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First of all, welcome to my website Bass Guitar-Lessons.com… Let me introduce myself... My name is Zeljko Zelle Glamocanin, I was born in June 1969 in Serbia (former Yugoslavia). For the past 10 years, I live, work and play in Sydney (Australia).
As with a lot of musicians, I have started to get involved in music industry while I was still in primary school. By accident I have bought my first guitar (acoustic) and by an even bigger accident I have become a bass player… (For more details on this, please see ‘about us’ section)
As it always turns out, once I have taken a bass guitar in my hand, I never let go of it … The funny thing is – I will never let go of it… Bass guitar has become a part of me and unless I have some sort of contact with my favourite instrument during any given day, that day feels empty…
While I was starting, it was not easy to learn anything about bass guitar... In the area where I was living at the time, there was no one that was giving bass guitar lessons, there was no internet, no bass tutorials, no bass books, no bass DVDs… Simply you had to sit and listen to the radio and wait for your favourite song… More often than not, radio station was not playing songs that I was into, so I had to learn how to play bass guitar based on the songs I did not like and were not in the genre I loved…
Once the song comes on, I would have 3-4 minutes to memorize every single part of it and then I pray to God that I have remembered at least something of it…
On the other hand, that was not so bad, as that method taught me to make my own arrangements for each and every song (obviously because I could not remember a song from start to finish)
The other alternative was to go into one of the local clubs and watch the professionals do it… Well that was agony as well… I try to memorize as much as possible and then run home as fast as I can hoping that I will still remember it all when I get there… But I had to be careful not to wake the neighbours up who were dead asleep by this time… That was not an easy task, as we all know that the sound bass guitar makes cannot be ‘muted’ easily… As hard as I tried to play the bass guitar quietly, it did not work very well – the proof were the neighbors the following morning… the look on their face and the way in which they said ‘Good morning’ was proof that even when you play it quietly, bass guitar it a very powerful instrument and it can get through lots of barriers, one of which is a thin wall.
Eagerness, willingness and hunger for learning helped me get to where I am at the moment... Reading various books, notes, bass tablatures, listening to the music and everyday practice also helped me enormously. Don’t get me wrong – I will continue to keep striving to improve even more.
With these lessons for guitar and many more that will get loaded on Bass Guitar Lessons website, I wish to spread my knowledge and to help people worldwide to improve quicker and easier.
By playing all these years, I have learned that even the most compicated issued can be explained in the easiest possible way… By realizing this, I came to an idea to have all lessons split into smallest parts for easy understanding.
The best advice I can give to the beginners (and those that are not beginners) is very simple… You must badly want something, believe in it and practice an awful lot towards it… In this case, you must believe that you will become a brilliant bass player, you badly want to become a brilliant bass player and you must work extremely hard to become a brilliant bass guitar player.
Learn how to read bass notes!!! After around 10 years of actively playing bass, I have reached my maximum level and I have realized that I cannot go any further without knowing how to read bass notes. At that time, I have even considered to stop playing completely… I lost my willpower and I have stopped practicing... Simply I could not find anything new that would push me out of the hole I have fallen into… Just imagine what it would be like to remember hundreds (if not thousands) of songs, arrangements, parts, scales… That’s when I sat down to actually learn bass notes…
As soon as I started to learn the bass notes, I have gone through the barrier that was stopping me in continuing on… the whole new world opened up in front of my eyes and with a smile on my face I have stepped over that barrier, knowing that I can never go into back to the hole I was stuck in beforehand…
Learn to read TABS! The same as with bass notes – it is very useful to know as it can only help you get the hang of playing bass... Personally I recommend bass notes, but I do think it would be beneficial to also spend some time on TABS.
Practice in continuity! It a lot better to practice two hours in one go, then half hour in the morning, one hour around midday and half hour in the evening. Practice every day! Do not forget that with each every day you will know more that the day before and as such each practice will require longer than the one before. Why you ask? It is simple – the more you know, the more time it will take you to go through everything you know, so that you do not forget anything!
Beginners should always start with learning G to G scale.. We always start with the simplest scales and slowly go to Open C Major, G Major, E Minor Pentatonic and via F Blues Scales we go to the more complex ones… Scales help you identify each note, their position on a bass guitar and of course they help with your success in playing solos…
One of the most important things is to play in stable tempo and to have continuity… Can you imagine yourself in a band and you are not playing together with a drummer? As a bass guitarist, who is an link between groove and solo instruments, you would probably look ridiculous and most definitely get kicked out from that band. As much as the sound of metronome irritates you and as much as you think that you can play without it, you are wrong, so please use it… Remember – one of the most important things to remember is to play in a constant and stable tempo!
Always be on time…If you have agreed to meet up with the band members, or a teacher or anyone else for that matter, at 6pm, be there at least 15 minutes beforehand. Set up your instrument, tune your bass, make sure everything works properly (as it should), play some scales or exercises just to warm up... There is nothing better that to be completely ready at the agreed time (and trust me every professional does this and appreciates it as well).
This is the most efficient way to learn a new song, new scale… It does not mean that I am right (if you know the more efficient way, please tell me what it is – I am always happy to learn something new and useful), but this is how I practice and so far it has given very good results
For example, I have to learn a new song that has 77 bars. The first thing that crosses my mind is ‘Phew, how long will it take me to memorize this?’. The second thing I do is forget the first thing that came to my mind and start working... FIRST I read out loud the notes in the first bar and then I play them.. I keep playing that bar until I feel comfortable with it... Then I read second bar and do the same as with first bar.. Once I am happy with the second bar, then I join bar 1 and bar 2 and play them together (admit it – you thought I was going to go to the third bar) until I am comfortable with it. Only after this, do I go to third bar.. Once I am happy with how I play bar 3, I join bars 1,2 and 3 and play them together.. The same goes until I complete all 77 bars... Sometimes this will take a few days, sometimes few weeks, but I am a believer in doing everything right – it does not matter how long it will take me to get the hang of this song as long as at the end it sounds fantastic! Even if I spend a few weeks on one song, I am always patient as after that I will be richer by one more song! I did not mean to scare you, but the bottom line is that each song represents wealth in the music world…