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Next Step

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by leftiebass, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. leftiebass


    Oct 17, 2009
    Trusted Advisors: I am in between stages in my playing and trying to figure out what the next step will be.
    Background: Played a few years as a kind - 16 to 18 years old or so. Did not play well. Mostly did it because I loved the music but had no discipline or focus. Played in a band or 2 but was replaced by better players.
    Stopped playing - felt bad and turned to the usual - jobs, raising the kids and the rest.
    One day - more than 30 years later I suddenly decided to get into it again before I got too old! I decided that I would work at it this time and take it as kind of a challange. Bought a new bass. Found a great local to take lessons from. A real pro. He always brought theory into the mix and could identify and show me how to play anything I asked. Tried out for a band - first one said no, the next welcomed me in.
    I practiced like crazy. Home from work 7pm. Practice till 9 and then dinner. Practice again another hour or so.
    3 hour band practice, I would do half an hour before at home. After practice, would play again at home. You get the idea.
    Ran into an old friend - a good musician. Told him I was playing again. He asked me to come over and jam - he plays keyboards and guitar. He said that I had come a long way and we should play more, and could play out sometime. We put together a trio and have done gigs at restaurants and such for most of last year.
    I practiced a lot. Felt accepted, but working hard to keep up.
    SO - around the new year - still in the band. I have been slowing down. Still love it, but do not feel driven. Can go 2 or 3 days without practice. Something that never happened for about 3 years or so.
    Still want to move on, but wondering about the next step. I always thought that timing was the big challenge. It has really improved. I have done reading on theory. I practice some reading. I know the notes but have to go over them again and again - I cannot just see and play.
    Anyone recognize where I am and have any advice? I stopped the lessons. There is always stuff online, etc.
    What I am after is to be able to join in and feel comfortable with new musicians. Some open mikes and some very good blues jams here. You get up and find out on the spot what they will be playing. I am terrified at the idea of being asked to do a solo. Just want to be in the mix.
    I know that I went on for a long time here. Any thoughts? Questions? Thanks in advance.
  2. IN jamming - no one has to do a solo, or call a song.

    Simple matter of just leaning back when the circle gets around to you. No pressure. But circle jamming, fun, you betcha. Seek the circles and take part in all you can. Most circles around here welcome a bass, especially a stand up bass.

    Sounds like you've been around enough that you could function after being given the key. Assume a I IV V, grab a 12 bar progression and hang on. http://mineolabuzz.com/BUZZ/TX/MINEOLA/music-on-main-street/ Roots and root-fives are enough.


    Have fun.
  3. henry2513

    henry2513 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2011
    Los Angeles, Ca
    My story is much the same as yours, I played for 5 years, quit for almost 17 then almost 2 years ago decided to pick it up again. I've been putting in time, lots of it, as much as I can manage but now I find myself practicing less. I started at 4-5 hours a day but slowly dwindled down to 2-3, part of it is because I'm getting to a point where I don't have to drill on technique as much but now I'm wondering "why am I not putting the extra time into something else". It might be because my kid is getting older and demands more attention, it could be something internal.

    What I have done lately to "light another fire under my ass" is to go out to Jam Sessions and start thinking about auditioning for bands again. Also, I started taking lessons again, once per month, from a bassist/musician I highly, highly, highly respect - so that there has helped me refocus myself and set new goals.
  4. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Take it easy on yourself. Forget how good or bad you are and let the music take you. Except for needing to learn a new tune for a band, or orchestra part, or play for a grade in school I have not ever felt stressed about my level of proficiency. I play well enough to go out and play, and I get called, too. I'm not always actively pressing myself to improve, and yet I am always improving---but it's natural, since I am playing a lot, and the music is leading me. I just love playing, and at the same time take note of anything I need to attend to. No regimen for me, but I do take care of business when needed. All together that way I always get a little better, day by day with little effort.

    Enjoy, and any goals you have will be easier to achieve.
  5. leftiebass


    Oct 17, 2009
    Thanks all. I am liking the idea of seeing where the music leads. I am Improvising more in practice time and aiming towards being more relaxed about it. Also reading Wooten's The Music Lesson - and absorbing what I can.
  6. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 27, 2021

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