Do you ever feel discriminated before you play

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, May 31, 2002.

  1. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, but I've noticed a trend when I meet other musicians. I've noticed when my band is playing with another bands, or I'm practicing/playing with new people for the first time, they sort of don't take much interest with me when they first meet me. I think they assume that since I'm young (I'm 19) that I don't know much about my instrument or music in general. Then I play and they see that I can actually play. (I don't want to sound concieted, cause I'm not, but I do know what I'm doing on the instrument) After that, they totally open up, and accept me as one of their musical peers.

    It bothers me a little bit, cause I don't like to let people know I play unless I know they are going to hear me soon for the reason I stated above. I don't want people to automatically assume that I can play, but I don't want people to automatically assume I can't play either. Don't get me wrong, it's cool that the 40 and 50 year old musicians see me as one of their own. I've learned not to have any preconcieved notions about a player before they play, cause I've been blown away by people whom I was expecting to suck and I've been disappointed by people who I thought were going to be amazing.

    I was wondering, did any of you older talkbassers go through the same thing when you were my age? Does anyone my age feel the same way? Does this have to do with my age, or is just something that says you have to be heard to have crediablity? (no matter what age)
  2. Well I'm joining a southern rock band and everyone will be older than me. My uncle is the lead singer/guitarist and I already won him over. I played some slap bass when he was around and he was just amazed... I think it's funny how everyone tells me "Oh you've only been playing for two years? Wow, your really good for that amount of time." None of these people were bassists, most were guitarists :rolleyes:. All you have to do is trick them with slap and they'll think your flea... or playing Sienfield. Agg. I'll probably get that "What can this kid do?" attitude from the rest of the band, it's something that goes with everything. The "Big Dogs" don't want no little puppies on their porch... or something :confused:
  3. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I generally give new musicians the benefit of the doubt before playing with them/hearing them... I can see where people could very easily have this attitude towards other musicians. There have been many, many times that I've sat in with a band that needed a bass player that have told me, "oh yeah, we're really good, everyone knows their instrument really well.. blah blah" only to find out that they are... well.. ass.

    Generally you can tell how good someone is based on conversation.. which may sound odd, but just think about this for a moment: When you meet a really good musician, do they talk about how good they are and/or how great their band is? Most likely not. In my experience, a good musician is going to talk with you about things like: what you listen to, who your influences are, maybe how long you've been playing, what styles of music you like to play... etc.. they aren't going to brag about how great they think they are.

    Just fuel for the fire.
  4. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    if you can back it up, it's not a problem.

    man, i've gotten some SERIOUS stuff from sound guys looking at me with the death gaze, to stage managers telling me to leave and i had to convince them that i am, in fact, in the band. but then they ALWAYS apologize after the show. without fail.

    don't worry about it.
  5. Yes. All the damn time. Let's face facts, nu-metal style outfits like the one im in, NEVER get taken seriously do they? I mean, I play in places around the city i live in, and no matter who my band supporting/sharing the bill with, they always make out like, "these guys saw Limp Bizkit or something, and they think they can write songs and play instruments" (I dont like LB btw).

    So, we're there for soundcheck and whethere it is some old skool punk band, indie or old timers (well, anyone older than my 18 is old) playing jazz or something, they sit there and frown. Only when soundcheck comes around do they say "hey, how long you been playing" or "nice bass, what is it?".

    And I dont pretend to be a great bass player, cos i certainly am not, but it annoys me when 90% of all the bassists I see at these things suck serious ass. And they treat me with contempt just because of the way my band dresses and what style we play.

  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I went through the same thing when I was younger. Guys would see me, and assume because I was under 18 that I couldn't play.

    More than once, after playing in a strange church, the people who had an attitude before they heard me play told me afterwards that I was the best bassist that they had ever heard.
  7. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Thanks for all the input. Don't worry Htag and Jason, I always deliver the goods. ;) Again, not bragging, but I definatley know my way around the instrument. I just feel like I'm singled out before I play just because of my age. They probaly wouldn't have any preconcived notions about me if I was 20 years older.

    My expierence has seemed to be just like Jeff's. (Though it's usually bars I'm playing not churchs ;) ) Guys look at me like I don't know how to play, then after my set, they always give me many compliments. I've gotten compliments from a lot of the very respected local bassist that is very humbling. (I cite a lot of them as influences in my profile)

    You know, I never thought about it until you said it Beer Monkey, but you are absolutley right, most of the time, true pro musicians aren't talking about what they can do on the instrument. I hate musicians with ego's too. I believe that a good musician should have confidence, but I hate playing with musicians with swollen heads. It's hard for me to respect a musician who think's they are the greatest thing to hit the stage. I would probaly praise Malmsteen up and down on his guitar playing if his ego didn't rub me the wrong way.

    Thanks for all the stories guys. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't alone.
  8. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Oh okay, I get what you mean now. I do feel as though I'm "building a reputation" by playing out and letting other people (mainly other musicians) hear me. I'm currently involved in a recording project with some other guys, and I hope that it will help me get some footing. Footing in what I don't know. :D I actually enjoy the climb. I shouldn't let guys thinking I suck before I play bother me, cause they never think I suck afterwards. I guess it's all of "paying dues" Thanks for the support. :)
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Let's think about this for a sec. First, when you meet someone new, musician or not, you are an unknown to them. They undoubtedly feel a little insecure about how your relationship is going to develop. In other words, they're a little shy. They need to find out a little more of what you're about before they'll commit to feeling one way or another about you.

    You're internalizing a bit too much about this, probably out of your own insecurity. I'd suggest that you just be friendly but not too outgoing at first. Let things develop without carrying any pre-conceived notions about how they should be treating you. Once they see what groove you're in, they'll loosen up, unless they're in a completely different groove. In that case, either slide into their groove, or groove on out of there.
  10. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Munji, when I saw you replied to this thread, I knew you were going to say something completely intelligent or something completely funny. :D

    You did the first thing. Very good and insightful and you brought up a lot of good points. Usually people are a bit standoffish (is that a word?) when you first meet them. I guess I really never payed much attention to it though, expect when it comes to other muso's. I don't really think I have musical insercurities though. I definatley want to try to reach to the next level and improve myself as a player. Of course, I could be playing like Vic Wooten and I would still be unsatisfied with my playing. To me, you have to want to get better to actually get better, if that makes any sense. :confused: ;)

    You guys are right though, I shouldn't let it bother me. :)
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Thanks. I CAN be stupid, if I have to.
  12. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Yeah I recently met 2 guys that are 25 and 27, and I was talking with them. When I first started talking to them, me only being 16, I think I kind of got the impression that they thought I was an amateur, but when I played and explained to them what Ohms meants and how Ohms are worked, they gained more respect :p
  13. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    never had this particular hassle. Australians just don't give a toss either way, and a whole note is about as confusing as two pinapples seated comfortably in the midst of an international airport.
  14. Kid Charlemagne

    Kid Charlemagne

    May 29, 2002
    This kind of thing always happens when you're young. Older musicians tend to put younger musicians down, almost as if they want to teach you something. This is a truly disgusting habit, and I try to remember how it felt to be a young player everytime I meet one.

    I'm 30 now, but I vividly remember when I was 18 and sat in for one of my dad's friends at a jazz gig. The other musicians, in their 40's and 50's started out by telling me that I was too young to;
    1. know anything about jazz music.
    2. play it in an adequate way.
    3. play any solos whatsoever.
    And the drummer added that the only reason they didn't kick me offstage was that they were good frinds with my dad!

    They were certainly joking around a lot when they put me down like this, but I wasn't too secure of myself, and this was my first acoustic bass gig, so I felt kinda intimidated.

    By the second set everything was forgotten and forgiven.
    And in the third set I got two solos. :)
  15. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    This is sort of going off topic,but ive noticed that to win the approval of musicians,on a guitar all you need to play is some easy riff that sounds ok,but on bass you really gotta shred to get the approval of someone.As a bass player,i feel like i have to play twice as hard as a guitar player to be "ok".
  16. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    any genuine musician will see straight through a display such as the above, on the part of a guitarist OR a bassist. chops may initially dazzle a seasoned veteran (they'd have to be something he's never heard before, which might be hard to come out with), but in the end the mainstays of bass playing are what everyone really digs; solid time, rhythm, creativity, good note choice and communication. IMHO, of course.
  17. a friend of mine who is 21 and plays guitar in his cousin's latin/salsa band, is going through all sorts of crap from some of the other guys in the band, who are much older, and don't seem to take kindly to the fact that this "kid" is coming and dusting the hell out of them. He's as humble and modest as you could possibly be about it, but they still think they have something to prove. It sucks because i'm afriad he's going to end up quitting and losing out on some great experience and opportunity because of it, but I don't blame him after hearing some of the stuff he's told me.