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New old bass player

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by DSims63, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. I am a new bass player and an old man, I turn 49 next month, and in the last year I have become totally obsessed with become a musician and a bass player. It has pretty much taken over all of my other hobbies. I am the kind of person who tends to analyze things, probably over analyze but I have been trying to figure out what is the reason for this change, and I think I have it figured out, I am looking for God. When I say this I am not using the term in the usual religious institutionalized way, I will have to give a little background. As a child I was quite sickly and spent a lot of time in the hospital near death so at 8 years old I was seriously contemplating the afterlife, identity, and other pretty heavy subjects for a child. It is usually when one is in their 40s and 50s when people start thinking of their mortality which usually leads them to God and religion, but I went thru that at 8, so what am I going thru now? I believe that thru music we are able to connect to something outside of ourselves and that something is God for lack of a better term. It doesn't ask anything of us nor does it want anything. It is just there and the trick is to try and commune with it.

    Right now when I play I am so green that all of my concentration is on hitting or finding the right notes (I know they are all right notes but I do want to sound good heheh), instead of just riding the groove. That is what I am looking for, I want to ride the groove. I love talkbass forum and have received a lot of information and enjoyment from the threads on it. I have also noticed that people are so much more helpful here than on any other forums I have been on, you guys have a great community. So anyway my question is to all of you "old" new bass players out there, what bought you to music?
  2. Rock and Roll = Rock and Roll Band = many women + very little $$$.

    Like Graham Nash once said,"we didn't get into for the money we got into it for the p***y".
  3. OneOldCoder

    OneOldCoder Guest

    Jun 28, 2012
    I'm 57, first played bass when i was 15 or so, started in stage band in high school, and played in a couple very bad groups. I also learned guitar around the same time, self-taught. Over the years I have played rhythm and bass in various bands, and played at a lot of blues jams. Last band I was in, played rhythm guitar, and wrote the music for all of our original songs (45+). The core players stayed together for over 8 years, but we could never find a lead player that could/would play the sounds we were looking for, and that would stay with us.

    Ended up splitting up, and shortly after that, all my gear was stolen...guitar, bass, both amps, 12 channel PA system, 2 PA amps, speakers...the whole enchilada. over 8k worth of stuff, and it wasn't really even expensive gear to begin with.

    When that happened, I stopped playing, and pretty much decided I would never pick up an instrument again. I had just gotten totally fed up with the low-life musicians that seemed to be the only ones around this area. Drugs, alcohol, everything but music was the focus of everyone i seemed to meet.

    All that being said, about a year and a half ago, i really, really got the itch to play again...don't know why really, just heard some songs on the radio, and listened to some of the original stuff we did again. It brought back the feeling that I had when I first wanted to learn to play...I wanted to make music, something someone could hear, and maybe have a better day. Just getting the sounds out that are running through my head all the time. I don't know that I would go so far as saying that I am -connecting- with something/someone...but I do know that I am feeling my creative mode go into overdrive again, and it's a wonderful feeling. :) :bassist:

    Now that I'm playing bass again, I have never felt more comfortable while playing. I never quite felt right playing rhythm, even though I am fairly decent at it. Bass has always been my -thing-, and I'm thrilled to be playing again.
  4. I don't mean this to be a let me top that type of post, but, to answer your question, I took up music when I retired at 65 back in 2000. Yep do the math I'm now 77 years old.

    Why did I take up music. I've always thrown myself into a hobby, the fun usually lasts about 7 to 10 years and then I'm ready for another hobby. I've got a sailboat, rowing shell, ham radio and some stained glass tools for sale if you are interested.

    Music seemed like a good new hobby in 2000. Since then I've taken on several instruments; banjo, rhythm & classical guitar plus electric lead guitar, 4 string bass and keyboard, however, playing with a band and seeking out open jamming circles keeps me involved with music. I think this hobby will take me the rest of the way.

    Your obsession - mid life - and nothing wrong with that.

    Enjoy it while it lasts.
  5. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    I don't think it makes a difference a person's age when they 'come' to music. There's a child-like fascination with what music does and how it makes people feel.

    I think most musicians are more emotional and sensitive and internalize things more so than the 'regular' person.

    If listening to a certain song can bring one on a ride of emotions and feelings then how much more can playing a song? And one step more - playing a song and sharing it with others?

    Welcome to the club. :bassist:
  6. Sonic

    Sonic Lord of the Grump

    I got a couple of el cheapos if you're looking for an instrument man. Welcome to the low end.
  7. PrietoBass

    PrietoBass How does he do that?

    Apr 16, 2009
    I'm 49. Started just before I turned 46. My oldest son "brought me" into it.

    At first, it was like an obsession to get good quick and I practiced 4-6 hours every day for like the first couple of years. I'm also very anal, and all that effort and attention to detail paid off.

    About a year ago I changed my approach. I don't place any pressure on me to be at any specific level by a certain time frame... I just enjoy it at my own pace, on my own terms. This is something that I hope to do the rest of my life and all that targeted practice, while good, was taking away from the fun of doing it for fun's sake.

    I don't have illusions of ever becoming a pro or anything like that; I already have a fairly successful career as a software engineer. I make a good salary and could have top of the line equipment if I so chose.

    I started getting invited to play at church, then I went to an audition, and while I was very nervous they didn't send me home. That lasted for a few months and then I decided that I didn't want to be exposed to extremely high stage noise levels.

    These days, if I play at church, I measure the stage, and if it goes over 90 dB I tell them "Thanks but no thanks", and that's that (I'm hearing impaired and need to preserve what's left of my hearing as much as I can). I do jam with my two sons (one guitar; the other keys) at home. We never go over 80-85 dB, and we have fun. We go to GC together, talk music stuff, spend time together, etc.

    If I form a band, it'll be with them, with no drama, and if the drummer we find insists on hammering cows dead with his/her sticks we'll just send him/her merrily on his/her way.

    Doing it for fun and with my children is in itself enough motivation for me; I don't need anything else.

    (...and, some threads do pop up here in Talkbass that make for a good read, so it's good to be able to relate a little.)
  8. cdBuckeye


    Aug 26, 2012

    This is my first post on Talk Bass.

    I'm in my early thirties, and I started playing almost a year ago.

    Numerous things brought me to music. First and foremost, I regret not having been involved with music from a young age. Band and/or choir would have been good classes to take in middle and high school. Second, I love to listen to music, both live and recorded. Third, I have several friends and family members who are really into music, and I wanted to be able to jam with them. Fourth, I've been having some health issues, and I needed an "indoor hobby." Finally, I knew it would be challenging, and I like a good challenge.

    I am having a good time with it. There is so much to learn! Music theory, reading music, left hand technique, right hand technique, muting, timing, singing while playing, etc. My brother is a skilled musician (mostly with guitar and drums), and he's been my primary teacher. Jamming with him is one of the most enjoyable things I've ever done.

  9. JWP


    Aug 19, 2012
    I am 48 and have been playing on and off since i was 14. Grew up a music lover....started working at 14 so i could buy my own stereo...build my record collection and go to concerts. My dad had an old acoustic guitar that nobody played so i grabbed it and began trying to figure out smoke on the water...stairway...misty mountain hop. Started playing bass in my early twenties. We had three guitarists and one really really bad drummer and since i knew some scales but not the strongest lead guitarist...i took one for the team...bought an enormous peavey bass and never looked back. So glad i did...immediately fell in love with the feel and tone of the bass and when i finally played with a solid drummer...knew i made the right decision. Enjoy and practice practice practice!
  10. Bass Mentor

    Bass Mentor

    Apr 30, 2012
    Nashville Tennessee
    endorsing artist: Lava Cable, E&O Mari, Rupert Neve Designs
    I just turned 60 last month, and it is a landmark to be sure..and I've been a professional musician since 1975...very blessed to do what i do...regardless of the stress that the music business brings...I loved the bass from the time I started really listening to radio in the 60's and frankly playing was an emotional escape from a very bad childhood in a home environment that was extremely negative and toxic.....I did not even conceptualize a career in music...it just sort of happened as I invested myself into this great passion and love of music --- I teach older students as well in bass mentoring at my home studio in Nashville and worldwide via Skype when not doing my '' day job'' of studio work......and so pleased at seeing some of our mature brethren rediscovering a lifetime joy of music and the appreciation of their talent rekindled.....and they have a new appreciation for life and and the expressive arts in the fun they have of playing with others and building an enjoyable skill that lasts a lifetime.... very, very cool:)
  11. You are an inspiration, thank you for sharing your story.
  12. I find myself in that get good quick mode and I have to constantly remind myself its the journey not the destination.
  13. One good thing for me coming in late and from another craft is that I am alright financially so I THINK I have good equipment, emphasis on the think. I am playing a Fender Aerodyne with a GK amp MB210. I like the sound of it. Looking for that smooth, buttery bass sound. heheh.
  14. Bass Mentor

    Bass Mentor

    Apr 30, 2012
    Nashville Tennessee
    endorsing artist: Lava Cable, E&O Mari, Rupert Neve Designs
    yes, try to remember the joy of music even when you practice....sometimes even that thought helps when you are just doing the left brain dry musical information stuff --- It is indeed the journey and not the destination...
  15. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    Yeeaaaahhh.... about that.... You would've hated it at the time. I guess all the ridicule and being a social exile was worth it in the long run...

    And what's all this about being financially stable?!? Y'all's must be doing something wrong!


    Seriously, great thread. +1 to everything said.
  16. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I got back to music at 40 after not touching a guitar nothing for about 20 years since high school. Today at 50 I have played in a band or on stage monthly since and love it. I undersand your connection to your soul, music is that for me something I need to do and explore before I leave this place part of my life journey.

    Make your mark, tell your story thru your music! Create and express yourself and see where it leads you.
    There is so much information out there to get started such as youtube videos and lessons line including some great one by the cat's on TB. Good luck to you and don't let a silly thing like age hold you back or limit you.
  17. I'm 57 and have been playing since i was 11 years old. i think the beatles on ed sullivan sealed the deal for me. i have 2 great kids, been married, divorced and never stopped playing. been up, been down, good and bad but music has always been there to keep me sane. keep playing. NO MUSIC = NO LIFE
  18. LadyThunder


    Jun 12, 2012
    i'm 31 and started learning bass 3 months ago. i took it up cuz i wanted a new way to experience music... just simply listening to music and going to shows were no longer enough to satisfy my hunger.

    playing bass has been great for my mental health and is a good way to channel my excess energy. some people do yoga or whatever to relax... i practice my bass! :hyper:

    i also love how my hands feel now that i've been playing a lot. they're wicked strong and lol... they actually TINGLE sometimes, which tells me it's time to practice.

    anyhow... learning/exploring new things that excite and stir your soul, whatever it is or however old you are, is what life should be about.
  19. Raw Amateur

    Raw Amateur

    Feb 9, 2011
    40 here. This December will mark my 2nd year on the bass. 9 years ago I walked into a music shop and looked at some basses, got a card of an instructor and walked out but never came back. Wished I hadn't turned my back on it then.

    In any case, my wife bought me a starter bass and practice amp with 4 free lessons. I think she is regretting that :D

    There is something very powerful about all of the sudden having music you listened to all your life, now at your fingertips. Like when I first played the intro of "Dazed and Confused" on my bass. A simple but powerful line.

    I guess what I'm getting at is that I came to playing bass on a bit of whim but it has bitten me hard to the point where I think it's with me for life. I listen to music differently than I ever had, more attentive, trying to pick out that bass. And the music I listen too has changed too. Whether it is Geezer Butler or Oscar Stagnero, I am now switched on like I never have been.

    The funny thing is, when I tell my good friends, the guys I have known all my life that I play bass now, the response is that they laugh and say, "I always knew you were a bass player."
  20. Jim Kernan

    Jim Kernan

    Sep 25, 2008
    I'm 55, I've been at it 4 years. Slow going, but found some guys to jam with. That helps a lot.

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