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Bored with gigs (DB forum thread)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by ERIC A, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. ERIC A

    ERIC A Supporting Member

    I have been playing bass professionally for more years than I care to admit, averaging 12 to 20 gigs a month playing everything from straight ahead jazz to two beat country. I show up on time, equipment works and play only what the music calls for. Over the last few years I have become so bored with gigging and (sadly) the bass that I am ready to “throw in the towel”, but with three kids I can’t afford to. Anybody else been there? If you have, how did you deal/overcome it? Also It’s worth mentioning that I am playing with very good musicians (most of the time) in their chosen genres. That being said, I often think I would rather be in the audience listening than playing with them. I am grateful for the gigs, but damn….
  2. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    I went through this a few years ago. I decided to take time away from gigging but continued to practice every weekend. I started listening to types of music which were different from what I normally listened to or played. This helped me to stay interested because I was learning new styles and techniques. I am now gigging again and enjoying it more than at any time in my life.
  3. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    I sounds like it has turned into a "job" for you..hope you get through this,many of us would love a schedule like yours.
  4. AtomicPunk

    AtomicPunk Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2007
    Detroit Metro, MI USA
    Maybe its time for changes in the set list? They all might be feeling the same...?
  5. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    I assume this whole time you've been playing other people's music?
    As in "covers".
    That would wear me out too.

    Even copy machines aren't just copy machines anymore, they fax and print...
  6. Maybe you could try an originals band? So you aren't playing someone else's line, you may be more interested? As there is no money, maybe just on the side?

    What about some new gear. I noticed when I got a new bass, I got re-invigorated again.

    Other than that, try metal, ha ha, something totally different? Maybe see if you could teach somewhere, pass on your knowledge, it can be more rewarding & you get paid?
  7. nlaird


    Mar 7, 2013
    Maybe you're just burning out. Get another part time job and cut the gigs in half to keep the money coming in, and study a new genre, style, technique. Play some drums, piano, acoustic guitar for a bit, or just sing. Then come back to the bass. Boredom means either you are burned out from too much, or you need more than simply playing bass all the time. I play keys and all guitars to keep it interesting. I also audio engineer. I don't have the financial requirement though, as I have a "day job," so I do what I want, when I want, music wise. Good luck!
  8. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo

    The OP plays DB just so ya know, not electric.
  9. Well, that would be something quite unique then!! Haven't seen that done before
  10. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
  11. ERIC A

    ERIC A Supporting Member

    Thanks for all of the comments!
  12. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I've been through this several times, and my case I find that the answer usually sits immediately between my ears. The answer is usually one of two things, or a combination thereof:

    1) I have started taking everything for granted, and need to re-connect myself to the things I love about playing music in the first place: musical intimacy with other good musicians, the joy of just producing a sound and a groove on the instrument, the joy of leaving space where once I filled it and vice versa, and most importantly, the beauty of the moment, where ONLY the music exists and everything else is gone until the music stops.

    2) I am simply stuck in a rut and need some time away to recharge my batteries and realize what a good thing I had when i was playing music with other people. Usually the yearly "gig cycle" will do this for me, although not usually as I would have chosen to time it.
  13. aprod


    Mar 11, 2008
    Gratitude! Time to take a step back and reevaluate the situation.
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Pick up another instrument. It will break you out of your comfort zone. I am playing more upright these days. I have had one in my house for a decade but just finally started playing it. Perhaps you could go the other way? Electric bass perhaps? Or even guitar or piano. Then maybe your bands will let you play a tune or two on your new instrument to keep things fresh. Just a thought. Best of luck.
  15. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Congratulations on being in demand. You should be proud that enough people like what you do that you can play that often. Any thinking person questions their life. It sounds like your bass is putting food on the table. Don't throw that away.

    Have you tried being a band leader? This is another set of skills to develop and also a more personal endevour. If it's the Eric A band you will have another view point on the whole thing.

    Start a "project". Maybe get together with a younger group part time and get new perspective.

    Or hit the temp agencies and get a taste of life in the cube. That would make a night of playing Louie Louie and Wild Thing look good. One of the hardest thing to do is realize that life is good. Most do not realize just how good they have until it's not there any more.
  16. ERIC A

    ERIC A Supporting Member

    Once again, Thanks for all of the replies!!! I appreciate it more than you all know and all of them are great suggestions. I work a day job as well, so I know what the day gig is like. Maybe that's part of the problem!
  17. Yeah man, sounds like you just simply work too much. A day job and all those gigs? It's hard to have any kind of 'life' when you work that much. Vacation? Weekend away with the Mrs? Sounds like you don't have time.
  18. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Maybe instead of "playing everything from jazz to two beat country" you should just play the music that coalesces meaning from chaos for you.
  19. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    When you're in a relaxed mood, sit down and make a list of the reasons you play music or wanted to play music in the first place. Include everything - from the mushy sentimental stuff to the dry financial stuff. Then, try to work out what part of your current situation is not satisfying you. This is the first step: identifying what you do and don't want. In most cases, we don't really want to give up music, we just need to alter the way we are doing things.
  20. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Something may be missing from this picture.

    You might be missing orchestra music. The discipline of having to play the right note the right way, "whether you can or not," may be a difference-maker for you. The payoff is guaranteed beautiful music!

    Conversely, what you may be missing is that "everything from straight-ahead jazz to two-beat country" leaves out "music my friends and I write." My experience is that there's a different kind of intensity which comes when the band is playing my piece. That could be just the ticket.

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