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If you could start all over again...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by RayO5421, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. RayO5421


    Jan 15, 2007
    Toms River NJ
    ... what are things you would do with the knowledge you have now? I'm not talking gear wise, more technique wise.

    I'm a young player and have been playing for about 4 years now but recently its just hit me that bass/music is something I want in my life and get more serious with. Yes, I've been in bands and played violin and upright and electirc bass in school orchestras but its all kind of trivial to my current mindset. It was always a "show up, pick up the music/bassline, play and work on what you don't really understand for next time" mindset for me.

    As of late, I've been finding myself spending less time (hours) in tv/video games and more time (hours) sitting down playing bass. Occasionally, I'll play so long my left hand tightens up and refuses to work (which deffinately isn't good for my hands haha). I've been diving into new material, learning up on my scales, playing with metrinome, ect.

    My question to you is, if you could start playing again from day 1 with a bass guitar (or, what the hell, upright too :smug:) what would you do differently? I'm talking anything you can think of that bothered you later on in your musical life, big or small, that you wish you looked into/worked on earlier. I know there are some fantastic players on here who have been playing for a long time and I'm just looking for the advice you could give a young and ambitious bass player.

  2. emor


    May 16, 2004
    I would've spent more time learning to read well.
    I would've stuck with the piano lessons.
  3. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    I have few regrets, since the journey's been more important than the destination for me.

    If I had it to do over, I'd certainly work on people skills more, as well as paying more attention to arpeggios and chords and less to scales. I'd have kept up with my piano playing more, as well. Most importantly, I would have stuck with one bass and one amp rig instead of trying everything on the market two times over !

    I'd also get over playing the instrument to impress other people. No matter how good you get, the only people who are going to really be interested are other bassists, and they'll likely resent you for it.
  4. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    I'd have actually learned how to play, instead of faking it all these years.
  5. b_carville


    Jun 26, 2008
    Learn to sight read music well!

    I'm learning to read now at my advanced age.I've had to turn down good paying work because of my inability to read charts.People think I'm a good player & I can read chord charts & can get by with those,but I get calls from bandleaders who want to use me for really good paying work& I have to decline because I can't read notation.

    I didn't prepare well as a youngster & yes,I regret it!
  6. Ryan-
    I'd have taken some formal instruction and become a better reader. I'd also find a way to take a week long class at Jeff Berlin's music school.
    Would have been a better band member for some of the short-term & pick-up bands I played in. Not have had such a 'hired-gun' attitude. Should have tried to really enjoy every gig or playing opportunity.
  7. shaboda


    Apr 14, 2002
    I would have been more open to things, as far as music styles, the way that I feel I am now. When you are young, ya think ya know everything... and as you get older, you realize you didnt know very much at all :)
  8. I would have spent little or no time on technique exercises, and a lot more time transcribing recordings and reading standard notation.
  9. Shovelbone

    Shovelbone Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    Yonderville Georgia
  10. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    Sight reading, ear training...
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I would have taken the chance of moving to California or NYC and tried harder to hook up with a high profile gig instead of staying in Fla. Fla's OK, but it never got taken seriously as a musical powerhouse, especially in the 80's.
  12. tobie


    Nov 26, 2008
    I would have started with music 35 years earlier...
  13. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    would have gone through the pain to go 5/6 string fretless unlined earlier.
  14. SlingBass4


    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City
    Ah-h-h...that 20/20 hindsight ;)

    One can't have too much education, agreed. It IS, however, always about people. Many of us would look back on our technique, reading skills, what instruments we'd have added to learn/master - but good people skills can never be underestimated. Exposure to other folks in different music genres makes for a broader understanding of one's place at a point in time, plus what and where to set our sites for the future. Association with serious folk who's dedication to music and entertainment strikes me as one (of several) good areas for thought and consideration.
  15. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    This is slightly off topic, but I would have worked on my singing more.
  16. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    If I could do it all again, I'd spend far LESS time practicing bass, and far more time writing songs and singing
  17. the_hook


    Apr 9, 2008
    Lack of confidence and being shy really kills good opportunities.

    The band I was in at age 12 needed a bassist and I came close to buying one. But I backed out; I couldn't read music, was afraid I'd come down in flames trying to figure out the songs, etc. And I was keen on being a drummer, and even that didn't pan out...:scowl:

    But...if I'd bought a bass I was holding in my hands at the store (can't remember the name, just that it was all dark wood and felt light)...some interesting avenues would have opened up for me. There were lot's of weddings and other venues (no DJ's yet, all live bands at that point) to play at locally, and good money to be made to buy even better equipment, meet girls, get even more equipment...maybe buy a car later....!

    That was 1975...we all know what awesome rock bands/albums were out by that point that I could have learned bass lines too....:bawl:

    My only saving grace now is that I have more confidence, I dived into learning the bass because I wanted too, I didn't over think it. I'm very discplined and organized so with what little time I have each day I make it count.

    I've taught myself enough on the bass these last few months that my son is learning fast and he's adding to his solid playing on his drums.

    In a way I have gone back, but it's my son's turn and he's doing it for himself, having fun and opening up those avenues for his future.
  18. I would have started out on DB and not spent the years I took real lessons drinking and drugging and playing Rancid songs. I am 25 now and have been playing for 12 years and in that amount of time there is no excuse for me not being able to blow people away with my skill for my age, but I can't. Even considering my 3 year hiatus due to the nature of my work, I could have been really really good judging by how quickly I picked up on the instrument. Its a shame.
  19. rarbass


    Jul 3, 2008
    Well I started playing with a pick, and even though there's not necessarily anything wrong with playing with a pick, I wish I would have started out with fingerstyle first so I could have developed it earlier. Mind you I'm quite proud of my fingerstyle technique now, but it would've been nice to have developed it earlier.

    More importantly, I wish I'd taken an interest in it earlier, and I wish I would've taken music classes in grade school so I could've had an earlier start reading music. That would've really helped.
    And I'd have learned piano earlier to help develop my music reading and theoretical knowledge as well.
  20. dave64o

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

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ

    Amen. I started playing bass when I was 38 and just started taking lessons last fall when I was 44. I wish I would have started lessons right away - and that I would have started when I was young and it was easy to learn (if you young 'uns think it's hard to find time to devote to it now, you can't imagine how much tougher it will get once "life" starts getting in the way!!)

    I also never regret stopping drum lessons when I was about 14.

    Simple suggestion... If you love it, whatever "it" is, don't give it up. It's very hard to get it back decades later.

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