shop) and provides an excellent service. Maybe worth googling…?

Someone else has posted Josh’s flying fingers exercise. I’ve been doing that, it helps. The pinky will eventually bend to your will!!! :metal:

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Googling is actually how I found my nearest GC - it’s the only instrument shop that’s near me unfortunately - and honestly, it’s not my first choice, just my closest.

I’m going to try and set up again, if not this weekend, next weekend which I have off because of the holiday. I’m also wondering if it’s also my hearing that might be affecting it? Tuner not withstanding, I also had the same issue when I picked up trumpet again last year.

Probably minor, but wondering if that’s a small issue for me. anyway, I’m gonna try the above option and I’ll let you know what happens! :slight_smile:

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As I mention below, GC isn’t my first choice, it’s my closest. Last time I played bass, a friend of mine who played guitar happened to work there, hence why I’m sure I got far better service than your normal GC experience.

I found the Sadowski method you mentioned, so I’m going to go through that. Honestly, I don’t mind doing this myself - I should be able to do this without professional help - but seeing as I tried last time and it didn’t work out kinda makes me want to have it done professionally - Josh does mention in his video that for the first time, you should get it professionally done.

Also, while this isn’t going to be a gig bass - just me wanting to relearn something - I would really like to not break a bass I spent like $150 dollars (and yes, I’m sure the price should tell you the quality, but again, I’m not performing anymore, so I don’t feel the need to spend a ton of money on a instrument that will, at some point, sit on a stand for months) and then have to buy another.

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Not really learning related but I just found out my cat threw up on my pedal board. So yeah, that’s a fun I get to have today cleaning off my pedals.

Anyone want a cat?

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I do have a cat and I keep a towel over my pedal board when not in use just in case (my keyboard too)

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Lol…I have had a previous cat pee on a subwoofer (marking territory) and Jelly my current cat threw up on a beats pill (was impossible to get it all out of the grill)
I use @Wombat-metal trick too as much as possible for any music equipment, a towel or something like a polystyrene packing mold piece placed on it that a cat is not interested in sitting on

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I categorically deny any involvement.

Lol.

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Oh she’s done that too. Both my Rumble amp as well as the subwoofer for my stereo.

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Marketing is definitely not your forte :sweat_smile:

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