feeling uninspired..help!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by kirbywrx, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    I havent touched my bass decently in 2 months. i havent gone to her and tried writing something, and if i have, it hasnt flowed like it normally does. i look at everything and say its either too easy or too hard. ive been downloading alot of vic wooten clips, and they seriously want to make me cry! so i suppose that isnt really helping either. when i do play something, its just going over the same metallica songs, over and over. i ahevtn heard a bass line in ages that makes me go 'whoa, i wanna learn that!'

    im feeling really un-enthusiastic about playing latley, i havent been drawn towards playing, which really sucks. i have this kickass Yamaha TRB, a decent amp, but theres nothing there! this feeling/situation is really hard to describe, and i was wondering if anyone has gone through a similar stage.

    im pretty sure this is just a rut im in, but what can i do to get myself out of it?!
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Pick up a copy of Standing In The Shadows Of Motown...the book + cds.
    Studying Jamerson will hopefully-
    Expand your horizons
    Make whatever you do play into something even 'better'
    Hone your reading chops

    Seriously, you sound like you're bored(ennui?) &, whether you realize it or not, you want something different. I know...you may be thinking that "Motown is old & crusty '60s stuff". Sometimes, one needs to go back in order to go forward; besides, you're young & you missed out on that stuff the 1st go-round.

    Are there any ethnic-type musics in your part of the world?
    My advice is to drop the Metallica & Wooten stuff...get into something really different & not so much in your comfort zone.

    Oh yeah-
    Have I gone through such a stage?
    More times than I could count!
  3. every now and than ill get myself into a rut(Im sort of into one now) where ill just noodle around on bass for about an hour a day and thats that...But I have never been in a 2 month rut,thats huge :eek:

  4. sometimes when I listen to the choppy crazy players, it can uninspire rather than inspire. I read a miles davis biography once and man that got me cookin. Maybe read some music biographies, it might help. sometimes just not listening to music can clear your head a bit. learn some new scales that you havent learnt before, cause your ear might not be used to hearing that "colour" before.
    But sometimes creativity can't be pushed.
  5. Usually when I watch one of those "Driven" shows or some show that discusses music,or a musican...I often pick up my bass and just play...
  6. Do you play in a covers band??? if so, that can be a real motivational zapper if you know what I mean.
  7. Maybe you need to listen to some refreshing music? The bands that have the bassist in your profile/influences are pretty boring to me. You can try Tool/APC/ and lesser known bands. Also try picking up a new instrument-that can inspire playing. I haven't play much bass at all in the past 2 months either. I have been playing guitar to songwrite for my band projects. I never really NOT play anything, I always need an expression outlet. So I only get in specific ruts, not general art ruts. What's worser then a rut is WRITERS BLOCK. now when you get that-you will feel alot worse. :)
  8. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    When I get like that, usually more in the lyric-writing department than the instrumental, I try listening to something I ordinarily wouldn't try.

    Like ska? Listen to some folk. Like metal? Try some world music. Stretch your ears.

    If that doesn't work for you, try a different instrument. It doesn't have to be one you play well. I just plain suck on Chapman Stick. I love the stick but I'm horrible on it...But some of my favorite bass grooves have started from accidental grooves that I 'found' on the Stick. I write more with my 12-string guitar nowadays than anything else.
  9. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I second the idea of trying a different instrument.

    I play my 12 string guitar and play a wide variety of music on it...music I wouldn't ordinarily play on bass. Definitely gets you thinking different about music.

    Often, for me, I will be playing the guitar and stumble across some melody or chords that sparks my creativity enough to find something to add to my bass playing.

    A change in musical styles almost always works because it makes you think outside the norm for you. Suddenly you are hearing the bass in a new way...because it's not the same old bass lines you are used to hearing, it makes you think about the bass in a different way.

    For years I played in traditional rock/top40 bands. I play in a band now that plays swing, rockabilly and blues. At first I thought that was not the kind of music I wanted to play (well, swing and rockabilly anyway)...but playing it now, I wonder what took me so long. It's just a blast to play these tunes and it's forcing me to look at my bass playing in a new light.

    Good luck...everyone gets in a slump from time to time...I look at it as an excuse to try new things. Whatever you try, I know you will find that it only makes you better, in every way.
  10. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    How about trying something non-musical for inspiration. Maybe a different train of thought will help. Try reading. An entertaining book might be ( for me at least) what's needed to get out of the rut. Go check out the local art museum. Go to the park, or a bar, or the mall and people watch.

    Sometimes the best way to get inspired musically, is to think about something OTHER than music. ;)
  11. don't force anything... onyx is on the same path i am.. rather than listen to music, i watch TV, ride my bike, take a walk, whatever..
  12. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Putting on a new set of strings always works for me.
  13. Again, the Jedi-Mind **** rears it's ugly head.

    Think of it as an evil self perpetuating feedback loop. Only you can break it, youg Jedi.

    Like JimK said, get out of your comfort zone, make rock and hurt squirrels.
  14. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    The most inspiring tunes I hear that remind me of why I love rock music are the cheap, scratchy basement recordings by "no-name" bands of the underground. The poorly produced and sometimes poorly recorded but otherwise artistic and unrecognized underground that Rock 'N' Roll used to be.

    Just hearing the right attitude is all it takes. Sometimes its the most amaturish playing that inspires me to remember it's all attitude. Musicianship takes care of itself.
  15. You are so right! Remember why you started, and that thrill you had when you first learned the run to "Hey Joe" or whatever. Complicated stuff is for yourself and showing off.

    Make rock.
  16. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Geez...you're E-Z!
  17. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Well as corny as this may sound these replies have been somewhat inspiring :)

    Jim K- I went to the music shop yesterday and grabbed me a motown book ;)

    Deep Death- Thats the problem. The band im in plays that sort of music, and it just doesnt do anything for me. ive since sat down with the bands recording, and re-wrote every bass line, and im going to see what they sound like at the next jam.

    bard2dbone- thats cool, thanks for that. ive always said that i have a 'wide listen sphere' but deep down i know i havent. ive got a deep forest CD somewhere in my room that ill go and dig up

    Sounduge- My finanaces arent really letting me buy another instrument, but mext time im at my mates place ill have a burl on his accordian

    Johndog. That the thing has has contributed alot. my strings are so dead is sounds like im playing a piece of celery, but ive boiled them down and when im out and about next ill grab a decent set.

    I picked up the bass yesterday and just broke into whatever i felt like, and it help a wee bit. i put on the new MUSE CD, and jammed along to hysteria and that also got me in the mood. Im still in this rut a little, but you guys have helped alot. thanks!
  18. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Good stuff to make me think different on bass:

    Try Paul Simons 'Graceland' or 'Rhythm of the Saints'
    Any Ruben Blades. We got my daughters name from 'the Miranda Syndrome' a deceptively simple sounding part that really pushes the song forward. There is a lesson there for anyone who overplays like I used to.
    Old Elvis Costello, ranging from the simple basslines of 'Everyday I Write the Book' to the Complexity of near-ska like 'Chelsea'
    You can never go wrong listening to Jaco with Joni Mitchell.

    Or to think differently in general musically:
    Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan, Angelique Kidjo (especially Melekah, or however you spell it), Johnny Clegg and Savuka, Sun Ra, Michel Camilo, any Klezmer music you can find,

    I especially dig folk artists, even guys that don't have a bassist on their recordings. David Wilcox, Michael Elwood, Tom Prasade-Rao, Christine Lavin,Trout Fishing in America...

    Inspiration is out there. Just look for it.
  19. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    Watch Spinal Tap.
  20. I am a newbie to the forum...my very first post. I have been in ruts before and enjoy playing more than one instrument. I play the drums and the bass. I find that if I am in a rut on one I just play the other. If I am in a rut on both, I may try different drums. For instance, I am often in a rut on the set, so I will play the congas and find that real refreshing. I almost never listen to what, say, Neil Peart, is doing or what Tony Williams did, for inspiration. I just do my own thing as best I can and enjoyt it.