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Wasted 35 years

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bobicidal, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. bobicidal


    Mar 28, 2013
    San Jose, CA
    About 35 years ago I started playing bass, played Kiss, Led Zep, then Rush, then 10 years later made some money and then the 15 minutes of fame in 1988, then within a couple years quit playing, had a family to raise and stopped playing in bands, gave up, thinking I just was noy good enough. Only now I see my problem was I never had structured lesson, particularly learning theory, etc. I played covers, and wrote copycat songs. Still today it is all I can do because I almost never took lessons, and when I did it was asking the instructor to write tab for my rock heroes. Today I wonder what might have been if I had studied the jazz method 35 years ago. Sigh.

    Kids who read this.
  2. bobicidal


    Mar 28, 2013
    San Jose, CA
    (Oops sent too soon, and no edit function in app?)

    ... Kids, young and old, who read this, forget "studying rock", learn the jazz method.

  3. You didn't get laid for 35 YEARS????

    You see my point. You didn't "waste" those 35 years. You pursued what mattered to you.
  4. Go back and watch "It's a Wonderful Life" again. There's a time and place for everything. :)
  5. He didn't completely chump it then !

    PS - love the Zappa records ref...
  6. frankieC

    frankieC A swell guy from Warren Harding High

    Jul 21, 2012
    Bob, I did take lessons, started on cello, and I actually put the bass down (almost entirely) for about 30 years, myself. Did some fill ins for friends, and a couple of plays at community theater. I stopped playing because both my wife, and I were working, and for the purpose of raising a family and pursuing a career. I often worked nights so my wife could work days... you know the drill.

    When all three kids were finished with college, and working in their own fields I went back to playing bass, again. I was super rusty, and not only needed to get it going again, but also had to revisit the books.
    I'll be 64 next month, I've been back to playing for about 8 years now, and I still don't think I'm as fast, as clean, or as accurate as I was when I was a kid. I doubt I ever will be, too.
    I can't say that I'm happy about putting music aside, but I think if I had to do it all over again, I'd still do the same thing.
    - Frankie
  7. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    lament on!:hyper:
  8. The last 35 were what they were. No changing, it now. Just get busy. Don't waste the next 35!
  9. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    57 year old kid here.

    I don't believe Geddy Lee, Gene Simmons, or John Paul Jones studied "the jazz method", and they seem to be doing okay. Same with Paul McCartney and Chris Squire for that matter. Most of the top pros in rock don't even read music, much less spent time studying "the jazz method."

    Besides, tastes in music are all over the map (as they should be). I have been playing bass for 41 years, and never once did I stop and wish that I had studied jazz. I don't even like that kind of music! I like Yes and Rush and Led Zep (and lots of other classic rock stuff), and I love playing it.

    If your heart is in jazz, then start studying it now. Ten years from now, you will have ten years of jazz study behind you and you will be playing jazz like a seasoned pro. It's never too late to start.

    My philosophy is, do whatever rings your bell in life!
  10. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Only 35 years wasted? Jeez, I "have some friends" who have been wasted since 1966. :bag:
  11. TinIndian


    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    Never too late till your fingers go cold. I quit for twenty years and have been back at it for almost 3. Now I've started a new band and am leaving the one I've been playing with. I played Jazz thru HS and I know I was a much better player in some ways back then but I also know that I'm better in other ways now and Jazz has nothing to do with it.

    If you find that Jazz is where your heart is now go for it! But don't regret your decisions you had to make before. I don't and I wouldnt change anything about my life in regards to music. I did what I had to do and that's it.
  12. ben23c


    Aug 2, 2013
    Your dream lives on...17 years old and perplexed by jazz theory and the opportunities it holds. Hoping to get into learning its intricacies very soon.
  13. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Get a good teacher! A practice log will also do wonders for your regime, or it will show exactly why you are failing.

    Go out and learn your intervals and chord tones if you don't already!
  14. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013

    Jazz method, shmazz method. Do you like jazz or just feeled obligated to study jazz for some reason? The guys that inspired me to play probably can't read music, but they can write great, kickass songs. If that's good enough for them, it's good enough for me.
  15. I've never worried about the woulda, coulda, shoulda's, when it came to a "career" in music. And, I never worried about all the theory behind it (sounded like work, to me!). Every song that's been thrown at me in bands I've played in, at one time, or another, I always managed to learn 'em. Hell, all I ever worried about was if I was havin' fun at the time. Huh, I guess I was, 'cause I'm still doin' it......
  16. huckleberry1


    Jul 1, 2013
    Mesquite, Texas
    I've been playing 37 years now off & on & never was serious because I was trying to play basketball with my liver. Now that I'm sober my playing is becoming startling to me. I'm growing quickly & making up for so much time lost, the point is that you can come back & surprise yourself & take a great deal of satisfaction that what was there has always been there waiting on you...
  17. basschanges

    basschanges Unconditionally Loving Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    I've always loved Jazz and have studied it for a little under a decade (since I started). Let's be clear, part of studying jazz is just learning comprehensive harmony and familiarity with the fretboard such that the player can learn to improvise through key changes, something that most other popular styles of music don't emphasize as much. Because of that, studying jazz may be helpful in advancing one's playing ability in other styles.

    By no means is it a waste of time if you don't study jazz. As already stated here, tons of great players are complete masters of their craft without having transcribed bird solos or learning ii V's.
  18. LordDog


    Jun 25, 2013
    Norwich UK
    Doesn't this all depend on what you want to play? If it's Jazz, then you're going the right way. I haven't been playing very long and am no youngster either, and as much as I would love to be able to play YYZ or whatever, I also see that there are professional musicians making a good living from playing basic 4 note bass lines that sound magnificent to my ear. I am learning theory, and I practice scales, arpeggios etc, but often, just to remind myself that I'm doing this for enjoyment, I spend time hammering out some simple sounds, and to be honest, it's this aspect that keeps me going with it!

    Any "kids" reading this; play whatever it is you enjoy playing.
  19. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    The genre based player is not immune from luck getting them to a position of financial success, so whether, it be rock, reggae, pop, jazz, etc the element of luck is a big part of it. The issue is when the genre fades and the financial returns and interest are not longer there that a player may look to how they got there, and find that it was nothing they learned, nothing they had to offer was really any influence on it, other than being in the right place at the right time.....it was luck not talent that got them there.

    When their time in the spotlight is over a 'name' player will find that it is their name that opens doors, not their talent as such. So they won't question it still...until their name no longer opens doors.
    Then they need to question it, then those willing to move on will re-learn and re-evaluate their skills to be more relevant.
    This brings them to the idea that theory or better playing skills would have made a difference. But they still miss the point, because they were not part of another genre, they cannot realise that the situation is still the same within other genres......luck is involved as much as skill in many aspects of looking for fame.

    What a player will experience is that any fame was never theirs really, it was giving to them rather than earned, and as such is not their's to hold on to, in many cases it was never their's to start with.
    It is the questioning of their abilities against their situation that they take in hand.
    When all is well in any walk of life there is no reason to question what you are doing, only when things are not going as planned does anyone question their actions.

    It is a mental process and it needs validating to get past it, and that is what is sort of happening with the OPs '35 wasted years' belief.
    The most effective way to validate it is to be comfortable where you are and what you are doing.
    If that is un-comfortable then change it.....make a positive decision for you to take control and change it.
    This may be learn theory, learn a new genre etc.
    It is the fact that you make the decision to change, you accept the fact that although luck still plays a large part in it, you can increase your chances of how luck works for you.

    Some players i know made a change after decades, landed good jobs and wished they had done it earlier.
    Fact is the opportunities were not there, but how would they ever have known if they were not involved in that 'playing world'...they were outside it.
    But as luck would have it, they made changes and got involved at the right time, and were in the right place and the right time to make it work with the correct skill sets in place.
    The difference is they are involved in projects where it is their skills that will keep them in work because it is not a publicity led genre, so no fast buck, or instant big buck to be made, just trading on your skills, not your name.

    In music nothing is wasted time because it is about your own fulfilment first, not about what you did or did not achieve in any other side of it.
    If a player has 20 years of experience and starts to learn theory, they come at it in a different way than a player with no experience.
    So the theory will have more relevance to the experienced player, they will connect more dots and make more conclusion about what they learn, where as the in-experienced player will make assumptions about it first before any conclusions become relevant.

    So to the OP it is not 35 years wasted, it is 35 years not justified, if you make a few changes and maybe learn some new ideas, embrace more theory you will see that you actually know more than you realise. As for your brief spell of success, you got to do what many will fail to do, you should be happy that you did get there, not that you did not sustain it. Tennyson wrote,
    "I hold it true, whate'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Nuff said.
  20. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    I studied Jazz and found that it really improved my playing overall.
    Still playing rock,pop, & blues for money.

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