1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Help get the inspiration back

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by grunge_freak, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. grunge_freak


    Aug 3, 2010
    I've been playing for a long time but lately with work and all, I don't have as much time to practice and focus on my bass playing. So for the maybe 1 hour of time I get a day to practice, I find myself warming up with the same scales/riffs/songs I always do just to keep my skills up but I'm lacking inspiration. It's like I can't think of anything new to play. How do you guys get over these tough times?
  2. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Once I started playing in our church band there are six new songs to learn, or dust off, each week. So those six songs gives me something new to work on.

    I'd suggest taking on a new type of music or a new instrument. Jazz can keep you busy for years. Some drum lessons could improve your bass skills, keyboard is always a good addition. Rhythm guitar is a natural. Most musicians play more than one instrument If you do not now, give that a try.

    Find a jamming circle, or have some friends drop by each week. Those are just a few of the things you could try. I'm sure the guys will come up with more.

    Good luck.
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Pick a station without commercials, or ipod on shuffle, and just play with whatever comes on.
  4. vince a

    vince a

    Jun 13, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    If you go to church and are a christian, join the church's Worship Team band . . . I promise your playing and inspiration will skyrocket . . . esp if the church plays newer Christian songs. Learn those song's bass lines note-for-note.

    I wish I could give you some of my inspiration . . . I have tons of it. However, I was just recently diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. I may have to quit playing sometime in the future, but until then, when my right hand really starts shaking . . . those sixteenth notes get really easy to play!
  5. Tonetodiefor


    Feb 25, 2014
    Marin County
    If the only instrument available is the bass, try finding songs from your favorite bassist that inspired to play when you first started. Remember that excitement? If it is not with those older artists, start searching for tunes that give you that feeling.

    I have been there. Took a hiatus to raise a family and it was fairly easy to find that spark. Even when touring and gigging full time years ago, I always pushed myself to develop a wider ear. That helped tremendously in finding inspiration.

    I also have learned to play, guitar, mandolin, keys and even drums. Besides those and singing and continuing the practice of singing while playing many of those instruments, there never seems to be a day where I'm not feeling inspired.
    We have a gift as musicians that is rare. Find your joy in your playing... You know where and what it is deep inside. I know I know... That came off a bit preachy but for me it's almost instinct and very easy to find.

    I must confess to really be enjoying playing guitar more lately. Both electric and acoustic... If you do not play guitar, you'll find it fairly easy to learn. It's only made my bass playing better and I find many bass parts on the guitar.

    Last but not least... Gig
  6. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    I've gained a fair amount of respect and appreciation for players I know nothing of or very little of, and some new chops doing this. I've played a number of genres over the years, but sometimes things just get stale. Unlike a loved-one, you can switch genres every now and again with no negative consequences, other than realizing that you really do dislike that genre you chose.
  7. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    Go to a club/venue that you've never visited before.
    Get some recommendations for new bands to listen to. (my recommendations include Hundred Waters, East Park Reggae Collective, and Elbow)
    Pick a genre station on Pandora that you are not familiar with: play along with that station for awhile. Hopefully it will give you some new material to integrate into your current playing.
  8. grunge_freak


    Aug 3, 2010
    Thanks for the tips guys, I do play guitar as well and have been playing more of that recently. Today i started listening to some oldies like creedence clearwater revival and the who, and i found myself jammin out and learning their stuff all night! also i used to play in 3 bands but we all went seperate ways. my friend whos a guitarist and i have written some great stuff recently but we need to find a drummer to gig. any reccomendations on how to find a drummer that fits your original style?
  9. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Only way to know is play with them. Audition, open mic, ask around. Sometimes you get lucky.
  10. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    A couple of things I like to do to make practicing more fun are (1) figure out how to play familiar melodies, such as old TV show themes (Flintstones, Addamms Family, Brady Bunch, etc.), and (2) playing completely freely, making up little snippets of melodies and grooves. In addition to being fun, both are really useful for ear training as well.
  11. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    What I did was change genres and start playing with a person or two.
  12. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    Your local college music department.