I am down. I really sucked last night .

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by vegaas, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. vegaas


    Nov 6, 2001
    Hey all,
    I play in two bands. My main band Crawlspace is a heavy band, and we do pretty well, play gigs and all. Get good responses. I have never had a problem, and am very very confident in my playing our originals and covers.
    I also play in a second band. The drummer is friend of mine. Their old bass player quit, so I told him I would join. They play light rock. I thought this should be no problem, I dont know the songs, but they should be easy. I dont like the music, but I thought playing a different style of music would really help my playing with my main band.
    Well last night was my fourth practice with the new band. The first 3 went ok, listening to what they are playing and adding the bass parts. I still get confused a bit because everything is some variation of "G, A, C, D" progressions. Back to last night, I thought I would really be grooving because I now had an idea of how the songs went. Well, I sucked! I mean really sucked! I had no feel what so ever for the groove. I was constantly jumping ahead or falling behind it. I played better the first 3 practices when I didnt know the songs at all and was just throwing bass lines in. It was embarresing.
    I am not going to quit, because I am now pissed and am going to work on the songs at home. (Which pisses me off more, I didnt plan I spending much time on this band, thought I could easily just pick up the songs)
    My main problem now, it really rocked my confidence. I felt like I had been playing for 6 months instead of 6 years.
    Maybe I just forgot how it is to have a really bad practice, I am sure its happened before, but dont remember.
    How do you guys handle this?
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    that is the root of the problem as I see it. Work the tunes and play it like you mean it
  3. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    It's happened (or WILL happen) to everyone on this board. Don't let that one day define your whole bass-playing existence. Constructively analyze why you weren't good and how you can fix the problem. Work on it as much as possible to ensure the same mistake doesn't happen twice.

    Essentially... roll with the punch, with the knowledge that you're now prepared and will emerge stronger next time! :)
  4. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)

    Yeah that's right -it's good to suck, otherwise we might fool ourselves into thinking we're all that all the time.
    Consistent excellence is the foremost issue that seperates the great from the near great, but within each of our own parameters and voice on the axe, we have our shining moments and those that suck.
    Rather than ramble on, I'll simply say-
    Quit whining, we ALL suck sometimes and when we focus and care (as you obviously do) that is exactly what makes the next time better in all probability.
    Let it act as a level for those much easier to handle moments when we are absolute ass-kickin'
    Mighty Men!!! Yeah!

    There is a book by the brilliant pianist, Kenny Werner, called "Effortless Mastery" Worth a look see.
    Now Relax.
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products

    I agree with the above. The weakenesses you witnessed in yourself the other nite are present, whether you knew it or not. Now you know it and it's up to you if you want to do something about it. Knowledge is a very good thing.

    If I were in your shoes I'd challenge myself to really nail the songs no matter what it took. I wouldn't look at it as "putting time into the other band that I don't really like", I'd look at it as "putting the needed work into my bass playing so I can be the best bass player I can possibly be." If practicing is a drag for you, that's sad - I'd suggest finding a way to make it fun, or accept your limitations and just play what you can play in bands that you can play in. That ain't my style. If I can't do something, I almost always work at it till I can. In most instances it takes days, sometimes months, in the case of being able to play Flea like, years, and to nail some of Jaco's stuff it will take decades. I love the bass!

    Work at it and use your flubbing as inspiration! And yeah - i think we all have gigs, rehearsals, days where we wonder "what the hell am I doing playing bass." In my case they get less and less though.
  6. TxBass


    Jul 3, 2002
    Frisco, Texas
    (since I'm following Joe around this board, I'll add to this one...)

    I had been not playing for several years (time in the service kept me away from my passion) and when I went back it was like trying to get back to where I was--relearning.
    I agree with what these folks are saying...if you can't grow or get better than you're fooling yourself, cause we all suck sometimes---we all get lost, or miss a progression or look around and ask "what key is this thing in again?"...personal practice and band rehearsal is the key solution.

    best of luck...isn't it cool to have 2 gigs though??:cool:
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Suck rules. Hear it, believe it, live it.
  8. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Also, play the songs like YOU wrote them. That'll change your attitude towards them.

    Remember: If it sounds easy, it isn't!
  9. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    You "Rule"
  10. ram936


    May 29, 2002
    Massillon, Ohio
    I like your attitude as far as saying learning the new band's songs will hopefully make you a better player. The more styles you can draw from will definitely make you a better, more versatile bassist. You said you didn't like the songs they play, though, and Woodchuck had a good answer for that. "Play the songs like YOU wrote them." I didn't get if the songs were covers or not, but even if they are, unless they have bass lines that are easily identifiable with the songs, make up your own and make them fun. Don't worry about having off days when playing your instrument. We all do. Haven't you ever gone to a concert with a big name band and were a little disappointed with the show? The band was probably having an off night for whatever reasons. At that 4th practice you may also have been a little over-confident or inattentive to the music due to your relatively easy transition to the songs during the 1st 3 practices. Keep plucking away (pun intended). ;)
  11. BFunk

    BFunk Supporting Member

    It is interesting to me that this occurred on your 4th practice. For me this is the time where I start to focus less on getting it right and more on getting into it emotionally. I usually end up taking more chances and screwing up more. I think this is the process of getting to know the song. I try different things to see what works with the melody and chord progression. I think this is a natural process. As Munji said, sucking is good. Also read a good quote from Bill Bruford once. He says that our creativity is more a product of our weaknesses than our strengths.
  12. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Yeah, but did you swallow :eek:
    Just kidding. Relax it happens to all of us
  13. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Unless we are dedicated professionals with the time to really invest, this is true. Now, someone who plays all the time for a living won't have this problem.

    I've had nights like this. Hey, you should be happy that you didn't have a "suck day" on a gig night!
  14. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Deptford, NJ
    i don't stop til i get it right

  15. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Sometimes the planets aren't in alignment and this is good. Sometimes you think you are at your suckiest when you are really at your most focused and everyone around thinks you are playing great. The simplest songs are often the most difficult feel-wise. If you think you suck, it means you are paying attention (maybe too much attention) to what you are playing. This is natural with a new band - once you've internalized the tunes, you will be listening to everyone else and not so focused on yourself, which will also be good.

    Do you like the songs? If so, you'll muddle through.

    I have heard tapes of me when I thought I didn't have the feel (even though I had the notes) and have often been pleasantly surprised. Or I have realized that I still think I suck, but as far as "being the bass player", I did fine, and no one else (except a fellow bass player) would have noticed anything. If you are in the position, it is a great thing, as others have said because it keeps you humble and improving.
  16. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    I think it happens to them as well. It's just "suck" to them is still better than most.

    Just like Tiger Woods "sucks" when he shoots a 75 in a PGA event.

  17. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Heheh... beware the 'side project'

    I entered my current musical project with a similar attitude that you have (or had) about this project. I had been out of a steady band for nearly four years and thought I'd start with something that would get my chops back with a minimum of time and energy and emotion invested.

    So, six months later I'm firmly in this band I don't really care for :( I don't particularly like the music (classic rock covers) and I hate to practice the material, just because I have to listen to it (actually playing it is tolerable). My wife, who is very supportive, actually actively encouraged me to get back into playing music, hates having to hear Lynyrd Skynyrd played in the house (can't say I blame her). But, what started out as a 'band of convenience' has become quite a chore.

    Seeing as how I really want to dive back into playing again, it's not going to do for me to get up on stage and play with anything less than full confidence. One gig with me playing a bit sloppy to a house full of local musicians is all it took to get me to practice those tunes, much as I dislike listening to them.

    The moral, I guess, is that with any project you take on, you should be prepared to devote the effort required to be at your best. I think you are correct that playing a somewhat different type of music will make you a better player, and stronger in your 'primary' style. And I identify with that frustration your feeling - that's what will drive you to learn the stuff properly and become a better player. :)
  18. vegaas


    Nov 6, 2001
    Thanks for all the tips, and ecouragement guys. It is appreciated.
    Secretdonkey nailed part of it. I hate listening to the music they play, but I like playing it. I think I could like playing any bass part.
    I think my main problem is that it pointed out to me that I am not as good as I thought I was. That and my pride was hurt. I only really know the drummer in the band, so I was embaressed to play like this in front of the other 3 I dont know very well. My solution is to obviously practice more. I just didnt want the side project to interfer with my main project. Oh well, I guess it means practicing twice as much as usual at home for the time being.
    Munji, I love your posts. You are always hilarious.
    Joe Nerve, everything I have read here about you and your band has impressed me. You guys seem very dedicated and persistent, and the best part is you dont seem to take yourselves to seriously. Seems like you guys have a blast when you are playing. Hopefully I will be in the NY area sometime, and can check you guys out.
    Ram, Yes I am really only in this band to help me become a better player for my main band. That and getting to hang out with my friend who is the drummer.
    Txbass, it is very cool having two gigs. Hopefully this side band can start gigging out soon. Not alot of money to be made in my main band. Its metal, which is my main love in music. However, not alot of money to made on club scene here playing that. But this second band is light rock, so I could see making some cash playing with them.
    Thanks again to everyone who posted. Its good to know we all have these days.