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Out of steam

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by PinkFloydDan, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. PinkFloydDan


    Jul 4, 2005
    My motivation has just fallen off the damn hill and struck a few bumps on the way down. Even after my first professional lesson, I still am in this playing funk. Nothing sounds good. I can't seem to hit anything do I feel able to concentrate long enough to practice my left hand technique. It's quite annoying.

    I bought a new bass with hopes it might inspire me to play more. New gear can do that. If it feels good, you want to touch it. Must destroy credit cards.

    I have always found it very hard to give full attention on practicing technique, theory and music in general. It's a horrible feeling, really. It makes you think as if you have this plastic ambition. You fake your way through it all. Your basic understanding isn't enough to pull you through.

    It must come from within and I am not quite sure how to tap it. I know recently I said I was going to avoid bands, but I am starting to realize it is a bad idea. I need to jam with people, even if I stink. As long as those I am jamming with can deal with it, it's positive work and practice.

    Both my last bands did that. But weird little personality kinks messed it all up. It couldn't just be about the music. That's all I want.

  2. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I get in a funk every now and then but it doesn't last long.
    I think you might need to find a gig to get yourself going again. There is something about cranking up an amp and playing with a drummer.
    Buying a new bass will inspire you to play but only for so long.

    Also going out and seeing other bands can get you going. I'm not talking about major acts just going out to bars and such will get you in the mood. Seeing a another bassist that can play circles around me makes me want to practice and learn new things. If you truly love the bass and have given yourself to low end the funk will pass in time.:)
  3. jdlwareagle


    Nov 13, 2005
    Mobile , AL
    All musicians hit peaks and valleys along our ( hopefully ) lifelong journey . I feel your pain . There's been times when I felt burned out from playing too often and there's been times when I would have killed to jam with ANYBODY . Take a day or two and get away from your bass then maybe pick a cover song you really dig and learn the bass line . When you get down remember that God has given you a talent , that we should be thankful for whatever level that talent is and try and enjoy the journey .
  4. I have been in and out of this funk(more in it) for about the past 8 months. WHen I went to university, I brought a bass with me, but I never played it. I never had modivation to.

    Then I come back from uni. and I have all my basses and gear at my disposal. but I couldn't find the inspiration to play them. The I got an audition for a pretty well known band around here, so I practise my tail off. I finially found that little thing to keep me going. I don't get the gig, so I stopped playing again as much as I used to.

    Recently I was offered a sub-gig for a friends uncle. I took it, and while learning the 35 cover tunes, I refound that little thing that keeps me going. I seemed to be out of this funk for good, or so I thought.

    So since I just learned these 35 tunes, I thought to myself "Hey Kyle, why don't you be smart and try to find a cover band then learning these 35 songs could be hitting the mark with one arrow."

    So I try all these different auditions since the gig I played as a sub, but none of them seem to do it for me. WHat I search for is that sense of thrill and excitment. I get this excitment after a good rehearsal or even just an average gig. Driving home I get all giddy and happy and full of energy.

    Lately, with all these auditions(usually 1-2 a week,) I can not for the life of me found anything that I like or could see myself liking in the enar fututre if I put soem time into it.

    So here I am now, back in the same funk I was as before, but still telling myself that somehting will come along in the near future and it will(hipefully) all work out.

    The only thing that I am not happy about with getting into this funk of not wanting to play, is that now I have lost most of my sheet and sight reading skills. I look at music now and it takes a few run throughs untill I can get it back, even if it is a tune that I used to be able to play perfect.

    I'm sorry if I just hijacked your thread, but this is my expirience with this. I think all you have to do is just keep telling yourself soemthing will come along sooner or later, and it will all be worth it.

  5. PinkFloydDan


    Jul 4, 2005
    The advice about going out and seeing other bands is good advice. That might be part of the problem. Last year, I went to 9:30 Club probably 2 a month. I haven't been there in a long time. Haven't seen a good show in some time. Maybe that's what I need. So I bought tickets to Derek Trucks Band in 2 weeks.

    We'll see. New bass comes next week, too.

  6. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    Listen to Animals again, that usually works for me.

    Whenever I'm in a funk it seems that listening to music that I love makes me want to play again. Makes sense, because that's what got me into playing in the first place.
  7. PinkFloydDan


    Jul 4, 2005
    Haha. I just bought the remastered CD, too. Love it.

    I'm still in my funk. Haven't played in 4 days and that's the longest I have gone in years. I will get over this...New bass is coming soon.
  8. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    Have you learned Comfortably Numb yet? It's simple, but it's so much fun to play with the recording. That got me out of a funk a few months back.

    Try playing tonight instead of waiting for the new guitar - I'm also waiting on a new one, but I'm trying to make myself earn it. The waiting is actually making me practice more. :)
  9. What show is that avatar from, Chris?
  10. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    Spirited Away, my favorite of Miyazaki's. Yours?
    (I like your myspace page, btw. I'd say I'm 6 times more obsessed with L'arc though... ;) )
  11. In addition to all the good suggestions here - I have a question and a possible additional suggestion:

    How is your head lately? Are you generally uninspired or just specifically uninspired about your bass playing? If you are in a general funk, you may be experiencing some seasonal depression or depression of other sorts. I find that because winter here in the mid-west is so consistently grey and gloomy that as it wears on, my attitude goes down in general. The minute there is a nice sunny day, suddenly I am alive again.

    So maybe a little sunshine, a change in diet and exercise could do your head some good.

  12. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas

    I say...hit the jams, and cut back some on the theory and stuff. Do some theory/technique practice each day, but keep it short, as a warmup to radio-surfing and cd-play-alongs. Like, fifteen minutes or so, then play some music. And yes, you need to play with others, to keep motivated. Find a jam and just jump in. :)

    Never give up, never surrender!


  13. jwl


    Jan 25, 2005
    weird little personality kinks sometimes are the reason bands fail. but also they can be the reason a band succeeds. imo the very best bands allow the band personality to shine through the music. this requires the band members to be understanding and mature and accepting of the other members strengths and weaknesses. rarely are bands or musicians at any level just about the music. i would find that very boring. that is why the vast majority of songs are written about all aspects of life. they are not written about music. music is just the means to deliver a message. art is a combination of skill and personality. i think you need to lighten up on yourself. what talkbasschick said is very good advice and is exactly the way i practice every day. ya gotta have disipline and ya gotta have fun. peace, jeff
  14. I haven't updated that profile, my obsession with Laruku is now 7 times more ^_^

    I have yet to see Spirited Away... I think I'll rent it tonight.

    Thus far, my favorite anime (series) has been Bleach, though I really, really like Fullmetal Alchemist, and am a big fan of Naruto.
    I'm starting on Hellsing, and Tenjou Tenge (hilarious, by the way) so I'll see how those go.
  15. allanmac00

    allanmac00 Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2006
    try transcribing a piece of music that you are unfamiliar with. If you are into rock, try learning a jazz line, or something a little funkier. Find bassists that you like and study them. That's how i keep motivated.
  16. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Good advice. Attempting to play "Everything Is Everything" (Donnie Hathaway, w/Willie Weeks on bass, live) brought me *right* out of a nasty funk!

  17. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    think about converging your lessons with your normal playing.
    e.g. play the normal songs that you jam to but make sure your left hand technique is good.

    i am going through the same thing that you are (i started taking lessons from Anthony about three weeks ago) so i am most likely getting many of the same lessons that you are.

    i get the same way about working the left hand excercises, so i have to mix it up with jamming to what ever mp3s i have going and i concentrate on maintaining good form while playing my normal practice songs. that's where i start to find the bad habits trying to creep back in: when i get half way through a song that i have been playing for years.

    and sometimes, you have to take a day off. bass playing is a reflection of who we are. try doing diverse things, go mountain biking or swimming, listen to new bands, etc.

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