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How do you keep yourself motivated, those without teachers and frequent jamming?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by kiwlm, May 8, 2005.

  1. Hi,

    I picked up bass around a year back, when some of my guitar playing friends suggested that we start jamming in a band situation. Well, the start is good, but one year later, we only jam like once in two months.

    Just want to know how those without teachers and frequency jamming fellas get motivated to keep on playing?

    Lately I have started to bring up some of my old CDs (which I bought before started learning bass), transcribe each bass lines, write it down, and play it to the recording over and over again. The important thing is that the CDs have songs that I enjoy listening to and singing along, but not necessary very bass busy or bass challenging stuffs.

    The purpose of writing down the bass lines, sort of forced myself to listen and know how to play each and every part of the song, besides just knowing the root of each bar and skip those busy fills.

    I hope there are no "get a teacher" or "find new bandmates" replies to this one.... :bag:
  2. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    well its hard. thats for sure. i have been playing for about 5 years and havent had a teacher ever.for 1 you need to woodshed, woodshed, woodshed. but you just got to stick it out and keep transcribing (that REALLY helps) and sooner or later you will find some other people to play with. it took me 4 1/2 years to find people that i enjoy playing with. so just have patience and practice
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I'm with you.
    Playing with others is where it's at; I'm 'better' when playing/learning with others.
    It's Summer time, so I am in this New Country/parody band that keeps asking me back for our outdoor Festivals...each year, the leader asks, "Are you gigging with anyone"? The past 3-4 years is "No, I can't find enough like-minded musicians". ;)

    So, I practice alone a lot. I'm also into transcribing songs I grew up...last night it was the outro to "Let The Sunshine In"(Joe Osborn on bass). Couple nights ago, it was "One Man Band" & "Vehicle". Stuff I first heard about 35 years ago! Crap!
    Just trying to be 'the best I can be' while I can still do something about it.
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The answer to the inspiration question is simple....if you are really nuts about playing bass you will play it whether you are playing with others or not.

    I tried to explain this once to my daughter when she was taking violin lessons but would never practice. I asked her if she ever just daydreamed about playing the violin, she said no. I then told her I dreamed about it for YEARS until I finally got the $$$ together to buy a bass and amp. If you have the basic urge that should be enough.

    Sure, you will have periods where you can't seem to get the energy to pick it up. A bit of advice I once got about that: if you don't want to play the bass then spend some time cleaning and polishing it instead.

    Keep the bass out on a stand so when inspiration does strike you can just pick it up and play. Leaving it in the case in the closet is not a good idea.
  5. When I finished high school the other guys of my band were either in school or working in a different end of town. They both joined another band and now the only thing that keeps me motivated is that I love playing and downloading songs and learning them. Often by ear which helps me out with learning the fingerboard and whatnot.
  6. I've been playing music of one sort or another for 15 years. I've only played the bass for about a year now. For me, when I can't play with anyone else (which is most of the time) , I write my own stuff and I found it easier to record my ideas and then jam to them. That way I have my own backtracks to play to. Then when I do get the chance to play with my friends, all of the unexpected thing that happen make it more fun. I actually cherish some of the mistakes that happen. Keeps me on my toes.
  7. yep Kwilm I was in the same situation I had no-one to jam with but my CD collection and the net , last year I just spent everyday transcribing just like you as well as the other parts of learnin music ( technique readin etc.. ) now I'm playin gigs left right and centre partly because I'm studying at uni doing a degree in Jazz funny enough though the gigs I'm getting are like Top 40 funk blues gigs as well as the odd ballad or two
    Point of the matter is that keep at it b/c oppurtunities will come esp. if you have a large rep of songs that you can play at your disposal so transcribe , transcribe , transcribe

  8. +1
    I keep the Lightwave on a stand in the office (about 2 feet from where I'm sitting) with a metronome and whatever I'm working on(Satin Doll right now) on a music stand, ready to go.
    I keep the A/E in the family room next to my recliner for playing along with TV themes and commercials. he he he the grandkids are fascinated by it. :D
    I'd have one in the bathroom, but I'm worried about the humidity. :bag:
  9. Maybe I'm a little different, but I don't listen to music radio and haven't for the past 35 years and I don't listen to tapes or CDs in the car. I hear music in my head. I drive a lot, so I am thinking about lines a bunch. When I was self employed, I kept an instrument close by and whenever I was bored or antsy or had a musical idea, I'd pick up one and a play for a few minutes. Now that I work for the govt I can't bring an instrument to work, so I keep it all bottled up inside until I get home. I'd do better work with a guitar or bass setting in my office, but upper management would freak so I keep the music festering until I can get home. The current band is not playing music I enjoy a lot, so I try to keep the bass part interesting and enjoy the people.
  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Get a Tascam Bass Trainer. As a person who learns by ear, I have really fallen in love with mine (my wife gave it to me for my birthday). Lately, I've been working on Marcus Miller's version the old Jimi Hendrix tune, "Power of Soul." I probably won't learn the song note for note, but I have already picked up alot of fast rifts that I wouldn't have caught quickly otherwise.

    I still say learn the scales, work on notes on the fingerboard, notes of chords, progressions also.
  11. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    I'm always more inspired to play when I'm in a band. But I have a very busy schedule so The band I'm in now only practices once a week. But we usually have a show once a week, so that keeps my fingers busy.

    But there are times when the band slows down, we don't practice for a week...and I'm so busy trying to manage the rest of my life. Then I realize, wow I haven't touched my bass in over a week.

    Playing along with CDs, learning a new song, and buying new toys like effects are some tools I use to get my practice time up.

    +1 for keeping it out in the open, I used to store 'em in their cases and my practice time was considerably less. Now I have a corner of my livingroom where I display all my toys...it keeps me tempted to play.
  12. CQBASS


    Dec 1, 2004
    Asheville NC
    I have sort of a self imposed schedule. Not that I don't want to practice, but sometimes I need a little structure. I find once I start getting into a groove of practicing, doing transcriptions, chordal stuff, theory etc... I really enjoy it. It's just the 'getting started' part that can be tough. Once it becomes part of a routine it's alot easier to keep motivated. Then you're looking forward to getting that solo transcribed or whatever it may be, and that's a great place to be.
  13. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    A BIG +1!!!

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