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Do professional musicians intimidate you?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by IamGroot, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. Its a show up and play job for a eating establishment outdoors and most of the folks are pro and do music for a living. Just call tunes at random. Country to jazz. No set list.

    How do you feel about that?

    Ps. I love it.
  2. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    I dont know any covers, so it wouldn't be any fun for me. It may be fun to watch, but it wouldn't be any fun trying to struggle through some steeley Dan deep cut that everyone else knew.
    So not intimidated, just mildly bored!
    maxschrek, bebi, cosmicevan and 8 others like this.
  3. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    One of my favourite kinds of gigs to play. :)
  4. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Honestly, I doubt I'd be good enough to attempt it.
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Been doing it for about 30 years now. Nothing better than having to bring your best game all the time.
    Bassamatic, joebar, MrLenny1 and 13 others like this.
  6. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I love it. Around here I know most of them. Heck, I played with most of them. So they'll try to pop quiz me for fun.

    As for famous musicians, it seems that bass players just seem to be nice people. The only famous bass player I ever met who was a jerk to everyone around him was Stu Hamm. The rest may have intimidated me until THEY made me comfortable.
  7. rickster4003


    Feb 15, 2013
    They do intimidate me. They make me feel like such an amateur. :D
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
    The Owl, el murdoque and jamro217 like this.
  8. No.

    Why would I feel intimidated? I do stuff in my day job that most of the musicians I meet don't know how to do, everybody's good at different things. I can't do what the OP is talking about, because I just don't have the time to learn thousands of tunes and no real interest in it, but I'm decent enough to jam with pros and if you give me a setlist ahead of time I can usually learn what covers I need for a show if I have to.

    If I feel like the guy is deliberately trying to intimidate me than I just smile and sit out, because he's a jerk and not worth my trouble.

    I also am aware of my limitations so I don't sign myself up for stuff I can't do.
  9. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Background: I played for 20 some-odd years, but other than a few parties, and jam sessions, always as a bedroom player.

    When I started playing again about 4 years ago, it was to reduce stress, increase dexterity, improve memory and become more well-rounded as a human being.

    As I reacquired my abilities and even improved upon previous capabilities, I felt the desire to play with other people. Eventually, I found a blues jam and started going there . . . Feeling out the dynamics, etc. Started playing a song or two at the end of the night, and getting more comfortable playing in front of folks.

    Now, a couple of months later, I am a bit more comfortable. Although I'm unfamiliar with most of the songs they throw out at me, it's not YYZ.

    I feel both appreciative and honored to have the opportunity to play with local professionals and, in some cases, legends. Being a harsh realist, I don't kid myself to think that I'm in their league, but I can hang with them in this context, for the most part, and learn more with each encounter.

    Here's a gang of us a couple of weeks back, including some long-time local pros:
    (Actually I DO know who Chuck Berry was, but I'd never heard nor played the song before)

    Nevada Pete, Ggeorges, FerK and 7 others like this.
  10. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Love it. Best kind of gig. In my experience, "cutting contests" are a thing of the past. The musicians are on the stage to make everybody sound good and entertain the audience.
    The Owl, JMarkD, eJake and 5 others like this.
  11. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    Nope I love playing with pros. No passengers.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
    chupacerveza, Manticore and jamro217 like this.
  12. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Do professional musicians intimidate you?

    Nope. I have found most to be very cool, encouraging, and humble.

    Good Luck!
    The Owl, JMarkD, rollie 55 and 2 others like this.
  13. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    Only if they’re expecting to be impressed, because I will surely fall short of that expectation. I have never done a show like the one described, but for the hours on hours it’d take to learn all those songs, it’d have to pay really well. At which point aren’t you a “pro” yourself?
    ELG60, jamro217 and the harp unstrung like this.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I used to get intimidated till I discovered that I could hang with them pretty well. Now guys like Dave LaRue intimidate me, but there's not many bassists he doesn't. Fortunately, you don't have to be Dave good to hang out with pros :D
  15. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Just playing with your eyes gets you so far, but playing with your ears is another level.
  16. neal davis

    neal davis

    Dec 29, 2006
    toronto canada
    Funny I had the opposite with Stu, I was teaching at a music studio and had a break and was just sitting in my room practicing and he popped in before doing a clinic in the store and we jammed a bit. Really humble guy in my opinion
  17. I’ve been able to open for many of my music heroes and most of the rock and metal guys who made it in big bands out of my area like sevendust and seether. I’ve also played festivals that included everyone from American idol contestants to legends like BB king and the Time. I love playing shows like that. It tends to be when I’m at my best onstage. I play better under pressure and there’s no better compliment than one that comes from a musician you have a lot of respect for. Contrary to some people’s beliefs my experience is that most pro musicians are super cool and down to earth and when someone is full of themselves they tend to become the subject of everyone’s jokes for the night. But yeah my experience is you have to be a certain type of person to go on the road playing music traveling with other people and that weeds out most of the jerks. Especially now that there isn’t as much money in it. Original music has very much become a passion thing and many big stars have been humbled by not making big money anymore.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  18. I have heard horror stories about people showing up at jazz jams where newbs basically get laughed off the stage. Adam Neely talks about places in New York where if you show up with a fake book you get told to go home.

    Sure, that is intimidating, worse it's discouraging, but for some people, music is a competition where you try to show off how hip you are and score cool points instead of something you get joy from, and then there are always snobs.

    If you've seen the film Whiplash, which is an entertaining but totally over-the-top and unrealistic portrayal of music education, you can imagine that intimidating environments definitely exist out there.

    There is also the example of the recording of Buddy Rich cursing at his band, calling them every name in the book. Would that intimidate me? Nah, I don't rely on music to pay the rent; I'd have told him to F off and walked away. But for the guys on that bus, who needed the work and had to put up with that abuse, it must've sucked.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  19. This seems like a chance for folks to brag, so I'm out.

    I do chuckle a little when cover-band, weekend-warrior types post or comment that Music is my Life!

    I'm nowhere near pro-level & have no doubt I'll never be there, but I'm OK with that.
  20. I liked your post but several people will swear the movie is based off a real instructor .
    chupacerveza, RJC1811 and jamro217 like this.

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