Hey there, and thanks for the question!
I started the bass at age 12, after playing cello for three years. All through my teens I often had periods of great frustration, especially at seeing my friends get really good, and noticed, at playing violin or trumpet, etc. The bass IS a challenge, and we don't get recognized for the work we put in to make sounds that are of high quality. Compared to piano, sax, or even violin, I believe the bass is definitely more challenging. BUT, I thrive on challenge and so demanded of myself, early on, that I was going to be the best bassist anyone had ever seen! Well, that sustained me for many years, and got me through the frustration. This frustration can be a positive, motivating thing, and it can also be detrimental to progress -- IF YOU ALLOW IT. You really have to decide WHY you are playing the bass and if it motivates you to learn. I have found the bass to be my best friend, staying with me throughout all of life's frustrations and challenges - now for more than 40 years! Imagine, you have barely begun to scratch-the-surface of your potential, of your dedication, of your interest. But don't feel bad about saying, "Hey, the bass just doesn't float my boat. I'm moving on to ..." sax, or drums, or cello! The bass isn't for everyone and it's not going to make or break your musical life if you switch to another instrument.
BUT, if the bass IS your thing, get lessons right away and take them for many, many years. It is best to be motivated by a good observer. Even if you can't "afford" lessons, you really can't afford NOT to have lessons if this is something you really want to excel on. There are plenty of teachers that will give a price break for a truly motivated student. I, in fact charge MORE for students who don't practice and are taking bass lessons just because their parents told them to, or to get out of PE or something. So, put your mind to what you want, and go get it!
Best to you!
Originally Posted by ElGringoBurrito
Hello. I am 15 years old. I play bass in my high school orchestra. But I am constantly finding myself frustrated about my playing. I am almost completely self taught with some minimal help from my orchestra teachers. I cannot afford lessons and I find myself struggling with shifting to anything beyond third position and having a hard time with pieces that are not extremely difficult. I am ignorant when it comes to advanced theory and I just dont know what to do. Any advice would be appreciated.