How to approach complicated bass lines and licks! (L#166)

in Technique

There's something we can all be 100% certain of...

At some point we're all going to want to play a lick, groove, or solo line that will be out of our comfort zone - and clearly beyond where our technical capabilities are right now on the bass.

If you've experienced this before or experiencing this right now, don't worry - every single bass player has this issue. Even guys that have a highly developed bass technique such as Victor Wooten, Alain Caron and Jeff Berlin for example will all have these issues at some point.

It's easy to think that once you get to your technique to certain level you will develop bass super powers that will make you indestructible - even the worlds toughest lick will be a like a walk in the park...

Well, I'm here to tell you that it won't.

Yes, as your technique develops certain things will become a lot easier, but at some point you'll be asked to perform a piece of music that has hiding within it a "lick of doom" ;)

It's happened to me personally countless times, and I can guarantee that every bass player on the planet has encountered such a lick - whatever level they're at.

To be honest, it's a complicated subject - as what one bass player finds easy, another bass player will find hard - no matter if they're at the same level technical proficiency.

Why you ask?!

Well, that's just the way it works. We're all physically different, and therefore certain physical movements might be easier for one player than an other.

Also, what a player's focus has been comes into play...

Victor Wooten has crazy slap chops, we can all be certain about that - whereas Jeff Berlin has an insane legato technique. If these players were asked to play each others lines, they would certainly have some challenges ahead of them - even though they both have highly developed techniques.

Don't get me wrong, I'm certain they'd be able to "get it"... but it might not be as easy as you'd think.

So, how should we go about learning complicated licks, riff, and bass lines?!

There's obviously the "start slow and build it up" technique, which works great. But, in this lesson I'm also going to show another great technique that I use all the time when trying to master really tricky technical lines that are slightly out of my comfort zone.

As always, see you in the shed...

Scott :)

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