SBL Rant...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by MayaMorena, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. I found this talkbass forum when I was brand new and having some huge struggles. You might all remember my great struggle to figure out how to hold the bass. I dealt with a really rude teacher who wanted me to play with my wrist all jacked up and it almost made me quit. But I hung in there, because I really love to play.

    Some really great folks on here gave me some priceless advice, and I couldn't believe the overwhelming support. One of those pieces of advice was to check out Scott's bass lessons. So I did just that.

    And I have to say, the video lessons were actually pretty good and I learned a lot from them. After the first two courses things went from beginner to intermediate, so I wasn't sure how to proceed from there, until ....

    I found out they were having a Challenge where you got to study a piece of music and then transcribe it. And while I am still a novice I thought this would be fun since I have a pretty good ear for figuring out notes, but I could use some directed learning in actually transcribing. So I picked a pop song with a nice repetitive bass line that I thought wouldn't be too hard to learn.

    I especially wanted to do well because I had been practicing with a cool young man on there who didn't even own a bass! The prize for the challenge was a bass guitar, so I figured maybe I could blow the Admin away and win this guy a bass so he wouldn't have to borrow it from his brother all the time. I know it was a long shot, but I had to try!

    I put my all into that challenge. It took me well over 30 hours all in all. It was actually the first piece I ever played from beginning to end. I got pretty sick near the end so I didn't get as much practice time in as I wanted to, but I could play it pretty well, just not at 100% of the original tempo.

    I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was pretty proud that at six weeks into my learning that I was able to transcribe a piece by ear, even an easy piece.
    I even spent hours researching the bassist in my piece, what kind of gear he used. I took this whole thing really seriously. I even put in the time to figure out what strings he was using and why.

    Then, came the time to post our final product.

    While everyone else was commenting on the actual phrasing or dynamics of each others pieces, all anyone could do is pick apart my technique, which I have been working on so much. I saw all sorts of creative technique that was no where near perfect on other peoples videos, but no one said a word about it.

    While I am aware of what I need to do to have perfect bass hands, sometimes when I am really into things my hands are less than perfect. I'm not the only one this happens to, and I know it.

    Even worse, no one commented anything about my actual piece except to say I should have jumped a string instead of shifting my hand for one note. One person even stated that if I keep practicing I'll be able to play-someday. How rude!

    It wouldn't have been so bad, except there is a part of the forum where people can critique your techniques, and I posted in there plenty. I honestly thought this was going to be about my learning the piece, and nuances in the transcribing that I might have missed, but I guess I suck so bad that no one could even hear the song because my thumb on my plucking hand wasn't perpendicular.

    My technique is still a work in progress, but I don't have flying fingers so much anymore. I practice my permutations for a minimum of half an hour every day. I'm using my pinky!!! My frets buzz a little less every day. I know not to quit my day job as well!

    I've come so far from this point here - Very new, and upset. Please help if you can.

    Now, I'm all the way here...

    I know, there is some string bending and some other issues I'm working on...I'm not perfect yet. It's only been six weeks! But I know what I need to work on and if I wait until I am perfect to actually play the bass, I'll never get to play it at all. I can't just do exercises all day...I need to enjoy myself as well, or why do this?

    Anyways. I don't recommend what I just went through to anyone.
    They also advertised the services at 14 dollars a month, or 168 dollars annually, and when I got my credit card bill with the exchange (Canadian here) the service was well over $200 dollars, which seems like a lot of money to watch a few videos and post in a forum only the Admin ever answers anyways.

    So...I guess I'm here from now on. I have no plans on quitting the bass just because I'm not perfect six weeks into learning.

    Actually, I'm going to practice even more. Not only that, but I'm going to find a teacher who is patient with me. Just like a baby, I'm going to keep trying to walk and someday I will be able to run with it.

    So, I'd highly recommend Scott's Bass Lessons if you already have great skills and great technique. Also, they don't let you join without giving your credit card number, and when you view it as new member they quote the price monthly and then quote it yearly when you join. It's a little slimy.
    Giffro and Ing like this.
  2. Chicory Blue

    Chicory Blue Secretly Queen of the Moon

    I started reading this while my contacts were getting dry and was initially happy for you that you were having such snuggles.

    The task you undertook was enormous for being so early into your learning and you're brave as hell for doing it like you did. You should absolutely be having fun with your learning and sharing it with others as much as possible, and I hope you don't let it stall you that a bunch of strangers saw fit to stroke their egos by informing you how much better they were than you.

    Stick with it- you're doing fine at a good pace, and should be proud of yourself for it.

    Giffro and MayaMorena like this.
  3. Awww, I wish I'd gotten snuggles. Snuggles are the best.
  4. RobTheRiot


    Aug 31, 2016
    las Vegas, nv
    It's a shame some online forums can be so negative - it's a lot easier to be rude anonymously and behind a screen, and some ppl really feel the need to take advantage of that.
    That being said, don't let trolls get you down!
    The fact you put in so much work, transcribed and played the entire song thru is huge at 6 weeks, and promises only bright things in your future.
    Hopefully you can find a teacher in person to help guide your technique, be supportive, who also realizes this is supposed to be fun, and a process. No one gets it all at once. It'll get frustrating sometimes, but overcoming stumbling blocks will fill you with that much more pride.
    Keep doing what you're doing - there's no magic trick - time & practice will lead to improvement, and if you're willing to put that kind of time in, you'll be seeing the results soon!
    Also, everyone's body is different - technique is important, and there are some "musts", but everyone will have slightly different form & movements, just based on the many variables of the human body- size, flexibility, etc.
    I've rambled enough, but lastly, there really is no substitute for in person instruction. Keep playing & practicing on your own, and no immediate rush, but eventually it'll be best to have an instructor who can correct any minor flaws in technique, and help guide you in real time.
    Good luck and have fun!!
    Giffro and MayaMorena like this.
  5. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
    Snuggles are good.:woot:
    MayaMorena likes this.
  6. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Eventide, GHS Strings, G&L Guitars, NS Design, Tsunami Cables
    First of all, transcribing a song at six weeks is a monumental achievement, let alone having the grit to record it and submit it to a contest, that also includes public critique. You're already leagues ahead of where many of us were at that stage of the game.

    Damn right you should be proud. That's tremendous work.

    I don't know exactly everything that was said, or how (I agree with @RobTheRiot on people being negative behind a computer screen because they CAN be), etc.. so these are just my comments from watching your video a couple of times. For me, technique is the foundation that phrasing and dynamics rest upon, so if there is a newer musician asking my opinion of how they're playing a song, if the technique isn't there, I'm going to address that first.

    What stood out to me the most was that you were dropping a beat here and there when you were switching notes. This is a pretty common thing for someone starting out (esp at 6 weeks!), and working with a metronome will easily fix it. Once the groove of that song is steady, the phrasing and dynamics naturally fit in.

    People like flash. You see it all the time at NAMM; guys have amazing chops playing slap bass rudiments that sound like my mom's sewing machine, but get them to play a slow blues groove in Bb, and suddenly they can't hang.
    Giffro, Ikkir, petrus61 and 1 other person like this.
  7. hs123


    Aug 11, 2011
    Westminster CO
    When you look at all the things you've learned and accomplished to get to this point, you should be 'over the moon' proud.
    Giffro and MayaMorena like this.
  8. Do not care what others think, keep going and enjoy making yourself proud.

    Welcome to the Bass side of things. :thumbsup:
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  9. I generally ignore technique-nazis. If what you do makes stuff that sounds good why does it matter how you do it? Perfect your music first, sound second, and the particularities of your technique should be a distant third with most of the consideration being to what is most comfortable and enabling to you personally.
    Giffro, cdef and MayaMorena like this.

  10. Thanks! I'm moving in a few days and I have a bunch of teachers lined up, and I play to interview them fully and hopefully I can find someone who knows their stuff, and is fun to play with.

    The messed up thing is, that I know what mistakes I am making with my hands.

    I'm practicing to fix the issues as best as I can (using the mirror, video taping myself, watching lots of videos on technique, doing permutation exercises, working on finger flexibility and more) So, I don't need someone critiquing my form unless I ask for it, and I have - plenty of times!

    I've had so much critiquing that I know what I'm working on, but it doesn't mean it's perfect yet. If I was able to figure out how to transcribe a song and play it to professional standards after only six weeks, I'd be a genius or something. I'm just a regular person trying to learn an instrument that requires fine motor control, an ability to count without thinking about it, and more. Not to mention, I'm not a young girl anymore. These things will take time.

    Thank you all for your kind words. I really love the bass, and I don't like to hear that if I'm not the best I can't play. :( I put up enough with that in Scuba diving, where everyone is better than everyone else, and everyone just one-ups each other, instead of learning anything from each other. It just wrecks the fun. And if it isn't fun, why am I doing it?

    And if people are mean, why pay for it?
    Giffro likes this.
  11. I like your attitude. Funny thing was, the guy that runs that website admitted sometimes he slips up and has some technique issues. I think everyone has things that they do that perhaps are just a result of having a short finger or a thumb longer than the average person or just a habit that works for them but wouldn't work for anyone else.

    I've always said, if it looks stupid but it works, it isn't stupid at all.
  12. Use the negativity by others as fuel to drive yourself. Use the the kind suggestions as guidelines. If there's anything that has gotten me where I am today as a player, it was the people that were rude enough to tell me I wasn't good enough, and moreso the people that have offered constructive criticism as genuine help. If you stick with it, there will come a time when you surpass the naysayers. There will come a time where you will be rewarded for your efforts. Hang in there.
    Giffro and MayaMorena like this.
  13. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    I'm sorry you had a negative experience with SBL. I've always found SBL members a positive and helpful bunch, although with a group this large, there will always be some who are less so.

    The task you completed was nothing short of monumental, especially as you attempted it so early on. Because of this, people may have thought they were addressing someone more experienced, and couched their remarks accordingly. Also, many of the members who do the challenges have done quite a few, and often know each other's strengths and weaknesses fairly well, and might therefore bring up different points about each other's efforts than they would about yours.

    Don't let this discourage you - getting your work critiqued can be painful, and sometimes seems unfair, especially when you've put a lot of effort into it. But there might still be something to be learned, so take from it whatever you find useful, discard whatever is not, and move on. Remember, the race is always with yourself.
    Giffro likes this.
  14. Al T.

    Al T. Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    Richmond, VA.
    Keep moving forward with playing bass - music is cooperation, not competition.
    Giffro and cdef like this.
  15. Ing


    Aug 2, 2017
    New Jersey
    @MayaMorena just continue playing past obstacles and negativity. Don't let others prohibit you from having fun. The joy of expression through music is more than worth it. Playing music is a lifelong journey. Some are farther ahead than others, but it isn't a race. You'll get more comfortable as you continue to practice and put more hours into your craft.

    Glad to hear you're continuing on and looking for more teachers.
    Giffro likes this.
  16. Giffro

    Giffro Supporting Member

    Hey MayaMorena I have been playing for years and I applaud your efforts to learn the best instrument in a band. I keep my basses near my TV set in my lounge room so that I can just look at them. I find the last few months I seem to be staring at them more than actually watching tv. I do so love playing you obviously do. I'm staring at my basses now as I type this..its LOVE and it helps you play the best you can if you are in love with your instrument. Your hands will caress your bass guitar and give you the most beautiful music that you never thought you could ever play. Treat your bass as a living thing...think of it as something or someone that you love so much..your father, your mother, a boyfriend..a cat...a dog etc..your bass guitar will live through your hands and the talent in your hands, the talent that you will gather all through your musical life, so love your bass and it will give you love back...and the satisfaction of being able to play music. Not every one can be so fortunate to be a musician. Compared to the billions of people living in this world count yourself one of the privileged few. Enjoy.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017