Years ago I taught myself how to play acoustic 6-string guitar, but I have long harboured thoughts of playing the bass.
In August 2014 a friend of mine left Scotland to live and work in China. As part of his preparations, he decided that it would be more cost-effective for him to sell his bass guitar and amp and then buy replacements in China than to pay to have them shipped.
So I bought my friend’s bass and amp with thoughts of teaching myself once again. After all, how hard can it be to learn to play the bass guitar?
Well, dear reader, it’s not just as easy as you might think. Firstly, most bassists play across far more of their fretboard than limited guitarists like me are used to exploring. Secondly, bass-playing technique is a bit different to simply pounding out chords and arpeggios on a 6-string, which is what I mostly do. And thirdly, I have quite big hands, so I’ve been able to get away with relatively poor left-hand technique whilst playing 6-string. I found out quite quickly that if I’m ever going to play bass at all well, I won’t be able to get away with that.
However, I did make some rudimentary progress. I’ve even played bass a few times as part of our church music group, but never really progressed much beyond playing the root notes for the chords.
As 2016 closed and 2017 began, I decided that it was time to try learning to play my now somewhat dusty new toy … properly.
This is the beginning of my story …