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Playing bass: I'm standing at the crossroads

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Rockin John, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. Well, I've just come back from another hour's personal practice with the bass amplified. (I normally play acoustically at home but Fridays gives me a chance to go out and plug it in).

    I have to say that it wasn't the most productive 60 minutes I've ever spent. In fact, it was dreary, boring and almost pointless. I just don't seem to be able to progress and I've lost enthusiasm. Added to that I seem to be developing shoulder and elbow issues to add to my list of ailments. I'm not well anyway, and this latest thing is a bit of a blow to be honest and seems to be hindering my playing (as well as my general mobility).

    So I'm now sitting here wondering where to go / what to do next.

    I don't play in a band or anything so there's about £3500's worth of top quality kit doing nothing, and the chances of ever putting it to proper use receeding by the day, it seems.

    Quitting just isn't an option. I don't want to.

    Perhaps it's the BG. I've wondered about an EUB for getting around the problems with my joints.

    Don't know what to do. I'm really down about it.

    :( :( :(

  2. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    This happens to everyone at one point. If you feel you have to, just put the bass away for a couple of weeks or however long you want. Eventually you'll feel like picking it up again.
  3. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA


    I got to a point where I always felt like I was playing on autopilot and lost most of my enthusiasm. So I put it down for a couple weeks. When I came back I found that I had alot more enthusiasm and my creativity was overflowing (wish I had a recorder :scowl: ).
  4. Find other musicians and play with them...

    You know there's only so much you can learn playing tennis with a wall.

    Playing with others will give you different views of music and might get you interested in new things...
  5. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    learn a little about another instrument, maybe pick up a cheap acoustic guitar. whenever im at a crossroads i play a little guitar, and come back to the bass refreshed.

    and play with other people, and maybe take a break
  6. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    I do this too, it's kind of strange. When I have been playing bass heavily, I just kind of fizzle out. Then I play my acoustic guitar for a couple of days, and eventually I just feel like I need to go back to bass.
  7. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    Lot's of good ideas here. I think most players have gone through this, I know I have and I've gotten back on track doing many of these things.

    One more to add to this bag of tricks. Think of the last thing, musically, that you would expect to hear on a bass, and try to do that. The band I'm playing with is into R+B and oldies, so I'm fooling around with some old jazz standards. "Sweet Loraine" and "Don't Blame Me" and other stuff like that. I'm sketching out some duets and trios for bass and playing them myself with a multi-track recorder. Nothing will come of this, but I find it challenging and I've discovered a few things about my playing that will be helpful, like playing melodies in the upper end of the neck etc.

    Good luck. There was a reason you started bass... and that reason is probably still true. See if you can find it and put yourself in that place again.
  8. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    Yeah, I probably play as much guitar as I do bass, so neither one seems to get stale to me.. I recently bought my 1st AEB, and found it to be quite enjoyable playing just about anything on it - in fact, I wrote several songs after coming up with a few lines, just screwing around with the thing, getting aquainted to it...

    Also, +1 to the "playing with other people" - it's that interaction with other musicians that keeps it fresh to me... If I'm not in an active band - hey, it happens occasionally - I usually play mostly guitar during those time periods... Regardless of your skill level, there's gotta be a few musicians in your area you can get togther with - go find 'em...

    - georgestrings
  9. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    in addition to the above, i'd recommend to listen to the music that made you wanna play in the first place! that helps me out every so often.
  10. +1. Not only listen, but play along. Add some current stuff into the mix that you have to actually sit down and learn the parts. Good ear training and, for me, a lot of fun playing with the bands that I'm most impressed by.
  11. Thanks guys.

    Somehow I can't leave the bass alone. I feel this driving urge to try to sort what's happening. I may have made a discovery. I think it's all about a mind block of pluck vs stopping notes, particularly on a fretless against a metronome.

    It's posted as a reply over in Technique:-