Something you're naturally good at, but probably don't deserve to be?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Wulfensteiner, May 23, 2018.

  1. Wulfensteiner

    Wulfensteiner Inactive

    Mar 24, 2018
    Melbourne, Australia
    Today I'm talking about technique.

    There's bound to be something in our respective arsenals that for some reason, we just seem to excel at. This is despite the fact that it's not something we'll probably ever use, or we don't really practice said technique or if we're honest, don't really like to use said technique. Or a combination. You may even have other reasons.

    People tend to hate us for this, especially if they are struggling to get a grasp of it but it just comes natural to you.

    For me, it's slapping. I basically pull it out and dust it off when I wanna show off haha. Or to get the other guys' attention at rehearsal :D trebly enough to break windows, of course.

    Anyone else got a similar ability they don't and probably won't use?
    exidor likes this.
  2. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Ear. I have the golden ear. I know what I sound like, I know what we sound like. I know what fits and, I know what's needed. I have the ear.

    I'm also a bit of an experimentalist when I'm playing by myself. I can make cool ass crap come out of my bass. Basically none of which is useful in any musical situation I've ever been in.
  3. ba55i5t


    May 24, 2006
    I don't think I'm naturally good at anything other than convincing others (and myself) that I've acquired expertise on a select few subjects.
    Wulfensteiner likes this.
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Playing in tune with other instruments on a fretless. I've always been able to match sounds.
    Wulfensteiner likes this.
  5. honeyiscool


    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I have absolute pitch and I didn’t earn it.
    joebar, lz4005 and Wulfensteiner like this.
  6. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar...

    Nov 23, 2010
    Like perfect pitch? Meaning you can produce an A440 for example without having a reference point? If so, I have a question about that.

    The singer in one of my originals band can do that. We recently had a discussion about tuning a half step down, since my other originals band plays in that tuning, and he uses my bass gear, so I pretty much have to have a bass and a guitar set up in standard tuning just for this project. Not a huge issue, I have several guitars and a few basses, but I would prefer to have them all set up the same.

    The issue is that he can't just move a song down a half a step on the fly and sing along with it. He has to take time to relearn the entire song. Is that normal? If it is, I'd really consider perfect pitch a double edged sword. I have excellent singing pitch, but I need a reference note first.
  7. Biggbass

    Biggbass Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    hearing upcoming changes, recognizing chord progressions, and knowing how to stay on the roots and follow the kick and toms. Plus having perfect pitch and working with other musicians who don't have my skills is a curse sometimes. It's like being a super hero in a land of mortals. I just cringe when a piano player looks at me like a deer in the headlights when I try to tell him what the notes to a particular riff are. Did I say piano player? I meant a guy with a piano - big diff..
    joebar and Wulfensteiner like this.
  8. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Forming opinions. :cool:

    But seriously....musically, I can mimic a trumpet just using my mouth. I call it mouth trumpet and I could give Miles Davis a run for his money.
    Matthew_84 and Wulfensteiner like this.
  9. honeyiscool


    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I don't like calling it perfect pitch because I think it misrepresents what absolute pitch does. There's also passive and active absolute pitch, where someone might be able to identify a note without a reference (passive) but not necessarily be able to produce it (active). I have a calibration range where I can push my absolute pitch a little bit, but not too much. It lets me play instruments that are slightly out of tune, and because of that, I can't be sure that I can produce a 440, but give me a 440, and I can identify it any day.

    But yeah, being unable to transpose on the fly is a pretty common thing for people with absolute pitch. Never mind singing, just downtuning the guitar half a step can be pretty awful because every time you play a C, you're getting a B and your brain gets massively confused.

    I can transpose a little bit for a simple song, but it takes quite a bit of thinking to do it. For a complicated jazz song, changing a key is something that is almost impossible for me on the fly, even if I'm just singing.

    It's hard for me to consider it a double edged sword, though, because here's the thing. All I need is to hear it in the new key once or twice before my brain has figured out the new key, so really, what's the problem? The amount of time having absolute pitch saves on everything else just means that the one time I need to change a key, I can definitely take the little bit of extra time and figure it out. So if it's a double edged sword, it's like a katana on one side and a butterknife on the other.
    Wulfensteiner likes this.
  10. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Making mistakes. I've never studied how to make them, and I go out of my way to avoid practicing them, but I can still make a mistake any time, any place, with absolutely zero effort. In fact, I'm so good at it that I often do it when I'm trying my very best not to. It's a gift, I suppose....
    bkbirge, rufus.K, Deltatim and 7 others like this.
  11. consectaneus


    Sep 23, 2016
    I'm not sure what it's called, but I can sing the right note to a song or tune from memory. I thought everyone does this until my choir director asked if I had perfect pitch ( I don't) and I explained what I do. He said he wished he could do that. So hey, I'll take it.
  12. Recognizing that I am not naturally gifted as a musician and have to work hard at everything
    I learn.
    Challenging but rewarding.
    G19Tony, Matthew_84 and shawshank72 like this.
  13. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    My thing is being in original bands I have the ability to create my basslines to set up the vocal lines perfectly.
  14. I pretty much suck at everything and would love to be a lot more creative melodically than I am (I suspect part of that problem is my terrible ear), but I think I can keep time really well. I’ve had a few people tell a few drummers to just follow my rhythm because they can’t seem to do it on their own.
  15. Badwater

    Badwater Guest

    Jan 12, 2017
    I'm only as good as the effort and intellect I put into anything. Thus, I deserve what I get with no regrets.
  16. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    I don't believe you.;)
    ba55i5t likes this.
  17. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    Shredding--ala John McLaughlin---on the bass. Totally useless skill for a bass player, in my opinion, and I would never dream of pulling it off at a gig. Learned how to do it years ago to impress the cat---he was not impressed. ;)
  18. el jeffe bass

    el jeffe bass

    Nov 22, 2013
    New Mexico
    Acoustic finger style blues guitar, you know, the type of thing that almost no one listens to.
  19. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    playing with a pick

    came from starting on guitar and pick always felt natural

    problem is, like others here (it doesn't really relate too well with the bass player role)

    I shred too much with it

    working on correcting it