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greatness

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by patrickroberts, Sep 26, 2000.


  1. patrickroberts

    patrickroberts

    Aug 21, 2000
    Wales, UK
    how the hell does someone like John Deacon, Flea and John Entwistle become so god damn good, is it just natural talent or hard work and graft?
     
  2. Mostly hard work, with a little bit of graft. ;)
     
  3. jfsjbb

    jfsjbb

    Aug 29, 2000
    5% inspiration, 95% transpiration
     
  4. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    All kidding aside it is a great deal of practice. Additionally it is about taking chances and allowing yourself to fail. It is not getting to high on yourself when you do something great. If you really want to read about becoming great, try reading the book, "Effortless Mastery" by Kenny Werner. You can get it from http://www.bassbooks.com. It is published by Jamey Abersold

    Mike
     
  5. i would have to agree with mike "effortless mastery" is a great book, learning that there are no wrong notes opened up my playing.
     
  6. D.J

    D.J

    Jan 31, 2000
    What's matter about these bassists mentioned?
     
  7. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    D.J.

    No one said anything was the "matter" with those players. We are talking about becoming a great player.

    Mike
     
  8. D.J

    D.J

    Jan 31, 2000


    Ok Mike thanks for clarification, I had misunderstanded the question...I apologize to all and I think mostly it's natural talent but at the same time it's necessary a hard work.

     
  9. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Interesting discussion - I'm a fairly firm non-believer in 'natural musicians' - I do believe that fairly random events in early life can affect the way you relate to music, and how you file it in terms of it's relation to your life, but I do believe that 'greatness' isn't out of reach for anyone, it's to do with how you engage with the whole concept. To pursue greatness by anyone else's standards is to, IMHO, miss the whole point - pursuing your own wholeness and integrity as a musician means you're already at that place - the destination is to be on the right journey, not to 'arrive' in any sense. There are landmarks that are tangible in terms of theoretical understanding, technical ability and so on, but they are all just points on a journey, and should serve to encourage you, not be used to rubbish other players who can't do them, or to berate yourself over how much better player X is... There are loads of players that are technically better than me, but no-one who sounds just like me, no-one who given the musical situations in which I find myself would play the same things. I'm not better or worse, just me, and so long as I'm getting better at being me, I've already won... :oops:)

    cheers

    Steve
    http://www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  10. If you have to ask, you'll never know.
     
  11. Mike

    Mike

    Sep 7, 2000
    Cali
    I agree with Steve in part. Some file music differently and we all relate to it differently. However,some seem to interepret emotion through their instruments more powerfully than others. Why? Filing? Processing? "Natural" ability? I dunno.

    For example,I'm a 'good' player,capable of a few flashy tricks and have enough technical ability to play and create a groove in most (not all) situations I encounter. However, there are those musicians such as Stuart Hamm, Mike Watt, Flea,(Maybe even you Steve.While I know "who you are," I've never heard any of your music.:)Anyway, I mention these players because they were my primary influences when I began playing in the early 80's.) etc. who, for whatever reason, are creating lines and playing music that inspire the rest of us. I can use the analogy of Michael Jordan in the NBA. He was arguably the greatest all around player the NBA has ever seen while a couple hundred other "good" players in the NBA sat back in awe of his abilities.

    A lot of hard work? Absolutley. But, there had to be something more,IMHO.


    Just a few thoughts,babble,whatever...

     
  12. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    All of the above - I'd say that that which is perceived as 'natural' is nurture - that is, early exposure to music and whether or not the asociations were good will affect the way you play it...
    There's also the factor of what it means to you - one man's genius is another's total crap - I saw the Flea video recently, and thought it was terrible - his playing is nowhere, his patter is drug-addled nonsense. He's a great player, but that video doesn't show any of it. There are quite a few bass heroes that don't do it for me, and other 'plodders' who really give me a buzz - that's the beauty of music - there are no scores. If Jordan looked good on court and played from the heart but didnt' score baskets or defend well, he'd still be crap, no matter how artfully he tried the jump shot. Bob Dylan can't sing, can't play but does what he does from the heart and changed the course of popular music...

    BTW - if you want to hear what I do, check out my web-site - there's loads of streamable real audio there, as well as album ordering info...

    cheers

    Steve
    http://www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  13. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    The Michael Jordan analogy doesn't work. Michael's work can be judged by statistics, points, assists, championships, rebounds (ESPN highlights), etc. We cannot not nor should we judge music in the same way. I must totally agree with Steve. In fact, one of the players that many bassist look up, Victor Wooten would also agree (check out my interview with him in the January issue of Bass Frontiers).

    It is all about defining yourself as a musician. Developing a "voice" for yourself and using that particular voice to express what is inside you. Technical brilliance means absolutely nothing (anybody remember Adrian Davidson - "worlds fastest bass player").If music lacks emotional content it means nothing. I would rather hear one great note plaed at exactly the right time than the most brilliantly, technical "Exercise."

    Someone recently said to me that "younger" players just don't realize what goes into my chord/melody playing. They don't realize the devotion to technique, theory and musicianship because it sounds so simple. SO what if it is simple or sounds simple - it is my voice.

    My solo work and Steve's are at different ends of the spectrum musically, yet both are solo bass, both filled with technique and theory and at least in his case also filled with musicality.

    BTW, Steve use your own forum to sell your CD ;)
     
  14. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    OK - how about I redress the balance - guys, you have got to check out http://www.michaeldimin.com - his comments above are too modest - his solo work is VERY musical, and his book 'The Chordal Approach' is one of the best resources I've ever seen for anyone investigating solo bass, and will be featured in an upcoming article in Guitarist magazine about bass books.

    Is that better?? :oops:)

    Seriously folks, Michael's solo stuff is really good - I just hope I get to see him live some time...

    Steve
    http://www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  15. theJello

    theJello

    Apr 12, 2000
    Great words of wisdom from Steve and Mike. You guys hit on ALOT of good points. Especially the part about being yourself and being the best YOU can be. And the joy of knowing that nobody will ever sound like YOU because only YOU are YOU. EVERYBODY has their own thing. Its just getting to that point of actually tapping into it.

    Btw I just bought your book Mike. Looks great.
    I have also been eyeballing that effortless mastery. Sounds really good.

    Anyways, its great to see some informative WORTHWHILE threads like this. I get a little frustrated here on talkbass sometimes because alot of people seem to be to be overly focused on amps, the number of strings on your bass, this guys girl friend, this new pickup that will change EVERYTHING, that HOT PLAYER or how do I get geddy lee's tone and the #1 of all time.
    HOW DOES VIC DO THAT?!:)

    Anyways, not trying be negative or anything. This is the internet and variety is the spice of life.
    Just cool to see more things on groove, what it actually means to be a bass player and the actual discussion of MUSIC.


     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think the point is that Steve and Mike are both musicians who have been through the process of learning what you need to know to make music. Whereas, I suspect that a large number of the "members" on this board are nowhere near that stage and don't have much experience of actual "music-making", but are rather considering whether they want to embark on that journey and are mostly filling in their spare time. This makes it difficult to have a dicussion about music, as such and it's always going to gravitate towards the "lowest common denominator" so that more can join in.
     
  17. DaveTomasi

    DaveTomasi Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Baltimore, Maryland
    I just read this thread. There is much widsom here.

    I just wanted to say that Mike's book (The Chordal Approach) is one outstanding work. In the few months that I have had it, my playing has expanded beyond chop building to music making. My band mates have noticed the difference / improvement (even the drummer :D ). Thanks to Mike for showing a bass player how to be a musician.
     
  18. Mike, on your recommendation, I picked up "Effortless Mastery". I am currently reading through it and it is indeed an excellent book. A lot of the philosophies discussed parallel "The inner game of music" by Barry Green,
    another of my favorites. I have had several scoffers say "what is this New Age "Love Yourself" Crap?" But, no matter,for me it has opened up my mind, and my playing quite a bit,so thanks for the tip! :)

    P.S. BTW, it is cheaper at Barnes& Noble.
     
  19. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Yeah, but I try to support places like bassbooks.com - besides the fact that they sell my book, They are are truly great resource for all of us bass players. If we don't support them, they'll be gone and that would be too bad.

    Mike
     
  20. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Dave,

    Thank you so much for the kind words.

    Mike