1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Do you ever feel like you're not a natural?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by xdanxx, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. xdanxx


    Mar 12, 2008
    Do you ever feel like you have to work way harder to achieve results, and bass playing doesn't come nearly as natural as it does to others? Do you even believe the whole "natural" thing to be a true concept, or does it just come down to practice and dedication in your opinion?
  2. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Music is hard... to get good and to stay good.

    When you go see a player that makes it look so easy, you might assume that is just pure natural talent and to a small extent, it is. Mostly, it is the result of hours of practice and study.

    All of the really great players, practice their butts off. I mean the great ones, real players. Jaco, Stanley, Marcus, Victor, Jimmy Haslip, Richard Bona, they all work very hard.

    To develop flawless technique and a large musical vocabulary, lots of work.... endless, but all so rewarding!
  3. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    There is a long thread on the concept of "natural" in Anthony Worthington's section on this forum. I think some people just practice more efficiently than others. Nobody gets good without a lot of hard work.
  4. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Every player was worse than you are now, at one point or another.

    Watch the video discussed in this thread. if you are discouraged.
  5. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    I don't believe in the natural thing. However there are some factors which can make you learning faster.
    Perfect pitch: I don't believe this is genetic (some people do) but I do believe you can be trained as a baby to developer it so it depends on parents.
    Musical family: this is self explanatory, the longer you are exposed to music the more you will learn and thus the faster you will improve.
    However these reasons are just fractions, everyone works hard to get to where they are (some don't and never get there).
    No one is a victim here, you gotta work to get it.
  6. xdanxx


    Mar 12, 2008
    I understand that practice is what makes people good. But somehow I don't believe if two different people we're on the same exact practice regimen, with the same amount of time put into it, and the same exact teacher, that they would both be at the same skill level.
  7. thobie


    Sep 4, 2011
    While I don't agree 100% with this, according to Malcom Gladwell, it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to achieve mastery of something, regardless of being "natural" or "talented". Now, while I believe he downplays talent to an extent, but I believe he is on the right track by saying you get out of music what you put in. Which is easier said than done of course... I hate drilling fundamentals as much as the next guy. hehe
  8. This argument doesn't allow for the differences in focus and concentration of the individuals. If ALL things are equal, then it will be equal. If not, then not...
  9. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Ha, I "feel" this way a lot if I have a bad day. But in my heart I know I am a natural.

    Music is a constant journey. Embrace it.

    Also, kick it in the balls every now and then to show it who's boss.
  10. Yeah, I have to work at playing bass. I have music in me there is
    no doubt but I have to work at it.

    I work on my friends 15 year old kids basses. This kid only started playing
    2 years ago and he is teaching me stuff now. He has been reading for years
    as a bass clarinet player. He started electric bass a year and a half later and
    is know also playing upright. He is a natural for sure.

    It' always kinda freaks me out seeing people play that well so young and with
    what seems effortlessness.

    Not me. I really struggle sometimes.
  11. I only know a couple of natural musicians. The rest of us have to work at it.

    Couple of the guys I play with when asked how they do what they do say things like; "I can not tell you how I do this I've just been able to play by ear from the very beginning."

    Those guys are natural musicians - the rest of us have to work at it.
  12. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    Human beings are born with a set of aptitudes, and you cannot change them any more than you can change your hair and eye color. This is well documented. You cannot develop true perfect pitch if you were not born with it. You cannot become a great baseball player or artist if you do not have the proper aptitudes, or we would have millions of star baseball players or artists, etc. You can improve what you have, but there is a natural limit.

    The problem is that it is hard to know what your innate aptitudes are. It is really necessary to try many many different things, and variations within each thing. If you think bass doesn't fit, try drums. If your rhythm sense is not good try something else other than music. Don't limit yourself.

    Remember - you can only be interested in something you have experienced - there are countless things out there for you to try and some will fit better than others.

    There is also an easy way to find out all about your aptitudes - what you should and should not be doing. There is a non-profit research foundation that has been testing people around the world for nearly 100 years. Check it out - www.jocrf.org. EVERYONE should do this - the world would be a better place. If kids knew their aptitudes they would only take the courses that are right for them, they would do better, feel better about themselves, learn more and get better grades easily. Likewise - we could all be working at jobs we loved and were good at.

    Sorry to sound like an ad - but I'm a believer. It changed my life and those of everyone that has followed my advice about this.
  13. The younger you start, the better off you are. Young people learn very efficiently, as they have a lot of brain plasticity and grow new neural pathways very quickly and easily. You friend's kid's head start on bass clarinet has really helped him. At 15 he's reaching the end of his extreme learning years and entering into refinement, consolidation, and synthesis of new relationships and discoveries of his own. Not that learning stops, it just changes its character.

    Now if a kid doesn't actually practice and really get into it, then starting early isn't really going to help them out much. Like me and piano- it didn't really go anywhere because I just didn't really put any time into it.

    Same reason you need to learn a language at a young age to be a fluent native speaker of that language. Of course different folks do have different capabilities and proclivities, but that probably only adds or subtracts a thousand or so hours on either side of Gladwell's "expert" learning criteria.
  14. IncX


    Jul 23, 2007
    yes, i always feel that i have to work 3x harder than everyone else to get the same results.

    my cousin and i are in a band, and i taught him a difficult passage that took me hours to learn. i probably ran it to him 5 times, and after 10 minutes he managed to nail that which took me hours.

    i am in this band as a 2nd session player, and the BL wants us to play the basslines note for note. the 1st session player took a week to learn 10/10 material, while its been almost 2 weeks now and i have only learned 5/10 songs.

    it sucks... so i just make up for everything by being really fun to hang out with, and practicing twice as hard as everyone
  15. 69shovlhed


    Jun 5, 2006
    i'm dyslexic. even if i know what i'm supposed to play, i'll twist it all around and screw it up until its internalized. so yeah i got to work harder than those that don't have this problem.

    on the other hand, friends of mine can copy music note for note that i still can't play, but when its time to improvise, their stuff is boring and less tasty than what i might do.

    so i guess it evens out.
  16. Some people are naturally better at things. There is no doubt. Usian Bolt. Better.......but all the natural talent in the world still needs to be focused onto achieving greatness.

    Music comes pretty easily to me. It all makes sense, I feel it inside me, but there are plenty of guys who play a lot better than me becasue they worked at it.

    Hard work beats talent if talent doesn't work hard.

    I've started working on it again now, I cruised for a while and was overtaken.
  17. Rune Bivrin

    Rune Bivrin Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Huddinge, Sweden
    I'm certainly no natural. I'm as sharp as they come :D
  18. ^^ haha
  19. Jeffrey Wash

    Jeffrey Wash Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Santa Cruz
    I appreciate that you posted this. I do often feel this way. IMHO, some have more of the 'gift' than others. But passion, commitment and determination are powerful things and I take a lot of inspiration from players who aren't wunderkind.
  20. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    There definitely is such a thing as natural talent - my elder sister has it. She's never really had to work hard at music, but she can hear a tune once and just play it on a piano like she has the chart in front of her. I can't do that, I have to spend time figuring out changes and melody that she plays right first time.

    She also has perfect pitch, which I do not (nor anyone else in the family). I can sit at the piano and hit any chord and she can tell me the name of it without being able to see what I'm playing. And she has a very good singing voice - way better than mine, anyway.

    The most annoying part? She hasn't really played anything in years. :(

    I wish I'd got those abilities. Oh well, I guess I'll have to keep working at it.

Share This Page