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what do you do?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by fretbuzz, Dec 3, 2001.

  1. for those of us who are mere mortals on the bass, what do you do? i mean do you just practice and learn to play songs that get your interest? i think im too old to get into a band, i'll most likely never get good enough to be in one anyway. am i going to get burned out do you think? or are there lots of people who enjoy bass playing for fun year after year? i have a history of really getting into things and then i run out of steam, i hope that wont happen with music.
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    You're never too old!! The great Cuban bassist Cachaito made his first solo album this year to rave reviews and he is nearly 70!!

    Many Jazz bassists go on into their 80s and I certainly plan to be doing this!

    I had a long break and thought that as I approached 40 I was too old for Rock/pop; so I joined a Jazz class and started learning about this.

    My view is that what motivates you is playing with other people and getting out there - on occasions when I haven't been doing this, I have lost interest completely.
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I would think there's enough diversity in music to keep one occupied for a long time...a very long time.
    I'm one of those who 'enjoys'/gets frustrated with bass & music year after year after year(this Xmas marks 29 years since my first bass).

    Something like 'grooving on a bass'...that's enough to keep me searching. How many ways can one groove? Plenty, right?
    One can learn songs, but how 'bout learning concepts...
    If you can play 'in' "OK", try learning what going 'out' is about.

    Can you take a tune you already know well & play it in a Reggae feel? Or as a Samba? Or a shuffle, swing...then think about combining 'feels'(Swing + Funk = "Swunk"; Soul + Calypso = "Soca"; etc).
    Then, attempt playing what you already know & make 'em an ODD timed groove. And see if you can make that Odd groove feel NATURAL & not forced.

    For me, a hack, the above has kept me occupied for the past, I dunno...8 years or so. ;)
    Take care-
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    FretBuzz, this should encorage you. I am twenty years older than you are. I never picked up a bass guitar until I was nearly 48. In my early fifties I was playing bass in a heavy metal cover band, went on to play in a nu metal/hip hop band and wound up playing in a blues band.

    You can achieve pretty much what you want if you have the will, the persistence and the ability to compromise. While I would have liked to be featured on the cover of Bass Player and never came close, nor ever will, just having that goal helped me get much, much further than if I had allowed my age to fill me with self doubt.

    As for age limits I figure to be playing bass guitar in the senior citizens' home and later in the great blues band in the sky, maybe playing backup for George Harrison. (Just kidding.)

    Anyway, I can tell you, your age is a problem only if you allow it to be. You may never be competition for famous bass greats having started late, but you could probably play in some local bar bands or church bands or maybe just have jam sessions in a buddy's garage.

    For myself, I have found private jam sessions to be the most enjoyable. But set your own goals and go chase them. I wish you all the luck and fun I have had.
  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...you're gonna have to fight me for that gig, JO! (NOT kidding!)

  6. thanks boplicity, i guess it just seems like everybody on TB is young or a bass veteran. i dont know where ill end up, but i do enjoy playing and want to continue to improve. now i just need to find some poeple to jam a little with. you have given me some new hope!
  7. Something that could keep you interested in bass.

    1. Turn on your amp

    2. Turn on your radio

    3. Try to figure out the bass line and melody line before the song is over

    Those three things can help tune your ear, learn the names of the notes, and let you "see" the sounds on the fretboard. What I mean by that is you can learn where all the different sounds are on the bass, I know that's a simple idea but it's still important.
  8. be careful with that, though, man, it becomes an addiction... every time i hear a song on the radio, i hear nothing but the bassline... it's pretty scary, i think i've been spending too much time with my little god of thunder...

    simon a
  9. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    or you leave the room knowing a Riff for Zorbas dance like me:cool:
  10. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Well fretbuzz I'm your age and I play with three bands right now, Original,Zep cover,and a Pop band and my guitar player in the Pop band is 47 and he hasn't played in a band in ten years and we dragged him in, Now he's having the time of his life and he's turning into a monster on guitar.
    Find some people to jam with and let nature take it's course, You'll be hooked!;)
    Your never to old to learn a instrument and your never to old to Rock&Roll, Have at it and enjoy:cool:
  11. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Trust me, I think I'm more qualified than JimK and Boplicity to answer this. After all, when you asked mere mortals, I'm assuming you meant those of us that are still struggling to become decent. My guess is those two became decent a long time ago and are struggling with becoming virtuoso. :)

    Either way, I have to admit, as silly as it sounds, I started playing bass thinking I was much too old for this also. I really thought that I couldn't be good at this, at least good enough to join a band. I got news for you, I would put a lot of money on the fact that there are a lot of cats in band that can't do what you can do FRETBUZZ, that's just my gut.

    You know what happened with me though? Every now and then while playing, more noodling than anything else, I might uncover something. It took a lot of noodling, but it would happen. Then I would get a little inspired. Then I took some lessons, and I realized, okay, I'm not a great bassplayer, I may not even be good, but I can learn, and that was fun. Still is. Very fun.

    I started saying that if I could just have something fun and creative to do when I got home from work, instead of zoning in front of the television, that would be fun. No BP cover for me. No record deals. Just an outlet. Now, it's all consuming. There's not a moment I'm not thinking musically. It drives my friends crazy.

    Kind of. Direction was the hardest part for me. Every time I practised it had to be the best practice ever! Well, I let that go. I don't really learn a lot of pop songs. Very very few. But I find with jazz, I just have so much to practice. So much to learn. So far to go. The journey I think is fun.

    Now you're pissing me off cause you're only 12 years older than me, and I do not need to be feeling old yet! :)

    Possibly. You have to make it fun for yourself. Don't get bogged down with being the best, or even being somewhere that you can't be within a small amount of time. Some of the young guys come on this board talking about how they've been playing for 3 months and they can already slap. Well that's bull****. They can't. They suck. Trust me. They do. I don't care if they're playing 24 hours a day. Then, some other cats come on here talking about how they play jazz, and they've been playing bass for a year. I'll tell you what, I study jazz, every day, and I'm an extreme amateur, and you can not be a jazz musician in such a short time. But here's the point, take every accomplishment, and have fun with it. No accomplishment is too small. My proudest moment on bass is still, to this day, the very first time I played something musical, (a Gmajor scale, after owning the bass for a week). Take it slow, have fun.

    I enjoy it more and more each year.

    It could happen. It depends upon what makes you happy. Don't make it into something bigger than it has to be. Enjoy playing bass. Enjoy what it gives back to you, and you'll keep coming back, probably for longer than you expect.
  12. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Awesome advice Jazzbo!!!! You da man!:)
  13. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Hey great advice, Jazzbo. I really enjoyed reading your post.

    I wasn't gonna reply to this thread...cuz....well....you guys would probably yell at me and call me a youngin for even saying I'm old (I'm 23) but does feeling old count? Hehe.

    Fretbuzz, you sound pessimistic like me. When I get like that the only thing I can do is practice. I always feel like I started the bass too late in life. I see everyone my age off living there lives now and I'm still living with mommy and daddy struggling to make music my career.

    Of course there are times when I don't even feel like picking up the bass, but other than that, yeah....all there is to do is practice. And try not to look into the future (i.e "Ill never be good enough to be in a band"). It really helps when you focus on what you are accomplishing now.

    Good luck. :)
  14. I feel like i got a big hug from everybody, THANKS. i think maybe part of the problem is i don't have any other bass players to work with, its hard to know if im on a good track. i have taken about 9 months of lessons, however, the teacher was a pretty serious guitar player and i felt quite small most of the time. im trying to find a balance between learning the workings of music and having 'fun' learning new songs. i know that the two are tied together, but i think you know what i mean. one thing that im very excited about is the fact that i really look forward to playing/practicing when im driving home from 12 hours at work, i think thats a GOOD sign for my future. (btw, jazzbo, i read your 9 page article on ear training i think it was. i think your in the immortal catagory! thank you for taking so much time helping me) i feel younger already.
  15. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    You're never too old. We're about the same age, and got my first Double Bass right before my 35th birthday. Anybody can do it if they want it enough...just be careful with your expectations: if your only expectation is to gradually get better than you already are, you're on the right path.
  16. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    As long as I get to play with Miles, you guys can have any gig you want.


    er, playing with Miles would be a heaven gig, wouldn't it?

    Make that Coltrane...
  17. jblake


    Aug 30, 2001
    Gray, ME
    I'll start by saying: I am by no means an expert. This has worked for me though...
    Find a bunch of guys that you like and start jamming with them. They can be better than you or not as long as you're playing with people. (Its always fun to get in over your head a little though.) Try not to worry about your playing. If the people you play with give you a hard time, you're playing with the wrong guys. Music is a collaborative effort. You'll only get so good practicing by yourself.


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