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is there any similar experience to mine out there ?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by no66, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. no66


    Oct 17, 2011
    Bought a Bass about a year ago having had no musical experience in my life what so ever.

    Plodded on with it for a while,found a teacher but did not really gel and only seemed to follow the path of instruction books.

    Carried on only to find my lack of knowledge slowing things down i.e, always looking everything up .....i mean every thing ! ..so much so that I digressed to an electric guitar in order to find out more about the whole guitar thing.. and music. I do not know how many others would have done this but it just seemed the right way to go.(however my finger strength seems to be holding me back on both instruments and lack of self rhythm)

    Now one year later every thing is fragmented there does not seem to be a lot of progress in any direction.

    I have not got to much time after work for practice and find the little amount of progress quite disappointing.

    Its not all disappointing I am enjoying/buying more music than ever before ........but wish i could make some kind of personal musical expression myself

    An example of Practice of late would be to practice some chords on electric guitar and then play along to a simple bass line on my bass.

    all in all though I wonder where some times it is going.
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Maybe music, bass, and guitar just isn't your thing? I think we have to really have a passion for it in order to be successful in any way. Bass can get real boring if you're not playing with others. Guitar, it's a little easier to do a solo kinda thing.

    Only things I could think of would be to maybe find a teacher who will make it fun for you somehow, give a go at another instrument, or find another outlet for your creativity, ie. writing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, photography, movie making.... you get the idea.

    Music may just not be your thing. And if it is, then nothing I just said will stop you. Good luck.
  3. G00D+~VIBES


    Nov 21, 2008
    Kansas City
    I know how you feel. I was there just a few months ago. I found that what i was looking for was a more complete cohesive conceptualization internally, and while i'm not "there" yet I finally have a clear idea of what I need to work on to get there. What worked for me, and what I'm suggesting to you is that you get out there and talk to people who already do what you want to do, in your area.

    I have never had a formal 'teacher' as such, but I do have several close friends who are great musicians. Some of them come from my childhood, but most come from just being on the 'scene' and getting to know people. I think you'll find that bass players are generally kind open heart-ed people that want to share their love of music. All you have to do is express your interest in getting 'on their level' and eventually you'll find someone who will say come over on such and such a day and we'll see what we can do.

    Many say that at the highest level you have to 'check your ego at the door' this is a TRUTH. The first step is admitting you need help (easier for some than others). The next step, DO THE WORK. In 6 months of serious wood-shedding you can change your playing (and yourself) into something you'd only previously dreamed of.

    So there it is.
    1. Find a friend.
    2. Understand what you are trying to do.
    3. DO THE WORK - there are no short cuts
    4. 24 weeks of serious commitment, or noodle for the rest of your life
  4. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    One year of fragmented practice is nothing to be upset about.
    It can take some people more time than others to progress. Consistancy & determination are the keys to making strides in anything in life!
    When I first started playing years ago, I would come home from school and lock myself in my room, playing along to records, trying to pick apart songs.
    Playing by ear is the way many do it. Lessons can only help, if you can find a teacher you "gel" with. Books, instructional DVD's and just jamming to your favorite tunes can really help. When you feel a bit more accomplished, playing with others will really spark your progress. You'd be suprised how much you'll learn by playing with actual real people!
  5. If it is a chore, find something else to occupy your free time. No one is making you do this.

    If you can start playing with people I think this would change things. I found playing with people to not only be enjoyable, but, I learned all kinds of new "stuff".

    Friend and you on Wednesday nights........
  6. no66


    Oct 17, 2011
    thank you to all.
  7. My personal opinion, hoping this helps:

    Tooling around is your path because you have no direction - no 'teacher' to push you, no band mates to make you feel like you have to get a song down. SO invent one.

    find an online teacher you like and spend a couple bucks to get access - then join a band - or make one up, doesn't matter

    Create a song list, invent a gig, make a deadline to get the songs down and sit down with songsterr or ultimate guitar plus and jam.

    That is kinda where I am - I 'tooled' for decades, finally decided to stop and two months into it I have made more progress that the previous 20 years. I actually join a band (lucked into one that wasn't expecting much from a bass player) but it would work just as well without one as long as I felt a deadline to suceed.

    It is amazing once I got a couple of songs down, how NOW I'm interested in theory, scales, technique, etc to expand my knowledge so my playing will get better... but the other way around just was a waste of time (for me)
  8. no66


    Oct 17, 2011
    I think there is a problem of finding forty somethings with like minded wants and musical needs but with limited skill.

    I think most people i could potentially encounter already would have a reasonable level of musical skill ........... i think I would be somewhat embarrassed to enter this foray.
  9. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    I know exactly where you are coming from. I went through the same thing.
    Where do you live? Do you live in a area with a music scene?
    What type of music do you like?
    Do you like the Blues?

    I found a teacher that I clicked with and he started me with Blues.
    You can play blues simple or spice it up as you get better.
    Most all cities have a place that holds blues jams. I have found that most of the people that go to them are very helpful and encouraging. Get on stage and play with some really good musicians.
  10. wong99


    Jun 6, 2012
    It is really okay to try something, realize it is not for you or that you have no real talent for it and then give it up to move on to try something else.
    Eventually you will find something that you have an inherent talent for (something that comes naturally for you) and then grow a passion for that.
    We are all much better at things that come naturally, we enjoy, bring a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment, etc etc.
    Keep searching and sampling and you will find "your thing".
    You will know it when you do, just as you know it when you don't.
    Best of luck to you.
  11. no66


    Oct 17, 2011
    thank you for all the good advice.

    I think to give up and try something else would be to heartbreaking at the moment as I know my practice is severely compromised by the amount of free time I have.

    My practice is exactly whats not recommended 2 hours at the weekend and nothing in the week.Of course I spend most of the time going over what went before then only to digress and try and play songs.
    All a bit futile at times but I have always wanted to play an instrument I only have to look at my bass/guitar and amps and I want it to work ! ........but whats in my head is not coming out at the finger tips !!
  12. Staredge


    Aug 7, 2010
    Germantown, MD
    Pick a song you like. Learn the bass line. A program like Best Practice will allow you to slow it down without changing the pitch, as well as looping small sections. There's an app for iDevices that does it as well that may still be free on the app store. Figure it out, then play along with the song at high volume dancing around the room. Lather Rinse Repeat. If it isn't fun, you won't want to do it. Spend part of your time doing the technical stuff....part of it having fun.
  13. wong99


    Jun 6, 2012
    Try the 15 minute rule...
    How it works; Tell yourself that you MUST practice every day or every other day if that is better and that the minimum practice time is 15 minutes. You can stop after that if you want to but you MUST do the 15 minutes.
    Two things happen.
    1) Very often you will go a bit longer because you will "get into it".
    2) Even if you only do the 15 minutes it is better than not practicing at all and although you might not make huge progress at least you are still moving somewhat forward and not falling behind.
    Stick it out. It will become more rewarding as you go and some day you will be very glad that you hung in there and didn't quit.
  14. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    You quit lessons because the teacher "only seemed to follow the path of instruction books", and practiced only on weekends, and now "there does not seem to be a lot of progress in any direction"...Sounds like you're right where you should expect to be. Do you honestly think abandoning lessons and " the path of instruction books" was going to get you somewhere more effectively?

    The answer is: find a teacher you "click" with and put in the work.
    You have to love learning about it to get any good.
  15. Tom_RCJ


    Jan 4, 2010
    Cardinal, Ontario, Canada
    Band is sponsored by Trinity Amps and Sennheiser.
    This right here is all you need to focus on. Don't over-complicate things with expectations. If you have the drive, then all you need is to be patient. This might sound a bit counter-intuitive, to not keep track of your progress, but the trick, especially in the first year or two, is to have fun and stay interested. Just keep the fire burning until you realize one day you've rearranged your schedule to include more playing time. Your hands will get stronger with time. Your playing and understanding will get better with time. Strive to get better, but don't let expectations get you down. It takes time.

    Make sure your set-up is easy to use. If it takes you 5 minutes to plug in and start playing, change stuff around so there's never any change of going "eh, I don't feel like getting up and plugging in right now". I always recommend getting an acoustic guitar so you can just pick it up and scratch away. Learn the basic chords, witch are easy enough to find. Hammering these into you will give you a standard starting point, and give you a few things you'll recognize and understand more in the future. All of witch will apply to bass, or any other instrument.

    That and all the other stuff mentioned by everyone else.
  16. no66


    Oct 17, 2011
    listening intently.

    funny thing.. just been noodling along to I still haven't found what i'm looking for ....followed by a classic ..Ring of Fire both on bass

    and the other half said best efforts yet ..........how can i ever give up !!
  17. wong99


    Jun 6, 2012

    This is excellent advice. Get yourself an acoustic guitar to make it easy and use that to learn "MUSIC".
    Once you know "music" you can easily translate that to different techniques for different instruments.
    When you think about it, you cannot learn to play bass, or sax, or keyboard or any other instrument. You can only learn music. then you can apply the knowledge of music to any given instrument by developing the technique for that particular instrument.
  18. Tom_RCJ


    Jan 4, 2010
    Cardinal, Ontario, Canada
    Band is sponsored by Trinity Amps and Sennheiser.
    Yeah, you'll be fine. Don't worry yourself. You got the bug.
  19. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    To everyone on this thread who suggested the OP give it up...

    NEVER encourage anyone to quit! NEVER!
  20. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Had people encouraged me to keep playing football I wouldn't be the musician I am. And I'd have wasted a signicant portion of my life.

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