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I desperately need someone to answer this question.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by TrevorG, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. TrevorG


    Nov 30, 2012
    Excuse me if you don't feel this is your problem - it probably isn't but someone here may have the answer or a suggestion.

    Without going into too much detail I have disparate experiences here in England as a performer in various genres and disciplines often at some of the country's most prestigious venues including the Royal Opera House, Glyndbourne and the Royal National Theatre. I have worked with a wide range of people from Sir Simon Rattle to Pete Townshend. I am not wet behind the ears but..

    I have always been aware that, from birth, my environment, compared to the fertile cultures within the US, has been relatively barren. I listen to some of the great bass players talk about the musicians in their family, their church band, the night clubs that litter the streets of your cities populated by virtuosos of every kind, local teachers that "happen" to be major exponents in the industry etc.

    Without this abundance of dense culture, how does one find the same inspiration and information to achieve finding one's own voice? Where do I find water in this (relative) desert? I recently visited Ireland where every pub had a clutch of amazing musicians who explained that workshops were as common and as available as busses. There is no need to search because trying to avoid them is harder! Aside from pop music English culture doesn't seem to feed up from the street but down from the establishment. In Ireland and America the traffic seems to be going both ways equally.

    For the first twenty years of my career American musical theatre was so prevalent here I became very adept at portraying roles(on stage) in productions like Carmon Jones, Porgy and Bess, Buddy Holly etc. But, as a reasonably skilled bass player, tapping into the heart of Jazz/fusion has been limited to waiting for Mr. Wooten, Haslip or Bona to stretch their tours to this side of the water and even then there's little chance to talk to them.

    Perhaps I've misdiagnosed my problem but if not I'm praying there's an answer cheaper than a one way ticket to the US - I have a family and am beyond all that now. And if there isn't an answer at least I can stop searching... I think.

    Thank you for the time you've spent reading this. I'm sorry if it's been a waste of time for anyone.

  2. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Didn't see a question....
    getbent, bassdude51 and Amano like this.
  3. Someone else will come along with a better answer.

    The grass is NOT greener on the other side.

    There are so many posts here about how bad the music scene is over here.

    TrevorG and bassdude51 like this.
  4. Rickengeezer


    Feb 25, 2005
    Central Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Steve Clayton Accessories
    Agreed....except I understand that the grass in Ireland is pretty green.

    Ironic that you think there is endless inspiration over on this side of the pond, when so many of my bass heroes came from the UK. In this day of Youtube, one can access talent from all over the globe in an instant. Of course, with that comes the depression from knowing there are approximately 3 million five year olds who are better bassists than I am.
    TrevorG and G-Z like this.
  5. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    My advice: BE A MAN - DO YOUR OWN THING. Forget about "tapping into the heart of Jazz/fusion"... :rolleyes:
    getbent likes this.
  6. db59

    db59 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2015
    definitely 24 frets
    bassdude51 likes this.
  7. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    When I lived and toured in Europe I found the live music scene was far more alive and sophisticated than anything I have ever experienced anywhere in the US. Obviously a lot more variety is available in large metropolitan areas than in the typical small European village most people live in. But in many countries, bands even pop up in small villages during seasonal festivals.

    Regarding my experiences and opinion of the US...to be fair I have never lived in city with a thriving music scene like Austin, Nashville, New Orleans, etc,. But I have visited some of those places; most of what I found was just typical cover bands like everywhere else, rather than a huge thriving originals scene that blew my mind.

    IMHO your musical voice ultimately comes from within you and flows from an amalgamation of your life experiences. I am not the type of player that people seek out for artistics reasons, but when I listen to recordings of my playing I love what I hear and recognize my musical voice. I also enjoy the few musical compositions I have made.

    My guess is you're probably just being too hard on yourself and you don't have a musical outlet that you really enjoy and find inspirational. To be honest after about three decades working in the industry I don't have any interest in playing bass in an ensemble any more. Could this be your problem too?
    TrevorG likes this.
  8. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    In America, the streets are lined with gold.
    TrevorG, G-Z and JRA like this.
  9. bigtiny


    Jun 20, 2010
    Cambridge, MA
    Stop worrying about the density of culture. Find like minded and skilled musicians and make it a point to play together and work on something. Don't worry about money for it, or making a job of it. Make the pursuit of your artistic goals the point. Find whatever is happening in your area and start getting out and hearing people, and TALKING to them. That includes clubs, concerts, restaurants, universities, your local union hall. You can almost bet that their are others in the same predicament. UNITE! =:)
    TrevorG likes this.
  10. G-Z

    G-Z My other account is a Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2018
    That's just to distract visitors from the terrible coffee.
    TrevorG and mikewalker like this.
  11. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Ither than major metropolitan areas, the music scenes across the US are mostly NOT alive and well. You can find as many threads about how hard it is to book shows as any other subject here. Horrible pay. Jerk club owners. Long drives. It's a labor of love, honestly.

    Sure, New York, Nashville, maybe LA, and a few other cities have constant "workshops" and whatnot. But it's pretty slim out here for the rest of us.

    I love virtually everything about my country. If you can, you really should visit. It's a fantastic place.

    But live music is struggling across the vast majority of the country.
    TrevorG likes this.
  12. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Be the one in your town that makes a difference.
    TrevorG and mikewalker like this.
  13. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Yeah, we got a great music scene here in the USA! Just don't forget to wear a Kevlar vest!
    TrevorG likes this.
  14. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    A lot depends on your location...

    If you're based in or near a major city, then it is relatively easy to find events and people to hang out with and learn from. However, move away from the major cities, and certain "scenes" get few & far between.

    You don't mention where in the UK you're based.

    Also, not forgetting how the music scene has changed in the last 20-odd years in the UK as well. Venues are shutting down, especially pubs & clubs in the city centres, because of the "gentrification" of these areas, i.e. property prices being pushed up by speculative developers who build or convert existing buildings into accommodation, and then the knock-on effect of people living in the city centres... they complain about the noise levels from established music venues. This particular issue has seen a number of venues across the UK being shut down, and makes things difficult for the ones that survive. Without venues, live music can't thrive.

    The market for cover and tribute bands is pretty good, but if you want to stray outside of that narrow field, and play something original, the market is severely limited.

    To be fair, we should all just give up and just play with our instruments in the privacy of our own homes...
    TrevorG likes this.

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