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I know I said it before, but study kills GAS!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Jan 10, 2019.


  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    About a month ago, I was at my lesson, slogging through the first three bars of Jaco’s “River People.” My teacher wanted to hear how I practiced at home. After listening to me, he tore me a new one; pointing out how my raking persists, he criticized my intonation, thumb position on the back of the neck, my poor time, etc. Later, I found myself thinking that if I have made so little progress in two years, maybe I am too set in my ways, and I should quit my lessons. I am 90-95% self taught for over forty years. Maybe I should accept where I am. After a supportive pm with Mr. OB (TB member and Fender fan) and some text messagess with my teacher, I decided to fumble along, the best I can.

    The one thing that never crossed my mind was how great another bass would be. No marvelous boutique Jazz will give me better time. No awesome Dingwall will improve my sight reading. No new rig will make me clean up my left hand technique. To be honest, my lust for gear had largely subsided when I decided to buy a DJ5 instead of a Sadowsky, but that tough assessment of my teacher really hit home that I needed to be a better bassist, not buy a better bass.

    I just felt like sharing that, especially for any younger musician who might be side tracked into thinking “if I only had ____.”
     
  2. Doing work does cure gas, unless your gear legitimately needs an upgrade, IME.
     
  3. Wisebass

    Wisebass

    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    hi Doc :)

    You' re right. Only playing and practice will make you a good bassplayer.

    Staying at home practicing keeps you away from stores.

    But….

    … can lead to a huge GAS attack for fretless! :laugh:

    greetings

    Wise
     
    Ramana, Davbassdude, Geri O and 11 others like this.
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    I suggest finding another teacher. IMO, by criticizing you he displays what a poor excuse for a teacher he is.
     
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The good news is that we live in an era where it seriously does not take much money to buy a great bass. Look at Joe Dart from Vulfpeck. The dude is slaying on Mexican Fender. Even back in the day, Marcus Miller became an icon of bass guitar on a bass his Mom bought him used for under $300.
     
  6. Absolutely. My gear is CHEAP, and meets my and my band's needs, but very occasionally something happens within the context of my work that suggests I need a thing to facilitate a better performance. It's never the kind of thing where "I need a new bass because my tone in that gymnasium with the other band's backline wan't flawless," though, it's serving a specific purpose.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  7. craigie

    craigie

    Nov 11, 2015
    calgary
    Exactly. A good teacher’s most important job is to inspire. Some people like to tear down. Now he has to point out what needs improvement but it’s the way they do it that’s important.
     
    Ron Britvec, TVbass, Stumbo and 9 others like this.
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I have known this teacher for many years before I became his student. Even though it hit me hard, I know that he is not a mean guy, but he is a legitimately great player of Jazz, avant-garde and pop music. He knows I want to be great as I can be, and I guess he felt it was time to kick my butt in gear.
     
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis


    I can say I have made progress since my last meeting. This is at 60 bpm, instead of 104 bpm like the original, but I feel that I am beginning to make the first five bars sound musical.
     
  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Being a great player does not make one a great teacher.
     
    TVbass, ajkula66, dabbler and 9 others like this.
  11. Dr. C., I'm here to tell you the truth: I sold two Alembic five-strings last year, and replaced them with two Squiers.

    I . . . . . still . . . . . sound . . . . . like . . . . . me.

    Even Alembic can't sell me a Brown Bass that I only have to plug in and voila!, I instantly sound like Stanley Clarke. I won't sound like MM if buy a Sire or his Fender Sig. I'm sure you've already found out that despite your best effort, your PentaBuzz does not make you automatically play and sound like Mark Egan, much less JP.

    I took lessons with the monster player and Belmont University instructor Roy Vogt, and it quickly dawned on me that the problem was in me, not the axe. Sucks, don't it ? ? ? ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  12. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That’s true, but I know this situation beyond the one incident I described.
     
    Stumbo and Old Blastard like this.
  13. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That is similar to my situation. My teacher is not as well known as Roy Vogt, because he has the chops and a fair number of international gigs of note.
     
  14. EmuBass

    EmuBass

    Jan 24, 2018
    Vienna, Austria
    Just go on. You are doing great! Carry on!
     
    TVbass, Kubicki Fan, fauxtoe and 3 others like this.
  15. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I think it's a good train of thought, but at the same time this reminds me of a discussion I've had with a friend of mine: We've both been playing for most of our lives, have developed a certain aptitude and built a reputation among our peers, etc, and we still dink away on mid-level instruments. While that's perfectly acceptable and gets the job done, it's time to get us something good. Take the next step up.

    For him, that has led into a GAS spiral, finding THE ONE. I, myself, am going the custom build route and hope it's turning out the way I imagine. Maybe we'll both find out that there was nothing wrong with playing Mexicans or low level Ibanezes.
     
    el jeffe bass and Dr. Cheese like this.
  16. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I lost the beat at times. I will work on that later today.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    TVbass, hintz, HD007 and 1 other person like this.
  17. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    GAS hits people at different times for different reasons. My GAS was a substitute for actually studying the bass. Your GAS is a reward for achievement.
     
    TVbass, EmuBass, Kubicki Fan and 5 others like this.
  18. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Gotta say, whatever tone settings you've plugged in with that there bass, it sounds mighty fine. I know instruments have different feel and all, but sound-wise, that's a juicy one.

    Seeing you mention the metronome thing, this song is one that looks straightforward on paper but is not at all straightforward to the ear. I haven't grown the stones to tackle it yet but hey, 2019; maybe I'll follow suit! Sounds like you wanna play a good bit faster than the metronome, so slowing down will be a pain...but maaan will it be worth it.

    Sidenote, I just ran a recording session two days ago with a nice young guitarist singer who had trouble with spaces not playing, and it reminded me those are just as hard as parts where we are playing. Looking forward to seeing how this cut develops while you're working on it!
     
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  19. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Maybe we don't know how much we actually suck. :smug: You speak too highly of us.

    We're both self-taught as well. So we don't know whether your teacher would tear us a new one, as well. I'm a raker myself, but I find it's a stylistic decision, just like free strokes vs rest strokes etc. YMMV, your teacher thinks otherwise.
     
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  20. Cannot like this post enough.
     

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