Here’s my new used MIM (Made In Mexico) Fender Jazz Bass, Deluxe Series, with active pickups. I paid $250 for it at Guitar Center. Been playing it about a week now.
It sounds sweet and I sound better because it’s easier to play than my old Ibanez GIO Soundgear.
I don’t know what the controls do yet, lots more of them to play with than my DIY Ibby bass ‘Old Black Lazarus’. So far I have just set the controls at neutral and used only the volume knob. Half the time I practice acoustically, it sounds so good. I’ll figure them out when I need to.
The downside is the increased weight compared to the Ibby, and the control complexity.
I’m using Hal Leonard’s Fastrack Bass1 as a textbook and after two months I can play several riffs in the A minor key to accompany the drums and lead guitar on the supplied CD.
This is in contrast to my attempts to learn the guitar, three months and all I learned was two and a half chords from different keys.
The bass suits my arthritic fingers and hands and I can basically play without looking at my fingers, the better to concentrate on the TAB figures. Now I want to learn to read music so I won’t be a TAB slave. I think I’ve found my instrument.
Goodbye to beautiful, battle scarred ‘Old Black Lazarus’, donated to Independence High School, alma mater to my two very independent adult children. Let the kids fix-or-repair-daily. Long may it ring.
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You should consider just learning a pattern for the major scale, and a pattern for the minor scale. Then, you can play them in any key if you just start the scale on the note whose scale you need – for example, if you need to play in A minor, just put your index finger on an A and use the minor scale pattern. If you need to do it in D, put your finger on a D and use the pattern, etc.
Here are two old posts from my bass blog that share patterns for the major and minor scales:
04.09.11 Scale Patterns – The Major Scale 1
04.12.11 Scale Patterns – The Minor Scale 1
They’re just 7 notes – 8 if you count the octave. There are other patterns as well, but these are the ones that most people start with. Once you have them under your fingers, you should look into scale degrees, which are just numbers for each of the notes in the scale – from those you can determine which notes are used for chords (the odd-numbered ones, at first) and which aren’t.
I need this, thanks for the link.
I took some group bass lessons last year and the instructor started right off on these wonderful all purpose fingering patterns.
Honestly though, he moved a bit too fast for me to follow. But I’ve advanced some in my playing since then so soon I’ll be ready to give it another try and check out your links. You write with such clarity it will probably give me a good start. I know all real bassists use the patterns and avoid open strings because it makes it easily to change keys*. Thanks for the comment and the link.
*I understand double bassists prefer open fingering because that ensures perfect intonation.