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Confessions and observations of an Open Mike junky.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Pork_Chop, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. Pork_Chop


    May 11, 2012
    Boulder, CO USA
    Alright, like most of you, I’m in a band and have been in various bands throughout my bass playing life. Some time ago, I wanted to stretch myself as a musician and also break away from the typical music I play, and Open Mikes became that venue for me. I love the challenge of walking up on stage, not knowing who I am playing with, or what I am going to play. Lately, I have primarily been playing two open mikes a week. The first is a real easy going blues jam. Great food and beer at the bar, and real straight ahead music. Nothing challenging here, just an opportunity to get out, get up on stage, and make some good music and friends along the way. The second is a Fusion jam which doesn’t start until 11PM and stops at about 2AM. This is hardcore and in a total s--- hole of a bar. This is the place the drunks go to when they don’t want to go home. The musicianship is awesome, eclectic, and always challenging. Many of you must know a similar scene. When it is off, it is terrible, but when it is on, IT IS ON. Needless to say I’m addicted. I’ve also observed a few things along the way.

    1. The other musicians are very friendly to each other, and to the other bassists. Guitarists compliment guitarists and so on. But the bassist are very stand offish to other bassists. I guess it’s because multiple guitarists will play with each other on stage, while us bassist fly solo. Are we inherently aloof? I’m sure competition plays a role as well, being that the more bassists there are the less we are going to play. But why can’t we collaborate, or compliment each other? This really bothered me a couple weeks ago when I approached a fellow bassist and he blew me off. I decided that I would be the change. Last week, I made it my mission to go up to each bassist and encourage him, and make him feel good. I broke through!!! Soon they were coming up to me and introducing themselves and being complimentary and encouraging.

    2. The talent of the bassist is directly disproportionate to his or her stage antics. When you see a dude strutting around, doing clichade (spelling) posses found on an MTV video, he/she is going to suck.

    3. So many times I would get caught up in the macho bs, I can play faster, or do funkier tricks than the other dudes, only to have the song go no where. When I just lay it down and groove, the song is going to sing, the people are going to dance, and the other musicians are going to notice me for all the right reasons. When my chance to solo comes up, bring out the tricks and the 1/16ths, otherwise, stay in the pocket and groove.

    I’ve got more, but this is getting long. What observations do you all have either at Open Mikes, or playing live in general?
  2. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    I've noticed the opposite relationship between bassists in general. Whenever I come across another bassist, we buddy up immediately. It's kind of a, "Wow, finally another person who understands!" Kind of feeling.
  3. LongHairFreak

    LongHairFreak Insert cool nickname? Nobody's given me one yet. Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Twin Cities - MN
    (I guess I should've read this thread before I started one)

    Tonight was my first open jam, so I only have that to go on. There was only me and another bassist and he was very friendly and complimentary to me.

    A very, very cool experience.
  4. pocketgroove


    Jun 28, 2010
    I am 18. With most other bass players in or around my age group, I've definitely noticed the stand-offish attitude, and the sense of competition. It's as if each one is a territorial house cat, and any other bass player is a challenge to their reign. I've really wanted to meet and get along with and make bass player friends as long as I've played, but unfriendliness, dismissiveness, or full-out condescension are very common around here.

    On the other hand, almost every older guy I've talked to or jammed with has been very friendly, encouraging, and approachable.
  5. Pork_Chop


    May 11, 2012
    Boulder, CO USA
    One thing is for sure, and that is why I love TB, but the people on this forum are extremely friendly and welcoming. I guess the bassists in my area don't belong to Talk Bass. I'll have to start spreading the word to sign up!
  6. Every time I meet a bassist it feels like we're long lost friends. I've been pretty lucky lately and half the bassists I've met at shows are TB'ers :D :bassist:
  7. Pruitt


    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    I went to my first Open Mic ever a few weeks ago to play a few songs with a drummer who is one of my best friends for about 30 years now (and extremely talented), and some guys I didn't know well. Actually, one guitarist I met an hour before we got there. We were very well received. And it was a lot of fun!

    There were only a couple of other bassists there, but I made it a point to go to each to compliment them, and talk for a few minutes. They were both very friendly towards me, though as I think about it, I never saw either go up to the other one during the course of the night, so I do get the feeling had I not reached out to them, neither would have reached out to me.

    I'm supposed to be going this week again (Wed night) with the same drummer, but a different guitarist, and maybe a Keyboardist to jam a few. I'll make it a point to talk to any of the other bassists I see there. As well as anyone else, for that fact. Heh heh... :)
  8. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    The bass players around here always buy each other shots and such when we get together in these situations.

    We're really just trying to get the other guy too wasted to play, but it's still very nice and friendly..........

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