Was I Wrong? (personal problem w/ parents and music)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by StoneTempleCore, Mar 6, 2014.

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  1. I'm still in High School, so most of what I buy I have to rely on my parents to support me. I don't have a job currently, with band and not having a Driver's License. My parents don't like talking about music, and consider it a waste of time. I have no clue why they've taken this mentality, but they seem to think that it's too expensive and it's not gonna help me later in life (I want to become a musician, if not as a full time job, then as a part-time hobby).

    The latest discussion came about in me having to buy an SX 5-string Jazz Bass on my own because my parents took too long (needed it by December 2nd, they were gonna get me it for Christmas even though I told them about it in October). One of the tuners is buzzing, and my mom was flipping out ("What did you do? Why did you break it" etc, etc.) I told her that if they'd helped me buy a better bass, then this wouldn't be happening. That's when she flipped out, big time, and started blaming it on me, saying that I was too picky (I wanted a Squier VM 5 string) and saying "I don't want to talk about this right now."

    The only thing I'm wondering about - was I right or wrong in saying that we could have afforded a better bass? We're by no means poor, but musical instruments are a bit price-y for a good one.
  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I think all your bass may need is a proper setup and your parents love you and want what's best for you and being a musician isn't at the top of many parents list I know it wasn't anywhere on mine for my kids. I maybe wouldn't have told my parents that it was their fault about the bass but it happens don't beat yourself up over it. I would show my parents that I can sound amazing even on an inexpensive bass and they will slowly come around and realize that you are serious and they will want to support you anyway they can
  3. kikstand454

    kikstand454 Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2012
    Cut your folks some slack. If they were not into music or musicians when they were your age, then they do not understand the passion that you feel for it.
    That being said, in general your parents only want what they think is good for you. Wheather that is what YOU think is good for you is irrelevent as they are the ones footing the bill.
    Here's another way to look at it my friend:
    What makes you think it is their responsibility to buy you a "better " bass? If you're parents didn't want to encourage your passion you wouldn't have gotten a bass at all. Maybe you have a pattern of entitlement behavior that made them not want to spend too much money on your new "hobby". Its not their responsibility to buy you the best of everything......or even the worst of anything. They do it because they want to.

    When I started, my parents got me an ibanez guitar. It wasn't the les Paul I wanted. It was a cheap 80s looking candy apple red ibanez. I rocked the hell out of it. My family was dirt poor. Like, no power for two weeks and the four of us kids had to heat up water in a spaghetti pot on the gas stove to take a bath poor. So the fact they even got me one was a miracle. When I graduated, I got a job and went and bought the les Paul ( copy) I wanted. With my own money.

    Lots of people make do with what some consider sub-par equipment. It just means you have to take care of it. Maybe modify it. But most of all be happy you even have it.

    Maybe the real question here is why you blamed your mom and got into an argument with her over something that was not only not her fault, but something she was trying to do to help YOU.

    Just a thought.

    Edit: I see I read that wrong and that they did NOT buy you that bass, but that you instead impatiently bought the bass on your own. So.... why exactly are they responsible for your a) impatient choice of a poor instrument or b) you not taking care of your new purchase and damaging it?

    Again, cut them some slack. Chances are they're just trying to do right by you, and your attitude just sucks.

  4. ZachariahLee


    Feb 3, 2013
    I went through the same thing at your age. Tall fat boy that wanted some Jordan's to help me jump higher. I never got those Jordan's. I bought my first pair at age 34 for a gig I had a few weeks ago. The most uncomfortable pair of shoes I ever bought, and after the gig I gave them away to my younger brother. There is a moral to the story. You're a bright kid, I'm sure you'll figure it out.
  5. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Bro, let me tell ya...I'm a 26 year old man with a VERY solid, high-paying job in my career field and I live on my own in a pretty affluent area. I have bought all my own gear for years now and my parents STILL think pursuing music in addition to my day job is stupid and immature. Just like you don't go ask your chick friends for advice on guy stuff, some people can trust their parents for artistic support and some cannot. I've just learned that I need to look elsewhere if I want constructive criticism.

    Hang in there and NEVER SELL THAT BASS! I regret selling my first one sooo much even though it was a piece of crap. Stick with it and keep practicing!
  6. CrashGordon


    Feb 18, 2014
    Atlanta, GA
    Dude you're in a tough situation. My folks didn't like my choice but did what they could to support it. When I showed them I was making a serious attempt at it, they did help me (although they didn't really like it).

    20+ years later it didn't work out, but mom still likes to hear me play something when she drops by.
  7. BrotherMister


    Nov 4, 2013
    I was fortunate enough that my parents were accepting of me wanting to be a musician... well eventually. Regardless of which I'm not seeing where the issue comes from, your parents didn't buy you a bass and you had to buy one yourself? Seriously? Please say I'm reading that wrong. Why did you need a 5 string in the first place? Could you not have gotten by with detuning one of your 4 strings? From your profile it appears you have a few. Your tuner has a buzz on it and you are blaming that on the fact you wanted a better bass? When you finally get that better bass believe me at one time or another something is going to buzz on it. I'm just not seeing what your problem is here.

    I'm not meaning to come off as a total hard ass here but from the way you are telling this it sounds like you are looking for sympathy because your parents didn't get you what you wanted. If you want to be a professional musician then believe me you are going to have to get used to people not supporting you.

    If I may throw in an anecdote of my own life... When I decided I wanted to play bass all I wanted was a Fender Jazz. Literally that was it that was the bass for me. I didn't get that bass at first and I ended up getting some cheap Stagg because that was 1. all we could afford 2. My parents were going to break the bank on what they considered to just be a whim. That first bass/amp package cost less than £100. I was just happy to have a bass that I could get started on. I literally played/practiced the crap out that bass and eventually started gigging with it. I was turning up to gigs where guys had 3 grand Les Paul guitars and the most up to date Marshall stacks on the planet and I was playing the cheapest bass ever and an amp that was just as cheap that I had to borrow. I wasn't bothered about not having a great instrument I was happy just to have a gig. I was still able to do the gigs with what I had and had to learn how to make do with what I had in any situation. That includes playing with a lot of dropped tunings since I only had a four string (I still don't have a 5string since I learned to get by the old fashioned way and I'm more comfortable with that method. Not hating on 5 strings at all, my preference just comes from my circumstances). This was the worst sounding instrument on the planet and was so bad one of the pickups broke about 2 months into owning the instrument but I kept gigging with only the back pick up working. The instrument was literally hanging by a thread and I had to take it apart and rebuild it countless times to set it up properly. It was only when the neck literally snapped in two when it was knocked that my parents accepted I was genuinely 100% committed to music and it wasn't just a phase I was going through. They helped me buy my 2nd bass which was a MIM Fender Jazz. I contributed most of the money that I had earned from gigs and part time work but I needed a small loan to get it that day. Guess what happened when I finally got that dream bass? It has literally had every single problem imaginable. It is just the nature of instruments. That is just my story and I will bet a whole lot of money some guys on here will tell you worse stories about how they started out. Be thankful your parents have bought you an instrument to begin with when they aren't supporting your choice. Learn to play the thing like a monster and get out there prove that you can do this a career. You don't need great instruments to make great music. You need to be able to make great music to make great music and that doesn't come from any gear.

    Oh, and although you say you are by no means poor you will be shocked to find out how little expendable income your parents actually have to throw about.

    Anyway, I may have read your story all wrong but I'm not trying to discourage you my intentions are to let you see that having cheap gear doesn't stop you making great music.
  8. adamaarts

    adamaarts Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Corona, CA
    Beta tester Source Audio, demos/reviews of many others
    I understand where you are coming from. And having life experience and hindsight, I understand what your parents are thinking as well. My dad never seemed to understand my 'need' for music and my desire of dbeing in it, you can't help it.

    But, the main thing was I didn't have a job, I didn't help out at home, I was doing bad in school, I spent all my time chasing girls and playing bass. We had a rough relationship in my high school and young adult years. Looking back, if I had been a lot more responsible like doing more chores, less attitude, and seeking work or college or something else other than 'wasting' time then things would have been a lot different.

    I'd say take the high road, apologize for your comment, and proceed to be the best child ever. Try to look for a job, talk to them about it, about what skills they think would be good for a career, do chores that they didn't ask you to do. You will get a lot more respect and leeway with what you do in your free time trust me.

    Don't worry about the gear right now, as mentioned one day you'll have a career and be able to get what you want and make your own decisions. Trust me, there would be a line of kids waiting to have whatever piece of crap guitar came their way.

    Anyway, I think you get my point. Hope all works out.
  9. JennySuzuki


    Dec 18, 2013
    The young often suffer from solipsism, the belief that the world revolves around them. Everything they do assumes absurd importance.

    Meanwhile, parents have to balance a lot of competing needs. The need to pay the mortgage / rent, for instance, and the need to make sure everyone's eating on a regular basis, and probably a car payment, and so on.

    StoneTempleCore, you speak of the bass that you "had to have" by December 2, and mention that you told your parents about the deadline in October. There are, however, some details left out. Why did you have to have the bass by that date? What dire consequences would have accrued had you not had it? When in October did you tell your folks?

    I know there isn't a whole lot of spare room in my budget. I love my partner dearly, and would deny her nothing I could provide her... but if she came to me and said "I need a multi-hundred dollar luxury within a month," I don't know that I would be able to provide it on that kind of schedule.

    There are people who are truly abused in their homes. I deal with them at the ED all the time. I meet them at the LGBT center because their parents have thrown them out of their homes. Every few years, I have to identify a body because someone has self-medicated their pain using alcohol and drugs, and overdosed. It doesn't sound like you're in any of those categories.

    My suggestion is to treat your parents like you're a grown up. Go to your mother, and ask if the two of you can have a real talk. Start by apologizing for what you said, and reassuring her that you're aware that she's doing her best to give you a good start in life. Then explain to her that music is an important part of your life, and ask what you can do to help her, and your father, be more accepting of your dedication to music.

    You might be surprised who you discover if you aproach your mother as a person, instead of as a parent.
  10. rstellar13

    rstellar13 Sarcastic Panda

    Sep 2, 2012
    Allentown, PA
    Hey man I I'm just turning sixteen by I worked my butt off over the summer did everything I could and now I own my custom, I mean it docent help I sold a bass at the time and I study music through high school, but my parents dont pay for any of my musical pursuits except private teachers, they trust me to earn the gear. I know exactly how you feel, but you can't blame your parents as you said you have no license so they drive you to the practices and gigs thats enough for me to get by also. Just a lot of passion will get you the bass you want and had work get you there. Trust me I'm in your age range also.
  11. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
    I'm sure a "buzzy tuner" can be fixed pretty easy......
  12. @kikstand454
    I wasn't impatient. I needed the bass by December 2nd, but they insisted on waiting until Christmas to get it (it would've been too late by then.) I didn't damage it either. I carry it in a case and treat it well. The tuner just randomly started buzzing today, and my mom freaked out over it. I don't get why you're expecting that I damaged it or that I "impatiently" bought it. It was what I could afford out of pocket, and it was closing in on that deadline (November 26th when I bought it.)

    In no way do I think I'm entitled to anything, but I'd rather be able to get a quality instrument with support from them. I'm happy with the bass, but it does need a bit of work, with the nut, tuners, and set up. The Squier I played at the store was great, it just needed a set-up. Please don't assume anything, it just clouds up a the view on a problem and leads to misinterpretation.

    It's not that I had to buy a bass myself, it's that I had to go and buy an off-brand bass that needs work when I could have gotten a quality instrument with a bit of help from my parents. We were told about the show (and I about the five string) in early October, got our sheet music before Thanksgiving, and my part clearly required a five string bass. I realize that with every instrument can come problems, but with the Squier I'd be able to return it if it's broken and get a new one (or at least get it repaired.) I can't return the SX (30 day window has long expired), and if it breaks, I'm stuck with it. I wanted a better quality bass, yes, and for good reason.

    It also seems that you're seeing it the way that my mother sees it - that I look down upon "cheap" instruments. I don't. Squier and SX are great brands, but with SX, I didn't know what I was getting. I love the bass, but it had small problems when it came in that could turn into big problems. You can't blame me for wishing for something that would last me a while and not break down.

    No offense, but I think it's a bit ridiculous how far some of you may have taken my question. Nowhere did I say that I'm mistreated, neither am I begging for sympathy. Just to clarify, I told them in early October, and started saving for another bass sometime before that. I don't mistreat my instruments, neither do I hate my parents. If you assume, it'll lead to misinterpretation, which isn't good. I apologize if I had left things out.
  13. JennySuzuki


    Dec 18, 2013
    When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.

    --Probably not Mark Twain
  14. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    The "if you had helped me buy a better bass" is what did it. I'd be angry too. You should be thankful they help you at all. If I were them I'd tell you to get a job and buy your own gear from now on.
  15. wmheilma


    Jan 5, 2010
    This brings back memories. Boy did I work my butt off to get my first bass! That was 1978. I was 14. The only work I could get was at about $2 an hour. My first bass was a Gibson EB-OL that cost $200. It took months and $60 from Grandma, but that instrument served me well. And I proved to my folks that I was willing to work hard toward something. They helped me buy my first amp. I started playing school dances and private parties. That gear paid for itself.
    Hang in there and cut your folks some slack. They don't understand your calling. I don't think mine ever did, but they did accept me for who I am. And that's OK.
  16. George Bush, actually (W version). Interestingly enough, also accredited with "a pity youth is wasted on the young."
  17. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    First get the bass checked out it is probably not a big issue. You are lucky to have what you have so deal with it or go get a job to support your habit. You are young and trying to get your parents on board it is never easy but keep trying.

    When I was starting out as a kid my parents were the same way and money was way tight. Keep your goal and in time they will see you are dedicated and will come around. The question is when?
  18. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    As a dad of teenagers who has to pay the bills, I can say that being told you HAVE to come up with a $300 instrument within the next six weeks - sometimes just isn't going to happen. And there can be a lot of stress, guilt, or resentment at oneself or at the world over not being able to produce that. Some families have plenty of money and could pick up a VM Squier casually in a weekend run to the store; others would have to scrimp and scrape to come up with it, and I'm not surprised if they felt they could only do it out of the Christmas money. I don't know your parents' finances, and I don't know more about your relationship with them, so I can't really judge what the dynamics are in your house; from the tidbits of information in the OP, I would guess that Mom is overwhelmed and stressed out, maybe by stuff you know about and maybe by other stuff you don't.

    I've got to admit, I've never heard of a tuner buzzing. If that's what it is, seems like a quick twist with a wrench would tighten it up, no biggie. $50 for a setup at a decent guitar shop would probably fix any issue you're having beyond that. And if you want to move up to a better instrument, you can always save some, sell your SX, and get the Squier you want.
  19. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Las Vegas
    Reading multiple times, this is the part, above anything else said, that gets me. Either of my kids pull a comment like that and they'll find out real quickly how much of their stuff I bought becomes repossessed by me.

    Sometimes a step back, a little perspective, and some gratitude on how good life really is is in order.

  20. sears


    Aug 7, 2005
    ec, md
    Most adults who are musicians had musician parents. They have an immense advantage because of the lore and attitude their parents impart. your parents aren't doing you any favors. Maybe when your kids need instruments you can help them scour the classifieds for something which they will be able to sell for a good price when they upgrade.

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