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! :)

Hobbyists, How Do You Stay Interested?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by mikarre, May 10, 2004.

  1. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    This post is for those who consider yourselves hobby bassists. Those of you who don't play in a band, yet spend endless hours in your basement with your bass. What the heck are you doing down there? What keeps you motivated to play even though you have no intention of ever being in a band, or aren't in a band right now?

    I may be getting into a band again, but rehersals wont start until later in the summer. I need some ideas on what to work on since we don't have a set list yet. I tend to get a little bored when I am not in a band and spend a lot of time just noodeling or working on scales. What can I do to stay motivated? :bassist:
  2. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Okay, that's me - I'm a hobbiest.

    Well, never in a basement - but yes, still that's me. I've spent countless hours. What am I doing? Playing bass. Because I like to play bass.
    Whoa, whoa, whoa! Who said I have no intention of ever being in a band? Nothing could be farther from the truth. What keeps me motivated and what am I doing? Getting ready to play in a band.

    Scales, arpegios, songs by your favorite musicians, learning new technique, writing original material...

    You could try listening to cassette tapes from motivational speakers... or maybe better yet, find a teacher and take some lessons.
  3. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I definitely suggest a teacher. As a teacher opens things up for you, you'll be amazed at how much more interested you'll be. Perhaps you're hitting a brick wall.
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    If you don't want to play scales and chords, at least take the "down time" to develop a repertoire of basslines for songs in the styles you would be most likely to play if you should join a band.

    Listen to your chosen songs, try to transcribe them, work on their bass lines or try alternate basslines to those songs. Play them in different keys. Try them with different rhythms, such as play them in a salsa or merengue style or play them more melodically or more like heavy metal.
  5. Hello,

    I took up Piano earlier this year and I absolutely love it. My first instrument will always be the bass but the piano complements the bass so well (from a learning point of view).

    That's one thing to consider.

    You could also consider taking one of the courses on MusicDojo.com. Check out the very active MusicDojo.com thread in this forum.

  6. sedgdog


    Jan 26, 2002
    Pasco, WA
  7. radi8


    Feb 10, 2004
    i fit this description.
    I enjoy creating music and getting some pointers from veteran players.
    couple of years ago, i ( in the midwest) hooked up with a keyboard player on the east coast at mp3.com.
    I had just gotten into bass..he'd been playing keys for a few years.
    I liked his music.
    I started begging him to send me wav files of his work in rough draft form so i could add bass and a few bells and whistles and post the remixes.
    He was cool with it.
    as mentioned earlier,online collaboration is a cool way to maintain the flow.
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    In defense of bass "hobbyists" - Being a bass "hobbyist" was a lot more interesting in many ways, to me, than when I made the decision to do this for a living.

    IME, promoting the band and getting gigs lined up and all the details that go with it takes up so much time that actually playing bass seems secondary to me.

    In other words, sadly, the "business" dwarfs the "art."

    Playing just for the love of it and not constantly being judged often seems likes a rare treat......especially when you're as bad as I am. :bawl:
  9. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Find other hobbyists to play with. Music is a form of communication, and while it's good to play by your self (I think it's possible to communicate with your soul, god, your cat... while playing by yourself), it's good to get out and play with other people. That's the best way to improve musically.
  10. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    Play with other musicians as often as possible.

    Is there anyway that you can perform - in any capacity? As a duo in a coffee shop?

    At your church's summer festival? Anything?

    Preparing for an actual performance makes practice more meaningful for me - probably for you too.
  11. H2ODog


    Sep 30, 2003
    Roseville, CA
    I know how you feel. I'ts a hobby for me but at some point i would like to play with others (curently looking), more for fun than anything else. I ahave no illusions of making a living playing the bass but the thought of playing in a band with others is what drives me to keep practicing. Sometimes i get in a rut and think i'm not making progress or at leat as much as i would like but i think back when i started 5 months ago and see where i am now and realize how far i have come in that short period of time. i would say to keep working at it and set some short term and long term goals and try to achieve them. For me long term is to play in a band, short term is to learn the theory behind playing the bass so i have a better understanding of what i'm doing. Keep at it, have fun and you will eventually get there.
  12. Moongarm


    Apr 10, 2004
    Ok this may be slightly off topic but I think it will fit in with the overall theme of the thread.

    How do you prepare yourself to play with others?

    This has been my biggest nemesis on guitar and now bass. There is only a certain few friends that I feel comfortable playing with, and most of them are already in bands which makes getting together to play hard in the first place. Even then I fight my my nervousness, which is odd because I'm not the nervous type(I've Improv'd on Trombone in front of about 5k people before and didn't bat an eye). I'm itching to get into another band(it's been about two years for me) hopefully on bass this go-around.

    Is there anything the seasoned vets can recommend to help with this?
  13. GrooveSlave


    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    IMO, there are only 2 things that matter:

    1. Groove. Learn to groove with just a click. Record yourself. If your neck doesn't move in response to your grooove, repeat until it does.

    If you have access to a midi setup or a drum machine, you can program the drums to a song you are working on. Believe me when I say, that if you can play any song you "know" with just the drums and no other cues - you know the song.

    It's even better if you can find some people to work on grooving with. But, that makes no sense, because we are talking about getting ready to play with others. :meh:

    This does point out something though, don't wait. Just jump in. The water's fine.

    2. Learn a bunch of songs. Most people who are getting a band started will be AMAZED if you walk in and nail a song.

    This happened to me the first time I went on an audtion. We were to play "Couldn't Stand the Weather". I spent the 2 weeks I had to prepare shedding my butt off on this song. I walked in and nailed it. They didn't know the song as well as I did. Needless to say they asked me to come back. Too bad the whole thing blew up, but that's a different story.

    The final point I'd like to make is that confidence is important when playing with others and confidence comes from KNOWING you are prepared. So, do your homework and to quote Jeff Berlin "Kill 'em where they stand."

    Good luck.
  14. sheepdip


    Apr 14, 2004
    Hey Jazzbo, your practice post jumped right up there. I especially like the part about playing along with the music. A Drummer friend does that, pops in a CD and gets with it. I had contemplated doing that, it will keep you interested and give you good instruction.

    Instruction, ABSOLUTLY
  15. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    What worked for me, as I've auditioned with more bands playing more kinds of music than I can remember;

    > Get yourself as sharp as a razor playing along with recordings of the music.
    Even then, it won't compare with playing along with live musicians.......they make mistakes and changes, too, that will throw you.

    > Go in with humility but total confidence that you are worthy of playing with them. Doubting your ability will show up in your playing.

    > Have your knowledge of the music as tight as a snare head. Know the music inside and out.

    Example - I auditioned with a rock-blues band that did a lot of Allman Brothers covers. The band leader, a guitarist said, ""I don't think you're playing it right" and the other guitarist agreed.
    I said, "Let's listen to the recording." We did and they had to admit I was dead on........I had the bass pattern down note for note because I had done my homework.
    Consequently, I became the band's bassist.
  16. AmplifyYourBass


    Dec 7, 2003
    What do I do to keep myself interested? Easy. Although I've never considered to stop playing bass even once in my 3+ years of playing, I usually go find some bass line on the internet that will take me a while to learn and just keep going until I get it down right. Usually those lines that really push you over your limits open yours eyes and get you over a brick wall if you're getting bored with bass (not that I have ever been).