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Let's talk about playing bass!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Jun 26, 2004.


  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Ever just feel really good about the fact that you play bass, or about your playing in general. Ever get high (without drugs) sitting in your room playing the same lines over and over to a metronome until you realize you can play something you've never been able to play before? Ever simply look at your bass on it's stand and feel warm all over? Ever feel really proud to know you're a completre and total bass geek?

    I've got the summer off from work, and my guitarist is going to be out of town for the next 2 and a half weeks. I am going to have hours and hours to spend alone, finally, with my bass - and it makes me feel tingly all over. I love playing the bass. The bass is my instrument. My friend. Ahhhhhhhh......

    I urge you all now to pay homage to your craft and cut loose those thoughts and feelings you keep welled up inside. How are you feeling about being a bass player today?
     
  2. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Wow! I feel great about being a bass player. And yes, I like to look at my basses hanging on the wall a cool and s***. I've been gigging for over 20 years and I am sitting here right now getting excited about tonights gig. :hyper:
     
  3. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars

    Well, once I recover from moving - in the insane heat and humidity of Central Florida - yesterday, and get my house (well, townhouse) in order, I'm gonna be right there with ya. At the moment though, my babies are all in cases in the closet, out of harm's way.

    But, I know the warm fuzzy feeling just seeing 'em in the stand, and I take deep pride in my bass geekdom. Just knowing they're a few feet away from me right now gives me the warm fuzzies, even though they're out of sight.

    'Scuse me, I gotta go finish unpackin' so I can practice!!!!!

    :D
     
  4. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA

    What is this thing you call practice? Is it difficult? Does it take up much time? :eyebrow:
     
  5. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    What a strange concept for a thread. ;)


    Yeah definatly, my example? My current bass obsession (and has been for years) is/was Les Claypool. I thought most of his lines to be impossible, and there was no way in hell I could ever be that good. Now? I'm figuring out a lot of his stuff by ear/watching him live.

    That's another thing, I didn't use to be able to figure out slap by ear, but I've learned it's all about seperating the bassline and the... well, popline. :D

    That and my technique seems be improving. I have my days where I think I suck (I'm still nowhere even close to what I consider good), and I think I'm making no improvement but then I think about it, and for people who are in bass ruts (I don't need to explain this, you all know what I mean). When you start off, there is so much to learn that you can take so much in during the course of a year. So you make a drastic improvement from someone who has never played bass to a decent bass player. But after that things slow down and you learn things a little at a time (in my experience) so it's very gradual and it may not seem like you are improving, but you are. Little by Little.
     
  6. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I was going to start another thread about this (sorta) because the temp guitarist in the cover and I play it in amazed by me. He says the reason I'm so great ( :rollno: ) Is I clearly enjoy playing the bass, and that's a rare find.

    The more I think about it, that's true. Obviously not too many people on talkbass, I mean, why talk about bass unless you love it. But think about all the guitar players who join bands just because they need a bass player. Basses don't cost that much. All the Nikki Syxxs and Sid Viciouses of the world. But we enjoy bass playing, that's one thing that makes us so great. :D
     
  7. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    definitely. and i don't mean that in an arrogant way, but rather just really happy that i found this instrument 20 years ago and that it still is such a big part of my life.

    a lot of folks compare our role in an ensemble as a bridge between the guitar and the drums, and i almost feel the same way about the actual physical nature of playing the instrument. there's a lot more physical exertion that goes into the playing of our instrument than a treble guitar :) but not quite as much as the drum kit, and this really suits me. more of a coaxing and squeezing feeling than the "slamming" feeling of making music with drums, which also suits me perfectly.

    i really feel like a musical masseur, both how i play and the music that my instrument makes. very visceral.
     
  8. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Thanks for the inspiration. I've just added to my list of things to do the next couple of weeks. Jaco time!!!! I remember first time I tried to play any (old) chili peppers. It was impssible, and I felt hopeless. A few years later I was able to play lots of flea's stuff, and now I don't believe there's anything he plays that (with practice) I wouldn't be able to play also. Jaco, on the other hand still boggles my mind and fingers. I can play parts to songs, but can't even imagine playing any entire song that he's played on, or at least none that I've heard. I'm going to break out all my Jaco books and CDs this week and play as much as I can. Gonna do some solo recording in my home studio too and hopefully post some mp3s here. I think i'm saying all this stuff as a public comittment to myself cuz I've been known to get all motivated, and then waste hours doing things like i'm doing this very second. :meh: OK. i'm outta here. gonna hook up the recording gear. see yas.

    ohhh yeah... bass... warm and fuzzy. even my warwick. it's actually the warmest and fuzziest, maybe becasue it was my first real wom..., i mean bass. my Music Man is the only bass I ever use anymore, but the warwick still gets it's share of bedroom play. arite. this is starting to make even me ill.
     
  9. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    how wonderfully put. ahhhh. you seem to know exactly how i feel. :)

    bass.
     
  10. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    I have often in the past, fell under the assumption that the bass isn't really important, that it can be just left out. But then I heard what the Eagles of Death metal sounded like live on Conan... wow. The guitar and drums sounded like they were in two seperate bands or something. We literally are the glue between the two (in the simplistic sense).

    One gig, I felt very much this way, and I was depressed and my fingers were not working. And I didn't/still don't overly care for the band I play in. So during the last set I was so bummed I turned my amp almost all the way down. They sounded like ****! :eek: It was amazing. And all the hard rock songs had absolutely no edge (that's what amazed me, distorted guitar falling apart completely without bass). Without us, the musical world is doomed, DOOMED!
     
  11. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA


    Whatever man, you're just in it for the chicks. :D
    I am making joke of course.

    I always feel like I'm driving the band. We did this gig back on St. Patty's day with a bunch of other bands and the sound man came up after our set and said that we easily blew the other bands away. Then he said the reason our band sounds so tight is because of my aggressive in the pocket playing.
    Well, after the swelling in my head went down I was finally :) able to fit in my truck. I had a nice ride home that night.
     
  12. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    And that's definatly a warm and fuzzy feeling, realizing that the impossible becomes possible with time/practice. Jaco will never seem easy to anyone, but doable to some. Good luck Joe! Post up a recording of Jaco's rendition of Donna Lee when you get it down! :bassist:
     
  13. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    :eek:

    what gave me away? probably my hugely phallic extended range instruments, right? :D
     
  14. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Great thread! Since being on this tour, the last thing I want to do is touch a bass when I'm not on stage! Sometimes, I will take her to my hotel room and work on new solos.
     
  15. vbass

    vbass

    May 7, 2004
    Bay Area, CA
    Hell yeah man! I always keep a bass close to my bed at night so if I am going through an insomnia faze then I can just lie in bed and play all night. The funniest thing is that the next day I often feel more energized than if I would have slept!
    Bass is probably the first thing I've really felt completely passionate about and I've been a fine artist for years.


    Side note, Joe I checked out some of the music on your website and albeit a little too 'happy' for me ;) , I actually dug it! Nice grooves man, too bad you're on the other side of the country or I'd def come check out a show. Hilarious lyrics too btw...
     
  16. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I feel that words are too limiting to describe how I feel about bass. I've never found anything that is so fulfilling and frustrating at the same time. It is both a blessing and a curse; I feel that I can enjoy a good bass player more than most people, but I cringe at bad bassists while everybody else is oblivious. I think it gives me a capacity to feel a wider range of emotion when I hear music. Playing bass (and more importantly, music) has made me much more critical and more accepting of music; when something is bad, it's BAD, but when something is good, it's trancendant.

    Bass is the only instrument I know that I can a single note over and over again and be perfectly happy.
     
  17. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    How are you feeling about being a bass player today?

    Better than in a long time, actually. My New Year's resolution was to break out of my old patterns, and try to make something cool happen this year. I got lucky and caught a long-term sub gig with an up and coming jazz band. I wasn't too sure I could hack all the reading, but as soon as I got past that, I decided to break out my EUB, which I've only had for three months. Last weekend I played my first gig with it, and played the sort of solo I could only dream about a few years ago, even on BG. And this was on a tune I haven't worked on much at all; it was just an off-the-cuff improv. I had a few other solos that day that were close to this too. Trying to maintain that level will be a huge challenge, but that's the fun of it, no?

    Beyond the simple ego gratification, I am actually practicing regularly for the first time in quite a while. It's paying off too, as I have a number of other sub gigs in the next few weeks, in a few different genres. It's nice to be called a bass player first, sound deWd second, the opposite of the way it's been the last few years. Talkbass can take at least some of the credit for all this. I only hope I can somehow inspire someone else in a similar way.