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How far would you lower standards?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by MEKer, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    Let me assume you are not a newbie on bass.
    Let me assume you are pretty damn competent.
    Let me assume you have even made a living at some part of your life with your instrument.

    What would your minimum standard of competence be for other players for you to want to play with them, even just jamming ?

    Example: Lets say you said, "Lets jam around in Dm.". And then it was evident, that say perhaps the guitarist, did not really know what Dm was. In fact all you got was, "Oh, I just play by ear." And then you realize he just ain't cuttin' it. Would that hack you off?

    I mean, I understand playing with someone just to improve their prowess on their instrument may be charitable for a while, but I think that will wear very thin (probably pretty quickly) unless you are there as an instructor of some sort.

    What do you think?
    jfh2112, joebar, Catbuster and 3 others like this.
  2. I'm not sure I completely meet your minimum standards for entry, but....

    If we're just goofing around I'm not picky. Everyone starts somewhere. In other words my expectations are low.

    If it's a scheduled rehearsal I expect you to come in prepared and competent. I don't let other people waste my time when they aren't prepared (in spite of my current band situation).

    Different levels of expectation I suppose.
  3. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    When you Assume........
    When I made the big switch to bass from guitar nearly a couple years ago. Some friends of mine were putting a band together. They all had extensive band experience. I was asked to join almost right after I bought the equipment. Yes I knew guitar, but bass is still a different animal. They put up with my root playing, and stumbling. Encouraged me every step of the way, for which I was grateful. Now I'm doing a 1000 times better, enjoying playing bass in a band.
    But I have also played with people that couldn't keep time, watching me for the changes. By the time they'd see me change it was to late. Or you'd show them something and next week they'd play it wrong and argue they did it right. I guess it's about if you think they can get better at it or not. If not you are wasting your time.
    smogg, Felken, Maureen M and 3 others like this.
  4. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    Oh, I am not speaking of expectations. Nor am I speaking of formed bands, which obviously you don't want to be in unless there is instrument/musical competence involved (besides other obvious interaction aspects).

    I speaking of when you simply want to play (not in a band setting). Will you do it if the other(s) have little notion of even the names of their notes? Will you do it if incompetence gets to be tiresome or would you play anyhow just to play?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  5. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    My 3 assumptions are to give you a starting point for the question involved.
    Your last 3 lines make it worthless to play with such persons for sure (even for jamming). That is certainly a standard you would not lower yourself to, especially in a "band" they are trying to form.
    smogg likes this.
  6. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    I can't help it when I see the word Assume. My wife drilled it into my head the first couple years together. I'm rarely serious here, try to keep it light. Wasn't trying to cause no trouble. Just me being sophomoric.
    Spidey2112 and SlyFoxtrot like this.
  7. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    no schweat.
    Me, I am probably of little patience and am demanding (while being polite..yadda yadda) when encountering situations with just plain bad players. Again, I am talking of just trying to have fun and jam around. I make a gracious exit as soon as possible. I have a low tolerance for crappy players and am not charitable. Dammit I am there to groove. Not to explain music to someone.
    BurnOut likes this.
  8. inanimate_carb


    Aug 11, 2016
    I'll be that guy - I'm a working player. As Paulie Walnuts once said to Christopher on "The Sopranos", I ain't running a school. My standards are high, and I don't enjoy playing with those that don't have an experience level, seriousness of intent, or personal time investment into playing that is roughly equivalent of mine. It's impossible to sound competent and professional if the other band members aren't as well. I honestly don't find myself in situations where there's an obvious weak link or beginner level players anymore. All that said, as I ascend to the undesired title of "elder statesman", I advise and counsel younger players all the time.

    Of course, I played with musicians much better that me when I was younger. However, I respected the group effort by doing my homework, practicing a lot by myself, and bringing an acceptable time feel and instrumental ability to the table to start with. I also preferred to just watch and learn if the musicians involved in a gathering were doing stuff beyond my ability back then as well.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  9. Jloch86


    Aug 1, 2016
    New Jersey
    I'm out the door if you don't know what Dm is.
    Sartori, onosson, Bob_Ross and 5 others like this.
  10. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    I help set up a jam on Wednesday nights with good friends. All was well for awhile. Then others started showing up. Inexperienced players, people that were one man shows, I have to be stupid loud players, etc. It soon became not so fun. I ended up not going to the jam I set up. So I understand where you're coming from.
    MEKer, CooWoo and Old Blastard like this.
  11. XontheP


    May 24, 2013
    Omaha, NE
    I'm in that position now. I don't have the chops for a band I'm in, and I know it's a source of friction for the other members. They are a hard working, heavy gigging band. Most have day jobs, but one is a full time musician. In my defense, I'm on time for every rehearsal, show, and event, I'm always prepared, I always volunteer to help people carry gear, I drive a van, and bust my tail setting up and tearing down. I'm outgoing, funny, and knowledgeable. So far, the negative of my lack of experience is offset by value I add in other ways.
  12. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    That where I'm at too. Just keep improving is all we can do.
  13. "How far would you lower your standards?"
    ..Depends on how short her skirt is.​

    I'm pretty forgiving when it comes to jamming with novice players. They learn, hopefully improve
    and it makes me feel like an incredible player...lol
    It was passed forward to me when I was first starting out.

    A drummer and I host a monthly all-star jam at the local club.
    We get all levels of talent. If they are good we keep them up on stage for awhile.
    If they are weak players we thank them kindly after a song or maybe two and quickly invite the next player up.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
  14. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    At this point in my life when I play it's to make money. I don't jam, do open mics, etc. it's all based on reputation and chances are I would have someone recommended to play with me or vise versa
    Jim Carr and bassbully like this.
  15. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    My good friend always told me when you teach somebody something you learn it that much better yourself.
  16. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I go to open jams once in a while and it's always a crapshoot. Sometimes it's really good and sometimes it's really bad, but mostly it's kinda middle of the road. i do my best to smile and have fun when it's really bad and make a quick recovery when i clam, but mostly i try to remember what it was like when i first started playing away from home and the surprise at just how competative music is for some folks. They show up to an open jam then get hacked if they feel like someone else plays better. There's a guy i've seen more than a few times at open jams over the years who shows up with a gig bag big enough for a bass, but no one has ever seen what's in it. He'll hang out for a few songs, then get up and leave. Several folks have talked to him (me included) in an effort to get him wound down enough to give it a try but so far as i know, he's never actually played at an open jam.
  17. MasonMinor


    Nov 29, 2014
    The scenario you describe has happened to me before. With a guitar player who knew simple keys. But when I suggested a I-IV-V in Bb, he basically told me he had no idea what I was talking about.
  18. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    I'll play with anyone. Had the people I played with starting out had the attitude that only good players are acceptable to jam with I'd have never kept going. If I have to stomp my foot to keep them in time until they get it so be it. If I have to endure false starts so be it. Other musicians did it for me.
  19. If I am more competent on your instrument than you are, I am not interested.
  20. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well who's going to be left to play with if I rule out those who aren't as good as me? :D

    I've worked with some musicians on occasion that weren't all that good. There was almost always money involved, though. But I don't hate it and grit my teeth the whole time. Just a little. I try to keep it positive and encouraging. In my two current bands, I work with a bunch of musicians now who are all good. They do some things better than I do, and I do some things better than them. Somehow, it all seems to click. But if I have a night off and I get a call for a gig, I'll deal with the band not being the strongest musicians I know as long as they're not jerks...and they pay me a decent night's pay.
    BurnOut, lfmn16, aurignacian and 12 others like this.