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Music Store Chops

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by riotboi911, Dec 31, 2004.

  1. riotboi911


    Dec 18, 2004
    Okay, well im 18 and i find that EVERYONE i know who plays an instrument (especially bass and guitar) rate players by the most difficult piece of music playable.

    When im anywhere with these people and i play some slap bass (which is my prefered style) they get all hyped up about it. I don't think anyone thinks im showing off, because i never seek the attention.

    So anyways. im getting to the point right now. Whenever i go to a music store and i feel like trying out a bass (which is quite rare because i know i can't afford a new bass). and well, i want to play my own style but i can hear all these little kids critizing about how i think im good, and too be honest it bothers me. the funniest song to play in the world is classical thump and i love to play it, but i don't wanna play it at the stores.

    is this just me?
    do you guys judge like that at stores when you see kids like myself playing fast riffs apposed to grooves?
  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Play whatever you feel man. Personally, the musicians who impress me the most are well rounded and balance out grooving and soloing equally.

    Ex. If I heard a guy wanking all over the fretboard, I wouldn't be impressed in the slightest. But if he or she switched to a awesome groove with tasteful fills/soloing I would be.

    Chops are good to have so that you can try new things, but don't let the music suffer by trying to showcase your talent.

    Nothing ruins a groove quicker than overplaying.
  3. Not really. I really don't give a rip either way about the other people in the store unless:
    1) they are currently playing the bass/amp I want to try
    2) they are playing too loud
    3) they have expressed interest in buying me something

    Play whatever you want to. Be respectful of the other customers...and screw everyone else.

  4. meh...

    I don't usually rate people at all in music stores. I'm not there to show off or to be impressed by someone else's ego boosting riffs.
  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I have seen plenty of friends/people with great 'music store chops' who couldn't groove within a band environment if their life depended on it.
  6. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Just play Higher Ground, repeatedly. ;) :p
  7. Just go and play what you would play at home. If it means Classical Thump, then do it. When I pick up a bass, I play little sample riffs from the Fender site, Rush, and bluesy walking stuff. I'll also try some slap riffs I learned at bass lessons, because I find that they let me thoroughly compare the bass to mine, etc. I can examine the ease I have playing some more complicated Rush songs, the natural tone of the bass with the sample riffs, the comfortability of the bass with the walking bits, and the sound and ease of slapping. Some people might think I suck for playing bluesy stuff, or that I'm showing off when I slap, even if it's funky and not a shred fest. But who really cares. People do tend to judge on pure chops, which is too bad, but it's really not a big deal what people at a music store think.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Now, are you worried more about other kids criticising you, or old codgers like me? I can't speak for the kids, but from my perspective, I always find myself asking, "How the hell does the he do that?" followed immediatedly by "Why the hell does he do that?" I have to confess that I am mildly impressed by that typewriter sound on a bass (since I can't do it), but always wonder where I would use it if I could do it.

    Now, you be honest, too. You do it for attention. So quit your bitching when you get it. And get some self-confidence somewhere. Why on earth do you care what some kid or some old codger thinks about what you play at GC, home of the plank-spankin' 14-year-olds?
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    With a gun to their mother's head...
  10. ERIC31


    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    Yeah. What Jim said! It's sooo true. I'm not a "music store chops" musician. I'm a groove man!! :bassist:
  11. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Called out by the codger.

    brad cook
  12. When I'm trying a bass out I can't really play anything that would be impressive to anyone in the store, but what I do play (some simple riffs from songs) lets me get a feel for the bass. When I'm with a band I'd say I'm able to hold down a groove fairly well.
  13. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I usually don't like to wank at the music store, especially if I'm seriously going to buy something. If I'm looking at the bass, I'm looking for dead spots, checking out what all the controls do, looking at the neck, listening to harmonics and overtones, etc.. Actually, I'm really not doing anything musical. I doubt anyone would be impressed by a guy who is playing chromatic scales from the 1st to 24th fret on each string. Since most music stores won't let me take things home, I gotta check them out at the store in detail. I can do all the wanking I want at home. Honestly, wanking on a bass will give me an idea of the playability of the bass and it's basic tone, but won't give me a complete picture.

    As far as showing off in a music store, I do not see the need. I've never had a salesman give me a better deal because I could play Tommy the Cat, or had anyone offer me a gig after playing Higher Ground, or hooked up with a lady at Guitar Center. I have no need to impress the teenagers, because when I look back at my adolesence, I was impressed by some pretty stupid things. As far as the old codgers are concerned, there gonna think "kids nowadays...when I was young...back in the day....them whippersnappers...etc" anyway. As far as middle aged guys like me, a bunch of them are at the store to fight mid-life crisis and maintain their "hipness" by buying some expensive instrument that they'll never learn to play. Man do I sound acrimonious. No wonder I rarely go to music stores nowadays.
  14. Bad Brains

    Bad Brains Banned

    Jan 7, 2004
    Detroit, michigan
    I see this being talked about all the time around here.

    I guess this can be a touchy subject. On one hand people here encourage you to go to music stores and try out different basses. On the other hand you have the people who criticize those who preform a chopfest in the stores, and accuse them of "showing off". How do they really know they are showing off, maybe that's just the way they play? I know if i'm about to shell out 800$ or so on a new bass, i'm going to play the hell out of it before I buy it, otherwise how would I know if the bass is right for my style?

    Actually I think I have only plugged a bass in at a music store one or twice, and only for a few minuts. If your like me, then it may take you a few minutes to get into a good groove, even more so without warming up. I wouldn't have time to groove it out in a music store. Just go nuts on it for the few minuts you have and move on and let someone else try something out.

    Of course there are always those who do show off.
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    You're right on both counts. Sometimes it's not showing off, it's just a player putting an instrument through it's paces. On the other hand I've heard guys who can play note for note renditions of "Classical Thump" or (RHCP's) "Higher Ground" and pretty much nothing else.
  16. Bad Brains

    Bad Brains Banned

    Jan 7, 2004
    Detroit, michigan
    I have also seen the same. The showoffs usually pick some songs like these in an attempt to prove to everyone in the music store that they listin to Flea or Vic.

    I must also add N.I.B to the list, everyone always seems to play that line too. It is fun to play though.
  17. Don W

    Don W

    Jan 30, 2004
    East Bay, CA.
    I've never been very impressed by anyone wailing away at a music store.

    When I try out a bass I usually just play scales and maybe some simple grooves, and sometimes a little slap or two hand tap line.
  18. Herein lies the conundrum. I'm always happy to putz around on a new guitar or bass. Usually when I'm in stores the only run I can think of is Hey Joe- otherwise my brain and any semblance of playing ability leave.

    Yesterday I was in the new GC and letting my girlfriend look at stuff- and there's not a lot there that interests me. So I saw two "kids" (not together) whose image just screamed "I'm in a band!" One "kid" with fresh tats and lip piercing and dyed black hair which said "I think Good Charlotte rawks!" He grabs some piece o' crap price point guitar and sits down in front of a Marshall combo and cranks up him attempting to tune down to drop D. Plenty plenty loud. After an interminable amount of time attemping to tune, he then started attempting to play some sort of one finger drop D slop. Really loud.

    A little while later another "kid" who had the cool Eastside look down with the 'Shaft' jacket and trucker baseball hat came and did the same thing. Exactly. Might have been the same riff.

    Everyone has to start somewhere- but loud personality plus loud amp begs being made fun of.

    There was also a little metal kid there shredding away. He had his amp turned down and was digging playing a new guitar, he wasn't showing off his chops, he just seemed to be enjoying himself.
  19. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama

    *especially about the "typewriter" sound. :D
  20. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Well THAT makes me feel better! I'm the same way - I can't remember how to play in a music store. A phycologist would probably relate that somehow to another problem: when someone asks me "what songs does your band play?" I can only think of like three out-of fifty!