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What Happens to Bassists After 2-3 Years???

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by rickbass, Feb 26, 2003.

  1. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I was looking at the current poll on the Talkbass home page "How Long Have You Been Playing Bass?"

    The poll votes number 3005 as I type this, so that is a relatively, statistically significant sampling, IMO.

    What struck me is that the number of respondents who answered "2-3 years" is very near 14% while those who answered "3-4 years" plummets to 7.8%......a dramatic drop, IMO.

    What's even more surprising to me, (since I had to answer in the "20+ years" category). is that, all of a sudden, the responses more than double from 4% in the "15-20 years" category to 11% in the "20+ years" category.

    Just wondered if anyone had any insight/ speculation/WAG's ("wild ass guesses") on what seems so weird to me.
  2. The younger people probably started playing bass in high school then stopped for college or university. That happened to me...but I'm back in the fold! :bag: :bag:
  3. I think some of it is that some people just don't have the patience for it.

    A lot of people take it up for one-off bands that don't go anywhere, or they decide that they want to be famous and it doesn't work out that way.

    In addition, there comes a point in every bassists career where they have become moderately skilled and they either feel like they can't grow anymore, or they aren't motivated enough to learn anymore.

    After the first 2 years or so, there is a bit of a steep ascent from basic bass theory to more advanced techniques. Expanding your skills to more advanced levels is very hard and you can practice lots and still be kinda crappy. Some people just aren't willing to stick with it.

    Also, it could be that in the past 2 years or so, people have taken a higher interest in bass.
  4. I'm in the smallest category.... and I wonder the same thing.

    Here's what WAG came from the lonely spark that jumped form one brain cell to the other one. (I must have at least two.)

    * The numberses of peopleses who pick up the instrument are quite large.... I'd bet that is true with anything from rollerblading to oil painting.

    * As the 'initial passion for the hobby' begins to fade, so do the numbers, progressively fading... away... away...

    Then, WHAM!!! There's that group of veterans who were in this game for the long haul, from square one. Not to mention, 20 to 40+ years as a bassist is a MUCH LARGER piece of the "delta" pie than say, 2 to 3. In other words, "2 to 3" covers a smaller patch of the gang than "20+ (ad infinitum)" does.

    Or something.:confused:
  5. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    w.a.g. - They graduate form H.S. and either go to college and don't have so much time to post on message boards or else they don't go to college, but leave mom and dads house and can no longer afford a pc and internet access...sadly, some quit playing :bawl: maybe thats about as long as the average poseur lasts...

    re: the 20+ years crowd i figure you got two kinds there. You have got people who have absolutly made bass their life, the pro's - and how could they not be at T.B.? and then you have the hobbiest crowd - they have good day jobs with a desk and internet access and would rather post about their hobbies than do their jobs.
  6. And that's when you swoop in and pick up cheap gear. SCORE! :eek:
  7. Gotta have the gear to get the gigs, the booty, and the bling!!

    :bassist: :D
  8. Any more philosophical statisticians

    in da haaaaouse:confused:
  9. OneCoolDog


    Oct 15, 2002
    Alabama, USA
    I don't think it's that people quit playing. It's more that more people started playing that many years ago, IMHO.
  10. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX

    FWIW, I think you pretty much nailed the explanation.

    As a member of the 20+ camp, I'm not sure whether to feel proud or old. Funny, I don't really feel particularly old or proud - but somehow I think I oughts ta.

  11. TxBass


    Jul 3, 2002
    Frisco, Texas
    I agree with "Granny" on this...I started early in high school, played in college in a band and completely dropped it while in the service(no time/no ability to keep a band together) and now I'm at it more in the past 4 years than when I was younger. I've been messing with the bass for 18 years---some years it was neglected, but it was always "there".
    life changes, priorities change...thank God for the Bass!
  12. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I'm in one of the smaller groups of the 5-9 years of playing [workin on my 6th year]. IME, kids my age want to play guitar be the flashy one, get lots of attention, lots of oohs & ahhs but don't want to practice, but they thought bass would be easier since it's only 4 strings :rolleyes: ;) I think those are the kids that quit. I started when i was in 5th grade and now am a sophmore in highschool. I don't really do any "gigging' if you mean with a paid band but rather am the primary bassist for my school's music department [play 20-30 shows a year]. I hope to one day be a member of the 20+ years club. Thats all
  13. Mathias_TfG


    Apr 28, 2002
    New York
    JazzCam, your post made me think of a guy Ron, whom I knew in high school. He played bass for probably four years, and was pretty good, then he switched to guitar, I guess to be the flashy one or whatever.
  14. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Don't forget that the poll also reflects the demographic containing the internet using, talkbass going bassist.
  15. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Doesn't that imply the largest bass community on the internet, ergo, the most valid sampling population???
  16. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Doesn't that imply the largest bass community on the internet, ergo, the most valid sampling population???

    It certainly isn't skewed, like, say, tabcrawler.com . :rolleyes:
  17. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Not necessarily. The internet is vastly more popular among the youth than it is with the elders.

    Sounds like you've been trying more and more of that analysis-type thinkin' lately...me thinks you need to go get your MBA!:eek:
  18. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    The Talkbass numbers indicate that logic doesn't work here at all. Of the 9 possible age groups, the "20+ years" group was the 4th largest group of respondents by a long shot. Obviously, youth doesn't correlate with Talkbass users at all......video game sites are probably much different.

    I took Statistical Analysis in college to get my Clinical Psych degree. Me thinks you took stats at a jr. college...........in Surinam. :D
  19. That's irrelevant - RAM is saying that the sample we have is unstatistical because the general population of bass players is not being represented on TB (or on the web) in a statistically transparent way.

    For Talkbass to be "the most valid sampling population", it needs to be the most statistical (ie, the most representative in percentage terms), not the most numerous. You say yourself
    The whole point of a statistical population is that it is not filtered in this way - by personal taste, by age related issues, by economic limits, anything.

    IMO using such a filtered population to try and draw general conclusions is going to give you garbage results. If you took Statistical Analysis, you should know better than to say "oh, n is big, the data MUST be good."

    PS Great thread. :)
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think there may be other things you haven't mentioned - like hormones!

    But Moley and I noticed that wherever yo get a stupid newbie question - the poster is invariably 15 !!

    Also my theory is that 14-16 year olds are old enough to get into music and think it would be cool to play - come to TB and ask load of questions - eventually realise after about a year that the people telling them to learn theory, read music have structured practice an teacher were right and they get bored with it!

    So after about 18 months of trawling the net at school they give up - but decide that they must have been playing for 2-3 years - well that's what it felt like!!

    Leaving the field open for more 14-16 year olds to come along and ask the same dumb questions and follow the same cycle!!

    So the hormones thing is because at the same time these 14-16 year olds are being ruled by their hormones and will discover the opposite sex and basses pale in comparison; only to return when they can think logically again!! ;)

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