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I'm Afraid Of Completely Blowing An Opportunity!!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by ebozzz, Jun 16, 2002.

  1. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    I just got an offer from a local guitarist/songwriter that has been playing in my area for 20+ years. He wants me to jam with him and he thinks that it could develop into something more serious. Most of the material that he has is Blues/Rock or Blues oriented. The music is not the problem. I think that my skills are.

    I'm probably one of the least experienced people on this board since I've only been playing for a little less than 18 months. That's why I'm so concerned. I don't want to fall flat on my face but I guess there has to be a first time for that.

    This person seems to see something in me that he feels he can work with and I definitely think that it would help with my growth. I'm just going to need a little more guidance than someone who has been playing lot longer.

    Should I do it? What if I just totally suck? If you haven't already guessed it, this is my first shot at a band type setting and I'm scared to death! :eek: Is there any advice that you experienced players can offer to a struggling person such as myself? Thanks!
  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Run with it... One of the best ways to improve your playing skills is to constantly play in situations that are a bit beyond you. It keeps it interesting, forcing you to play above your current skiil level. Seven years ago, I fell into a blues band with a guitarist, keyboardist, and drummer who were out of my reach. At the end of five years, when that band broke up, I found that there weren't too many local playing situations that were beyond me, and certainly none that intimidated me enough to not attempt them... Then I spent a week in New Orleans during the Jazz Festival and all that changed!!! :D

    God luck,
  3. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Thanks Robert! :) I just got back a while ago from visting with the person and it seems like it might actually work. He's a very patient guy and I picked up a lot just from the short time that I spent with him. Man, I would be heartbroken if we got going and then one day I'm not part of the equation any longer. BTW, I grew up about 2 hours away from New Orleans. I know what you mean about intimidation down there! :D
  4. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I say go for it.

    I once was a basssit, which like many other rock bassist played little more than root notes.

    Then I joined a band with some great people who's playing and attitude served as inspiration. I instantly became much better (by the end of our fist jam session I was doing things I never knew I could).

    I think that playing with the right people can really help any bassist develoip their skills and especillay their style.

  5. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Right on Nick! Finding the right people is what has been the holdup for me and I'm not one to try to force the issue. I feel pretty good about this chance though. It might not last but I'll do my best to learn all that I can from it. It's kind of nerve racking but it's about time that I started using some of this gear that I have! :D

    Adrian Garcia always teases me by saying that I have more gear than he does and he gigs 5 or 6 nights a week. There's probably some truth to that because I had GAS real bad for a while. I've been okay since I started taking my medication. ;)
  6. Kid Charlemagne

    Kid Charlemagne

    May 29, 2002
    Goodness, ebozzz, GO FOR IT!

    This is IMO the absolutely best way to learn how to play! You will grow as a musician, and with the right support from the other players, it will go fast. Practicing and studying are great, but they will not do much good to you unless you get some serious gigging experience under your belt!
    I vividly recall my first gigs, and the kicks I got from these are actually still unmatched in my book!

    Good luck! I'm really excited for you!:D
  7. Go For It! You'll never know how it would work out if you don't. There is nothing worse than doing the "what if" thing. If it doesn't your out, or if you're not ready, then it will be a learning opportunity. He asked you to jam with him. He must see something in your playing that he likes. Take it for the complement that it is and go for it.
  8. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member


    Jump on in! When I took an Andrew Carnegie class (one of those things that companies often offer their employees for some reason) they said "imagine the worst possible outcome of the situation and the results of that". And I think the worst possible outcome is that it doesn't work out - that the individual decides you need more seasoning. No blood, no serious damage - and with your description of the individual there won't be any gratuitous insulting going on. And if that's what happens they may come back to you in a while and try again if they like you as a person.

    A lot of things I've read say that in a lot of cases the chops/talent/ability is not the deciding factor. It's personalities. And if the artist likes you and would rather work with you as a person than other more experienced bassists, then you've got a great situation. Even if after a while they decide to get someone else, you'll have had a lot of fun and learned some good stuff in the meantime.
  9. GO FOR IT!!!

    It's not what you've done or what experience you've had that is of primary importance - it's what you have to offer of yourself. You can always improve on technique and increase your musical repertoire and knowledge - what you have inside, however, is what will make the difference.

    Some advice - play within yourself. Blues and blues-rock can be a real confidence-builder if you just stick to the groove. You will grow as a player if you always play within your talents.

    And if it doesn't work out, make sure to ask for some advice - and learn from the situation.

    THERE IS NO DOWNSIDE!!! You win either way! Now go and have a blast, man!
  10. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    That's why I love my TalkBass brothers! You guys are always...........there........for...me!

    ***ebozzz, wiping the tears away from his eyes.***

    Thanks guys. I feel a lot less apprehensive about it now than I once did. It's still a little intimidating but hey, it's gotta happen at some point, right? Even if I don't do as well as I would like to I think that it will still be beneficial to me.

    I went to a club that has an 'open stage' show every Sunday night after I got this message started. One of my former teachers was in the band that was hosting the show for the evening. We had a chance to catch up and he basically felt the same way that you guys do. "Do it", he said. He also gave me a little feedback on the person. He didn't have a lot of superlatives to say about him but more importantly, he had nothing negative to say. I don't need any head trips. I get enough of that just dealing with myself! :)

    I also ran into another guy that I know. It had been quite a few months since I've seen him and he even made a suggestion that we get together to play! I don't know if I can stand it. At one point not long ago I was begging guys to let me jam with them. Now I'm getting unsolicited offers and I still have a lot of room for improvement. I don't understand why things have changed but I'm loving it! :D
  11. you go, boy!
  12. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    My advice is to quickly determine your role and your relationship with any other parties.

    I'll explain. If you have been asked by a 'solo artiste' it is very likely that it is his/her project and you are the sideman. This is your 'boss'. If you join a band you may be a 'full' member and expected to muck in or their may be a leader or pair of leaders.

    If its a democratic affair then pull your weight with the extras. If it isn't then don't it's not your job. Play your bass as best you can. Don't take any rubbish off non-leader band members.

    In some scenario's you are the hired hand and in others they want a new best mate. Act accordingly.

    I sense that you are confident in your abilities but...

    As a part time guitarist and bandleader heres what I want in a player

    Good sense of humour

    and finally the ability carry on playing the way they played when I saw them and thought " I want them in my band".

    Any good band leader will pick you because they like how you play either by observation, or reputation and won't try to change it.

    Just be yourself.
  13. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001

    One of the first things that this person said to me was that he was tired of dealing guys that he was meeting in the area that were a lot more experienced. We talked on the phone for a few days just feeling each other out. One thing I never did was to try to be deceptive about my abilities. I told it like it was. After our first phone conversation we exchanged several messages via email. Here's his initial reply to my feelings of inadequacy.

    Craig, we've talked a little here and there. I'm sure you know at least a little about how I feel about pursuing the this dream on mine. His reply and what you've said just confirms that there are still good people out there that are willing to try to help others get better. It's just crazy how things happen. I was out there searching for a good situation and all that I was getting was dead ends. I'd pretty much stopped looking and then what appears to be an excellent opportunity finds me. Go figure! :D
  14. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001

    I was actually targeting a Blues situation for my entry into this madness. :) Now I just hope that I can ride it for a long time! ;)
  15. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001

    Very nice advice. Thanks! He already has a bunch of material. I would just be coming in to hopefully do the best that I can at playing it. I don't expect to have a lot of input and I'm okay with that.

    As I continue to develop I would like to have an opportunity to express myself a little more but right now I've got my hands full just trying to keep up! :D I will get the chance to have a little more say so over what I do musically. Of that I'm sure. That's just not as important to me at this stage but I am glad that you made me think about what I need to consider. Thanks. ;)
  16. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    I'm gone! :D ;)
  17. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Bro, I would say don't sweat it. A lot of music is just oppurtunities, you have an oppurtunity to come jam with this cat, so I say take the oppurtunity. Also, a lot of music is "climbing". You're constantly climbing in your abilities, and you're also going to climb in your reputation. It takes someone giving you that "oppurtunity" so that you can climb in your "reputation". You dig what I'm saying? The more you play, the more your name will get around. Bass players are in high demand and low supply so you're never have a problem finding a gig as long as you can play a half way decent line. You play a little bit and your name will get around. People will call you for their bar bands, for their recording projects, to fill in for their bass player who had to take a gig off cause his mother's in the the hospital ect. I wouldn't worry about falling flat on my face. This cat seems pretty cool and he's willing to work with you. After that, you can take the expierence and move on. That's another part of the climb, taking expierence from one situation and using in the next.
  18. Blux


    Feb 5, 2002
    Philadelphia, Pa.
    What I have learned this passed weekend from watching and getting encouragement from some really fine bassist at our TB Philly, is "it's the love of playing that is the most important ingredient" of becoming a better musician. And I saw that with every single bass player who attended. These guys are serious about their music and come alive when playing. Thanks to all of them for pointing the way for me.

    I know you will succeed and will love playing every minute. Go for it.

  19. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Hey Midnight,

    I got a late start at this but I've still got time to have some fun at this. You're right. I've got the right instrument. Good bassist are really in demand in my local area. The bonus is that the bass has always been the instrument of my dreams. :)
  20. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001

    I definitely don't have any shortage of the "love of playing." :) I do have some limitations in the skill department but It's nothing that practice and patience can't cure. I tell you what, I've certainly become more interested in practicing since this all came about!

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