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Rant about music snobs, open mic nite content

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Toastfuzz, Jul 25, 2012.

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  1. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    So... have to hash this out somewhere with some music people. Maybe you agree with me, maybe you think I'm ignorant, I just like to have fun, play music and be good to people, and apparently others don't share my values.

    So I was at a local open mic night last night with my girlfriend and some of her friends. I played the stage with my guitarist once, but generally just watch. So a group of guys go up, none of them ever played together before, typical random funk jam... guitarist calls for a bassist, and since no one else stood up I figured I'd volunteer.

    So I get up and plug in the house 5 stringer, and guitarist tells me we're just jamming between B and F# and he'll call out changes. All good, I've done this before. We're jamming and all in a groove, switch to F#, no problem. Guitarist, while playing, turns to me and yells F# again. I nod my head.... he yells louder "F# man!" holding his guitar neck up like he's showing me something new. I keep playing in F#, watching him in bewilderment, and we switch to B. Jam a bit, switch back to F#. Same deal, dude keeps screaming F#!!! at me. I know the audience can see this pretty obviously... however where I'm standing, I can hear a good mix, I dig in alittle harder and yes, indeed, I am playing in F# still. This repeats 1 or 2 more times, we end it with an epic buildup, and get a standing ovation from the crowd.

    The violinist gives me a nod and says "good jam dude." Drummer, who I knew, also throwing me an approving nod. Then guitar player turns to me and says "hey, I understand you're new at this, but you should know what an F# is if you're gonna jam."

    At this point, I assume I must be in the wrong. After all, I've watched this guy improv a few times and he's pretty good, and he had played bass with the previous band that played. I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure he was one of the music school guys who commonly attend to show off their new ub3r-skillz. So I just kinda shrug and go back to my table, feeling kinda crappy. I keep running it through my head, and yes, I was playing just fine. Ask my girlfriend and another musician at our table, they both say "yeah, sounded fine from here, why was he yelling at you?"

    I realized a minute later he must have never played a 5 string before. I was bouncing between the open B and the 7th fret of B and E strings, so low B to F# to high B. Every time he saw my hand at the 7th fret position, he'd throw a fit. After all, why bother LISTENING to whats going on in a improvised jam session, when you could just watch people's hands?

    Idiots. The more I go to this open mic, the more I notice alot of pretentious d-bags and music snobs sharing the stage. I'm also making a connection with how often we hear announcements of "congradulations to our bassist XXXX for getting into Berklee!" or "congradulations to our violinist YYYY for graduating from xyz music school!" Heck I'm gonna go take some guitar lessons at the local shop and publicly congratulate myself, clearly I'm not accruing enough douche points to hold weight at this venue.

    Thanks for letting me rant guys. Really hate when the local music scene discourages me from playing, but last night was definitely one of those nights. I need to get into another band where we play bars for free and no one gives a #$%^.
  2. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    Hey now, the problem is NOT anyone going to school for music.

    The problem is some asshat guitarist who doesn't have ears
  3. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    I would need to rant after that too. You took the high road by not smacking him over the head with the bass or yelling back at him "F# this pal!" - LOL!. Obviously the guy is too good to be in an actual band, being that he's a famous virtuoso guitarist and all!
  4. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    THe worst part is that that guitarist walked away from that night feeling as if he was entirely in the right.

    "Man, this weird bassist didnt even know what an F# was..."
  5. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods! Supporting Member

    I play a 5er or tune down to B. Even my 4 stringer is a BEAD arrangement. And yes, I have also come across purist guitarists who dont get it. I have been told to quit with the "exotic" tuning and crank up the top string so that it is an E. I tell them that "i just have an extra string on top and the second string is the E". They still dont get it sometimes and insist that I get a regular bass.

    Your story is funny and very believable...
  6. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    another deaf poser , yay...
  7. Dean N

    Dean N

    Jul 4, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Just wondering... where was this?

    Also, that was some restraint you showed. I would have called him out on it, politely, by asking him (after the ovation, and not making a spectacle of it) what pitch the top string is on the bass. "E, you idiot!" "Um, no, B. F# would be... here.. where I was playing it." Hold up the fretted B string to him, smile, walk off stage.
  8. gigslut


    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    Maybe he meant the other F#
  9. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Folks, the low B string is the bottom string, not the top. When you're talking about "higher" or "lower" strings (or frets) or "top" or "bottom" strings, you do so by reference to their pitch.
  10. yay for stupidity. my metal band once played an open mic night where every other band played blues. you got 3 songs, they asked us to do 2 more. 3 different bands asked us to play shows with them afterwards. guess those blues guys like some metal.
  11. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    top is the pitcher, bottom is the catcher
  12. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Another case of a "musician" hearing with his eyes.
    You can't do anything about his D-baggery, except to simply show him up. You did.
    I wonder if he figured it out over night? Prolly not!
  13. You'd be wasting your breath trying to explain it to him. Personally, I'd just decide not to take the stage again with him.

    Don't be bummed. You know you played good. Others on stage know you played good. The crowd knew it, as did your girl. You can't control what this guy might think.

    I played with a guy who didn't understand key signatures or why in chord progressions some chords are major, some are minor. Even in a garage blues jam, he'd insist on playing "Red House" using Bm, Emaj, Fmaj. And he insisted that my bass lines were wrong.

    Oh well. You can't win 'em all.
  14. GlassOnion

    GlassOnion 1.21 Gigawatts

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tempe Arizona
    So I figure this is the right post to add my .02c.
    The other night my ladies sister has her new boyfriend over. He is a musician. I ask the guy "what kind of music are you into and what do you play?"
    His response, "I play jazz, you would not understand it."
    I was not sure what the hell this meant. Does this mean he thinks I am a dumb-ass and couldn't possibly comprehend the musical alphabet of A-B-C-D-E-F-G? More than likely.
    Later this evening we are all a couple beers deep enjoying the cooler night air on the patio and we get into another discussion that didn't end well.
    Somehow Metallica comes up, and he blurts out "Metallica sucks, and Lars is horrible at playing drums"
    At this point a little perturbed from the earlier comment, this set me off.
    I said "With your unique jazz skills, you have traveled the world and sold out stadiums right? Metallica and Lars suck so badly they are millionaires and have millions of dedicated fans? You don't have to like the music but you must respect these guys are talented and dedicated to their craft."
    Luckily, I think he was feeling the tension and decided to keep his mouth shut after this was said.
    To act like a dick and hate on everything cause you play an instrument just blows me away.
    So this is my rant about music elitism.
    My wall of text ends here.
  15. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The worst part was actually him making a public show of trying to teach me to play an instrument in front of a crowd. I'm no music theorist, and to tell you the truth, when he said F#, I just listened to the chord he played and hit the note I did. It wasnt until I was at the table later that I realized I was right... on stage, I just knew it sounded right.

    Also I'm mad at the underlying principle of it. It was an open mic night, with around 20 people in the audience, and all the open jams were musicians who never played together, so you'd expect some flubs. Heck, if I started playing with a total scrub I wouldn't call him out for it on stage. But thats just me, I wouldn't even be annoyed or miffed, given that its an open mic.
  16. SehlraC


    Sep 14, 2009
    Next time bring an unlined fretless bass, guy'd probably **** himself.
  17. GlassOnion

    GlassOnion 1.21 Gigawatts

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tempe Arizona
    This made me laugh.
  18. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    For extra style points, tune down half a step too. ;)

    At first I thought the original post was going to end up being about down-tuning. I've run into that situation quite a few times at open mikes.
  19. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    Seriously though , don't even participate with him next time .
  20. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    This is so subjective I can't even argue with people anymore. I just call the B "the fat one", and if they're puzzled then I drop a big B bomb on em.

    No worries there. Theres another guy who is an amazing banjo player, but has such a chip on his shoulder since getting accepted to Berklee I can't even have a normal conversation with him anymore.

    Hey Dean, didnt know you were from the Burgh! This was at James St. Speakeasy and Gastropub on the North Side. The open mics are run/managed by the Touchfaster Production guys, really great crew there. But some of the elitists that it draws put a damper on things.

    From my perspective, if you were all that, you'd be out making money with your craft somewhere. Any other open mic/open stage I've attended is very casual (usually too much so, ie. underexperienced musicians, painful to the ears) and this one balances a bit more with very skilled musicians early in the night and more relaxed atmosphere as it gets later. Sometimes though they're be "that guy" bassist, "that guy" guitarist, "that guy" singer, and they all will jump up and play with everyone who touches the stage, cuz hey! its an open stage! share the music! etc. etc.

    Don't get me wrong, its mostly cool people down there, and mostly down to earth. But a handful of d-bags can bring down the whole room, and they get their jollies cuz any simple spectator just thinks "they must be really good, they played with everyone tonight!"

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