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Got invited to join a band... but I'm a hack.

I would like to add that music is subjective. Some of the best songs are written with only a simple bass line, and with 3 chord structure. Do not ever let anyone tell you differently. People that think otherwise are only fooling themselves that flashy is more better and gets people places; it does not. As long as you remember golden rule, of HAVING FUN with your craft and the people who are in your band, that is all that matters. I think that you'll be great! Keep up the good work. Don't worry much about theory. Most bands do not know anything about such. It is good to know, sure, but being a mechanical player isn't always the best thing! I am a mechanical player, know how things work and constantly want to learn about theory and the like; but I lack being a “feeler.” Feelers play like a magic show; with feeling, never knowing what they are playing and just go with the flow. No one way is the wrong way. Most people will lean towards one or the other. If you'd like, I can send you some links of my personal bass teacher who is bar none and very encouraging. I've been studying with him for about 3 years now. The best teacher I have ever had. He has some things on YouTube that could help aid you in your journey to wanting to know about theory a bit more.
How are you doing so far? I'd like to know about your progress.
I got started playing bass by tuning a 62 SG down an octave and only playing the root. Never learned any theory but eventually played in three bands doing original songs. I would like to play more technically but still have trouble with theory. Somebody recently told me no one ever made any money playing past the 5th fret. Just go for it.
I might be wrong, man, but, I believe the “5th fret” reference is from a Chet Atkins quote. But, like I said, I may be wrong. I wouldn't worry too much about the “theory” part. It's OK to know all about it, but, when it gets down to putting notes, chords and melodies to your lyrics, I personally don't see where “theory” plays that big a role. Like someone said before, if you don't “feel” what you're writing about, then it's probably not gonna make very much sense to the listener or anyone trying to cover your song. I write on the piano/keyboard, then work out the Bass to go along with it. In some people's eyes, I may be doing it wrong, but, it works for me. God bless and have a great day. Gene Bellamy
Been playing bass for just over 2 years now. Started with a 4 string for a year then moved to a 5 string which I love.

I too have been anxious about the whole theory thing but you know what? It makes NO difference to how/what I play. Just nail as many covers as you can and make your own lines. Add little flairs/fills/flicks to really make your lines fuller and come alive. Also practice having smooth range of movement with both hands and you will be fine. Relax both shoulders and hands, any tension will hinder how long you can play for.

I don't agree with the whole not making money past the 5th fret. Some of the most beautiful sounds and melodies come from higher up the frets.

Practice often and hard and you will be a very competent bass player for most scenarios. I'm hoping to get my name out there by playing live in pubs and clubs eventually and maybe even a band, who knows. Just stick at it!

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