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Judging your playing....

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by cire113, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. cire113


    Apr 25, 2008
    I don't know whats gotten into me lately but man every time i play i don't like the way my playing sounds...

    Its like i judge my playing too harsh ...and honestly my playing is probably pretty decent....

    I have like no desire to play bass right now for some reason... Like no motivation at all and I just took a 3 week break from playing!!!

    Its like I'm bored with everything I play and even try listening to new and different music but it feels like all music is the same progressions... Don't' get me wrong theres lots of progressions but I'm sick of the ones that sound diatonic and good in my head...

    Maybe i should take another break? I don't know just frustrated..
  2. Your perception of your playing will not get any better with the attitude you have. Dr. stratovani suggests two things:

    1. Put your bass in its case, and hang a sign on it that reads "Do not open and play until April 1, 2012".

    2. Take up another instrument in the meantime, whether it's a guitar, a piano, or even a kazoo. Between now and April you'll notice some improvement and that will put you in a more positive mood, which should help your bass playing when the time comes to take your bass out of its case.

    Good luck! ;)
  3. HugeInJapan


    May 25, 2011

    When I get in a rut I pick up a guitar and after a few weeks I find I'm itching to pick up a bass again.
  4. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    I sort of disagree. I think developing the ability to play what is required of you, even when you feel bored or think you sound bad (or you're cranky, or tired, or nervous, or whatever) is a worthwhile skill to develop. I am typing this with a cold , waiting for a gig when I would sanely be home in bed. No live situation is ever ideal, we practice to overcome the bumps and curves thrown at us.
    Of course if there is no band counting on you to pull through then maybe other instruments will inspire you. But a the end of the day boredom is mental thing, a problem of attention and focus. If you listen deeply enough to the music there is always something worthy of your attention.
  5. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    I almost think you need the times you are experiencing to appreciate the times when you surprise yourself with your accomplishments, or to recognize how far you have come ... for me, as mambo says, it is usually a result of my digging in and working harder when I feel it just isn't going very well ... if you need a break, put it down and go do something else, but come back as soon as you get a second wind, dont put if off .. learn new material, find different people to play with, whatever it takes ... JMHO
  6. ACalbass


    Dec 16, 2011
    This is when you need to change direction and focus.
    Do not like what you are playing? or you don't like the way you are playing what you are playing?
    I used to feel the same,and yes,stop playing was one of the things I did,but the best way to cope with the boredom is to attack in a different direction.
    Do you know music theory?,can you read sheets/chords/tabs? why not learning a bit of those meanwhile?
    You do know theory already? why not taking harmony then?
    Or take something more technical to learn : listen to other instruments,see if you can play their lines with your bass,will give you some melodic sense and a way to use your base as a "voice",a different expression of what the normal "base" you use to play.
    This will teach you legato,staccato,articulation in general,also dynamics.
    There are countless ways you can get off this situation,but need to shake up the laziness first.
    Try to stay productive even when you are not playing the instrument.
    Of course,all this suggestions implies you want to be a better musician in general,rather than a bass player.
  7. Groove Master

    Groove Master

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    Sincerly, I would take out the metronome and start working on scales, arpeggios and melodic motif and then may be some grooves and improv.

    Listen to some different kinds of music that you usually do, I'm sure you'll get some ideas and desire of playing quickly,

    Good luck
  8. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Nows the time to take on a single train of thought. If those who have never studied or worked under the single idea or teaching of one person then what happens is you have focus, and a mind set that is singular to that persons presentation of the information. Wether you disagree with parts of it or don't accept certain areas, then this is a distraction. You are distracted by your own opinions on it, not learning what is being presented. Only once have accepted and learnt the whole idea or concept and understand where the teacher or author is coming from will you ever be able to truly decide its merit or worth.

    So i would find a concept, book, author, band what ever and focus on that single train of thought.
    Ed Friedland does a great range of books, all with his great slant on teaching.
    Groove Master has a couple of great books to learn from.
    DVDs are every where for you to focus on so pick one and work through it.
    Bands to listen to, depending on your taste, pick one that has a long recording history, start with the first album and work throught ot the present day. See and hear how they developed, lok at what was happening around them at that time when it was released, get it in context and see how fast you start to work through them once you "get them".

    I some times see players "channel hop" because there is so much interesting stuff around to try. Well i call that distraction, from acually following and completing one thing.

    Point of fact, there is a thread about modes started by in fact Groove Master. The original post and lesson examples are perfect uses of learning modes. It is a functional simple fun idea to wet the appetite if you will. But if you read it you quickly realise that there are those that have valid points and ideas, but just don't get the post. I mean if i had a two year old and was starting to look for books for her so she can learn to read, then simple and fun is where i start and build. But if i start on Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Homer etc, then yes the info is great, the reading is functional etc....but the two year old does not need or want that, what is needed is,
    A is for Apple
    B is for ball
    C is for Cat and so on. Not a book that lists everything...that is a dictionary. Nor does it need someone to start explaining
    "no,no,no.... A is not just for apple, its also for Amazon, and its also for Aeroplane, and if we get in to an aeroplane we can fly to the Amazon" "B is for ball, well thats ridiculous, B is for some many things, why just explain it is for Ball.....actually this book is just full of singular words that tie to the appropriate letter of the alphabet"......get the idea?

    So the book is in fact boring, it does in fact carry a single train of thought, it is indeed simple, but it is fun, because the experience of learning is fun at this age. Yes she will move on, and quick, look for more challenging reading, new words and meanings, but all that will come but only once tha basic foundations are in place and the reading is functional in the sigle idea to improve reading, not impart new ideas that will involve words, meanings, ideas etc to distract from the reading....in that case may as well give her a dictionary and let her get on with it, which would be boring, so like you have to do, i would find some thing that is fun to learn and work on because fun is never boring, and fun opens us up to learning quicker.:)
  9. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    A few random reactions in no particular order.

    - Hop on iTunes and explore. Go through the list of best selling albums and find one interesting thing. Buy it.

    - If you're into effects, shop around for a new one. Get that bass synth wah you've always wanted--or whatever.

    - Call up a friend and ask what he/she's into right now. Get together and play some of it.

    - Don't take this as judgmental, but have you been treated for depression at any time in the past? Those of us who have know that losing interest in things that normally make you happy, "anhedonia," is a sign of it worsening. If things don't improve it might be time to talk to someone about it.

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