Get frustrated after playing bass??

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by arvidgunardi, Oct 21, 2001.

  1. I wanted to know how many people here get frustrated once in a while with our playing after a while. That happens to's like I get "sick" of playing after coming back from a long tour or something. Or you've just found out that your playing is not as good as you've thought. This usually last about....a week. Most of the time it last about 1 day or so.

    And if anybody does have that problem, what do you guys do about it. Thanks!
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I don't have that problem(;))... but if I did I'd do something really simple. Spend some time away from your instrument.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Brad is right.
    I usually try to do something else entirely. Make some new experiences, do some things I haven't done before or haven't done for some time, like going to a museum, a new sport, etc.

    Just going for a long walk in nature can help to free the mind.
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I can't remember the last time I played something I actually liked(maybe 20 years ago?!).
  5. sometimes when im practicing i get really pissed and try to rip the strings off my bass or i punch it repeatedly. once i got pissed and i hit it and accidently cut my hand pretty bad, it sucked royally
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Story time-

    A certain guitarist I played with had some kinda Roland Effects gizmo on the floor...the LOUDEST guitarist I have played with, a THICK/processed rhythm sound that was all-engulfing...anyway-
    Constantly tweaking his tone/knobs, never satisfied...finally the drummer, vocalist, & myself step outside our practice area so the guitarist can find his sound(I always bitched, "...why can't you do that on YOUR OWN TIME"!).
    Eventually, we hearing screaming & his guitar is sounding like something outta Derek Bailey meets Peter Brotzmann. What's goin' on? The drummer sez, "...he's freaking out".
    The door opens & out flies the FX unit.

    Still frustrated?
  7. I get frustrated all the time. Especially with Flea riffs.;) So I just hang the bass up and go watch TV for a while, then come back to it. No flying FX units for me, thank you.:D

    Rock on
  8. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    Why do you think I got into Bonsai gardening ?(rhetorical)
  9. Yep.. why do you think i own 12 (!) gameconsoles & 7 " normal " computers ? ;)
  10. You know, the common thread in this discussion seems to be people not meeting their expectations of themselves.

    When I jumped back into the music scene a few months ago I expected it was going to take time to get where I wanted to be musically. I did learn something, though.

    My head understood that it was going to take time but after playing for a couple of <b>days</b> and being a little unhappy that I couldn't automagically erase 19 years of musical inactivity I was tempted to sell the hardware and walk away - but my wife pointed out something -

    She told me that if I expected to master the instrument I'd better hang it up right now and walk away because it simply wasn't going to happen. She mentioned that she thought my expectations were a little unreasonable and that if I couldn't be satisfied with progress it was probably a good idea to quit now - she said she figured it would be less painful in the long run.

    I guess music is a process. I probably don't have the talent of Wooten / Myung / Clarke /Claypool but I <b>do</b> have a fair amount of talent. I guess I have my share and the aforementioned electric bass gods have <b>more</b> than their fair share. Somewhere out there are about fifteen people who can't carry a tune in a bucket because they unwittingly donated their musical talent to John Myung ;)

    Anyway, I can make choices. I choose not to play covers - I could go out <b>today</b> and play music I don't like for money - or I can sit in the living room and jam with a couple of friends for free. Like I said in another thread I'm still trying to find my niche - but there's no hurry. I could join up with a succession of bands that suck mightily and make myself miserable (been there, did that) or just stay home and practice, jam with friends when I can and keep an eye open for the right opportunity.

    20 years ago it used to frustrate me that I couldn't grasp the bass line in "Also Sprach Zarathustra" - off of Eumir Deodato's "Prelude" album. I bought the album because I wanted to learn the bass line from "2001 - a Space Odyssey". (You guys have all heard it, I think. Actually the whole album is pretty tasty.)

    You know what? I <b>still</b> can't make it sound right. But - it sounds better - a lot better. If I <b>wanted</b> to devote the time to it I could learn it, but today I'm interested in other things.



    BTW - Deodato's "Prelude" came out in 1972. Bassists on that album are Ron Carter and Stanley Clarke. I'm still amazed that I was disappointed that I couldn't play just like them when I was a kid ;)

    If you find the album in a bargain bin somewhere, grab it. You won't be sorry.
  11. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Of course I get frustrated!

    Every lousy gig, every practice session where I can't seem to get my head around what I'm trying to learn is a frustration.

    Then I have a great gig or the light buld comes on during practice and I'm high as a kite.

    I always thought this was normal :D
  12. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I've had that happen, but never gave it much thought. I just looked at it as part of doing what we do, and I know it passes - as you said.

    I've had weeks where I'd rehearse with 3 different bands, learn and work on songs on my own time, then play the entire weekend - by the time it was done I didn't even want to look at my bass. I know that "sick" feeling. Almost like "what the hell am I doing playing bass, I hate this."

    A few things that always refresh my playing:

    Switching basses
    Buying a new bass :) :) :) :)
    Cleaning and tweaking the setup on my bass
    New strings
    Experimenting with my sound
    Different strings - nylon strings do interesting tricks
    And yes of course - time off every once in a while
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Isn't this remarkably "On Topic" for this forum? ;)

    I have never really been frustrated by playing bass, although I have been frustrated by related things like : band members, the music biz etc.

    I think that if you can't play something, this is telling you that you're not practising enough or not in a sufficiently systematic manner - get a teacher!

    I love finding things that I can't play and see this as a challenge to be overcome. Each time I have been to Jazz Summerschool, I have been given a bass line (at least one! ;) ) that I can't play for some reason and in overcoming this challenge I find that I become a better player/musician.

    I think the things that people mention like Joe's list :

    Switching basses
    Buying a new bass
    Cleaning and tweaking the setup on my bass
    New strings
    Experimenting with my sound
    Different strings - nylon strings do interesting tricks

    are things I do to avoid practising, but in the end you just have to get down to it! :D
  14. If I did that every time I got frustrated, I would have a larger selection of basses then most guitar stores.

    Rock on
  15. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear

    Aug 14, 2000
    When I first started playing I would get frustrated when playing because I would always compare my playing to bassists like Chris Squire or Geddy Lee. It was't until I came to the realization that unless I create my own sound and stlye I will always be frustrated with my playing. I think when people first start playing an instrument they want to sound like ( insert your favorite bassist here ). The problem that I see is that in trying to be like a certain player you lose a sense of individuality which could open up your bass playing. I'm not saying that you can't pick up or use certain techniques from other players that may help your playing, but I just feel that it is more important to be able to create your own style and sound. Let's face it one Flea or Fieldy in this world is enough for me. I feel that it is also important to know your limits. As I was always told practice, practice, practice; and know your theory, in my opinion nothing could be more important than that. However, as much as I practice I know that I will never have the talent of Geddy, Jaco, or a host of many other guys/girls that are out there. Sorry for the long post, I'll get off of my soap box now.
  16. Arvi!You are a hell of a good bassplayer(If that was YOU I heard a sample of on your webpage!:D )

    I did`nt pick up my bass at all last week,because I was so disgusted at myself.Now I am back into it and really enjoying it!That happens often in my world.After not playing for a few days I am dying to pick her up(bass)and usually put more into it than before.

    Hang in there bro!:)
  17. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    Nope. For me, it's just such a delight everytime I get to play.

    Not to say I'm the most fabulous bass player, or that I'm always 100 percent happy with my performance.

    I just enjoy playing so much, that all that other stuff doesn't really matter.

    I guess I'm at a point in my life where I don't think I have anything to prove to anyone, and I can just relax and have a good time.

    Sometimes I enjoy it more than others, but I always like it.

    I can't get into that whole inferiority complex thing some bass players have going on either -- how guitarists and vocalists get all the attention, how everyone thinks bass players are morons, yak, yak, yak.

    I'm a bass player by choice. It's what I do. I'm not a frustrated guitar player. I don't wanna be a drummer or a singer. I don't care what anyone else thinks.

    Because I know the secret...

    ...without me and my bass, it ain't go NO booty.
  18. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Frustration after playing bass - only happens to me if I stuffed up during a live gig (whether it is by playing the wrong notes, or coming in at the wrong time) - it's more a reflection of my perfectionistic and obsessive personality than anything else.

    I just have to accept that I am human, and need more practice!
  19. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    I get frustrated every time I listen to something on the Talkbass station - I must be the worst bassist on this board! :eek::(

    Actually, I do get frustrated all the time, but as BG says it's more a reflection of my personality - I don't think I've ever been happy with a live performance or recording I've done. I've also got a pretty competitive streak which means I HAVE to be the best. I can live with being slightly short of Jaco, but I don't like it if I can't play rings around the other bassists I gig with. Of course, the question is how high should the standards you set yourself be - but I think that's one for another thread...
  20. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I get frustrated with your playing quite a bit, but not mine.