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What are some tips to break down that wall that is holding you back?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Henry Luera, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Henry Luera

    Henry Luera

    Jan 10, 2018
    Hey! I wanted to know some tips and tricks that you may have discovered to get past that annoying phase in your bass career. You all know what I'm talking about.. That phase where you keeping playing the same lines and can't seem to add something new. I personally struggle with this issue. I find myself playing over backing tracks playing the same riffs or the same styled riff. I've been playing bass for approximately seven years. :help: :bassist:
    krimo likes this.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I'm not going to get the quote quite right, but jazz guitarist John McLaughlin said something on the order of: "think up something you cannot possibly play. practice it until you can". That usually does it for me.
    Mili, aesopslyre and Henry Luera like this.
  3. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Evert, bholder and Henry Luera like this.
  4. A teacher. A teacher who plays better, and knows more than you do. Preferably one with university experience. Lacking that, contact the largest jingle studio in your city, and ask to contact their first call session guy.
  5. Henry Luera

    Henry Luera

    Jan 10, 2018
    kesslari likes this.
  6. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Listen to, and learn to play melodies from, kinds of music you don't normally play - especially from other instruments. Like transcribing a good sax solo - that'll shake you out of your usual bass riff habits if anything will. (Sounds pretty good anyway, haven't been able to actually do it myself, but trying and failing once in a while certainly changes my perspective.)
    GastonD, pcake, Groove Doctor and 2 others like this.
  7. cazclocker

    cazclocker My social skills are rapidly dwindling.

    Oct 24, 2014
    Newton, Kansas
    Be more willing to practice than I am.
    bassweazl, Wesley R and bholder like this.
  8. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Runlikegregg likes this.
  9. The plateau is in your mind, not in your hands. The secret is learning to think differently.

    Read, travel, meet new people, study something new, do everyday things differently.... anything to break your self-created routines/ruts/thinking patterns.

    Your bass playing will automatically change when YOU change.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  10. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    How often do you play out?
  11. Henry Luera

    Henry Luera

    Jan 10, 2018
    Not too much anymore.
  12. Henry Luera

    Henry Luera

    Jan 10, 2018
    Best advise I've received yet. Thanks!
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  13. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Playing by yourself practically guarantees stagnation.

    The only times I've ever made dramatic improvements/changes in how I play has been from playing with others in public.
  14. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    It's far better to play with mediocre folks than rot in your bedroom :). Heck, they might surprise you and you end up being that "better player" that inspires them :cool:.

    Seriously, learn stuff you don't like and figure out why others like them. I'll play anything from Bluegrass to Metal - love me some Mustang Sally, Brown Eyed Girl, Jumping Jack Flash, etc :roflmao:.
    Low84 likes this.
  15. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I’m in the exact same boat my friend. I don’t have a band, and haven’t for several years. I play about 3 or 4 pick-up gigs a year, and they’re usually things I’ve playing hundreds of times, well within my comfort zone.

    I’ve been satisfying my rut (slightly) by getting into the effects world. Something I’ve never done in my 20 years of playing until recently. Now I want a thumpy short scale, a valve amp, and to start playing with a pick. What’s wrong with me!!??

    Anyway, I feel your pain.
    Henry Luera likes this.
  16. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    I don't believe there are any "tricks". If you're going through a dry creative spell, my only tip would be to steal something you like from other players, then slowly and methodically practice it until it is naturally incorporated into your own playing.

    The process of figuring out what someone else is doing, and why it sounds good, frequently leads to the discovery of something new you can call your own.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  17. otp57


    Oct 10, 2016
    What I do is to play rock,funk,blues, country etc.
    I can mix my riffs example rock funk or blues rock lines etc.
  18. Wesley R

    Wesley R Gold Supporting Member

    I hear you my friend, I hear you.
    cazclocker likes this.
  19. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    There is a saying 'if you are the smartest guy in the room you are in the wrong room'.
    Same goes for band mates.

    I love players who amaze and inspire me. I seek out better musicians when I put gigs together. I am aware of my musical strong points and weak points. I benefit from playing with players who teach me.

    It's an on going thing with no end in sight.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
    Henry Luera likes this.
  20. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    I'm personally in a "back to bassics" phase right now. (yea I misspelled basics on purpose, It's Friday, sue me...)
    I spent some time around Christmas looking for a good teaching book that would take me back to school, so to speak. I'm about 1/4 of the way thru it right now, and have been going over and going over the progress I've made, trying to up my game each pass. I mean, certain parts not, but you get the idea. Trying to make my version of what is laid out in the book as good as I can make it.
    Oh, and by the way, the book I picked was (is)
    Music Theory for the Bass Player | Ari's Bass Blog
    Real good stuff. My new years resolution is to stick with this book until i finish it.
    It's helped me find different ways to look at grooves i've done to death.
    So that's my angle on this. Go back to the beginning and see what you might have overlooked or re-discovered along the way.
    Henry Luera likes this.

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