I'm in a rut..

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Pastorius43, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. Well I think I'm in a rut..I haven't had any inspiration ofr songs, haven;t learned anything, I've just beeen playing the same old songs and exercises. i was wondering what you guys do when you're in ruts? And if it helps, I listen to Classical, jazz, and a little bit of rock.

  2. Well, for one, don't listen to anymore "classical, jazz and a little bit of rock." Mix it up. Try some funk, some prog and some techno. A fresh perspective on music can yield a fresh perspective on bass - when ever I get in a rut I always go out and buy five CDs!

    Good luck!
  3. AspiringBassMan


    Dec 10, 2005
    you're not the only one who feels like that from time to time. many people do. i do. its quite normal. they often say that a change is as good as a rest, and its quite true about bass playing too. sometimes i find myself strapping my bass on and just playing the songs that i already know out of instinct. sometimes it can be boredom...but its not boredom of bass playing. its because i'm being boring and lazy. sometimes you need to put that little extra in to get that littel extra out. what do you do when you're in a rut? answer: you try something new. variety is the spice of life. so when i strap on my bass and immediately launch into playing the songs that i already know, try something new. practice walking bass lines for an hour. have a coffee. practice scales for half an hour. have a coffee. try learning some new songs from your bass book. have a coffee. it always feels good to learn something new, so thats what you should try to do each day or each practice session instead of doing what feels comfortable(ie going over the songs that you already know). you get out what you put in.
    let me know how you get on, and good luck :)
  4. Hey thanks a ton man! I'll try that tomorrow, as it's too late and I'm almost off to bed...Again, thanks:)
  5. dabass

    dabass Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2005

    Check out Pacman's post. The biggist barrier or obstacle in my playing is knowledge of the fretboard. Not just indentifying notes, but really mastering the fretboard in any key or any at any position on the neck up and down. Learn this stuff cold and you will fly!! It's a bitch at first, but dedicate 5 days to it, obscess about it and trust me it will help your playing.
  6. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    there are a few generally considered 'remedies' for ruts:

    -Pick up a different instrument, i do guitar, but anything else will work.
    -Buy new gear (oy...)
    -Listen to all different sorts of music
    -jam with others
    -Learn a new concept
    -If all that fails, perhaps a break from bass playing :bag:

    this is the general advice given to those in ruts on TB, and if none of those things work, somethings ****ed.
  7. Some things that really help me (I dont know why) are:

    Different strings (or different guages)
    A setup
    A new tuning (temporarily)
    A good break

    Remember, ruts are all mental ;) .
  8. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Just five days? :eyebrow:

    Personally, I wouldnt go for new gear, CDs, strings, etc, etc. I'd get the hell away from your bass, your guitar, you music and go enjoy yourself. Do whatever else it is you do with your life and forget about musisc for a while.
  9. metalguy2


    Dec 26, 2004
    There is really always something you could do to get you better. For example.. If you have been working on your Reading for a while ... and stop.. maybe start working on your slap chops...
  10. +1
    I really dont think there is anything more important than mastery of the fretboard. Theory is close but you can utilize and manipulate theory to a fuller extent if you're not guessing where the notes are on the neck.

    Intertwining registers can't be mastered unless there is serious dedication to the fretboard. Staying in one position is mundane and predictable and really limits your basslines. Grooves will suddenly come at a much easier pace when ideas are snatched from all areas of the neck with skill and precision. Plus, it makes playing the bass much more fun.

    Make some flashcards and then do Pac-Man's drill. BTW, thanks Pac that lesson is a lifesaver.
  11. Thanks everyone! Oddly enough i bought some new strings and i have a new hankering for playing :)
  12. metalguy2


    Dec 26, 2004
    Pacman's post is how I originally learned the fretboard. And seriously. Nothing makes playing other keys easier other than knowing where all the notes are. THAT and knowing all of your mode positions.
  13. burntgorilla


    Jan 24, 2005
    I find taking a break helps. But then I frequently go days without playing bass, have a mad obsession about one thing, then repeat. You could always try forcing yourself. I know I should really do that scales exercise. But I just can't be bothered to do it. I know all the benefits and stuff that I'll get from it, but motivating myself is the difficulty.
  14. AspiringBassMan


    Dec 10, 2005
    i think what you need is a confidence boost. it occurred to me before. a temp confidence boost can be obtained by buying new strings because it (sometimes) improves the sound and gives a certain 'freshness' about the bass making it feel as if its nicer to play. it doesnt last long though.
    sometimes when i feel i'm not making progress, it discourages me. the day before yesterday, i decided to learn the bass line for nirvanas 'come as you are'. it was my first attempt at playing by ear. after listening to the bass line several times intently, i plucked away on my bass and decided that it either started on a D or a Eb. i then went to the internet and found the bass tabs for it. i found out that it starts on D :D. i was well chuffed because i was near the mark! this gave me a bit of a confidence boost. little confidence boosts like that can re-ignite ones interest in playing, i think. it gives you a feeling of making progress and that makes one feel good about themselves and their playing. and i think thats what your problem is - you need a confidence boost in your bass playing :).
  15. Tomass


    Nov 1, 2005
    im a bit concerned about the amount of coffee that you are telling him to consume Aspiring Bassman, is that the way to do awsome shreding because your so loaded up with caffeine. BTW i hit a bad mental Rut during the holidays because i was striving to be the best and that just put more pressure on my self and it took the fun out of it. So i just left the bass and played guitar. But now my little bro just got a drum kit so i can either jame with him or just bash the crap out of it in a melodic way. :bag:
  16. AspiringBassMan


    Dec 10, 2005
    then again, you know as well as i do that 'have a coffee' is a figure of speech that means 'have a break'.
  17. If you think your in a rut, go over everything you know well with a metronome or drum machine. Also, try learning a new technique, or cathing up on your reading/notation..
  18. Sorry or the bump. I just ordered a DigiTech Jamman loop station. I was reaind something and someone said it helped them with soloing and song writing, and getting out of ruts. What are your thoughts on this?