Need some advice please...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by thrash_jazz, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Hi everyone,

    I'll just get straight to the point - lately I have been playing DB less and less and I am starting to wonder if this instrument is for me or not.

    The bass I am playing is a rental bass and it does have its issues, and admittedly a fair part of my frustration has to do with the sound of the bass.

    I am not questioning the amount of effort I would have to put into DB in order to learn it properly. It is a combination of all of the other factors (e.g., price, space, portability for a carless person, etc) that is making me rethink.

    I know that, in the end, it should come down to the sound and nothing else. I do love the sound of the DB, but I just don't know if it's practical right now.

    Has anyone else been through this decision, and might you have any points to share?

    Thanks in advance and have a nice day :)
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Two things come to mind. First, I go through phases like that with music in general from time to time, and I think that's pretty natural. There's nothing wrong with taking a little time away from the instrument to see how you feel when you aren't playing it for a while. Absence makes the fart go "HONDA", after all.

    Second, do you have an outlet for the results of all the DB work you put in? I mean in terms of a group to play with, or a direct, immediate playing experience that can help you motivate yourself to keep at it? If not, maybe you could try to scare a few things up to give you a chance to play with other people using "that sound". I find that if I go too long just studying and playing on my own, it's a lot easier to lose the passion than when I'm playing all the time in groups.
  3. SleeperMan2000


    Jul 31, 2002
    Cary NC
    Stick with it. I have been playing for 10 months. I count when I started with a teacher as baseline, before that I tried to play it like EB and nearly broke my hand!

    Now I'm undeniably hooked, for now. But there are times when the necessary committment seems overwhelming. That is the necessary committment to becoming more advanced at playing DB.

    Two times I almost packed it in. Once because I didn't have a proper setup. I brought my bass in and my teacher couldn't believe I was playing on this thing. The setup was miserable and hurt to play. So that got fixed. Then I could move around the fingerboard and was less frustrated.

    Then I really go into a groove, practicing at least an hour a day by waking up at 6:30. I found bowing didn't wake up the family, as opposed to pizzacato (not sure why, but I think the thump thump of pizz was the culprit). High speed fans and humidifiers also kept them from hearing it. Point here is that I got into a great routine. Practicing in the morning is perfect for me.

    Then we had another baby two months ago. My wife came down spewing hot lava if she didn't get a good nights sleep, and I never knew if she had a good nights sleep. So playing was dicey. I quit playing. At night, forget it (I have a day job). Infant care and our 4- year old took all my time.

    Then I had a revelation, play in the office before anyone gets there. I rented another bass and it's in my office. I get in at 6:30 and play til 8:00am. At that point people start coming and and make requests. It's kinda cool.

    So, moral of the story is, keep playing, and it just keeps getting better. There are always hurdles, mental, physical, and logistical, but think of where you'll be in another year. Keeps me going.

    Also, check out another bass. The one I rented is a revelation in tone and fingerboard ease. I still have bad intonation, but you can't rent that!
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree with that - I go through indecisions every few months. Sometimes thinking that I want to play fusion/funk and that bass guitar is the sound I love; then will hear a great original group at my local Jazz club and be convinced that an acoustic group with DB is the only way to go.

    I think that maybe the better you get the more chance you get to choose - at the moment I am just happy to be playing and the big Latin Band gets the best gigs, so an EUB is a pretty good compromise for Salsa, Afro-Cuban stuff and Jazz.
  5. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    This is exactly the way I've been feeling about it - some days the drive is completely there and sometimes it's somewhere else.

    A point to make here is that I am playing Plank as much as ever, whereas my desire to play DB has been waxing and waning of late.

    Upon reflection, I think part of it has been the realization that I have spent upwards of $500 on rental fees so far, and I have wondered whether I have really had 500 bucks' worth of musical development and, more importantly, of enjoyment...

    As far as playing outlets go, there are some, but there lies the practicality factor. Not having a car, I am forced to take the bus or walk to jam sessions. This kinda sucks when you have a delicate instrument and it's a Canadian winter.

    Thank you all very much for your responses - I see I will need to do some thinking! And, of course, I will ask my teacher... :)