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Playing with people better than you !

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by fearceol, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    I am relatively new (four years ) to bass. Up to now I have being playing with people of about my own level. I recently auditioned for a new band. These guys were a notch or two above my standard. There is always (good) advice given on TB about the benefits of playing with people better than yourself. Apart from the benefits, little did I realise the pure joy and exhileration that can come about from doing this. I came out of the audition on a high (apart from the fact that I got the gig :hyper: ).

    I now look foreward to going up another notch on the experience ladder with this band. Without all the great advice I get here, it would have taken a lot longer to get where I am now.

    Thanks guys. :)
  2. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    Always forward never backwards. Up your game and don't look back.
  3. Playing with better musicians will up your game. So good for you.
  4. Hotrodmick


    Dec 7, 2009
    I always play with better musicans then myself:p
    The band I've been with for a long time has opened doors that I would never have been able to do on my own. The 2 guitar players I play with are monsters and I am not. It has forced me to play better and sometimes I suprise myself.
    As far as the bass, my first band helped me with a good sence of timing and rhythm that I wouldn't of had if not pushed.

  5. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    One should always work to deliver at every rehearsal and use practice time wisely to clean up the weak spots in one's playing.

    Sometimes, you end up in a situation where the skill level of others is much higher.Whether it's an audition or just a jam session, take full advantage...you never know what can happen.

    If anything, get their phone numbers and stay in touch with such people...you never know what kinds of opportunities can come up just by being in the right place at the right time.
  6. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    When I was 21, I auditioned for a band that had three other players who were 5 to 6 years older than me. They were great players and singers and had much playing and touring experience as well as one guitar player had 2 hit records that went national. I got the gig and learned so much from these guys and I improved my skills. The band pushed each other to be the best we could be and within 6 months we recorded a song song that became a regional radio hit and played all the best venues.
  7. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    Playing with superior musicians is the schiznit. I highly recommend doing it whenever you can.

    My favorite "Playing with superior musicians" story took place about 15 years ago when my repair tech -- who's also a pretty talented blues guitarist in his own right -- called me to sub for a wedding gig his band was doing. He said it was all gonna be jazz standards, some Motown/R&B, and a lot of blues...I figured what the heck, why not? No rehearsal, no charts, I just show up with my bass, my amp, & my tuxedo

    ...and the keyboardist is Steve Hunt.

    Yeah, that Steve Hunt...from Stanley Clarke's band. From Billy Cobham's band. From Allan Holdsworth's band.

    Yowza. Must say, I have never heard a guy tear up "Girl From Ipanema" the way Steve did!
  8. On the other hand, playing with people much better than you in a jazz context can be frustrating and downright aggravating...
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have done this on many occasions and loved it - but you do need a thick skin and the confidence to keep playing whatever happens!

    I know that it's not for everybody - each year I go to Jazz Summerschool and when I have played with better musicians I have always enjoyed it and learned a lot, very quickly!

    But I have also met people who were almost in tears because they couldn't keep up and felt they were holding the other people back, due to their inadequacies.

    When I started doing this, I had a few comments, which might have really put some people off if they took them to heart - but I just forgot them and by the end of the week was always happy to be involved in making some nice music! :)
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The difference between a good musician and a great musician is his willingness to teach.

  11. IMO it is the best thing you can do to increase your own skill.
  12. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.


    I prefer being the weakest link. It really pushed me to get better.
  13. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville

    May 27, 2008
    Even if all the others in your group are technically better than you - you will still have something to offer. It might be the way you phrase, choice of notes, sound, whatever. You might learn a lot from them but they'll also get a little back from you :)
  14. Just as long as you aren't slowing them down, you should be golden. I've played in a few bands where the other members were far better than me, and I always saw a drastic improvement in my own technique as the weeks went on.
  15. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Yeah, that was my main concern when going for the audition. They gave me a few songs in advance to work on, which I did, so I had them off fairly well. Maybe when they saw that I was ready and willing to practice hard, they decided to give me a try.

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