For those who have seen the movie Whiplash, you know it's an intense flick. The musicianship is superb, the story is riveting and the language... harsh. For those who haven't, watch it. For the past two years, I have been über focused on gear. I'd spent close to $2,000. Not much for the average TBer, but that's a lot to me. Of the gear I had gone through, almost all of it was an incurred loss. Before you say it, just know this isn't so much another "No GAS" thread, as it is an inspirational thread. Watching Whiplash got me thinking. All the musicians in the movie are incredibly talented. How did they get there? Not by perusing pawn shops 3 days a week, I'm sure. Not by buying the latest and greatest instruments. Just hard, extensive practicing. I'm big into jazz. It's my absolute favorite stuff to play. If I could actually make a successful living off of playing, I'd do it. That isn't going to happen (it's not a life goal), but I would still love to be an active circuit player in my town. My biggest struggle as a bass player is and has been maintaining my tempo. Now, I don't allow tempo to significantly change, but I do know that I tend to speed up or slow down enough to fall a half-beat behind on occasion. In a live performance the change is usually unnoticeable, as I can cover it up with a fill. But sometimes, if the band slows down and I try to speed it up, I end up second-guessing the original tempo and if I'm right. That's when it becomes noticeable. The occasional syncopated solo from the drummer or pianist can really throw me off, as well. While watching Whiplash, this trend stuck out like a sore thumb while I counted in my head during drum solo scenes. How the movie changed my life: A few weeks ago, I had made a commitment to sticking with a single electric bass until April 2017. Watching the movie forced me to shift how I thought and approached bass. My gear-oriented thoughts have lingered on to learning, bettering myself as a bassist, expanding my repertoire and just making the best music I possibly could. Now, I play whenever I can. The movie has got me wanting to get out there and hustle. Yesterday I picked up my bass and hit two different jams to kickstart my night. I got out there, played some solid bass and left the jam with three less business cards than when I had gone in (I only carry three, maybe more now!). For the foreseeable future, I will be making exactly 0 bass purchases as I strive to be the best I can be. What this means is daily practice. Reading about and applying technique, theory, ear training, sightreading, melodies, improvisation & rhythmic exercises and so much more. We have an endless ability to learn and my desire to do so is fuelled by that knowledge. I may not be the next Jaco, but I am content knowing that over the next few years I will evolve as a player. I am a good bassist now who can hold his own, but I want to become a damned good bassist, and I want people to know that when I back someone up. Not for egotistical purposes, but so I can be known as a dependable player. In conclusion: Always strive to improve and make the best music you possibly can. I have pledged that to myself. The most inspirational part of the movie can be seen in this clip: [Note: Explicit Language] Thanks for reading.