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Listening to great players

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by moley, Nov 27, 2002.

  1. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    When you listen to a great player (on any instrument that you play) do you get inspired to improve your playing, or do you think the opposite - "Ahh, I'll never be as good as that, I may as well give up" or somesuch. Or maybe you have a different reaction all together...

    I find when I listen to Herbie Hancock, I have the former reaction, but when I listened to Jaco last night, it was the latter (not that I really thought I'd giving up, it's just those kind of thoughts went through my head)... Maybe it's just that I'm a better pianist than bass player.
  2. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I use to get discouraged when I saw a player better than me. In the last couple of years though, I've went the complete oppisite. If I see someone who's better than me, or maybe, they just know a few things I don't, I watch them and try to pick up on everything I can.
  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Great musicianship doesn't intimidate me. That's just a matter of that individuals' interpretation/motivation, and it is not neccesarily what I always want to do. The sounds and tone great musicians get inspires me to keep playing.

    What I get totally awed/intimidated by is consistently great song writing.

    Elvis Costello, Guided by Voices, Bacharach, Lennon/McCartney, Jagger/Richards types, who can crank out the hooky tunes that run the range of emotions, styles, and situations.

    I would rather write good songs than have good chops.
  4. When I hear something great on a record, it makes me want to pick up my bass and learn the song. When I see someone, especially a friend/local player who rocks, it makes me want to give up.
  5. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    I've had both reactions. When I saw Level 42 live on their Guaranteed tour, I did quit playing for a while. I was simply too stunned by seeing Mark King laying down the tightest basslines while singing at the same time. After I saw Marcus Miller live I had a few weeks of _hard_ practicing. Not because Marcus was worse than Mark, but at the time I was so much better player that I felt I could perhaps some day achieve the same skill level. That fantasy has dissolved now.
  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Whenever I hear any player I get inspired.
    if its Victor wooten or Jaco or stanley clarke or soem punk slapping 1 4-5 octaves at GC....I get inspired, if its "I want to be that good" or "I will be that good" or even(I know its evil but it presses me to be better) "I'm better than that punk, let me go practice to re-affirm myself"

    even when I see guitarists or drummers I get inspired, I love playing my Fodera, since I got it I would have to say the amount of time I spend playing has incresed at least 20 fold.(up to 5 hours a day some weeks)
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Other bass players always inspire me to get better and to try and play their stuff. Jaco particularly - there is always something of his lines and compositions that can inspire you.

    I've alway tried to play bits of his lines that I like and I think it's more inspiring to attempt to play something that you like, rather than just scales and exercises.

    Now that the books have come out with complete transcriptions, I am re-inspired to play these lines in their entirety. So I bought "A Portrait of Jaco - the solos collection" and have been trying to go through these.
  8. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I get impressed and enjoy the show of skill and effort, but apart from that it think it has very little to do with me. It's like watching a 100 meters final, you know it's possible for some people, after a life of sacrifice and training, and with the correct genes to begin with. I know I'll never be that person - different breed almost - so why let it bother you. I can only try and improve on my own level, and be happy there. What I do get from looking at good players is bits of bass lines, ideas for technique etc, and that hopefully influences me some. I feel happy for them, but I'll never be that guy, I simply don't have the genes or the dedication. :)
  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Call me selfish. But I feel like I can be the best, I feel like if I push myself hard enough and if I practice enough and listen to as much music as I can and really apply myself I feel like I can achieve whatever I want.
    as corny as it sounds I really don't feel limited or restrained by anything, even though I go through tiems when I wish I had perfect pitch or had a better understanding of theory(which I am currently studying)or when I feel like I'll never learn a certain technique or song, I still just keep pushing. I'm only 17 now, I have a long time ahead of me I started when I was 12, I've been getting increasingly more serious every week it seems and I feel good about playing.

    please don't take this the wrong way anyone, this is jstu my ambition speaking, I am very optimistic about bass playing, and want to be the best I can possibly be.

    on another note
    Is it possible to get a PhD in bass?
    I heard of a guy that got a PhD in Drums and percussion, but I thought PhDs only applied to medical practices. am I wrong?
  10. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Nah PhD isn't only medical practices. You can get a PhD in pretty much anything I think.
  11. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Had I still played when I was 17 things may have turned out differently. A very strict (semi-sadistic really) teacher killed my music interest at about that age. I am told I was gifted, I played in various clarinet quartets, marching bands, theatre orchestras etc. Sad really that a bad teacher can destroy an interest. But on the other hand I'm quite happy to be a well paid IT consultant with a flourishing music hobby rather than a very poor and struggling musician.

    But of course, could I have been a well paid musician I would have chosen that. :)
  12. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    If i see/hear another bassist doing things i cant do (in the sense of its better;)) it motivates and inspires me to learn, from riffs through to techniques.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    The Ph in that, actually stands for "Philosophy" as in Doctor of Philosophy!!

    So it is nothing to do with medicine, but is just a "higher" degree. The main point in British Universities is that a PhD has to show some original work or research - whereas a first degree doesn't!
  14. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Well, it's good to see most of you guys seem to be inspired by great players, rather than the opposite!

    I think it perhaps represents level of procifiency on the instrument in question. I know when I listen to Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, & Bill Evans for example, I'm inspired to get better, because I can really see myself being able to play that well. But then, I have been playing piano for more than ten years, so I have a much better command of the instrument (compared to bass).

    Whereas, although I really love Jaco's music, I have difficulty relating his playing to mine - it's like he's on a whole other level, and I just can't see how to get there! And I'm not talking about just playing fast - there's so much more to it than that, as you know. I tend to think "Damn, I'll never be that good". Though, I've only been playing bass for five years - and only playing really seriously for a few months since I got my fretless. So, I guess that's to be expected.

    It's interesting, what P Aaron said:

    I actually tend to find the opposite - the playing, rather than the songwriting awes me.

    I think it's often the case that musicians are either a great player or great composer - but not necessarily both - one seems to be stronger than the other. For example people like Sting, and McCartney are essentially composers, I would say - in asmuch as they're stronger as composers than as players. And then I'd say Herbie Hancock is possibly a greater player than composer.

    Of course, this is not a rule, more of a general tendency. Jaco really was great at both. Chick Corea too.

    I'm more of a composer than a player.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well - I first heard Jaco's playing in about 1976 and I remember then, that I had no idea what he was doing and in a lot of cases coudn't believe it was bass guitar.

    It's only in the second half of the 90s that I actualy worked out how to play any of it!! ;)
  16. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Musicianship is always a goal worth keeping fresh and excelling at.

    I still think songwriting is where the $$$ success is in music today.

    It's not even the elaborate compositions, but the ditty, the 2-4 minute songs that I try to improve my writing for.

    You gotta put the bass line someplace. Why not put it in a song?
  17. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Indeed. It's unbelievable to think the guy was 24 when he made that album. This is a quote from a biography page on a site:

    He bought his first bass at 15 from a local pawn shop. By the time he was 16, the locals considered him to be the best bass player in South Florida. Later, just before his 18th birthday, Jaco declared himself “The world’s Greatest Bass Player.”

    After a year, he was considered the best bassist in the South of Florida, and after less than 3 yrs declared himself to be the world's greatest bass player. The thing is, he quite possibly was the worlds greatest bass player. Geez. I started playing the bass at 15. Look at Jaco's standard when he was my age, and my standard now. Slight difference :) Still, I got 4 years to get up to his standard at the time he made "Jaco Pastorius" :) So look out for an album called "Moley", to be released 2006 :D
  18. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Yes, our man in England is correct, PhD=doctor of philosophy. Doctor is a higher academic title, and if you wonder what 'philosophy' is doing in the title, it's there because philosophy as a science used to concern all matters of life in the ancient times, everything from biology to architecture.
  19. I used to have that with guitar. I'd listen to "Villanova Junction Blues" or "Recuerdos de la Alhambra" and just bash my head against the wall.

    Bass suits me much better.
  20. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Jaco's so cool. :D
    too bad he was also manic and bi-polar and kind of crazy....gives him a black mark of countless stories that make people go "eeehheahh" :(

    Its Jacos Tone that always gets me, my Fodera can produce similar tones but having frets its impossible to get that same level of clarity and emotion he had. I want a fretless :(...better start saving :D

    Jaco is the one bassist that inspires me and frustrates me...I listen to some of his stuff, start to figure it out, then he goes and plays some crazy riff(be it 32nd notes or eight 16th notes) that I would never have thought of and It totally throws me off :mad:

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