For someone starting out with a first instrument, a bass guitar is an excellent choice. The bass guitar is probably the easiest stringed instrument to learn to play, far easier than either an acoustic or electric guitar, a banjo, a mandolin, or a violin, for instance. And a stringed instrument is often easier to learn to play than a keyed instrument like a piano, or a woodwind or brass instrument. Woodwinds and brass require you to not only know how to finger the instrument to produce the correct notes, you also have to have the correct embouchure—this is how you blow the instrument properly and involves the position of your mouth, the slackness or firmness of your lips and the air flow. The piano requires you to play notes with both hands, and doesn't sound great a note at at time.
A bass guitar, by comparison, involves the simple plucking of a few strings. A beginning bass guitar player can learn 4 or 5 notes and play the bass line to an entire song. But just because a bass guitar is great for a musical beginner, it still requires lot of practice and learning to master the instrument. You'll still need to spend lots of time with the instrument to really be any good at it, and to move beyond that 5-note bass line.
If you have an excellent ear and a musical affinity already, you may be able to pick up a bass guitar and start learning. Most, however, will need some instruction. You can find courses online to teach you the beginning steps in learning the bass guitar, and valuable information from how to choose your first guitar or play a fretless bass. There are courses DVDs, books like Mel Bay teaching books which are excellent if you want to teach yourself, or you can take lessons from a friend who knows how to play.
Private bass guitar lessons from an instructor are also an option, and a good way to get a solid foundation underneath you. If you're unsure of what you're doing when you teach yourself and you get into bad habits in the beginning, becoming a great bass guitar player will be more difficult. But if you start out with an instructor who can make sure you learn the basics correctly, later you can move on to teaching yourself without worrying that you're doing things wrong.
Practice your bass guitar every day, if you can, but at least spend an hour or two with it every other day or so. You won't improve if you don't practice, and you'll forget the new things you've learned if you wait too long between practice sessions. Consider purchasing a bass guitar tuner and a metronome. The tuner will make sure your strings are tuned properly, so you won't spend time hearing the wrong notes as you play. And the metronome will help you practice correctly, by forcing you to keep perfect time as you play your bass guitar.
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Originally posted 2008-12-08 17:51:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter