composin' a line

Discussion in 'Ask Mike Watt [Archived]' started by jstout, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. jstout


    Jan 14, 2002
    Hey, Mike Watt:

    First off, much, much respect to you for everything you've done for the bass guitar over the years - love the recent work in "Effigy" from the Gov't Mule album Off the Deep End Vol. 1, then there's all the other tuneful, unexpected stuff you've done over the years, from the Minutemen forward. And you keep movin' forward by van - just about everyone who talks about "keepin' it real" goes in limos these days, but not the man in the van with a bass in his hand. It ain't all in vain by a longshot, Mike Watt.

    Anyhoo, on to the question. How in the ravin' heck did/do you come up with some of this stuff? Have you been playin' so long that you just kinda know, like a zen state, or do you think about the chord structures a little bit and imagine where you can and can't dart? Is there trial and error involved - do you try lines until you figure out something that works, do you sit in a corner and plot these things out for a little bit when sidemousin'?

    And any good old-fashioned advice for improving one's ear skills? Mine's absolutely dismal, and they've gotta get better. Plus there's knowing I've gotta start puttin' some time into playing again - I admittedly have a lot of irons in fires right now, and I haven't been devoting a decent amount of time to playing right now. You ever get sidetracked, Mike Watt? If so, how do you get unsidetracked? Ah, the zen of bass, and everything.

    Thanks muchly,