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Showing off at Guitar Center...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by RobOtto, Oct 26, 2002.

  1. RobOtto


    Aug 15, 2002
    Denton, TX
    So I went to Guitar Center the other day to snoop around and because it always seems to lift my spirits abit. Well, there was this guy <b>in the middle of the store</b> on an old Fender J he had pulled off the wall plugged into a SWR combo they had on display <b>in the middle of the store</b>. Now admittedly this guy was good, real good. He was slapping the hell out of the poor bass and when it was singing it was begging for mercy.

    Here's the problem I have with this. I'm not too good, YET, and how the hell am I supposed to plug in and run through a couple of scales and feel comfortable while Sir ThumpsALot is ripping the coils off his strings? Well needless to say I felt about as inadequate as I would have in an elephant sextoy shop, so I played a couple of basses without plugging anything in and slowly slunk away, unconsciously bopping my head to his funky beat I am sure.

    So I guess the lesson here is be sure to warm up before you go to purchase a bass..... or maybe the lesson is to buy that bassist's guitarist another full Marshall stack or two... either way they need to make people play in rooms or something, I went to look at basses not attend a workshop.
  2. it makes me sad when people do that.
    yu just want to grab them by their necks and choke em dont ya?
    well, maybe not, but really it's rude and inconciderate.
  3. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Let the guy play what he wants on the bass.

    Its the same as you going in there and playing what you would be playing on a bass to see how it handles it before you buy it.

    Imagine some kid who is just picking up bass for the first time in his life hearing you do those insanely comlicated scales that he just cant understand.

    Who cares how good he is? I dont. Just ignore him and hope he isnt playing too loud for you to try out a bass, and if he is, ask him to turn down so you can go ahead and try out a bass.

  4. Yup, I agree completely with Nick.

    If the guy is in there actually intending on purchasing a bass as opposed to just showing off his chops he better make sure he likes the way it feels while playing stuff he likes to play.

    Now if it was a store employee or something...
  5. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    If they're just wacking off, it's annoying but If someone is going to buy a bass/amp/etc, shouldn't they play it like they normally play?
  6. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I agree with Nick man. There's no reason to feel intimidated. Go in there and do what you are going to do and don't worry about what the other guy is doing.
  7. David Watts

    David Watts

    Aug 12, 2002
    It may seem hard to do at times, but Turock and the rest are absolutely right. Just as you have to determine if the gear you are playing is right for you, so does everybody else in the store.

    The best thing to do is make alot of trips to the music store, at varying times of the day and days of the week, and play for a long time. You will know then if something is right for you and, maybe, you will be the guy who's playing will be making someone else self conscious about turning the volume past 1.
  8. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    There are a couple guitar centers around here and they are a HAVEN for people with huge ego's and no talent. I absolutely hate going in there, because it always seems like everyone is trying to outplay each other in both speend and volume and when you have 10 guitar players and 3 bassists going at the same time on their loudest equipment it is just ridiculous. And pretty much everyone who gets in on these little ego trip contests all are terrible anyway.

    My advice is to ignore everyone in that store when you go in. People who feel the need to show off are not people you should be worried about anyway. However you might need a thick skin if you run into some jerks like I have. I had an experience where a kid was playing a bass and I am sure he was new at it. The employee that was manning the bass area however had to say "oh yeah he's REAL good" and laugh. What is wrong with people nowadays?

    Just keep in mind that the majority of the time the people with the biggest mouths and wanting to play the loudest have put the least amount of time into their instrument and also have the least amount of talent. Good musicians do not need to try and "impress" people at the local guitar center because they know that is not what music is about. This whole topic just gets me mad because I know what it's like to be new and to go in there and how it feels. If guitar center is your only local option for trying out basses then you have no choice, but if there are other stores around, even if they are much smaller I would totally recommend going to these other places as well. And remember...its just about the music, who cares what other people are doing.
  9. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Personally, I find in-store wankers to be a wonderful source of inspiration, and thus one of the few things a store will give away for free.

    If someone's doing something that I can't do, I stop, watch and ask questions. It's an impromptu clinic.
  10. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Well I have personally never seen an "in store wanker" doing anything remotely impressive to me. I think my favorite one so far (actually there is a tie between two) was this one guy who had a bass and was sitting in the entrance to the bass area facing out to the rest of the store. He would play this slap stuff for about 15 seconds and then stop and look up...and then he would do the same thing over and over again! It was like he was waiting for someone to acknowledge him or tell him he was good..it was weird.

    The second favorite "wanker" was this one guy who was speaking quite loudly of all this studio work he was doing and how he was such an expert and how people want to hire him and he is so busy with gigs/studio recording. Then he picked up a bass and started playing....oh man. By far the WORST bass playing I have ever heard in my life. He was playing quarter notes on the same fret...thats it. And I don't know how he was doing it but his finger style produced the ugliest tone I have ever heard. I was really hoping to hear some good stuff and instead it was a complete joke. Did I mention how LOUDLY he was speaking of all this "studio work" he was doing?

    Asking these people questions is just enabling them...I have never seen one that did anything impressive.

    I think the coolest thing I have seen in guitar center was this older guy, probably in his 40's, off in the corner with a Gretsch guitar and a friend and his kid. He was playing some beautiful brazilian jazz stuff...I was VERY impressed. What was even more remarkable was how quietly he played and how out of the "spotlight" he was trying to be. A class act...just there to try stuff out and not caring if others heard him.

    Like I said before, it has been my experience that the loudest people have the least talent.
  11. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Next time, ask the "wanker" if he's got a gig. I bet he says no.

    I agree with what's being said here. Try out your gear by playing what you normally play. When I try something out, I usually go in, run through a "scale" or two and then play a couple of simple bass lines -- some of them from cover songs that I do and some of them from my own songs. I'm not there to impress anyone, I'm there to see if the bass or amp I am looking at buying sounds good.

    Personally, I don't think musicians are impressed with dudes (or dudettes) that go in and slap the hell out of a bass, they think of them as what they are -- wankers. The only people that are impressed by that kind of ***t are novices -- IMO, mind you! ;)
  12. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    A couple of weeks ago I went into my local GC and this guy was in the bass room ripping a bass apart, but doing it quietly and with subtle class. He barely had the volume turned up. He was incredibly fast and good, cranking away on a 6 string. I just stood and gawked at him awhile. When he stopped, he asked me if I played bass. I said that I'd thought I was starting to until I saw him play. He asked me what I was working on and I told him I was just learning some walking techniques and how to come up with improvisational lines. He showed me some tips, explained how learing scales, modes and arpeggios would help and not to just learn finger patterns and leave it at that. He took a lot of time to show me some things very slowly. It was like a free lesson. This I liked, and it was unlike the 99% of the time I go there and there is some kid slapping the same 10 notes over and over and yes over again. Zzzzzz....
  13. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    That's really cool...I wish there were more people like that.
  14. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    I was like that and then I got fairly good where I'm better then the average bass player that walks in, but then you feel uncomfortable about playing your best...like your trying to show off, not a very modest thing to do. See how all these people are making fun of people that play at these stores...I just try to keep the volume down, so nobody hears me, but me.
  15. Any of the places I've gone into, there's usually very little bass wankery compared to what is coming from the guitar section.

    It's always fun to wait around for the 15yr old kid to come in and start playing the solo from either 'Enter Sandman' or 'One' and then watch all the employees look at each other and roll their eyes.
  16. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    Oh, how many times have you seen some wanker playing power chords?
  17. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    Round here they call me 'The Slappah' at every music store I go into. They say "Look, here comes the slappah! He's wicked good."

    I'll slap every bass on the wall then I go into the keyboard room and slap the keys.....or the drum room and slap the drums.... or I'll stand at the counter and slap that.

    If someone's playing louder than me I'll go over and slap their bass....while they're holding it! I'm intense like that.

    Once the manager asked me to leave (he was obviously jealous of my playing.) You'll never guess what I did....

    ....That's right I slapped him! I hit that cat w/ so many triplets he didn't know what happened.
  18. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    OMG thats funny
  19. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass

    Ive never heard a boston accent written before

  20. Hilikus


    Jul 29, 2002
    Wales UK
    If someone's playing louder than me I'll go over and slap their bass....while they're holding it! I'm intense like that.

    Once the manager asked me to leave (he was obviously jealous of my playing.) You'll never guess what I did....

    ....That's right I slapped him! I hit that cat w/ so many triplets he didn't know what happened. [/B][/QUOTE]

    Where did you slap him and whats that about slapping other peoples bass:p :D

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