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Being "Serious"

Discussion in 'Ask Anthony Wellington [archive]' started by missingflops, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. missingflops


    Mar 26, 2012
    Las Vegas
    Anthony - I've seen you reference from time to time the idea of someone being "serious" about bass and music. Since serious can mean different things to different people I wanted to ask what criteria you use to evaluate whether someone is "serious"?
  2. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Jan 4, 2011
    Yo MF,

    Being 'serious' is DEFINITELY defined differently by all of us. And all that ever matters is a person's own definition of 'serious'. Actually, we both know that's far from the truth. The person who writes the's the check gets to determine that also. And a teacher gets to determine that also.

    I approach playing and learning about music a lot like an athletic coach. There are many people who approach music and basketball like a hobby. I would venture to say that most people on the planet who play basketball and music approach it like a hobby. I think that's great! They leave it in the 'fun' category and not in the 'hard work' category.
    But a basketball coach would probably say that the person that doesn't show up to the gym to do drills like shooting free throws, left hand and right hand lay-ups, passing and other fundamental 'stuff', isn't serious. He just wants to play the game. Even if that person is the most 'talented' person on the team. That coach would probably feel that a less talented but more dedicated and serious person would benefit his team more.

    I heard Victor Wooten once say,..."Everything is an audition!".

    You never know who is 'evaluating' at any time about any aspect of your life.

    Now,...I'm the silliest person on the planet. I don't take myself seriously. I make fun of myself all of the time. But I take what I do VERY seriously. I give music and bass the utmost respect. They are some of my best friends and they have provided a comfortable living for me. I think it's largely because I take them very seriously. And when I access others who are or aren't successful(by their own definition), I see in difference in what I would called 'seriousness'. Of course, good coaches use other words too! Like desire, fortitude, dedication, work-ethic, focus and others. My definition of 'seriousness' is made up of those kind of words. I think that leads to to the ULTIMATE enjoyment and 'having fun' in any endeavor. Michael Jordan is arguably the best basketball player ever. I've heard incredible stories about how serious he was and still is. I hear that he still challenges the 25 year olds on the team that he co-owns. And I'm not talking about a 'jokingly' challenge either. But he smiles when he plays the game too!

    My definition of 'serious' is very 'stringent', for me and my students.

    But,...we laugh and joke all of the time.

    "The only reason to take anything seriously is make it more fun."
    -Marty Rubin
  3. coughiefiend


    Nov 12, 2013
    WOW, what an incredible response! Seriously, the compassion and understanding in this definition is what makes you a great teacher/coach!
  4. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Jan 4, 2011
    Thank you!

    I do what I do in a 'for real' kind of way!

    I know ******** when I see/hear it,...even from myself. Most players won't 'own' up to that. Especially the 'good' ones. But I do.

    My barometer of how good I am is my ability to express myself. Not how many licks I can play or how well I can play the licks by another bassist. That's what boys do!!!

    I'm a 'grown ass man!'