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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by glocke1, Jun 9, 2019.
I just want to look cool and have fantastic hair!
Both but right now I'm in two decent bands and it's pretty much like this:
Becoming a better player is a constant pursuit that I work on regularly - but I'd never want to sacrifice time away from my band and playing shows to work on my chops alone. Performance is the fun part for me - so I want to do that!
I just need to be good enough to perform the material that my band writes and the fun bassl that I come up with
Gigs don't matter if you can't take pride in them.
Musicianship, all the way.
Well... I'm going to take a different tact here.
I've personally grown musically by leaps and bounds over the past 5 years by playing gigs. Experience. Not all good experiences either. But I can play stuff now that I couldn't even imagine a year ago, or dream about 5 years ago, and I haven't cracked a book, taken a lesson one, or really even spent much time in the woodshed. In fact, I spent 6 months of it not playing at all, in recovery from a C5-C7 cervical fusion surgery. But I've logged more hours playing gigs the past few years than I did back when I actually did play for a living. And it shows. I'm a better player at 50 than I was at 30.
We all walk our own paths.
The grayer I get, the more i choose musicianship.
Pour the candy into a bowl. Pick out the color you want and place them in a different bowl...oh, the gig/musicianship question...sorry.
I'm working towards retirement and don't gig at the moment. I do work on improving my playing and overall entertainment value. Musicianship is what I strive for, gigs are important, but lose out if they are sub-par. I don't leave the house unless there's a good reason, either financially or hitting a musical pinnacle. I love my wife, so groupies don't matter to me. I'm not gregarious, so the comradery isn't important. I just recovered from a torn rotator cuff, so lugging heavy gear is out. What's left?
I don’t quite get the “I just want to play” guys. There’s no joy for me in embarrassing myself. I want to play at a high level with a degree of artfulness. I have more fun when things sound good. Apathy is my kryptonite.
I've been playing about the same amount of time as you and feel playing gigs regularly keep me strong and keeps my fingers limber and teaches me more and more how to play in the band situation with other people, playing in a band takes different skills than playing solo for example. I also practice alone in the mornings now and feel that is forcing me to learn different styles. I'm learning to read so I'll do that for half a hour with a metronome then maybe play some jazz charts for half an hour and then maybe put on a Steely Dan mix on YouTube, that's a lot of fun and is the icing on the cake and I'll do that for a while. I think the home practice is the thing where I really grow as a player though. I was taught as a kid when I was a trumpet player to practice everyday which of course I didn't do but at least that got ingrained in me, and now I miss it I start slacking off.
Since no plan survives first contact with the enemy, I'm just gonna throw out there that I'm not sure any player's musicianship can be considered even remotely complete without gigs, public jams or playing out in some form unless you're into some sort of solo instrument repertoire.
I prefer to practice 'cause if I make gigs all my life without getting a better technique and knowledge about music I will never become a good player, I would be a bass player, but not a bassist, so i prefer practice first, and make a gig when i'm ready.
Polishing your skill with other musicians is what it's all about. If you can drop into a gig with minimal notice you're doing good. Woodshedding the songs they want you to learn contributes to your musicianship.
I grew up in a different time (the 80's) where it was expected of working players to be able to be "hired guns" and play their instruments well. A good lesson to learn there.
I'm interested in why you exluded "real pros". I'd like to know what they think too. Gigs are important because it's how they earn their living. Working on their musicianship is important too because if they don't, someone better gets the gigs. A bit of a "chicken and egg" thing, I guess. But which is more important?
For me, after years of gigging two, three, four nights a week, I quit the band scene to focus on my day job. For the next few decades I never lived in one city for more than a couple of years, and travelled way from home every month or so for a couple of weeks at a time. I spent all those years playing on my own and working on my technique. Now I've been settled down for a decade or so, there's only one thing that matters: playing with other people - preferably gigging, but jamming is OK too.
I mean, bass is not the most exciting instrument to play by itself - and I say that as a bass player. The only reason I learned to play bass in the first place was to play with other people - that's what brings me joy. Anyway, if you're not honing your craft while playing with others, you're not doing it right.
Well it actually is. I know plenty of people who spend a lot of time on stage re-hashing the same songs they've been playing for the past 20 years, and fill their schedule up with any thing that comes along as long as it puts them on stage in front of people. In the meantime they make no effort to put the time into becoming a better musician/player. They seem happy where they are at which is fine, and it's obvious their goal is to play out as much as possible.
Using myself as an example, I've turned down a couple of gigs recently that would have had me play the same songs I've been playing for years so that I can put time into working on other stuff I just don't play that well.
I excluded pros because I figured those guys would be more focused on playing out as opposed to refining their craft further. The ones i know anyway don't spend a lot of time practicing as they are always out playing/teaching, whatever.
Oh it can be...I think so anyway.
Funny, because the few real pros I know spend way more time practising than any of the bar band part-timers I know.
I look at it this way: Imagine a carpenter. He sits in his workshop with his timber and saws and chisels, and cuts and carves and sands until he can make the most perfectly fitted dovetail joints. He gets a certain satisfaction from developing that level of skill. He ends up in a workshop surrounded by little right-angled pieces of wood, all beautifully joined together. But if he never makes a chair or table or desk, or even a jewellery box, what's the point?
As long as I'm having fun playing enjoyable music i don't care. It doesn't take brilliant musicians tp play music well..... mediocre can be enough as long as they have rhythm ands know the chord progression.
I could have done with one or two this weekend. Perisher Peak Festival is great fun but lugging gear around in the snow can be hard work.
You can bring the same level of artistry to a song you’ve played a hundred times as you can to the latest song you’re working on.
I like to take inspiration from the recently departed Dr. John and how each time he played his classics he kept them as fresh as if it was the premiere performance. I’ve heard him do Such a Night and Right Place Wrong Time more times than I could accurately give a you a count for. And each and every time it was a different song. Each time around it got better and more nuanced than before. Which to me is the mark of the true master - continually finding the new in the familiar.
Mustang Sally is the butt of a lot of jokes. But how many bands actually play it correctly? And if they do, how many catch its elusive groove, which is the thing in that song that makes it work? Answer: very few. Do I personally like Mustang Sally? It’s ok. Do I look forward to playing it if it’s on a set list? Not particularly. But if it is I’m damn well going to play it right and to the best of my ability.
Is that mainly because of my commitment to musicianship, or because I took the gig? Short answer is: it’s both. It all comes down to respect. It’s respect for the music, respect for the people you’re working with, respect for the people you’re playing for - and most of all, respect for yourself as a musician.
So what’s more important, gigging or musicianship? To me it’s not an either/or. It’s and.
As far as practice goes, that’s something we do for ourselves. That’s paying attention to our craft. We each put in the time we feel we need from the pool of available hours we can spare. I can’t say I ever turned down a job purely because I needed the time to practice. I’ve turned down gigs for a variety of other reasons such as: prior commitment, pay not commensurate with the hassle, was sick, didn’t like the music, venue or crowd, etc. But I can’t say I ever passed on something just because I needed the time to practice. Especially if it’s something I’ve played with the same guys since forever. Because if so, we’re not going to be spending a lot (or any) time rehearsing it. So it’s no big deal.
My practice regimen has never been so strict that I couldn't skip a night of practice to gig instead. But maybe that’s just me.
what's more important to you..gigs or musicianship.
This is one of the strangest questions I have so far read on Talkbass.