what is "it"

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Aug 10, 2001.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I don't know if this is the appropriate place for this question or if the question even makes sense but here goes.
    So when it comes to playing bass (or any instrument, really) is there such a thing as 'it' - as in: Some people are born with it and some people aren't. (or) With a lot of hard work some people, in good time will get it - others will probably never get it.
    Is it possible to say that if someone can't play (whatever would be appropriate) by the time that they have been playing for (appropriate period of time to learn above mentioned whatever)that they should just hang it up. I know this sounds like I'm incredibly insecure, but that is only because I am. I have been playing for six months and I do really suck, but here is my plan, tell me if I'm nuts - I figure that since I have no background playing any instrument, no natural rythem, no ear (well I have both ears but you know what I mean) I have been considered generally uncoordinated my whole life - But I figure that if I want to learn to play well and I work very hard I will one day be the Larry Bird of bass.
  2. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    i want to be the Michael Jordan of Bass :D
  3. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    :eek: i will make that my next signature, thanks for the inspiration!
  4. ASR


    Apr 2, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    I think some people are born with abilities that others have to work hard to get. Under no circumstances should you give up, though. Trust me, I have played bass for nearly 2 years, guitar for 11 years, trombone for 13 years, and the kazoo for 20 years, and I suck at all of them. I'm not going to give up, though. It may take you longer to learn something than it takes JT, and you may have to work harder to learn it, but in the end, if you learn it, he is no better than you.

    I always like to use analogies, so here is one that kinda fits here. My little sister was born with Spina Bifida. She has braces and walks with a stagger. She was in band in Junior High, and wanted to be in marching band in High School. She tried, but she couldn't march. Instead of giving up hope, she took an entire summer and learned to play piano. Her freshman year, she played bells in the "pit." She found a way to make it happen despite her handicap. They won state that year.
  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga

    probably not. i'm no natural :D.
  6. by merely choosing the bass as your instrument, you've proven that you have what it takes. in my opinion, all you need is passion for what you do. passion drives you to work hard, and rewards you with happiness when you do.

    i'm not sure if there's such a thing as congenital talent. you may never be a marcus miller, but you can definitely be a damn good bass player.
  7. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Don't worry, your question makes perfect sense.

    I think that there is something that people are born with, or not as the case may be. But just because someone doesn't possess the natural talent of, say, Jaco doesn't mean they can't attain a high level through hard work. Determination and tenacity are important attributes, but not as tangible as how fast you can play or how good you can slap.

    I like the sport analogy you use. To be honest, I don't know Larry Bird from Adam, but I can think of plenty of examples of footballers who have wasted their undoubted talent (George Best anyone?), compared to those that have made the most of what they've been given, and been far more successful.

    Even if you'll never make Jeff Berlin wake up in a cold sweat at night with your chops, you can still be a good bass player. And think - Micheal Jordon wouldn't have been much use without the rest of the team playing with him. ;)
  8. nymph


    Mar 16, 2001
    Bucyrus Ohio
    i want to be the Michael Jordan of Bass

    who doesn't
  9. "It" exists.

    I once thought that 'talent' was the result of years of practice and hard work. However, recently I've met a teen who is so great on bass that I am now a believer of the God given gift of talent. This guy blows away every bassist I've ever seen by miles.
    He's only been playing for 5 years. Thump, pop, slap, finger-style, pick, harmonics, tapping, with a groove that is so deep in the pocket that it is beyond. Can pick up a jam he's never heard before and make it better then the person who's creating it. Solo's with harmonics of melody, perfectly appropriate notes and the percussion of an entire drum kit.... every style ever known wrapped up together to serve the song. It's like magic and defies all logic. Call it the gift of the Muse, a Gift, Talent, the Mozart phenomenia, or whatever, but I now believe that some people have a cognitive affinity for a certain instrument in a way that is far beyond average learning curves. It is beyond belief. When you see it, you'll know it... but it is rare.
  10. it (t)
    Used to refer to that one previously mentioned. Used of a nonhuman entity; an animate being whose sex is unspecified, unknown, or irrelevant; a group of objects or individuals; an action; or an abstraction: polished the table until it shone; couldn't find out who it was; opened the meeting by calling it to order.
    Used as the subject of an impersonal verb: It is snowing.

    Used as an anticipatory subject or object: Is it certain that they will win?
    Used as an anticipatory subject to emphasize a term that is not itself a subject: It was on Friday that all the snow fell.
    Used to refer to a general condition or state of affairs: She couldn't stand it.
    Used to refer to a crucial situation or culmination: This is itthe rivals are finally face to face. That's it! I won't tolerate any more foolishness.
    Informal. Used to refer to something that is the best, the most desirable, or without equal: He thinks he's it. That steak was really it!

    Games. A player, as in tag, who attempts to find or catch the other players.
    An animal that has been neutered: The cat is an it.

    with it Slang
    Aware of or knowledgeable about the latest trends or developments.
    Mentally responsive and perceptive: I'm just not with it today.

    source : www.dictionary.com :D
  11. ASR


    Apr 2, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    huh? Oh, yeah, right. I get it...:cool:
  12. Yeah, but Marcus Miller will never be Creepy...

    And that kid who can do all that stuff will never be Jaco, or Vic Wooten, or even..PanteraFan.

    I see it this way; If you can entertain an audience, carry the song you are playing, and make a good living, you are a damn good bass player. You don't have to slap, tap, pop, play pick, play fingerstyle, play 5,6,7,8,9 strings or whatever...'it' is being committed to your instrument, and not worrying about your ability if some slap jockey is sitting in a music store slapping out 64th notes, etc.

    I mean, it's one thing to be naturally talented, but it's a lot more impressive to work hard and reach the same level as a naturally talented person. You are overcoming your natural deficencies.

    Have a nice day.
  13. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    OK, here's the question...what did this kid do for the last 5 years?

    My guess is he was playing his bass a LOT instead of watching TV, smoking weed, hanging with his buds for hours on end, etc.

    I only wish I could get back all the time I wasted in my youth when I could have had my bass in my hands instead :(
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    As someone who has been teaching music for almost 20 years now, I'd like to add an opinion to the mix: "IT" exists, but is vastly overrated. Each person, regardless of the extent to which they are or are not in possession of "IT", should have only one goal when studying music - to grow and improve within the context of their own life and abilities.

    You can never be someone else, and no one else can ever be you. Why try to be something you're not when you know it's impossible? If people could only learn to judge themselves and their progress on their own merits rather than against some standard set by an outside party, the world would be a much happier place. As an example, I often hear some version of the following remark from students: "Man, if only I could play as well and understand as much as you do, I'd have it made and never worry about learning a single new thing for the rest of my life". To which my reply is always the same: "BULLSH*T. If you were me you'd take that as the norm and be looking up at someone else and wishing you played THAT well, and the cycle would never stop". Because we can all do this.

    Every one of us, no matter how accomplished, can find someone to look up to who has something or can do something that we want to have/be able to do. By the same token, each one of us could also - if we chose to do so - look "down" at someone who hasn't yet achieved the level that we have. But so what? What does this change about WHAT YOU ARE? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. If I can't be the next Brian Bromberg, does that mean I shouldn't play the bass? Uh, no. Just because I'm a more accomplished player than _______, does that mean I should stop now and glory in my superiority? Hell no...none of that means anything. All any of us can ever do at any given moment is to be who we are in that particular moment.

    I don't know why it is, but being who we each are seems like a terribly difficult thing to do at times. If we can only stop and remember that we really don't have any other choices, that should ease the pain, right?

  15. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Dammit Chris, that's what I wanted to say! :)

    The only thing I can add to what you've said is: If you're having fun with it, you do have "it".

    There's not enough room at the top for everybody.

    Creepy, you are supposed to, as you put it, suck after only six months. I've been playing for over 800 years(or so it seems) and at times I still suck. I bet Jaco does too, in his own mind. If it were easy,everyone would be a Jaco.

    Just hang with it. Rome wasn't built in a day.

  16. I want to be the jake rawls of bass because no one can be him except for me, i have the exclusive rights to it :)
  17. In my opinion, there are actually two kinds of 'IT'.

    Firts you have talent. Talent is something that you're born with. Guys with talent are the guys who can pick up something (be it an instrument, a ball, or whatever) for the first time and almost instantly use it as though they had been doing so forever.

    Then you have your skill. Skill can be learned through passion and years (yes YEARS) of hard work.

    One just has to work harder than the other to reach a given level of proficiency.

    I am by no means a talented Bass player, but I will one day (I'm not there yet) be a skilled Bassist.

    BTW, 6 months is no time at all. Don't let the fact that you're still struggling after such a short period of time discourage you. I think music is one of the most rewarding forms of self expression there is and it would truly be a shame to see someone who obviously has the sense to pick the best instrument in the world :D give up over something as trivial as impatience.
  18. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Donne and yawnsie captured "it" very well, IMO.

    I knew one guy with "it." He never had a piano lesson, formal or informal. Yet, he could hear a song with complex instrumentation, sit down at the piano and start playing chords with both hands that fit the song perfectly.......when he wasn't doing smack. :rolleyes: Thing was, he never made any original music. He just wasted his gift.

    Then there are idiot savants and prodigies - amazing stories if you've ever seen one.