What is your most difficult challenge in playing bass.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Neil Folkard, Mar 5, 2020.

  1. I always thought everyone inherently had good time because I was lucky enough to grow up around musicians. Playing with some people has showed me that is not the case. Definitely agree with this statement. If your timing isn’t together then everything is a mess.
  2. Acoop


    Feb 21, 2012
    Exactly. ... All the talk of playing faster isn't about speed it's about executing precision, when to start, to you push the first notes then lay back? ... And you can't do that without total control of your time. ... Your time is your confidence.
  3. Singing while playing. It's always been a challenge for me.
    roccobass likes this.
  4. This x 10000
    punchdrunk likes this.
  5. roccobass

    roccobass Still funkin’ in the free world.

    Jun 25, 2014
  6. roccobass

    roccobass Still funkin’ in the free world.

    Jun 25, 2014
    I think whatever you use to jump start your long term memory is great. I’ve studied theory for years, but over time I’ve developed my own short hand for a lot of my rock/funk/blues. I’m faster that way. Nobody else can read it but m. If someone is using chord charts, I’m good too. Have a tablet with a bunch of Fakebook charts.
  7. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    I have igigbook on an ipad with a ton of fakebooks and chord charts and outlines of songs as well as full notation for the theatre gigs I've done. Everything I do gets put on there, but I'm kinda lost without it. Have the hardest time remembering even the simplest 1-5-1-5-1-5 country tunes (at least partly because I can't really tell most of those songs apart). After 3 years of playing the same stuff, I *should* be able to do it from memory. Some of my notes are so rudimentary, it's really just a jumpstart like you said and I really shouldn't need it. Got a 1/2 hr opening slot coming up in a week and I'm trying to see if I can cram that into my head at least and go off charts for it.
    roccobass likes this.
  8. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Finding gigs & motivated musicians.
  9. Hammeron


    Dec 12, 2019
    My biggest hurdle at this time is developing the muscle memory that will allow me to keep my eyes on the music and not the fretboard. Wondering if anyone has specific practice routines
  10. mattj1stc

    mattj1stc Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2009
    Dallas, TX USA
    Very true.
  11. WestyBassBob

    WestyBassBob Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2020
    Generally speaking people don’t like complicated music. It rattled the brain and you can’t dance to it.
  12. The most difficult challenge I face in playing bass is having my legs last through three sets at a gig. At the end of a gig my legs are so sore that sometimes I have trouble getting off the stage. I've used compression socks, which help, but when the band gets back together after this coronavirus crisis I plan on using a stool and sitting down for certain songs that don't require my harmony singing. At least my legs are getting a lot of rest these days!
  13. bbh

    bbh Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    I used to get the same thing. It was simply caused by not moving around enough. I really had to force myself to be more active on stage but could never keep it up due to bad habits even though I could feel the difference. Moving around was like a break for my legs.
    Down the line as my body declined, I wound up sitting for too many years. Now, I only do session work and a couple of jams.
  14. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    Though I'm a bass player, I'm not a musician. I can appreciate music and I can even imitate some good musicians on my bass, but I have no musical talent of my own. I've only ever composed one tune of my own in my entire life and that was like getting a root canal to get it done and sounding right.

    Otherwise, there is literally no music of my own in my head at all, ever. Only the music someone else has made and that I've learned to play; otherwise upstairs, it's dead silence.

    I call it the "Salieri syndrome".

    In fact that's what finally made me decide to end my career as a gigging, active bassist. There's just no point to it because I just don't have that creativity that you need to really be musical on the bass. I can play if it's someone else's part, but I've never been able to create music myself.

    The other, but more minor, problem is my hearing, which is now too damaged even to play other people's music in a live setting. Ironically, above a certain volume, low frequencies all sound the same as a hard distorted "bzzzzzzzz" lol. It's very strange and only at high volumes. At low volumes it's fine, but I could never gig unless it's just a really quiet setting with electronic drums, etc.

    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
  15. roccobass

    roccobass Still funkin’ in the free world.

    Jun 25, 2014
    Hey guys. This might help extend the life of your legs and knees. Not touting the brand, just using them as an example of anti fatigue mats. They security guards at my place use them. I have a so so mat so I'm going to upgrade real soon.

    American Floor Mats
  16. And here starts the debate between musician and artist. Musicians aren’t certainly required to create anything new. You can be a completely competent musician, maybe play in a cover band, do things exactly as they’re recorded, in time and with feeling. That’s a great musician. But that is different from being an artist. An artist creates something new. Or at least something new in their head even if it isn’t re-inventing any wheels.

    I think you’re selling yourself short if you’re trying to live up to some kind of “perfect musician“ in your head. As long as you’re happy making music.... even if it’s not your own, that’s good enough in my book to be a great musician.
    SteveCS, Pops OB and Malcolm35 like this.
  17. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Which is why I place live music above all other art forms. As an aural form, music truly exists only in the moment of creation, is witnessed only by those in earshot, then is gone forever. Be it the Berlin Philharmonic playing Mozart, any Glastonbury headliner, a cover band filling the floor at bar, a bloke with a guitar busking in the street or whatever, great live music has an immediacy and intimacy like nothing else. It demands attention - blink and you miss it. And anyone part of creating that is, without doubt, IMHO, a musician.
    stratovani and Core Creek like this.
  18. Hurricane Jimmie

    Hurricane Jimmie Supporting Member

    So Anyway, for me it's playing a solo.
    Just not interested in playing them.
  19. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
  20. +1 time was never a problem in my case .. I started struggling with the timing of other people for whom the situation seemed not to be the same ..
    Curtbass likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Aug 1, 2021

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