Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by basstard1, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. basstard1


    Mar 12, 2005
    I am a reasonable jazz/funk bass player at 13 years old. How frustrating. My guitar playing buddy has done oodles of paid gigs and me? nada. How can anybody take me seriously and put me in their band? I'm sick of covering 'smells like teen spirit' for the 100th time! what should I do, fellow 4-(or 5, 6 or 7) stringers? :scowl:
  2. Make yourself heard. I would try to start your own band then try to get into one. Find some people that want to play the the same stuff.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Buy a phony mustache.
  4. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    That's not always easy since oftentimes the masses and/or those in one's junior-high or high-school only want to hear/play what the dominant style of popular music is. When I was in high school in the 1990s, every musician was playing alternative rock or metal and I wanted to play less heavy stuff and more jazzy stuff.

    I did end up jamming regularly with a drummer at the store I took lessons at, but we were never able to recruit other musicians, since our vision was to have guitars, keyboards, horns... yeah, we didn't even know what ska was at the time, but essentially we wanted to form a ska band, but from 1992- 1996, ska wasn't popular at our respective high schools so we couldn't recruit the kinds of musicians we wanted.

    Still, you can't give up. If I were you, I'd try jamming in a variety of bands. I've jammed in a variety of bands, myself. Few were really what I was looking for musically, but I didn't care, though. I'll play with anyone and everyone so long as it's an opportunity to play. If a band backing a Britney Spears-type pop princess needs me to play bass for them, I'll do it. I don't enjoy that style of music, but a gig is a gig is a gig to me.

    Try looking outside your school for playing opportunities. I'll bet if there is a community jazz ensemble or something, they'd allow you to audition. Or you can put fliers around your school and your various hangouts specifying the kind of music you want to recruit musicians for.

    Either way, though, you WILL have to get used to playing the same songs over and over if you want to be a performing bassist. Whether it's a cover or originals, gigging pros have to play the same stuff night after night with all the energy as if it was completely fresh because to the audience, it is. Even original songs you've written, you will eventually get sick of after playing them hundreds of times night after night. Also, there will always be a handful of songs that the audience will want to hear, no questions asked, so even if you tire of said song, you still have to perform it. I'll bet Ricky Martin gets completely sick of performing "Livin' La Vida Loca" and would rather perform other songs, but THAT is the song that everyone who comes to his shows wants to hear, so he has to perform it, even if the thought of that song makes him sick.
  5. Broach_insound


    Jan 25, 2005
    New York
    Get a badass Bass and Amp and start kicking some ass and show ppl what you can do!! ( If you can do anything)

    J/W what kind of bass do you play with?
  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Basstard1, play with anyone and everyone, no matter what style. Reputation goes quite a way in this business, and if you're willing to bite the bullet and play Teen Spirit a few more times, someone'll see you.

    Either that or post flyers at Guitar Center.
  7. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    Keep at it! In five years when they are still playing their friends' sweet-sixteens for $15 a man you'll be playing clubs and lounges for twice that much! :p

    Seriously, if you are into the jazz and funk stuff, (more mature music, IMO) you can get more of a name for yourself and get something bigger going on... You might even be able to get a career out of it. On the other hand, it won't hurt to get some live-gigging experience under your belt either and just to be seen out a little. Just keep your chops up...
  8. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    speaking of Ska. I've been in the same band from the age of 17. I just turned 26 last week :p . We went from being the next ska band out of California (8 years ago) to be signed by a major label, to being a cover band, back to working with some of the top names in the music world :D If you look under our show pics, and click on Kathys Wedding 2005 you'll see the bassist from the Pretenders playing my gear :hyper: the Fabulous Rudies I say play the music you enjoy playing, and find others who enjoy it just as mich as you.
  9. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Being so young, it's going to be tough to play the kind of music you're talking about. Kids your age want to play Nirvana, Limp Bizkit, Godsmack, and whatever other crap you can think of. I'd say try forming your own band, looking towards people older than you in high school.
  10. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Patience. 13 is awfully young for paying gigs. Don't expect to get taken seriously at your age. Sorry, that's just the way it is.

    Jam with everyone you can, play as many different kinds of music as you can, and suck it up and play "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at parties for gear money. Get in circulation and let your reputation develop naturally.

    In addition to your skills as a musician, you should be working on your social skills - especially teamwork and humility, and being honest without ticking people off (unnecessarily, anyway). Making music is about working together, not hogging the spotlight.

    As you get experience, you'll find that flashy guitar players are a dime a dozen, but bassists who can really support and drive the band are worth their weight in gold.
  11. basstard1


    Mar 12, 2005
    Thanks everyone so much for your help! I'll consider your advice and try amdstar my own band. Thank you again!
  12. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Just keep us posted on how things go, dude. We know how frustrating it is to want to play X while everyone else wants to play Y- it can sometimes take forever to find a band. Still, though, the average gig I was doing as a teen was pool parties and such, and though I was more into playing jazz and stuff, I had to play more popular era-styled music because, well, jazz wouldn't fit too well at a teenage pool party. And I've been snickered at as a teen for enjoying jazz because "that's old fogey music."

    We know how frustrating it is when, within the band, other musicians condescend to the bassist. There were many times as a teenager I was cut down and even went home from jam sessions crying. Even now it's no strange event to run into people who don't think much of the role of bass in the music. It can be very frustrating to deal with people like that who don't know better, but so long as you can stay chill, and don't "have a cow" you'll earn the respect. If you "have a cow" the other person will just say, "what an immature, defensive, temper-tantruming bassist" and it just messes up your rap.

    Any frustration you face as a bassist, we've been there.

    But those are the dues you gotta pay, man. We've all been there, done that, and/or or probably there and doing it now.

    Best of luck finding the right musicians for you. Good musical chops is important in finding bandmates, but I think it's just as important that the bandmates also be folks you really enjoy spending time with, partying with, socializing with, etc. Honestly, I'd take a mediocre player who's a swell guy/girl to hang with over a gifted player with all the social graces of a toaster oven. It's easier to improve one's playing than one's social skills.
  13. Techmonkey


    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    Actually, I dunno what it's like anywhere else, but here in Swansea (Wales, UK) there's an aweful lot going on in the music scene for teenagers. I mean there are alot of half serious bands who just do gigs at parties and school and stuff and they're usually made up of the same people just mixed up, but then there's more serious bands who play gigs at local nightclubs/bars etc. My band's been gigging since before we were 13 and by time we were 13 there was a fair bit of pay involved. The best thing here is called "Teen Spirit" - It's on every Monday and 4 or 5 bands under the age of 18 get asked to play... There's a 40kw Pa there and all. You get payed for selling tickets... 50p per ticket. It's a really good idea, and it's been so succesful they've been setting up more and more around the country, there's 5 now... Each one more popular than the last!
    And the music we tend to listen to is pretty varied... I mean, some of my friends love Marcus Miller and Jaco Pastorius, and others love The Who and The Cure. Playing Smells Like Teen Spirit and the like are old now... After a few years of being exposed to the music scene here you appreciate music alot more.