Hey Hacks! What keeps you playing?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by baddarryl, Jul 10, 2021.

  1. baddarryl


    Oct 26, 2008
    Cape Fear!
    First things first. I am a total hack. I suck. There are songs I've tried to learn for 35 years that i just can't play. I see players every day that smoke me Apparently I am good enough to play in bands and people want me to play with them, but I am terribly afraid of being exposed before my peers!! I am really good at faking it. Sometimes I just want to sell it all and walk away. Heck I have actually done that before and came back. Frustrating!!

    I had only dibble dabbled at home over the years and didn't actually play in a band until my early 40's. Maybe I should just give myself a break. Aaaaaaagh!!
    J_Bass, StevieMac and Eli_Kyiv like this.
  2. I was speaking with a singer about this just this week. ‘Imposter syndrome’ is much more common than you think.

    Stay away from hyper-critical people who make you doubt yourself. You are clearly good enough to play those songs with your band, and that’s all that matters. Give yourself some credit.
  3. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    You're being "exposed before your peers" every time you play with a band, and yet people still want to play with you. Success. What exactly is the problem again?
  4. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    He wears the bass very low... :roflmao:
    baddarryl likes this.
  5. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    What keeps me playing? I had 5 mins, I'm still trying to get the other 10!
    JRA, OldNARDGuy and nonohmic like this.
  6. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    You know, sometimes I hear one of the greats and think "why do I bother?"
    Then I think "but the world needs music . People need music. And those cats (the "greats") can't be in every bar and hall and room and park and old folks home in the world at once.
    So the rest of us need to take up the slack, as best we can.
    JRA, Andre678, Need Gigs and 4 others like this.
  7. Find people who are slightly better than you to play with. Not hugely better — that will be frustrating, and ultimately limiting. There is built-in improvement in this scenario.

    Slightly better is preferable to slightly worse.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2021
    LBS-bass likes this.
  8. Malcolm35

    Malcolm35 Supporting Member

    Why did I play the same 45 songs with the same band for 20 years?

    I enjoyed being with the guys and it got me out of the house for some "me time". Simple as that. As their skill level increased I was forced to keep up.
  9. roccobass

    roccobass Still funkin’ in the free world.

    Jun 25, 2014
    Does playing make you happy? Does it give you peace and tranquillity? As you stated before, your level of playing makes you desired by others to be in their bands. Besides, everyone learns at their own pace. Not to worry.Heck , there are 14 year olds that pick up things far faster than me. Whenever you to feeling down again. I want you to think of this!

    baddarryl and LBS-bass like this.
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I sometimes share the feeling of inadequacy.

    However, a couple of weeks ago I went to a local blues jam and played for the first time in about 20 months. My practice habits suck, and I had probably played a total of two hours during that entire 20 months, so I got in about 30 minutes of practive before thejam.

    I played a half-dozen numbers. On two of them, I really struggled and knew I was marginal at best. One of those was Stormy Monday, which made me feel pretty frustrated because it's a blues standard, but I've never been able to "hear" a good bass line in that tune. I felt like I should have known that one well enough to grab a line and play it. (And I'm working on it.)

    Two tunes, I felt OK although I kept it really simple. And on the other two of them I felt really good, found a pattern that fit and got a solid groove going.

    And you know what? People danced. More danced when we had the better groove going toward the end of the set, but they danced.

    So it reminded me of a couple of things:

    1. We are all our own most harsh critics. (And we should be.)

    2. People like music. Even music that isn't perfect moves people, and they enjoy it.

    And I think #2 is why we play.
    Malcolm35, Lobster11 and kesslari like this.
  11. Kaa


    Sep 28, 2004
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I play music for me. It makes me feel good. Even if I never play out again, or even with other people, just noodling on my bass, making noises is good for my soul.
  12. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff Inactive

    Aug 21, 2014
    If simple is all you can do.. do simple.. but make it sound good. Bands have found fame with less. Playing with other people only serves to help you improve. Wear some sunglasses for your first gig if you have to. I did..at night.. after that it was easy. And hey.. you're a musician performing on stage, you're allowed to look goofy. See the below for examples.

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2021
  13. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I set out to learn bass -- my first-ever musical instrument -- in my early 40s (about 20 years ago). My only goal was to get good enough to be in a hobby band in which I was welcome and could hold my own. I succeeded at that and am now in two such bands. I couldn't be happier. I'm probably not "good enough" to be in a lot of bands, but I don't care: I'm good enough to do what I'm doing, and honestly couldn't care less about what I might or might not be able to do otherwise.
  14. Bassaga


    Sep 4, 2015
    I thought I was mediocre until I recorded myself a could weeks ago - turns out I'm a total hack! But I'm still playing because it's always been fun and it's still fun and it'll probably keep on being fun. Plus maybe someday I'll rise to an acceptable mediocrity for real :thumbsup:
    OldNARDGuy likes this.
  15. baddarryl


    Oct 26, 2008
    Cape Fear!
    Thanks everyone! Yes fun is why I play. I was noodling tonight and came up with cool stuff! Fun!
    Reg Braithwaite likes this.
  16. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    I've been a hack for over 3 decades and don't suck because I've learned to stay in my lane and make the most out of what I can control; tone, time, & taste.

    But there other considerations necessary for success; being on time, having a good attitude, making sure your equipment is trouble free, and willingness to work as a team to achieve the intended goal.
    JRA and Groove Doctor like this.
  17. WG Plum

    WG Plum Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2021
    Damian Erskine has great words for us hacks:

  18. J_Bass

    J_Bass Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    That's what matters.
  19. OldNARDGuy


    Nov 15, 2020
    Funny how that works. I recorded myself with a couple of play-alongs that I thought I was doing well with as I played. It sounded so awful on replay that I spent an hour trying to figure out what was wrong with my recording equipment. :laugh:
    Bassaga likes this.
  20. motoman


    May 8, 2008
    Ontario canada
    For as long as i have owned a bass i probably suck one of the worst on this site. However i do have to say raising a young family and working 6 days a week does not leave much time for practice. But i just play for my own enjoyment just holding the bass puts me in a good mood. And it gives me a reason to be on this site to hang with you cool guys.