Need honest opinions
Hello. First let me be honest and say that I am NOT a bassist. In fact, despite coming from a very musical family, I have absolutely zero musical ability or talent. I'm serious. I've tried several times to learn various instruments, but there is a painful disconnect between my ears and my hands. Fortunately, I'm pretty good at other things; but here is my dilemma.
My older brother is a bassist. He has been playing for as long as I can remember, starting from when I was about 6 years old. Long ago he basically gave up his dream of a musical career (playing and teaching) and is now a computer programmer by day and social bassist by night (he plays in a local band).
I always kind of thought it was silly to pursue that dream b/c, hey there are LOTS of people who play the bass, and why not get a "real job". Well, I went to medical school thinking I was pretty special. Once, while I was in school, my brother and I went to a guitar store and he picked up a bass, plugged it in and started playing. To me it sounded like the same familiar stuff he'd always played around our house when we were kids. Then I realized a crowd was gathering around him. The manager leaned over to me and asked, "Who is that guy?" I said, "Well, that's my brother Steve from New Jersey. Why? Is what he's playing good?" He looked at me with astonishment and said, "Dude are you kidding me? That's f@#ing IMPOSSIBLE."
It was then I realized that maybe his dream was not so silly. In fact, I would now argue that what he can do is far more special than what I can do (hell, I couldn't even learn the basic musical notes). There are lots of doctors out there, but I would argue that there are only a handful of people in the world who can play the way he can.
This is where I need help. I need HONEST assessments of his playing from you all, as my opinion is clearly biased. I have read the terms of your site and respect and agree to them. I am not trolling and am not trying to drive a million clicks on any particular video. I'm just trying to see if my suspicion is correct and if so, then I'll convince my brother perhaps to rekindle his musical dream. It would be a shame if he lets is die.
I started a youtube page last week and took a few videos of him playing and teaching bass. Notice none of them have a lot of hits (again, I'm not trolling for zillions of clicks here). Just search my username "bassist brother" and some of his videos should show up. Thanks for your help. Please be honest without being nasty. If he's not that good, then just a quick, "hey every bassist with 4 strings can play that" will suffice. I have a whole new appreciation of the "musical dream" and am honestly ashamed of how I looked down at it in my uninformed past. Thanks a lot. Sorry this is so long.
He's very, very good! He needs to pursue this, IMHO.
Yes, those are the videos I took of him. I named them that b/c to ME, he is the best bassist on the planet! Thanks.
Wow, pretty impressive stuff. He can certainly play.
Now for the real question, how do you make a living as a musician. I have no idea. In the right situation, with a good band and good business sense, he could make a living at it. The downside is that being a virtuoso isn't a clear path to monetary success. Bass is kind of at a point where shred guitar was at 25 years ago, people have really raised the bar on what can be done on the instrument, and there has been lots of innovation. Now that there are tons of players that can astound you, what can you do that makes you be able to make a living. Personality plays a big part in this, you need to be able to get along with people to be in a good band. People aren't going to sit for an hour and a half or all night to watch a solo bassist, soloing is really only a small part of playing music. If you have a big ego, then other players might not want to collaborate with you.
Another big path is teaching. If he knows how to teach those skills, and again, gets along with people, then he can make a good living with just that. I don't know your brother, so I can't say whether he has these people skills or not, but they are just as important as musical skills.
All that being said, being a computer programmer will pay more, and be more a stable career. If he wants to raise a family, then music is always going to be a risky choice. Just because you spend 8 hours a day at a "real job" doesn't mean you have to waste your musical talent. Playing at night and on weekends will be all that most people need to keep their chops up, and it can be more fun to play for yourself rather than compromising for money.
So I did click the link and watched the first vid. Wow.
Your text contains a lot. It seems your brother IS pursuing playing and enjoying it. A career in it is a different matter altogether. As to your question, "Uh, yeah. He's massively able and proficient."
Not the style I'm very found of, but he is very, very good indeed.
Thanks to all who have replied. I will use this as encouragement to try to "keep him in the game." I'm hoping he will get back into teaching at the very least. Thanks again to all.
I'm not a big fan of slap bass, but he sounds good!
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