Introvert? Extrovert? Which vert are you???

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by tb-player, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. tb-player

    tb-player Sarcasm intended... always! Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    In the 'Motivation: Why do we do it?' thread, a few fellow bass players described themselves as introverts... and it got me thinking.

    In my daily life, I am largely an extrovert. I consider myself social and gregarious. However, onstage, I MUCH prefer the bass space; hanging in the back, laying down the groove, and supporting the band. Occasionally, I am asked to play lead guitar or sing. I'm happy to do it because I love music & performing. But I find it adds a little anxiety, as it puts me more 'out front'.

    So my question is, is there an overall tendency for bassists to be more introverted and guitarists/singers to be more extroverted? (Notice I said 'tendency' because there are always exceptions).

    How would you describe YOUR personality? Do you think your personality-type played a role in choosing your instrument?
  2. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I'm an omnivert. I think I'm naturally an introvert, but can, at times, be the biggest extrovert in the room. I do wish I could summon that part of me on stage with electric bass, but so far I'm more comfortable in the shadows - every time I try to do something "cool" or "showy", I completely muddle the line I'm trying to show off, so for now, I just try to get my lines right and do my best to appear to be having fun.

    I used to march tuba in a band that had a very extroverted presence - lots of silly antics and interaction with the crowd - and I was right up there with the rest of them (maybe even more than most) so I know it's in me - as long as I don't have to think about it too much. Of course there was lot more alcohol involved back in the day, which certainly helped unleash my inner showman....
  3. Verb the Noun

    Verb the Noun

    Aug 1, 2018
    San Diego
    An extroverted introvert I guess. I can flip a switch and put on my "hey look at me!" routine, but I absolutely need equal measures of bedroom door closed leave me alone time.

    The comments in this thread, and others, about being a back line player are weird to me. I was a vocalist in a punk band for a bit, and while there were certainly more eyes on me directly it really didn't feel much different. When up on stage performing, you have a room full of people watching you no matter how much you think you are hiding.

    Edit: Personality type played no part in choosing bass. I heard the intro to the Ozzy song Believer in 4th grade and knew instantly I wanted to make THAT kinda noise.
  4. DeathSlanger


    Nov 17, 2018
    Extrovert = gets energy from crowds
    Introvert = gives energy to crowds

    Most folks are truly one or the other. I love performing, hamming it up like the best of em. But soon afterwards I must get home and be by myself to recharge. I realized only about ten years ago that I’m introverted.
  5. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I’m a classic introvert. As others have said, I can flip a switch and act extroverted but it comes at a cost and requires solo recharge time. Pretty sure it has little to do with why bass is my main instrument tho.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  6. Steve Mason

    Steve Mason

    Sep 2, 2018
    total introvert.

    being in a band gets me out in public places but since i’m on stage i have limited interactions.

    same with worship team at church.
    being on the platform keeps people from sucking the life out of me
    Fretless1!, Holdsg, metermech and 4 others like this.
  7. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Fretless1!, Maynjo, jamro217 and 11 others like this.
  8. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I was born an introvert, without a doubt. I didn't like being an introvert however, and worked at the opposite. In the beginning that meant drinking enough to be the person I wanted to be. That had catastrophic results, and when I could no longer do that I made it a goal to practice the skills I felt I was lacking in. I believe we all lean in one direction or the other, but I am certain we can push at the comfort zones and grow past our perceived limitations.

    Regarding performance, I can go either way. I'm fine with disappearing into the background (which is what I do these days at weddings), and well... pictures speak louder than words. Best example is probably at the 2:45 mark:

  9. Winslow


    Sep 25, 2011
  10. tb-player

    tb-player Sarcasm intended... always! Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    I somehow knew it would take less than 10 replies to get this answer. :laugh: :thumbsup:
  11. Goatrope


    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida

    Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone. Extroverts need to recharge their batteries when they don’t socialize enough.

    I can behave like an extrovert when/as needed, but it discharges my batteries faster than being in my natural state.

    All that being said, I don’t feel selecting bass as my instrument was based on this personality trait, but the way I approached learning to play definitely was.
    Bboopbennie and gebass6 like this.
  12. bwildt


    Mar 21, 2017
    Wichita, Kansas
    I'm a for-sure introvert.

    Being an introvert and having a shy/receding personality are two separate things. Introverts generally have no problem being the center of attention, interacting with people or being a leader-- when they need to. The intro/extro difference is what happens after of all this interaction.

    Extroverts will feel energized by being around a bunch of people, and are ready to continue (where are we going, now?). Introverts, by the end of the day, feel a strong need to "get away" for some quiet time in order to re-energize.

    Extroverts thrive on interaction with others-- the more people the better. They have a hard time being home alone without communication with others. On the other hand, introverts thrive on solitude or meaningful interactions with just a few people. They can be happy spending the whole day with themselves and not talking to anyone.
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  13. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I don't view being an introvert as a limitation nor do I view being an extrovert something I aspire to.
  14. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I don't either - now. Not at all.

    I did then.

    Introverts and extroverts both have their strengths and weaknesses. I believe it's important to recognize our strengths, not believe one is advantageous to the other, and for me - to regognize and build upon my weaker areas.
  15. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I agree (and sorry, didn't mean to seem argumentative), although I think those "weaknesses" are generally things we can work around when it comes to extrovert/introvert, but not change. For me the main thing is that if I am in a social situation, I generally need to "perform" unless it is core friends/like minded folk. This takes effort, and there is no way to recharge except solitude. I guess what I am also saying is that I view this as a strength, not a weakness to work on.
    Joe Nerve likes this.
  16. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I agree. There are many things about my introversion I used to think were weaknesses. They were just differences I needed to learn to use to my advantage.

    A good example is with networking. I'm still not great at "wowing" people at social gatherings and getting them to want to be part of my team, but I am really good at forming close relationships with people who are willing to go out of their way to help me when needed. That's how I've gotten just about every good gig I've gotten in my life. Others get them through being a lot more out going.

    When I was younger I thought the "winners" in life were all the out going ones. I understand how inaccurate that thinking was, today. Extroverts have just as many challenges as introverts. Just different ones.

    They get arrested a lot more, too :) .
  17. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Introvert. Took me hours to get the courage to post this :roflmao:
    JRA, wildman2, bass-icly me and 12 others like this.
  18. Goatrope


    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Good book for anyone interested....
  19. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I'm the opposite of the OP. I'm very introverted in "real life," but once I get onstage I am happy to ham it up and be part of the "show." In my current band I'm always set up dead center stage and I do more talking onstage than anyone else -- myself and both guitarists all sing, and for whatever reason we found it natural from gig one to put me in the center so we had one guitarist on each side of the stage.
    nbsipics likes this.
  20. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    Interesting. I always need a role to play, a job to justify my presence. Bass-playing gives me that. So, yeah: When I'm in front of a crowd, I'm on. When I'm not, I'm off. Although things have changed some: It took me a few years, but I can now schmooze with the best of them, even when what I really want to do is sit in a corner with my Kindle and read.