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Casual player looking for advice

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bluebyrd, Jan 25, 2003.


  1. bluebyrd

    bluebyrd

    Jun 12, 2000
    Hi Everyone. This is my 1st post, so plz be gentle. :)

    I'm back playing bass after a ten year layoff. I'm getting the speed back and my ear is ok, but not great. i'm getting it back though, and that's encouraging. I'm almost totally without sight reading skills now, but I was decent at one time, years ago. I'm practicing sight reading again. Right now I just learn songs that I like to play by ear or from sheet music. I'm not playing in a band situation right now, but I would like too eventually. I like stuff like old Motown, Black Sabbath, Hootie and the Blowfish, Queen, Skynrd, Molly Hatchet, Santana, Sade, Diana Krall, Charlie Daniels, Beatles, Yes, The Who, even Tom Jones etc., and new stuff like most of the 1 hit wonders that are on the radio these days.

    My goal is to someday play covers in a club/bar situation. Nothing serious, just for fun. If I could make ten bucks for gas, get a few free beers and have some fun, I'd be more than satisified. I have a good day job, and I'm not going to give it up for a music career. I just love to play bass.

    My question is: how good does a person have to be to fulfill that goal? I know very little music theory, and only a couple scales and chords, but I'm learning more of that from books. I was thinking about getting private lessons from the local music store teacher in the future. Do I need to know tons of theory to play in clubs/bars, or not? The songs I play sound like the song, note for note. Is that all that's needed? I live in a small town and bands are hard to find. When I get better I want to play in a band. Thanks for any help and/or advice.
     
  2. Well, in a cover band, I doubt you need to know oodles of theory - unless it's jazz, but thats pretty much based on improvision, cover or not !

    BUt still - I say go for the lessons, and learn as much as you want!

    too look for a cover band I say you sell yourself like they did on 53rd & 3rd street back in the day - only, looking for a band, of course!!!

    ;)
     
  3. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    You're ready right now, I bet. If you can learn songs, either by ear, tabs, sheet music - whatever, that's about the only prerequisite. You should work to improve as much as you can by practicing alone and learning theory, lessons, etc., but there's nothing that will make you better, faster, than getting out there and playing live. Audiences may cringe at first, but you will be a better player after each outing.

    Good luck! :)
     
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Maybe if you could have a class or two with a teacher, you might be able to get him or her to evaluate your present level and suggest ways in which you can get yourself up to speed for auditions for cover bands. A class or tow might be just the confidence builder you need. Often, too, teachers have contacts with other musicians and might know of bands looking for a bassist.
     
  5. Welcome to Talkbass. It sounds like you're almost ready. If you can play songs note for note, with good timing, that's all that's needed for a pub covers band. Theory and sightreading are for taking yourself to the next level, and remember that bass players are not easy to find, so you should find a band without too much trouble.
     
  6. bluebyrd

    bluebyrd

    Jun 12, 2000
    ok guys, thanks for the advice. i'll keep at it, and hopefully someday i'll join the ranks of working bass players. thanks again.

    :)