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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by lowphatbass, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I'm certain that this has been done, but not for a while.

    I thought it would be interesting, funny, and possibly helpfull to talk about the weakest aspects of our playing. Maybe you overcame it, maybe it overcame you. Where do you need the most help?

    Lately I think my biggest problem is playing to "busy". I don't have a problem when it is really "on the line". In a studio or big live situation I can lay it down just right. It's in the rehearsals and smaller gigs that I will sometimes cut-loose. I think it is because I haven't had alot of time to practice lately so I am "flapping my wings" at the wrong times.
  2. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    My biggest issue at the moment is keeping myself motivated to practice.

    But as far as actually playing goes...I guess I have 2 issues. Speed/coordination and a firm grasp on building basslines from scratch (that make sense).

    Come to think of it, they would both be addressed if I could just motivate myself to practice more.

    Umm...go back to my first response.

    Any suggestions?


  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Definitely improvisation. I think I know enough theory and technique to be a decent improvisor, but I have a big problem: CREATIVITY. I mean, improvising is not about firing a bunch of licks, scales, arpeggios or make "impressive" noises. Not even about complex or virtuoso stuff. It's just about making your instrument sing with coherent ideas and that's my biggest flaw. The few times I've been asked to improvise I feel like if I was thrown into an abyss. "OK. What do I say now?" That's my question at the moment. A similar thing happened in my harmony class. When my teacher said "OK, write an eight-bar melody and we'll do our work for today based on that", I always felt that my melodies sounded like an exercise and not like music. My "solos" are like that. And the worst part is that I think I am a self-demanding person and I never hide to a good challenge, but years of frustration on this aspect of my playing have make me fear of the situation and I think I unconsciously try to avoid it. Too bad! :( :scowl:
  4. My biggest weakness is probably my inexperience- I have only been playing for a year, and for the most part self taught, although I am getting lessons once a week.

    I tend to get to busy- my timing on more complex lines is a little off adn playing supper fast certainly aint my thing.

    I am of course working on all of these though, and slowly getting there- making in roads I practice a fair bit but I thend to let my hair down too much.
  5. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Sight Reading. I just can't get it. I can read music fine in bass and treble cleff (I play piano too), and can struggle through alto. My fingerboard knowledge is perfect, but when I try to sight read....poof. I just can't count, read and play all at once. The fact that I have a visual perception disorder simillar to dyslexia (I rearrange patterns in my head when I look at them, words, images, even ntoes on sheet music) doesn't help much either.

    I've given up on ever being able to sight read beyond a basic level. If I need to learn something I need to see it a few days in advance.
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Sight-reading for me, too...'good enough for the shed', not good for the bandstand.
    ...and what's worse is I'm now at an age where my near-vision has taken a hike; I already wear contact lenses & the $1.00 reading glasses are only but so good.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I used to play in two bands-
    One was a Free-Funk...anything goes, 95% originals, busier = better "project". It was not a good night unless I was drenched in sweat & had numb hands. Needless to say, this project stayed mostly 'in the room'; IIRC, we had maybe 3-4 fans. ;)

    The other was a New Country parody band; initially, my approach was to 'play like Jaco did with Joni'...during rehearsals. Well, I often got bitched at...so I toned it way down to the point of using the gig as something to keep me grounded(i.e. 'play notes to their proper length', 'play only on Beats 1 & 3', etc). What's funny, I'm now hearing "Country bands" with busy bass parts(like Keith Horne's band, Hot Apple Pie).

    I guess my point is-
    Cutting loose at practice could be OK...if the others are OK with it. If it's a rehearsal, maybe not?
    Cutting loose at a small gig could be OK, too...if it's happening.
    There was a time around here when the Top-40 guys would be in little side projects & play "Locals" clubs on their off-nights just to cut loose from the reins of doing Top-40 4-5 nights a week. Those were good times!
  8. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    I'd say mine is using a variety of techniques to my advantage. I can play fingerstyle pretty well, but I find that I have trouble coaxing different sounds out of my basses because I'm not particularly strong in anything other than fingerstyle. My thumb technique isn't refined at all, and I haven't figured out how to tactfully use popping, other than wailing away at the octave shape. I'm also working to incorporate minor amounts of tapping and harmonics into my music, but it's coming slowly, if anything.
  9. ladros2


    Jun 2, 2005
    motivation to learn!

    can't sit down and practise, and tb doesn't help! :D

    distractions distractions...

    now back to the basses forum!
  10. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Bad technique, not a lot of techniques, I don't practice enough.
  11. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Ear training, definitely. The more I play, the more deficient I feel in that area.
  12. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    My biggest weakness is that I sometimes I avoid challenging myself. It's easy to get comfortable with the lines and riffs that sound good, but that's not where the growth is.
  13. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Memorization, and that branches into a couple of areas. I have a hard time memorizing the fingerboard, memorizing chord sequences in songs, memorizing which notes go with each kind of chord, etc.

    I also can't sight read (or even efficiently read in a slow speed) notation, although that's because of my vision and isn't something that can be helped.
  14. My biggest weekness, is that I can't think of stuff on the spot. I need some time in advance to think things up I just can't sit down and noodle around for a bit then poof, have an idea. It's frustrating to say the least because I'll be sitting there at practise and thinking of stuff and our guitarists will be be like "Whatcha got?" and i have nothing. As of yet I have no idea how to overcome this.

  15. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    my first response was slap. I hardly ever practice it, and my slap technique is pretty whimpy by modern standards... On gigs, though, if I slap one song that's a lot, so there are a million other things that I'd rather practicing.

    After reading this thread, sight reading definitely makes the top of my list. I have been working on reading, and give me enough time, I can work through sheet music, but nowhere near sight reading anything right now. It is a pretty damned useful skill, IME, too. Maybe not on my rock/funk/soul gigs, but it would help tremendously with all kinds of things I am working on on the side.
  16. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Just about all of what you said completely applies to me as well!! Lately I have been having a more difficult time holding back when I should be. I am a firm believer that you should rehearse exactly the same way you perform. The whole "playing bass is boring" thing I got over years ago, this is something different. I guess I am just having a hard time walking that fine line between "tasty and talented" and overplaying. I know down to the bone that less is always more in these situations. I think along with more personal practice time I also need an outlet to really get-off note wise. I haven't had much of that lately
  17. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I had this same problem about 15 years ago when I was playing alot of Symphonic music. Your eye doctor is your best friend here!! Bring your music stand and music into his/her office and get fitted for a pair of multi-stage glasses. At one point I had tri-focals, yes TRI!! This allowed me to see strait ahead while driving, etc., read music at about two feet away, and read my textbooks and homework up close. It may not be cheap but struggling with vision is no fun, IMO it will be worth the investment!
  18. Minimaul


    Jun 22, 2003
    I would have to say that I'm definantly too lazy to practice 'new' stuff. Or, hard stuff. I also don't know any songs all the way through from beginning to end. My ear is probably the weakest thing of all. I also play 'too busy'.
  19. My weakness is my right hand technique. I have been playing bass for about a year switching over from playing guitar for 15. My left hand has coped just fine but my right hand can't keep up. It's getting better though. Also sight reading. That will soon be the biggest weakness.
  20. Sight-reading and slap are both areas I suck at, but neither are things I need to do. So I guess my answer is songwriting.

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