What is your most difficult challenge in playing bass.

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

  1. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    You guys have clearly never heard me play in a live setting. Even when my hearing was ok and I was playing a fretted bass with the notes at least in tune.....

    Playing covers never gave me any trouble; I do ok and do enjoy some cover playing, but that wasn't what I wanted to keep doing going forward. But the irresistible force of wanting to be a musician/artist finally met the immovable object of you just don't have those instinctive, creative abilities to do that. And plus you're going deef standing right next to that drum kit all the time. I kept it up for some time, and finally decided after many years of hard effort with no progress that it just wasn't going to work. I haven't played in a group since, though I still enjoy playing as a hobbiest and as a gear nut and so on. I might even end up collecting perhaps, or relearning repair or go into luthiering, etc.

    Jeff Berlin talks a lot about a similar division, his concepts of "academic music" vs art, and the importance he places on keeping those two separated properly. I have done searches here on JB, though, and seems like there was a lot of fighting about his approach to music, so I won't go into anything about that here at the risk of dredging up another battle over JB's approach. Except to say that I also recognize the differences between what I call the "craft" and the "art". One being the tools you use and the other the artistic output from putting the tools to use artistically.

    Otherwise, the OP asked an honest question and that's my honest answer, as best as I can render it....

    SteveCS likes this.
  2. AmyM


    Nov 23, 2017
    my live improv skills are pretty terrible, also I have quite poor technique which seems to lead to injury whenever I'm playing bass more frequently; working on both of these!
  3. grimjim


    Jan 26, 2014
    Chicago, Illinois
    Endorsing artist;DNA Amplification, GHS strings
  4. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    Step 3: Get Cell phone "hands free" mount, mount to bass, Play bass, watch Phone.


    Yea, yea, I'll just see myself out.
    Pops OB likes this.
  5. Speaking of Steve Harris, is it true he's always plucking with his index and middle fingers? I had always believed (for decades, until today) that the 3-finger Technique was one thing he was famous for!? (And stripey pants! ;))
  6. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Getting gigs!
    Ostie likes this.
  7. saltydude


    Aug 15, 2011
    boston CANADA
    Adapting to all the different styles.
    Getting in the zone and being consistent.
    Certain things I just can’t do and will never be able to do. Like slap.
    Neil Folkard likes this.
  8. Neil Folkard

    Neil Folkard

    Nov 24, 2016
    I feel about the same on that. Luckily for me, I'm not really interested in slap, so it doesn't matter if I can do it, or not, lol.
  9. saltydude


    Aug 15, 2011
    boston CANADA
    I hear yah but it’s often like a prerequisite to playing bass. If some youngster happens to have rhythmic hands (yes I believe it’s a natural gift) and can put on a slap show he’s instantly regarded as a bass master to the regular masses.

    What you can’t do that? Well I guess you’re just so so then.
  10. Neil Folkard

    Neil Folkard

    Nov 24, 2016
    Well, I do play fretless almost exclusively, so that gets its own form of attention. And since I play in originals bands for about 10 to maybe 50 people per show (when opening for a popular covers band, lol), the masses don't enter into my equation.
    roccobass, WestyBassBob and saltydude like this.
  11. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    Since I've played so much original music or improvised versions of covers over the years, I had an incredibly hard time trying to learn how to play bass in a studio setting as a hired professional.

    I had hoped to turn my passion for bass into a full time job, playing both in a studio setting and also for a full time gigging band.

    But alas, those are skill sets that I quickly figured out I didn't really have. There are so many bassists in the Chicagoland area who are extensively fluent in music and can perform flawlessly on demand, live and in studio. Professionals need to be as close to perfect as possible. Time is money in the studio, and band bandleaders don't need bassists who stumble their way through songs they don't know.

    It became obvious that developing those skills would take way too long at the pace I was going.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2021
    ghostinthemach likes this.
  12. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    My biggest challenge is staying motivated to practice considering I’m not currently gigging
  13. glocke1

    glocke1 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    Honestly my biggest challenge is finding others that want to play and make music. It shouldn't be this hard but for whatever reason it is.
    Schonbrun and WestyBassBob like this.
  14. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    Another big challenge is being distracted by these two .... /c:
    nord lead 2x.jpg mojo.jpg
  15. TuneIn


    Feb 15, 2010
    perfecting the hambone
  16. WestyBassBob

    WestyBassBob Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2020
    Absolutely! But this seems to be the life of a musician.
  17. Oh my, a Nord Lead 2x! I had one also, a few years ago. Sadly, I lost it during some rough times, after taking out a cash loan on it which I then wasn't able to pay back. Great synth indeed! :)
    Chad Michael likes this.
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    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.

    Jul 29, 2021

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