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What's your philosophy of bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Mike Flynn, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. Two weeks ago my band of four years (with two different line ups) split up. Now, had I been a younger less-experienced bassist/musician, I might have curled in a ball in the corner and felt a little shell-shocked that all my effort and commitment had been for nothing.

    Recently I have also moved to London where the general standard of playing is pretty high and where for every gig there are potentially a bunch of bassists who could do the job - thus forcing the question into my mind of "Am I good enough?" This weekend I tried out and joined two different bands and having been coming here, to TB, for a few weeks now, and loved all the various topics on technique, gear and music genreally I suddenly feel like I have finally reached a new stage in my playing - but not one that has anything to do with 'G.A.S.' or Wooten thumb stuff!

    This dramatic change occurred during these last two regearsal/recording sessions with these new bands. I have been focussing on my technique a lot and I have also been combining this with improving my phrasing and tone - plus the music these bands are playing is very different from the rock based stuff I have been doing - one is a hip-hop funky-house collective - the other is a classical influenced piano and voice duo (plus me and a drummer).

    My philosophical shift is this; that by ensuring that every note I played sound and felt great, and fitted, I created a completely new vibe on each song, literally bringing the music to life - because as bass players we play such a vital role in the band that developing ALL aspects of our musicianship impacts on all the other musicians and elements in a song. I now feel the happiest I have for a long time with my playing and my whole approach to music - because I know I can make whatever music I make - sound better.

    Apologies for the ramble but after 19 years of hard work I now feel I have finally matured into becomig a really decent musician - at last! I just wanted to post something like this because it's often the 'indefinable' stuff that gets overlooked here and it's actually the most important stuff of all when making music with other musicians - not just playing solo bass...love to hear your thoughts.
  2. ironmaidenisgod


    May 20, 2004

    Agree 100%.

    Best of luck man.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Hear, hear!
  4. Robert B

    Robert B Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Hampton, Va USA
    I hear you and I think I understand what you mean. Sounds like you've mastered your technique to the point that you can focus on playing from the heart (rather than the head) and you're also imposing your own creative flair to the music that is presented to you. Participating in the synergy of musical collaboration, so to speak. Leaving the piece better than you found it. Feels great, doesn't it?
  5. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Amen. It's taken me a long time to realize that sometimes the band sounds best when I don't play.

    Fortunately, I am the etire band at this point, so I am always playing something. ;)
  6. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    Can't think of a thing to add, other than agreeing.
  7. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks

  8. I think that's kind of what I was getting at there - and yes it feels bloody brilliant...it's also kind of weird now that I am at this sort of level that for some reason my bass is sounding really sweet too - like my fingers have suddenly found a new sound - it's also very cool - I'll post any new recordings I make for sure.

    My overall feeling though is that i desperately needed a new band to show more sides to my playing than just 'rock' - I love (good) music fullstop.