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I cant play bass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by dbase, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I'm attempting to get back into it again after not playing bass for 40 years, so I buy a new Fender jazz bass, $1500 worth of Hartke gear, get two bands together, and then I run across a Youtube video clip of Craig Harris playing the bass. I just realized I cant really play bass. What was I thinking?
    Ever have this problem? What do I do now? I need a pep talk.
  2. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    Play at your own level and enjoy it. If you can play competently in a band, and enjoy playing with that band, that is all that matters. If you want to get better, take lessons. However, the fact is that there will always be somebody better at it than you. Don't let that get you down. It goes for all walks of life.
  3. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Just keep playing if its what you enjoy. Watch a video of Adam Clayton.
  4. well put.
  5. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    Maybe take lessons with a good bass teacher. New techniques have come around since you last played. I know of bass players in their late 50's who are taking lessons.
  6. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    It's like sex - you don't have to be good at it to enjoy it.
  7. Double Agent

    Double Agent Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    Seriously, this is music, not sports. You have every right to play, and to enjoy it as much as possible. The more you play, the more you'll improve so just keep at it. You're never too old to learn new things :)
  8. Patience and humility are an asset.
  9. JPrinos


    May 16, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    Do it for your own joy.

    Frankly, I take solace in the fact that w.r.t. the bass, I'll always have something to learn.
  10. theunknowndude

    theunknowndude Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    Adelaide, Australia
    all my bass gods make me take a step back though, alot of them are either studying/have studied at college in music backgrounds or have been devotedly playing and learning for 20 years,... I've only been playing for 2 years and already I can see how far I have come,...
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Play every day and you will get better ...
  12. chroma601


    Feb 16, 2007
    Sylva, NC
    Sure, there are thousands of more talented players than you and me, but we all have our strengths. If we enjoy what we are doing, and play with at least a basic level of competence, we're there. The most important talent is the ability to listen to what your bandmates are playing and support them. You don't have to be flashy. Such is one of the many joys of bass.
  13. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    LOL... and Michael Anthony. The two luckiest guys in rock.

    Seriously... I spent my teens trying to be the fastest, slappiest poppiest, Jaco-iest bassist out there, and got VERY good at that style.

    Then I started playing in bands, instead of in my living room, and I had to learn to play LESS. It took me years to "unlearn" a lot of the technical fireworks and develop a more musical style.

    To be honest... I think those Craig Harris videos are neat "look what I can do" videos, and he's obviously accomplished and talented, but I can't see myself ever putting on a record with that kind of bass playing... unless I'm in a room full of other bass players (shudder).

    Take a few lessons, learn some simple woodshedding exercises to keep tendinitis at bay, and just learn to sit in the pocket and groove. IMHO the best bass players are like the best drummers: the ones you don't notice, but can't do without.
  14. dtmpulse


    Apr 24, 2009
    Rock Hill, SC
    Thank you all for your response for your responses to dbase, because I've been feeling EXACTLY the same way as he is...your encouragement and insight made an impact on me...I appreciate it!
  15. JulienJeff


    Mar 1, 2009
    each time I see a good bassist (in concert or on youtube), I think "God, I suck...".
    But then I take my bass, go to rehearsal with my band and I just enjoy playing
  16. toomanybasses


    Feb 20, 2009
    I had the same issues after not playing for almost 30 years. I saw videos of Tony Franklin and Victor Wooten and thought what the hell happened and almost put my Ric away.

    I decided to play what I like, Classic rock and Blues, which have not changed. It makes me happy!!!

    Chin Up dbase, Rock and Roll what you know! :bassist:
  17. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    Lots of simple but GREAT advice here already - just play because you enjoy it.

    Honestly, I'm sure that you'd be able to outplay me with little effort if we were in some kind of twisted "bass skills competition". However, that doesn't stop me from working it in the little free time I get these days (I started pretty late in life). As long as I suck less tomorrow than I do today I'm heading in the right direction and I'm happy about that!
  18. lopxtc


    Jan 18, 2007
    St. Louis, MO
    You know Ive only been going at it for a little over two years now and just recently got the guts up to go play at some open jam blues nights at a local place. When I got there I was nervous and chickened out the first time. The second time and later times Ive gotten up and had a lot of fun. I was always worried that I would just totally blow it and sound like an ass ...

    That was until my best friend and bass instructor told me one thing that made me relax.

    "Dont worry to much about making a mistake, because probably the only person out in the crowd that is going to notice is another bass player."

    Sounds funny, but honestly after playing one song and messing up a couple sections and having everyone there tell me how great I sounded and played I really noticed that its true that most of the people dont notice the bass even when it makes a mistake or two.

  19. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    All these responses are correct. I know I feel the same way, often, but never quit. Playing bass is alot of fun, playing in a band, even more fun. Consider yourself lucky to have nice gear, and bandmates.
  20. You know what?

    I have heard some great payers....and enjoy listening to them.

    I have some favorite bands, that they are not part of. Believe it or not, some of my favorite music doesn't have difficult bass in it.

    I always look at my part as being the rails for the train.....and the ties are the drummer.

    All of the fancy stuff happens up in the cars.......not down here.....where the smooth ride depends on steady, consistant solid foundation.

    These other phenominal players, are playing as part of some of the most intense rollercoasters, but also have the ability to dial it back.

    Do your think......"put your Stank" on what you play, but don't try to be someone else.

    thats their job.

    I started late (38 yo) and there is no way I have as much under my belt as guys playing since they were teenagers and are my age now.

    Just play, find the time to play more, and then.....play some more. The more people you play with, the better you will become also, particualrlly, if they are good players.

    Find your place...... You'll be fine.

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