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Ugh. Marc Johnson makes me want to quit playing

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by stormwriter, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. stormwriter


    Mar 25, 2005
    Lately i've been on a Marc Johnson kick, listening to mostly the Enrico Pieranunzi stuff. (by the way, i'm embarrased that i've been into jazz for 15 years, and never heard Enrico until recently. I was burnt out on Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans trio stuff, cause i listened to it so much, so this was a refreshing combination of both trios...)

    Anyways, i've been getting back into playing lately, but listening to Marc makes me want to plant flowers in the f-holes of my bass. Ugh. I could practice 4 hours a day for years and not come close to that.
    I know I shouldn't compare myself to other players, but geezuz. As soon as i think i'm pretty decent, i listen to him and know i have about 8000 more miles to go in my playing.

    I like his diatonic stuff. Following along in the music on the Chuck Sher book, it doesn't seem like he's doing anything super out there. It's the way he plays the **** that makes it sound so good. I think i'll try and play the crap out of my major/minor scales and practicing doing all the scalar/chordal variations, like 123, 234, 345, etc, until i can rip up and down the fingerboard in any key, with ease and confidence.
  2. We just had a fairly long thread regarding Marc and he is a MF. You might want to do a search and check it out.
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  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    I suspect we've all felt like that at one point or another. Yep, most of us simply do not have enough hours, days, years or breaths left in this life to be "as good as" [insert name here].

    As soon as that's understood, the double bass becomes a potential tool for real personal growth. It doesn't matter whether your focus is bass or hoop or parenting. It LITERALLY does not matter -- it's all the same stuff on a certain level. You're trying to do what you can do, in your circumstances, to bring some joy and grace into this world in the short time you have.

    And you CAN and SHOULD do that. So keep working. Post a piece up too, if you want to.

    Hey -- stop reading! Get back to work!
  4. One thing you might try before getting too bummed about the abilities of other bassist is to start listening to players of different instruments...tenor sax is a good instrument to cop some ideas from, because of the timbre. I started listening to Jim Hall alot. That helped me no end.
    You kinda keep things in perspective when you're not so busy being mad about how great they play the bass.
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Great replies from Sam and Paul, as usual. I would add that it sounds like you're on the edge of a very tricky headspace right now: half full, or half empty?...the oldest paradigm in the book. Whenever I find myself in that headspace, I always try to find a way to get from "half empty" to "half full" before going on, and it usually involves trying to find the place in my heart/soul that is open to inspiration. When I listen to a player who truly inspires me, I know it because the first sentence out of my mouth after listening to them is always "give me my bass". If Marc is turning out to be a person who doesn't make you feel like that right now and you find yourself unable to shift the perspective, maybe try to find a player who makes you want to pick up your bass after listening. Good luck.
  6. oystein


    Sep 15, 2001
    Norway, Leikong
    Slightly off topic, but another record to check out is the Danish bassist Mads Vindings Trios' "The Kingdom with Enrico P. and Alex Riel on drums.