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The Hump

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Shoot_A_Hostage, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. No; But I just started playing

    3 vote(s)
  2. No; And Ive been playing for years

    6 vote(s)
  3. Yes; Im currently going through one

    13 vote(s)
  4. Yes; But only after playing for years

    20 vote(s)
  1. Shoot_A_Hostage


    Apr 14, 2009
    Hey Tb.
    So I have this problem. It's kind of hard to talk about, but I know that you will understand.
    Here it goes...
    Ive Hit the hump. Im not feelin it anymore guys. When I first started playing bass itfelt so rite. I was the groove! Now, idk...
    It seems no matter how hard I practice, no matter how long i paly, i just cant do it anymore.
    Any suggestions?
    itd be real kind of you guys.
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    More than once.

    I posted a thread the last time. It happens. Take a week off, do something else. You can get through it.
  3. Yeah man, it happens to the best of us. I came near to quitting because I didn't really get anything from it anymore, I played some guitar, and changed my mind, haha.

    Anyway, I recommend just pushing on through.
  4. cicatrice


    Jun 11, 2005
    For me, it's one of those things that comes and goes-- and it's really hard when practicing by yourself, especially, because you can't really tell you're making progress (even though you probably are), so it starts to feel really frustrating.

    Taking time off is one way to deal with it-- even after a couple of days of sort of subconsciously digesting whatever I was practicing and not playing the actual instrument, it seems to come to my fingers a lot easier the next time I play. Another way is trying to listen to and learn lines in a different genre of music than you normally listen to-- Youtube is still pretty great for that kind of thing, even though they've been taking down playalongs like nobody's business recently. :eyebrow:

    You'll get through it though!
  5. I've hit it several times. I think it happens to everyone, whether your a bass player or a journalist or a painter, it just happens. The best thing to do is just don't worry about it, go do something else and eventually you will probably get it back.
  6. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    Of course time off is one thought and works well for many

    Try learning something way out of your genre

    jam withsome others

    get inn a band
  7. Shoot_A_Hostage


    Apr 14, 2009
    thanks you guys.
    lol its pretty refreshing to see a good community of players .
    im in a band and i jam with alot of people.
    idk it feels like i just CANT grow although, maybe a break would be good.
    and the idea of practicing omething new sounds pretty good too..
    anything u suggest?

    thanks TB
  8. ashtray9


    Aug 1, 2002
    Tempe Arizona
    I go through phases where I feel worthless as a musician and ask if I am fooling myself. I wish to eventually play for a living so when doubting myself and my abilities it hits like a hammer and leaves me feeling awful.

    I guess the first question to ask is: What do I want from bass playing? Everything other question is secondary, IMO. When my playing is suffering and I am at a musical dead end I find the reason is that I am having difficulty in my life elsewhere. Clear your mind, take a break, ask yourself "How am I doing?".
  9. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    I once quit for more than six years because I just didn't enjoy it anymore. I was completely burnt out.
  10. I came so close to quitting my band because i hit a big hump... i was going to give the guys my one month notice but then i had a great weekend of shows and it all came back to me.

    if you're meant to play, it'll come back.
  11. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    Yes, many times. Learning something new, especially something that seemed unattainable is one way to snap out of it fast, eg aim to become a pro-level sight reader, transcribe that ultimate classic solo by your hero that you always imagined yourself playing in front of huge crowds, study an area of music theory that you could never quite understand, play along with recordings of music that you thought you'd never like in a million years (Jaco played in a country band for a bit before he was big in jazz)... and/or take some time off, exercise, read a novel.

    Also- schedule a lesson with the best musician (not necessarily a bassist) you can find. Alternatively, see what groups you like are touring through your town in the next few months, contact their bass player ahead of time and ask for a private lesson. A lot of pro musicians are really nice people and enjoy teaching. I did this recently with one of my all time favorite players and that one session completely recharged my batteries beyond anything else in the past.
  12. azarias


    Mar 19, 2009

    Couldn't agree more
    Looking back i have noticed that i hit humps only when i don't have a plan or path to progess. I try to always keep a mental list of areas i need to improve. If i feel stuck i grab an item from my list and attack it.
    or i do one of the above suggestions from Asher S
    Anytime i go through a difficult time in ANYTHING i remind myself that it will pass.
  13. machine gewehr

    machine gewehr

    Sep 17, 2005
    Bach.Both challenging and sounds like from heaven.
  14. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Playing should be fun. If it's not fun anymore then a good thing to do is try to figure out what has happened to make it not fun anymore.

    For me it was trying to become a professional and get to a professional level. With my skills as a player, that's like bringing a duck to a cock fight - not a move that was good for my financial or mental health.
    I also happen to be a pretty mediocre musician, tho I think I'm a slightly better player than I am musician.

    It took me many years to realize that and come to accept it. I'm a music fan with pretty advanced music appreciations skills, but when it comes to _making_ music, I'm definitely Salieri rather than Mozart.

    After my last band in the 90's, I was so worn out on the music scene - the pretense, the poverty, the coke and pot absolutely all over the place, the constant fights, etc - that I quit and sold off or gave away all my gear. The only thing I kept was one bass, some old Ibanez bass that I'd defretted. I think I played once a month and that was about it (I didn't even have an amp).

    I've gotten back into bass playing tho without the extra personal motivational crap laden on top if it. I enjoy dinking around with my gear and exploring playing just for the fun of it. I may try to play with a group again at some point, but I'm not very motivated to do that right now.
    I'm somewhere between a rank amateur and an amateur (tho I gigged for quite a while).

    I'm perfectly ok with that and ironically, I enjoy bass and play better now than I think I ever have. I'm old and pissed off, and rant from time to time on TB. What more could one ask for?

    I'm not suggesting you take my particular route, but certainly look at the route you're taking now and see if it's really what you want to do with the bass. It's most likely you're going in a direction you don't really want to go, and that's a fairly simple (but not easy) fix.

  15. kingbee


    Apr 18, 2006
    Yeah, learning something outside of your regular genres is a great idea. Bach is fascinating and challenging no matter what your skill level or style is. The Jamerson book Standing in the Shadows of Motown has been a great resource for me when I start to feel a little bored of it all.

    For me, getting through that hump sometimes means taking a break from bass and just playing other instruments for a week or two. Other times it means challenging myself to learn something I've always wanted to learn on the bass and just really digging into that.
  16. Jerose


    Nov 28, 2005
    Syracuse, NY
    Yep, I've had a few, but rest assured they all go away. Usually meant that I just needed a break. You spend so much time on one activity, it's going to get dull for you eventually. A week or so later I found myself wanting to play again and missing it, so I did and found that I was playing some fresh new things that I'd never really thought of before.
  17. djero44


    Mar 3, 2009
    Paonia Colorado
    There is a ton of great suggestions here; if any of it works for you then run with it!

    I have to quote one of my musical heroes, Steve Howe, who helped me see these kinds of "humps" in a different light. His perspective is that he has to go out and live life in order to have the inspiration and motivation to play music. That makes perfect sense to me, it's easy for me to get in a rut if all i'm doing is playing, personally I need to travel and stimulate myself in other ways so I have something to sing/play about. I thought that was very good advice (which may or may not be applicable to your situation).

    This lovely dance with the muse that we, as passionate musicians/artists, have engaged is (imo) a delicate and powerful process. I wish I had it all the time! Playing bass has been the best musical thing to happen in my adult life, I love it like no other instrument. I hope you find your inspiration, and would bet it will come back soon.

    p.s. Getting your hands on some other types of instruments might also get the juices flowing....
  18. derekd


    Feb 16, 2009
    I have found that some of my biggest leaps in ability came when I hit that same wall, just ignored it and worked on specific technique or tunes, etc. By not giving in, and pushing thru, I improved, which gave confidence/sense of achievement. That seemed to make the difference.

    I have gone thru it a few times, and expect I will go thru it a few more times before they pull the plug on me for the last time. Hang in there.
  19. IconBasser

    IconBasser Scuba Viking Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Alta Loma, California

    Get some buddies who can play decently, and work on jazz tunes. It's the absolute quickest way to improvement.
  20. Shoot_A_Hostage


    Apr 14, 2009
    SO guees what TB?
    I got it back.
    I read all yoru suggestion and I got it back.
    How did I personally do it?
    I ended up jamming with a musician way out of my league. He was this amazing jazz pianist. I asked him ow long he had been playing jazz and he said today was his third time. It was amazing and it just made me want to go home and prove how better I could be.
    WHat Have I Been playing now that Im home?
    Heavy metal. I Hate heavy metal. But I feel really good rite now, that same feeling I got when I first walked on stage.
    Thanks you guys.
    Idk this article helped me alot.

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