Getting back into bass

Discussion in 'Ask Lynn Seaton' started by Garth Moore, Sep 18, 2021.


  1. Garth Moore

    Garth Moore Supporting Member

    May 23, 2015
    Hi,

    I started playing bass at 13, took lessons and studied in jazz band and played with a choir, multiple bands. After graduating high school, I turned down an offer to go to Berkelee School of Music. Feeling depleted, I sold off my gear and just focused in acoustic guitar as a hobby. I admit, it hurt that I didn’t go to music school, still hurts a bit even today.

    Since then, I’ve tried jazz guitars, classical guitar, Banjo, mandolins. But I purchased a bass again two years ago and started playing, now I have a nice Sandberg fretless bass. I keep a Martin around as well.

    i’m now 50 and not sure if I’m really going to be playing out again. I do wonder how much of an investment I should make on the bass and focus on it to do all the things I never got to (sight reading, deeper into jazz). I’m nervous about the time commitment and where it might lead… and frankly if this will heal or just open old wounds. And if I do, where to start again beyond noodling? And I admit that watching all the bass video on Instagram and TikTok is intimidating. At 18, I thought I was good. Now, jeez…… I also need some more gear and not sure where to start.

    thanks!
     
  2. Lynn Seaton

    Lynn Seaton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    Denton, TX
    Garth, Welcome to the pursuit of the low end! Some things to consider as you are on the journey:
    1 Remember the fun of when you first discovered the bass. Sometimes we let what we do not know interfere with accepting the joy we got the first time we played a note.
    2 Take some lessons. Contact any players in your area who you would like to study with. Maybe there is a music store that offers lessons.
    3 Jam with great recordings.
    4 Find some people to jam with. Your teacher might be able to help with that.
    5 Go to a summer jazz workshop. It could be combo or bass specific.
    6 You say you need more gear. Consider what is essential to you. At minimum would be a bass (which you have), amp, and cables. Having a music stand, metronome, and good stereo would be helpful.
    7 Aebersold play-a-longs are very useful. I use them a lot for years. Several are now available digitally. There is also a streaming service for the audio tracks. www.jazzbooks.com
    I hope this helps!
     
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