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Has this ever happened to you? the "better bassist"

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by QORC, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    Excuse the "daily whine"

    Doing a gig last weekend with another band.

    Got talking to the bassist. A converted guitarist just 8 months ago.

    The guy is better than me (been playing for a couple of decades).

    Boy did that depress me!
  2. Over the weekend, I was hanging out at Guitarcenter and I was checking out some working bassists, It really hit me just how stale my thumb technique was. My thumb technique probably sounds not much better than it did in 1980 which means my slapping is really primitive by today's standards. I think I won't even try to compete, I never had a very fast thumb anyway. I will work more on theory and musical knowledge. My attitude is that Anthony Jackson, my all time favorite player, never plays "licks" he always uses his knowledge to play music that can't just be distilled into a technique or two. I'll never bee as good as him, but emulating his approach is now my goal. I hereby renounce all flash.

    I'm not saying my situation was the same as yours, but I am trying to use my shortcoming as a stimulus for growth.
  3. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    I've resolved to work even harder in my spare time
  4. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Well, I did log on to Talkbass this morning...
  5. In like 85-86 I was a total McCartney/Jack Bruce freak. I thought I was pretty good (I look back now and wince- I really did suck), and my band was playing with these guys- their bass player was this young, fresh faced kid. He was the nicest, sweetest guy you'd ever imagine eating cookies and milk at your grandmother's house.

    The dude was a freakin' monster. I played guitar in a band with him about 10 years later- he's still phenomenal.

    Sort of the same thing with bands... somewhere around 10 years ago the band I was in was pretty good. We were actually kind of cocky about it. We were doing a show in the middle of winter with this band from 100 miles away- we heard they were the shiz-nit. Anyway, these kids show up. Really young, polite, nice, clean cut kids. They say the other band couldn't make it and that they drove 3 hours in a frickin' blizzard to play. I remember all of us grumbling about how much a bunch of high school kids were going to suck, what were they doing out of the house without their mommy or daddy with them... and we were genuinely worked up for this great rock show with an out of town band with a great rep- and we get little kids...

    All the grumbling stopped after these "kids" (they were the same age as us- they just looked young) were playing for 30 seconds. One of the most jaw-droppingly amazing shows I'd ever seen. I did not want to play after them.

    There was a huge show a few months later- some benefit show of some sort- a gazillion bands. All these bands were fihgting about who was going to have to play first- no one wanted to. Those guys were like- 'we'll do it' and scared the pants off of every one of those other bands- and there were some really great bands there that nite.

    You gotta watch how high your head gets in the clouds.
  6. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC

    haha, +1. me too.

    even though im a younger bass player (goin on 8 years) i know that im better than some and worse than others. the ones im better than i really try hard not to let it blow my ego up. and the ones im worse then i dont let their schooling me bother. i just think of it in two ways: 1. more reason to practice and 2. im just as good, but in a different way.
  7. Perfect-Tommy


    Mar 28, 2004
    Way to swing for the fences...

    I never really get too worked up about people being better then me. I'm like a jealous lover when it comes to my bandmates. They better not drool over some other bass player or there will be hell to pay!!! :p

    I kind of live in my own little bass world. Example, I don't slap and never really plan to learn how to properly do so. Not saying I won't, but I don't need to slap for my music. Geddy Lee never learned to slap and he seems to be doing pretty well :p Sicne I don't slap, technically... anyone that slaps even moderately well is better then me and Geddy Lee (atleast in that way)

    I just focus on doing what I need to do and want to do. I only compare myself to where I want to be. We all have our skills and our passions, no need to get hung up on some one else's dream.
  8. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    excellent point
  9. i love people schooling my ass, jsut makes me work harder
  10. mike sancho

    mike sancho SANCH

    Feb 10, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yup it happens all the time. I do what I do well but I do try to know my limits and that seems to soften the blow.
  11. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I love that! Free lessons!
  12. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    You guys have heard my whine before-
    It's "OK", I don't get tired of telling it.

    #1-In '75, I was a 17-year old 'know-it-all'...Paul would have banished me from this site after about a day & half. Anyway, I'm thinking I'm hot ****; so one night me & some fellow bandmates stumble into a dance on the peninsula(Hampton/Newport News, VA) to see a band of brothers called The Wootens.
    Ya know, I think I coulda handled it if someone older than me was better...but a little kid?!?

    After I got over that-
    #2-My best friend's early '80s Top-40 band was about to replace their original bassist. This was a great cover band with a great house band gig. My friend asks me if I'm interested...to make a long story short, my friend tells me the band's leader hired some kid from D.C.
    I ask, "Is he any good"?
    My friend sez, "He's supposed to be the 'next Stanley Clarke' or sumthin".
    "This I gotta see"!

    Well, that turned out to be Oteil Burbridge; at the time, he had only been playing bass for about 4 years. Honestly, he coulda slipped right into the Weather Report gig & they wouldn't have lost a beat.
  13. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I've told this story before, but it's worth telling again. I was at Guitar Center in Southfield, Mi just screwin' around. At the time I was jonesin' for a Warwick Thumb. I had taken one down and was thumpin' out "Forget Me Nots" by Patrice Rushen. I really didn't see this guy come sit next to me at first, but he picked up a Conklin and just started to groove. Not showin' off, not super loud. Just straight up smooth and groovin'. Then, after a while I guess he was warmed up. He just totally lit that Conklin up.

    It was Fred Hammond. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I went back to running scales.


  14. Funky-Wunky


    Jun 15, 2004
    Funny how the better you get, the more you realize you have to learn! :hyper:
  15. Aqueousillusion


    Feb 8, 2005
    I just started playing like a couple months ago, so everyone's better than me....heck! My moms better than me.

    Thats depressing.
  16. good point. in my circle of friends(most of them musicians) there are three bassists. one dosn't really play any more. the other is my friend karl. he is the the mozart to my soliairi. he always gets picked when we all go to open jams. my bass never leaves the case. there is no hard feelings (most of the time but i keep that to myself) he does have about ten years on me. he gets up on stage and busts out YYZ and i'm all like :eek: then why do I even bother :rollno: but it only makes me work harder. i was the lead singer in his band, after watching him play two or three nights a week i said to myself that is what i should be doing. :bassist:
  17. I'm going to watch a band tonight for the sole purpose of getting schooled by their bass player (http://www.gamblebrothersband.com/). He's not too fancy, but is pretty damn solid. Last time I went to watch them, I locked myself in my practice room for about 10 hours. Had a good heart-to-heart conversation with myself. Sometimes nothing is more inspiring than watching better musicians.
  18. I've been playing the bass a year and some month, and then when I'm sitting in a rehearsal room at my school playing some things I've learned myself, my friend drops by and she's a pianists, and then she ask if she can try the bass, and I'm like ok, and she says she's not very good, but have learned onething and the other, from her boyfriend who a bassist. And then she just starts playing some wacky stuff, which just makes me think "I'm never gonna get anywhere with this"...but no hard feelings, she just has a thing with instruments...

    The guitarist in my band is a converted bassist, and have played bass for about five years, and he says that I'm as good as he was after three years, which is what is encouraging me to get even better. I would probably had been better yet if I had been schooled. But I really get jealous when I see someone who's better than me... but I'm still inspired by them...
  19. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    I had been playing for about 17 years at the time. Went into my local MegloMart Center to check out a MM.. There was a 15 Year old kid who tore my drawers off :bawl: Now I have been playing for 25 years. Things like that do not bother me in the slightest. I am in a awesome band with beyond good players and I am just as good as they are. I do not see myself as a great player, just good. Improving every time I pick up my bass. Unlike my story, I own all of my own equipment, bought and payed for by playing on stage after stage. I have traveled the US playing everywhere. I am pretty good. I always go by the rule that personally, I should be the worst player in the band. All the other people in my band feel that they are the worst also, so we all get better. **** the who think that you have to be a 'GOD' on bass. Be yourself and improve.. :smug:
  20. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    This one is from the time I was still playing the guitar. I had been playing for 3 years or something, but it didn't really work out, I could play some basics, but that was it. I get to know this guy who wants to start of with guitar, so I give him some pointers, what to look for when buying gear and so on..4 months later I meet the cat at a friends house and he starts playing Little Wing by the later great Hendrix :eek: I'm like ***? a year and a half later he's practicing Dream Theater songs, I mean??