HELP: i lost it

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by ryan morris, Sep 20, 2001.

  1. ryan morris

    ryan morris Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    hey all, in the past couple weeks i have been so excited about getting new basses i've messed myself up. i finally acquired a warwick thumb, which i really love, but dealing with money and just waiting for it has put me in a difft. state. i can't find the same inspiration in music that i used to. i can't groove like i used to. i am basicaly stuck on playing on the dots. i don't know how this happened. what is wrong with me? can anyone help. i feel like a failure. this has never happened in my 5 years of playing. i feel dumb.
    ok, thanks for listening, later, ryan
  2. ryan morris

    ryan morris Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    oh, some more problems. i was so happy to get the 5 string, because i love to slap it, that i might have lost some groove there. i don't know if i should just go back to a 4 or work as hard as possible on my 5. maybe i've been working too hard lately that my brain is just mush. is it possible to overplay? i don't want to do any more gear buying. but maybe a four would be better for me. dang. i'm lost.
  3. Stop looking at the neck, use your ears.

    Take the time you will get it back. I got my thumb because it didn't have dots. It will come back to you. Time will fix it.
  4. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    You know Ryan...I've been there before too. Just suddenly, BAM...nothing. No creativity, no groove, just "Plunk plunk, ple-plunk" on the dots. Man, I felt like the worlds biggest jackass on bass. About that time, I seriously was wondering if Music was even right for me. I went through a period of chronic self doubt, and just about cried every time I picked up the bass, because I was, well, lost.

    What made me find "It"? Again. you know, that spark?...Playing with my band. I mean, I felt like crap, and then one day, my friend brought in a riff, and I just milked that song all practice, and when I came outta that Bar basement that day...well, it was like I had found the cure for cancer.

    Moral of this story? Well, it sucks now, but give it some time. It'll come back. Right now, your Mojo is just on a break. We all need a break. Just give it time.
  5. ryan morris

    ryan morris Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    yeah, good thinking. i don't know why, but i haven't been using my ear as much as i used to. i just thought of another problem. dang. i want to play music all the time. i want to play every kind of music. man
  6. ryan morris

    ryan morris Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    you know just talkin' about this is helping me. i love this place. time. that seems like the biggest problem solver so far. thanks
  7. i dont know if i'm answering the right thing, but if it's that you've lost your inspiration... then this is how i've always fixed it.

    I go out, and i start listening to everything. Even boybands *flinch* and just listen to the music, feel it, get that groove of the song stuck in your head, and you'll adventuly find somthing you like, a line that flat out speaks to you, so much that you wanna learn the riff. You learn the riff, and suddenly, your writing out different lines, simular to that riff, pushing yourself to re-create that riff, but in different variations, of different speeds, and key's. Soon, you'll be back to normal, and you wont even know it.

    I've had so many types of music pull my out of my ruts... Surf music, Metal, Jazz, Blues, Rock (like 60's rock, hendrix stuff), Rockabilly, funk, punk, raggae, and even rap has gotten grooves into me, making me want to learn the genere of music, so it pushed me creatively, and suddenly, i was out of my rut. try it, it may work.
  8. ryan morris

    ryan morris Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    you see, i want to listen to every type of music. own every cd. play in every band. i just don't FEEL like it right now. but if and when i feel like it, and when i acquire some more doller flow, i'll def. get some difft. music. so, i guess i just need to get out of this mood that i suck at bass, and get back in the swing of things. i don't know how to get out yet, but i'm sure something that happens, whether in words or sounds or anything, i'll snap out, in time(*that's a sly and the fam. stone song). anyways, thanks for the idea
  9. Nails


    Jun 4, 2000
    Austin, Tejas
    I actually hit a point where I couldn't play at all. I was feeling depressed at the time, my entire life was predictable. From the time I got up, what I did at work, when I got home, what time I played bass, when I ate, it was all the same day after day. I literally had to put my bass in it's case for about 6 weeks or so, playing just made me feel worse. Playing guitar was even worse than playing bass.

    Then I bought the new Jimmy Eat World CD, and something about the simplicity and tone of the bass on that CD made me de-case the bass and fire up the amp. Something about it energized me. And since that time I've moved, started school, I'm starting a band, and I don't have a job, but I am looking. I knew I was going to move a long time before I did. I moved from a small West Texas town to Austin to go to school and rock.

    My chops aren't quite what they used to be due to this and the fact that I don't play as much as I used to. But I'm starting to get the flow again.

    The only advice I can give you is wait it out, and sort thru any personaly problems you may have (family, significant other, depression, whatever.) You have to be happy with yourself before you can be happy with anything else.
  10. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Ryan, the experience you are going through happens to every musician sooner or later - it's part of life. No one is exempt really. Writers get writer's block. Composers get stuck. Instrumentalists lose focus and motivation.

    Everyone goes through it differently, and everyone gets out of it using their own unique method, in their own time. The secret is to expect it to happen once in a while, and to not let it stop you from playing - keep going at it, don't give up, and the magic will return.
  11. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Put down the bass and take up walking or reading or hockey. Sometimes the best inspiration for music does not come from music.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well I think everybody so far has missed the point about buying a new bass. I have said before that it takes me a long time to get comfortable with a different bass and each time I have got a new one inthe past it has been very exciting - but it has taken me a few momths at least to get used to it and also change the setup to suit me rather than some general setup or what the last owner preferred.

    There have been times when I've had to use a borrowed bass - once I used 4 basses in 3 days at gigs. And although I got thorugh it and nobody said I was playing badly, it felt exactly how Ryan describes to me - I was just playing mechanically with no feeling or groove. But this experience made me realise how much effect the bass can have - OK you can play anything, but a bass that you feel confortable with, to me inspires you so much and motivated you to play more. Maybe most people wouldn't notice the subtle differences, but I think these can make a big difference and getting something quite extreme like a thumb bass can be a big difference.

    So there is a bass player who sometimes deps for me in my main band and he plays a Warwick Thumb and is totally inspired by it - he sounds great. But he let me have a go and I couldn't do anything on it - I just sounded flat and devoid of any feel. But I don't take this kind of thing badly - I just see it that I'm not used to that bass or comfortable with
    it - it 's not set up for me! These thinsg take time and this is my main reason why I only have one bass and concentrate on that.
  13. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I agree with Bruce-it takes time for the instrument to become 'mine'.

    Another factor is that when you buy a new toy its like wow a new toy then for some reason post buying depression kicks in and you start to find fault with it (this happens for me). Then it picks up and you start to use it in the way it was meant to be used ie a tool for making music.

    The right bass is a fundamental requirement for making 'good' music.

    BTW I have a Thumb and obviously like it. I never got on with Tobias basses as much as I like the look and build quality. Horses for courses.
  14. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    For many reasons (career changes, birth of my children, life), in the sixteen years that I have been playing, I have gone through three or four periods for 3-5 months when I didn't play at all.

    When I started up again, I would always struggle to get my chops back and my hands would be a little sore for a few days, but it has always been a refreshing experience. It is as if you have forgotten enough of your habits to force yourself to re-think what you do.

    Everytime I have done this, on both bass and acoustic guitar, I feel like I come out of it a better player. I also get a renewed appreciation for the instrument.

    OF course, it is true that much of this could be caused be the new bass. It is sort of like buying new shoes, you find yourself thinking about walking whereas it should be something you just do.

    When I get a new bass, I always break it down. Remove the strings, clean it up (sometimes even removing the PUs and cleaning in and around them) polish, restring with my kind of strings and do a complete setup. Play, tweak, play, tweak. My wife has learned that a new bass means I am locked in my basement studio for 8-10 hours. When it is done, I feel better about it always. Not only are the mechanics more what you want, but you have some sweat equity in the instrument. It takes the work to make it feel like my own. Even if the money did come out of my bank account. Until I give it the treatment, I feel like I am playing someone else's bass.

  15. ryan morris

    ryan morris Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    well, the whole new bass theory is seeming close to home for me. i haved owned five strings in the past and ended up giving them up for the four string. i love the sound of a that string but i feel more comfortable on the four string. the bass is super nice looking and i am about to buy a big ol' strap so the bass stays put, but maybe a big ol' strap and a fretless four would work best for me because that's what i feel most comfortable with. i did spend about 5 hours yesterday trying to set it up perfectly(that's one great thing about the thumb, it's easy to get it exact because there's so many things you can do to it), but it still feels like am not playing my own bass. the only thing that i don't like about this bass is the fact that i can't cut out the fret noise anywhere. i am used to my jazz where i can only hear the frets when i want to. this bass also doesn't present the growl that i was expecting. should i give this bass a little more time or trade it for a four string fretless or fretted? man, i bug myself sometimes. anyways, thanks. i think i might be closer to figuring this all out. later, ryan