I stink at bass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Duce-hands, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Duce-hands


    Nov 4, 2010
    I've been "playing" close to two year with little success. This is the first instrument I've ever played and I understood there would be growing pains, but I plain suck as bass. I practiced through 3 books. Bass Guitars for Dummies, Bass Method the Complete Edition and Bass Grooves, and not to mention Bass Fitness and I still stink. I know we can be our own worst critics but being realistic, I'm not progressing and want your opinion, should I consider a new instrument or is this really a natural process
  2. Slax


    Nov 5, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    That's natural.

    Think back to the first day you picked up a bass and how you play now. I'm sure there's been improvement. :)

    Also, a teacher might help you progress in a more efficient and focused direction.
  3. Stop trying so hard. Play to have fun. Relax and think more about the sound you want to hear from the instrument instead of what note you need to hit to get it. Your hands will naturally find where they need to be if you just trust them to get there without you micro-managing them.
  4. puddin tame

    puddin tame

    Aug 14, 2010
    two years? how long have all your favourite players been playing?

    I thought i sucked for at least the first 6 years!!
  5. Duce-hands


    Nov 4, 2010
    I really appreciate this forum, and I appreciate the words, I'm practicing as we speak and I'm going to try and push myself through it, I'm a perfectionist(exempt with spelling and grammar) and as such I still find it hard to feel the music rather than play the "right" notes. Thank you
  6. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    i suck after over 25yrs. i will always suck. at least i'm great at sucking.
  7. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    Perfection is needed for performing and rehearsals, where you really need to know the material. Rehearsals you need to be perfect so you can work out the kinks in the band.

    Practice is where one allows themselves the number of mistakes needed to master the lesson. Learning is a GENTLE process. Play listen, observe, make mental corrections slowly and out of time.

    I divide my time into study, practicing stuff I cannot do well and then performance, stuff I need to get together for gigs.
  8. Dont be Negative, just create your own grooves, whatever moves you, thats whats excelling me, and learn some fun basslines, I am not sure what genre your into, but I find

    Yours Is No Disgrace-Yes
    Money-Pink Floyd
    For Whom The Bell Tolls-Metallica ( I really enjoy the intro)
    Walking On The Moon-The Police( This one is really simple)
    How Many More Times-Led Zeppelin (Awesome Bassline)

    These are just a few, I wont get into details but I find these really easy and fun to play. Just try them if you havent already, and have fun! :bassist:
  9. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Don't give up on it. It's only natural to get discouraged here and there as it happens to everyone at on time or another. Just keep at it and as mentioned see if you can find a good teacher. Just might make all the differance.

    Have fun!
  10. PazzoBasso


    Jan 21, 2011
    Take all the good advice here & keep at it. Watch other players as much as you can. You might have hit a plateau & need some inspiration.

    Drop by a music store & you'll more than likely hear someone much worse than you wailing away "impressing" all with they're mastery of the bass. Everyone can get better & knowing is half the battle.

    Gotta go practice now...
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    a good teacher who knows and uses jazz concepts is so much more valuable than just working through books on your own because the teacher can spot things you're doing wrong that you or the book can't.
  12. onetrickpony


    Jan 5, 2006
    Dude, I've been playing for close to 14 years now and I still think I'm horrible.

    Just remember, as you get better, the stuff you attempt to do gets more difficult; that's just how progression/abmition works.
    I bet if you have to go and play the first bass line you ever learnt, it'll sound just fine.

    Keep at it and - I'm repeating what has already been said but it's really important - get yourself a good teacher.
  13. Like it says in someone's sig here--I suck, but I suck less than yesterday...keep on thumpin'! :bassist:
  14. Duce-hands


    Nov 4, 2010
    Took everyones advice and sought out a bass instructor and not just guitarist teaching bass. I understand this will not be easy but I'm hopeful and willing to stick with it. I was just trying to be realistic about my talent.
  15. Duce-hands


    Nov 4, 2010
    Thank you to the forum. First class all the way
  16. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Read The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale. You are what you think you are. You can be what you think you will be.

    Aw, no worries. We all criticize ourselves, just don't make it a mental attitude. Say, have you played bass along behind somebody playing another instrument? Get some buds together with you as the bass player, or just you and one other. It'll help take your mind off yourself and how good or bad you are. Don't concern yourself with analyzing how good or bad you are, just play and enjoy it. That's how I learned to play piano, guitar, and bass, all by myself---because I was enjoying it. Yes, I have a degree in music, but not in the beginning. And the only strict practicing I've ever done was mostly when I played with the symphony, I mean, as far as working out very intricate parts. not that I don't still do that some, but what I mean is, most of what I call "practice" is actually me getting in there and making up a groove, or playing a familiar one until I start to "feel in it." It's a feeling that brings me back over and over. I have a huge hunger for that feeling and HAVE to play. As a result I get better at playing, getting a good workout. If I just got in there and played scales or did some exercize from a book, I'd see all kinds of flaws I need to work on. But, the fact is, I'm a good player, and I get called to work because of it. I'm not the best, but who cares? Playing music ain't about how good you are, it's about being in the music, feeling the beat, the groove, and trying to say whatever you wanna say. Stop analyzing and just let it happen.
  17. GroovyBaby

    GroovyBaby He stole my mojo! Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Huntingdon, PA
    For me, finding people to play with is fun AND makes me better. It is a SLOW process. Have fun with it. If you are really stubborn, you will stay with it and eventually you will be happier with your playing.
  18. dalkowski

    dalkowski It's "rout," not "route." Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    In my experience, studying with a good BASS teacher will bring exponential advancement. The vital key is to set achievable goals with him/her. Your teacher can then create a plan of study that will effectively take you from where you are now to where you want to be. And when you get there, you'll feel an incredible level of satisfaction with what you've accomplished. Which means it's time to set new goals.

    Good luck!
  19. GladToBeBack


    Mar 21, 2011
    When asked about learning guitar, Steve Vai had a response along the lines of "Find the method that works for you best" and I think every famous player says something along those lines about their respected instrument. Some players can read a book, or a tab sheet, and get it right away. Others need an instructor working with them every step of the way until they can do it on their own. In my specific case I briefly skim through a tab, then watch someone else play the song I'm learning. What keeps me motivated and stops me from being so hard on myself is I record almost everything I do. I often listen to the recordings I made and realize how much easier those things are now. A music teacher I had in the 6th grade once said "Practice is the longest four letter word in the English language." I don't know why but that has always stuck with me.

    In addition, I chuckle at every other player on this site claiming they've been playing for X amount of years and they still suck. I have tried on and off throughout my life to learn guitar and bass and have only taken it seriously over the past year and a half. To know that musicians with decades of experience over me feel the same way I do is somewhat comforting. To ever claim that you're good enough and know everything is simply an admission that you refuse to push yourself further.

    Whew...sorry for the long response but this thread touched on points very personal to me.
  20. Codymb


    Mar 26, 2007
    Burlington, NC
    And hey, worst case scenario, let's say you keep practicing only to find that you still suck. That's ok too. There are tons of famous successful musicians who suck.

    Not being able to play the bass very well never stopped Sid vicous, Pete Wentz, or Gene Simmons.