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motivation for quitting?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by fleawanabee, May 7, 2002.

  1. fleawanabee

    fleawanabee Guest

    Mar 26, 2002
    Orlando, Florida
    I love listening to my role models.... Flea, Claypool, Stu Hamm, and more but sometimes, more often than not they really discourage me. I have no natural talent in music and i have been playing for almost 3 years and i still suck. I have to work really hard at everything I do on my bass. Its not that I want pity I just want to know if anybody else gets discouraged this bad, I mean sometimes i want to not even bother. Do you guys get discouraged by listening to people that are that good? Because it really gets me down.
  2. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    you don't need motivation for quitting. quitting is easy. everybody has been frustrated enough to want to toss it before. take a step back and examine honestly what you want out of bass, and pursue it. but be honest with yourself. you may find that the things that frustrate you the most you really don't want, deep down, anyway.
  3. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Dude, don't give up just because you don't sound like Flea, Stu Hamm or Les Claypool. You can be a good bassist and not sound like Les Claypool and you can be a great bassist and not sound like Stu Hamm. You can be a good bassist and not play like Stu or Les (I consider myself to be a pretty good bassist, but some of the stuff Flea does with his bass makes me say, "No way in hell could I ever do that!"). I get discouraged sometimes too -- there's a guy that I work with that can play faster than I have ever been able to play. Sometimes I think about how much better he is than I am and then I tell myself, "Wait a minute, he's not better than me, he's just different."

    It sounds to me like you're setting your sights too high to start with (I know, you said you've been playing for three years) and getting upset with yourself because you aren't hitting the mark. Start slowly and work your way up from there. Develop your own sound and style. Maybe the longer you play, the less you'll want to sound like someone else!

    Just don't give up, we need you!

    Here are a couple of cliches to get you through the night: "Anything worth having is worth working for."


    "The harder you have to work for something, the more you'll appreciate it when you finally get it."
  4. Mudvayne4ever

    Mudvayne4ever Guest

    May 2, 2001
    Please take it from someone who did quit playing. Don't give up. Flea,Les,Stu....they are great at what they do,but with a guarantee from every member of TalkBass,it took them much time and effort to get where they are. I got my first bass 4 years ago,and after about a year of trying,I started working full time and quit altogether. A little over a year ago,I was persuaded to get back into it. Now,after much dedicated time and tiresome playing,I would consider myself pretty good with my experience and want to do it for the rest of my life. Just don't stop pal,you never know who you might inspire one day,and one day maybe someone will be writing your name in a post just like you did. Peace,and don't let us down,Luke
  5. the_majik_bum


    Jan 27, 2002
    Were all not competing to see who is better at the bass. I mean, theres probably tons of bassists out there that are 50 times better than me but im not trying to be better than them. Im trying to be better than myself. Expand my limits. And when i listen to the greats of the bass guitar, its gives me inspiration to be better, and to practice, and be focused to hopefully be like that someday. And you need to put into account that thoese dudes didn't get where they r overnight, or even in 3 years, probably many years, and they've most likly wanted to give up at times. So take insparation from other better than you, and for most 90% of musicians, it didn't come that easy.
    Hope this helped, later
  6. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU

    while it's incredibly easy to appreciate and marvel at the talents of the players you've mentioned, it's also worth remembering that comparing yourself to them is absolutely ludicrous.
    for one, the number of years that they've been playing compared to your 3 is probably somewhere over quadruple that - time counts for a lot when learning an instrument, if only for the physical aspect of it in some cases. Flea didn't just wake up and start playing those dinky little 16th note runs all of a sudden; he worked on it, day and night, for years. same goes for Claypool and Hamm. in the grand scale of bass players, 3 years of playing still qualifies you as a 'beginner', whilst they are 'professionals'. you don't see a janitor getting all narky because he's not the president :D

    bear in mind that a lot of what they do comes from their respective backgrounds and causes for inspiration - Les's style is unique because of where he comes from, how his brain works, and what he's experienced. with this in mind i can honestly tell you that you will never play like him. sure, you can cop a style down to a fine art if you try hard enough, but the result is that you have still not yet found your 'voice' on your muse. IMO, this is one of the most integral parts of learning to play an instrument. likewise, none of my students will ever play like me even though i teach them what i know and how to do it - none of them have taken it upon themselves to camp out in Melbourne's CBD and listen to nothing but Spanish flamenco guitarists for a solid amount of time, right? :) it's just my own pitiful example, but it's musical experiences like that that will become catalysts for your musical developement.

    forget what your idols can do on the bass, for it's already been done. be inspired, and strive for originality and excellence.
  7. I can understand where you're coming from; I quit for a time myself. I was totally uninspired and very much stuck in a rut. My advice is don't give up; a break will come. Look at what and how you're practicing and playing; perhapss you need to approach it differently. Don't think what you can't do, instead focus on building your skills as aplayer and the rest will come in time. No, I'm not on a par with Stu Hamm or Les Claypool, but am a decent player in my own right.
  8. ive been playing for only 2 years. and am very familiar with your feelings. i tend to be a perfectionist in life so needless to say, being a baby bass player is hard for me. im used to being really good at the things i do. i just keep telling myself that if all i care about are results, then why even bother. bass playing is not an investment strategy. its my hobby. i love music, so do you, just enjoy the moment, the journey, all that good stuff. -peace
  9. babecker


    Mar 7, 2002
    Sykesville, MD
    There's a lot more to playing bass than technique -- you can use your short comings in ability to develop your own unique style. That's what playing an instrument is all about -- making music that represents you and sounds good to you. The vast majority of people who pick up the bass will never become a virtuoso -- you have to appreciate what you have accomplished yourself and judge your playing relative to your own progress. Stick with it and you'll come to appreciate your own style, however elementary it might seem. Don't give up, fella!
  10. I felt pretty worthless when a 14 year old kid whose been playing bass about as long as I have was waaaaayyyy better than me and most other bassists that haven been playing 5 times as long. It makes you feel like you are working your hardest and you still get beat...which is a horrible feeling.

    Then I said to myself "meh" and I continued working hard to improve my skills. Sure people are better than you, but as many people said in this thread your real goal is to be better than you were yesterday.

    BTW this young prodigy still has my Jazz Bass. ANd I've been stuck on my fretless for the past few weeks. I really am missing those little strips of metal :(.
  11. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Everyone gets discouraged from time to time. I sometimes feel like quitting, but in my heart I know this is what I'm meant to do. Try not to let these musicians who've been playing for way more years than you discourage you...you should let them influence you instead. I noticed you have Flea, Claypool, and Hamm listed as influences in your profile. (By the way, I see you have John Frusciante listed--big Frusciante fan myself :)). That is their role. I would figure out what it is about them that makes them such a great influence and let them motivate you into practicing and practicing. Wanting to hone those skills that they so greatly have...and yes, of course you have to work hard for what you want to accomplish. We are not all Mozarts.

    Keep at it. Sounds to me like you are in a rut. They don't last. They may feel like they do, but you do pull out of them. Just focus on the music and try not to look ahead on your path (that's some zen for ya :)).

    Good luck :)
  12. lazybassass


    Jan 23, 2002
    When u hear them, let them inspire you instead of discouraging you. When i hear my teacher play something that ive worked my tail off all week on and still dont have down very good and he plays it flawlessly the first time it doesnt discourage me, im just like wow i wanna be that good and i practice somemore. also remember that you play bass for fun and for the enojyment not to become the best in a short amount of time.
  13. Blux


    Feb 5, 2002
    Philadelphia, Pa.
    I first got interested in playing bass when I was 22.
    But I was a dedicated art student and did not have enough money to buy a Squier or Jackson and take lesssons. Well, now I am way over 30 and when I think about all that time not playing bass, I get pissed. Just think 10 years(or 20 or 30) down the road when you decide it's time to learn, you will have some serious regrets.

    Now, I am trilled when I learn "All My Lovin'" by Paul or "Black Dog" or any of the other 2 songs I know, I become fairly satisfied.

    Work hard and become better.
  14. i get kinda mad when i cant do that insane stuff that matt freeman does.. but think of it this way you will be that good someday and be able to play that stuff flea does sometime in the future if you work hard enough at it
  15. ScJaxx

    ScJaxx Guest

    Mar 15, 2002
    for some reason this feeling has not caught up to me. it is probably because one of my best friends has been playing for 7 years, and this May will be my 8th month. He teaches me, and when he proves hes better than me, it only makes me want to become better than he is, which hell, may never happen, but at least im trying.

    in all honesty, i dont think i will ever want to quit, i love music too much, and i love my bass too much. but like i said, im not too experienced, and that feeling may catch up to me with time.

    and like the saying goes
    "There is always going to be someone that is better than you at everything you do" (this is not a statement to discourage anyone)
    thinking of that, there is no way that you can do something EXACTLY as well as some people, just keep putting 100% effort into getting as close as possible. just dont get down on yourself, and keep working at it
  16. wannabe_bassist

    wannabe_bassist Guest

    Jan 25, 2002

    Everyone laughs at the Green Day and Blink-182 bassists as rank amatuers. But I wish I could play as good as they do!

    Shows you were I am at. If I could obtain that level of playing on the Bass, I would call it a victory. I am nearly 40 and got bit by the music bug last year.

    If I could sit around playing Blink and Green Day songs all day, I would be ecstatic. Most here would consider it nothing, but coming from zero, absolute no talent, it would be a minor miracle for me to accomplish the above.

    Perhaps you should pick a reasonably obtainable goal and shoot for that first.
  17. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Hey Fleawannabe,

    Folks are giving you a lot of advice and experience. Hope you're using it. Let me give you one coping skill that might help.

    I keep a list of all the songs I know how to play and another list of songs that I want to learn how to play. The list of stuff I want to learn how to play, I code Red/Yellow/Green. Red means I need a lot of work. Yellow means I've made pretty good progress and I note what I need to learn or figure out to go further. Green means I have it well enough to play it in public and I move it to my "know how to play" list.

    When I get discouraged, I go to my "know how to play list" and mess around with a few tunes, sometimes creating my own arrangements. Then I move to my Yellow list and work out a few things. Any thoughts of discouragement are replaced by a sense of accomplishment.

    Give it a try. When you realize how much you already know, you'll find it's a great place to build from.


  18. I know how you feel fleawanabee, I too have been playing for three years and I feel I should be at another level by now. I also feel that I'm not a natural musician, I can't even tune my bass by ear! There have been many times when I've listened to a really great player and got discouraged because I think "I could never be like that".

    I guess the thing is, you don't have to be like anyone else which is sort of exciting in a way, it means you can be unique. There are also many times when I hear a great bit of bassplaying (or any other instrument) and get really excited because I think to myself that I can do something amazing like that.

    In the end, don't give up if playing music is what you want to do.
  19. Learning anything, especially music, is not always a linear slope. With time and patience along with consistent dedication, you will always be improving. But I know what that feels like. Sometimes I feel like I'm just banging my head against a wall and I'm not getting any better. But every year that goes by, I look back and I realize that I have improved since the year before. Good luck and try to enjoy what you can do on the bass.
  20. Everyone else pretty much said it all...God bless all these cool and supportive fellow Talkbassists who take time to give a few encouraging words to someone discouraged.
    Take it from me bro, I got my bass 2 years ago, and quit for about a year cause I couldn't get it. The main thing I realized I lacked when I started up again was I lacked my "groove". There's no real definition for groove, other than it's that natural feeling you get inside when you play and it makes you happy. The main thing to establishing your groove is get your timing down real good then start working on your fretboard precision. It's not easy at all, but make sure to practice everyday, even if only for a little while. Taking a class always helps too if you have a patient instructor who knows how to teach.
    Playing the bass is a journey, not a destination. I've been getting better within the year that I started playing again and I'm light years away from where I want to be, but I came to realize that it's no rush...it may take another year, or 5 years or even 20 years, but one day I'll be happy with what I've accomplished and where I ended up...the bottom line is learn to love the bass and never stop playing, one day you'll realize "Hey, I'm pretty damn good". May take some patience and perseverance, but alot of things in life are worth the wait ;)

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