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When did it all click for you?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by catcauphonic, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    I know you can keep learning things forever and constantly improve upon whatever you choose to do - such as pick up & learn to play an instrument. Myself, I've been playing bass for less than a year. I started out just wanting to be able to amuse myself at home or maybe to play along to some of my favorite records, but I've really caught the fever, and I can totally see myself jamming with others quite possibly on small stages in front of others at some point down the road. Since I'm already in my mid-40s I have no illusions about 'making the big time' or even making a living doing it. I go to work early & I come home early - I don't have a lot of other responsibilities. The Wife has been totally supportive, & we don't have any kids or other routine obligations to distract me. I've been putting in an average of 1-2 solid hours of practice per day, using several method books, practicing a little reading every day, meeting with a teacher for an hour every other week, & on occasion jamming with a few friends who play guitar. I notice some minute improvements almost every day, & pretty big ones when I go back and try to play something I haven't touched in a month or more. As far as the theory goes, I've got this big soup of new terminology in my head since I first started learning, & every so often I have these pretty big 'aha!' moments that make sense and I'm able to apply them.

    I guess what I'm trying to find out from you all is twofold: 1) How old were you when you first started playing an instrument that you later went on to master or at least get a good handle on? + (2) How long after you started it did you have a big boost of confidence in knowing that it was all gelling together ... you & your instrument?? (3) If you're proud of your first band situation- how soon did that happen for you??? (Not counting noise, sloppily played punk, etc ~ which I really do love!) :cool:

    We're all different in how, why, or how fast we learn. I'm just curious how fast or slow things came together for others. Share your story!
  2. nightwulf


    Feb 27, 2011
    Edmonds Wa
    I started playing at age 49...had my first paying gig about 9 months later...working on putting together a "real" band right now...I see you're from Washington...whereabouts? I started going to jams after I'd been playing about six months...playing WITH people is a great teacher...it still hasn't completely "gelled" for me yet, but I keep grasping "new" ideas frequently...I can follow a chord chart, and play along with most types of rock/blues...and it gets better all the time...keep plugging, you'll get there eventually:)
  3. 32 years old when I started to really learn. Yea, I played around with a few things along the way, but I never learned much. Never even owned an instrument. In about 6 months, I thought I was doing pretty good. A year and a half later I was in a working band. People were telling me I was a good player. That was on acoustic guitar, then. 11 years with that band. Along the way I learned 6-string elec. guitar and elec. bass and upright bass and banjo. Still playing them all. I play them all pretty well.
  4. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    The best thing that can happen is that it doesn't "gel". I've been playing for about 20 years, I play a 6 but I'm always finding new things to add to my playing and compositional style.

    Stay Brown,
    Rev J
  5. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    I started playing when I was 15 years old.
    I was inspired by the Rush album 2112, and I played along with it (and various classic rock & metal songs) for about 6 months before meeting a guitarist at my Jr. High School who liked the same music as I did.
    We started jamming together, and we played out first "couch concert" about a year after that.
    At that age, I had a lot of free time & I practiced about 4 hours a day, every day, for years.
    After another year of learning & playing everything I could from Rush, Iron Maiden, Talas (Billy Sheehan) Alice Cooper (Dennis Dunaway) it slowly came together to the point where I could pretty much play any rock or metal song I put my mind to, and my band started playing bigger & bigger events, eventually working our way into the Denver club scene.

    So, to answer your question, I never had a single moment where i "got it" - I just spent a lot of time with a bass in my hands & slowly got better, eventually getting good.
    I think the key is to constantly learn new & challenging material, push yourself to learn & refine new styles & techniques, and stay inspired.
  6. Started playing at 9 DB in school, private lessons first electric bass at 11. I started writing my own stuff by 13 also the first time I ever played a bar gig. After that show which was all of our friends and family I sat outside on the curb in the rain reflecting on doing this for the rest of my life. I took 10 years of private lessons and dare to live my dream, I did and am still doing it 40 years later. RTS
  7. I started playing when i was 21. I took jazz lessons for 2 years or so but I didn't get good until i had been playing for 4 years because i had to take a year off playing and realized how much i missed it and devoted a lot more time to it when I got healthy.

    I've been playing for 8 years now not counting that year I couldn't play and lots of ppl tell me I'm good now but I'd put myself at intermediate.
  8. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    I started I was 16 years old ( now 29 ) and I didn't know music, I wasn't listening to music before. So my parents paid to get a teacher so for the first year I was just practicing what I've been told. During that time my technical abilities and my reading became better and I started to like RHCP music a lot, so after the first year I bought 2 RHCP cd plus their official music sheet. I started to really like it. After that I worked a lot on music, learning what my teacher told me plus the music sheet I bought. So after 4 years I was ready to go to college in music.
  9. When I are babby
  10. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003

    From when i started, it took me three years before i was gigging regular.
    Another 4 years of steady gigging before I felt I can handle any situation.
    I still feel i learn something new every week.
  11. jarrydee


    Oct 22, 2011
    I was around music all my life, my father has been in bands and playing guitar since HE was 16 so I was born into it. At 3 I started playing drums, by age 5 I remember going to the bar my grandparents owned with my Gma in the moring, she would clean and I would start the jukebox and play drums along to the songs. ( this is only when my dads band had played there the night before and I was allowed to ply the drummers drums) At age 13 I started getting into guitar and learned pretty fast, I still know enough to be able to make it through a song, but not crazy solo good. then came piano/keys, I fell in love with the doors and wanted to learn how to play keys with one hand and the bass/keys with the other and taught myself to read the doors book filled with all the notation of their songs! a year ago my fathers band needed a bass player so I taught myself to play it, and with the help of TB and youtube I have been gigging out a lot and making money doing it! I feel like I have hit a brick wall, I used to practice everyday and learned new things and got better, but all of a sudden I seem to have ran out of stuff to practice and am getting a bit discouraged!...SO thats ME, sorry if my post was to long!
  12. I was in a garage band playing guitar for about a year (note I
    started playing around 24 years old), anyway the bass player of
    that band didn't really play bass but she was hot and could write
    songs. She asked if I would play bass on a demo she was cutting
    on another project. I don't know why she asked me to play bass. I
    think she felt bad because she had another guitar player lined up for
    the demo and knew I wanted to be involved with the project. Besides
    I was a lot better at it then she was LOL. So.... that guitar player and
    I hit it off so he asked me if I wanted to join a band he was trying to
    put together as the bass player. I agreed. 3 months later we had a 10
    song CD complete and started gigging. I have been a playing bass
    ever since.
  13. davydtune


    Jul 5, 2007
    Albion, PA
    I started in my early 20s and it quickly became apparent that I had it naturally even though I didn't know it. I bought my first bass and rig and in 1-1/2 months I learned 40 cover songs and played my first gig. However it took a couple years of practice & playing shows weekly before I started to feel real confident. People started to take notice of my style and skills and it just skyrocketed from there. Now pushing on 20 years later I still have that fire and drive but I've learned to take it in many directions and I crossover from one genre to another quite a bit now. Whats really funny though is that some of the current cover songs I'm doing are the very same songs that I would knocked people for playing back in the day. You know, back when I was young, hungry, and a bit of a punk, lol!. I too still learn new things all of the time but I've come to understand that sometimes more is not better and that realization has really opened up the flood gates. At this time I'm better than ever and I'm having more fun than I can ask for.
  14. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    I started when I was 15.
    I used to come home from school and lock myself in my room for hours picking apart songs off albums (yes,old school vinyls.. You can guess my age!).
    I found patterns emerging on the fretboard that were used in many songs, with variations of course. But things really didnt start to click untill after about a year of "woodshedding", when I started to play with others. Playing with a band teaches you things you can never get playing alone with records. It took another year to get to that "second nature" level of playing for me.
  15. pgolliher


    Apr 27, 2010
    Santa Cruz, CA
    I started when I was 15 and I was lucky enough to have some friends that played and more importantly- those friends had parents that let us make a LOT of noise in their houses. I agree with what some people have already said that playing with others is crucial for growth as a bass player. Through high school, I developed a reputation for being a "solid" player, because I could gel with the drummer, hold time, etc. But honestly, I was jealous of the guitar players that were learning to play leads and I watched them get good enough to do expressive runs up and down the neck. I had my lead guitar player write down the examples of the pentatonic blues scale with the root on the E string and one with the root on the A string. I noodled around on them, but it never sounded that cool. Later, I finally learned all of the notes on the neck and something clicked for me. All of a sudden I realized how I could take the notes in the blues scale and play them all over the neck in different patterns. It was there the whole time, I just didn't approach it that way. I still don't know a whole lot of scales, but I am now pretty comfortable playing most styles of music and people think that I know a lot, which isn't true- I just know how to stretch out the few tricks in my bag in a lot of useful ways. But, I also know that having solid time and a good attitude is why I get to play with lots of people, the rest is icing on the cake.
  16. I started in 1973 ( I was 20) - about 1976 a very popular working band, called me for an audition ( I had jammed with a couple of guys in that band)- the audition was a live gig.
    I played 2 songs, caught the guys smiling at each other and i got a serious round of applause afterwards from the audience. - I don't think I've ever had a better night. all the practicing, trying just to sound good payed off. I got a very good reputation as a "worker" and had some really good nights and some lifelong musician friends.
  17. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    I'm 42. I started playing when I was 16. I feel like I got pretty good in 6 mos-1 year. My dad's a producer. He would bring friends over to hear me play, and they would leave with their minds blown. As an older teenager, other kids would come up to me and tell me how awesome I was. Some even asked me for my autograph, which I never did. They were convinced that I was going to be a star. But, I remember feeling like I hadn't improved at all for many years. I'm sure I was, but it didn't feel that way. I guess I wasn't impressed with myself. I've also had self-confidence issues for most of my life. I get really bad stagefright. Can't look at the crowd while I'm playing. I'll freeze up. So, I just focus on my playing and kind of enter my own world. In my 20's, I put the bass down for about 8 years. When I picked it back up, I was very surprised with my skill level. I was playing things I didn't think I would ever be able to play (self-confidence?). Physically, I hadn't played in quite a while. But mentally, my mind was still breaking songs down and figuring them out. I suppose my brain never stopped going through the motions. I had also expanded my musical horizons and was listening to a much wider variety. I still feel like I have a long way to go. But, now I feel like I'm moving in that direction. When I reach a goal, a new one pops up. It's a neverending cycle in which I will happily take part. My daughter is 19 months old and loves watching me play. I am immensely looking forward to teaching her the joy of music. The cycle continues.
  18. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    1. Started bass at 15 but played sax in school band since 8

    2. Confident after I could play my 1st Maiden song top to bottom (about 6 months)

    3. It all 'clicked' when I errr... befriended my first 'female band enthusiast'. Yeah, yeah, yeah - it's about the music but darn, that'll boost the confidence of a nerdy social outcast in a hurry!

  19. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    I'm almost 60 and I try getting right every time I sling my bass. I don't know what you mean by "click" Some days are better than others. I IV V hasn't changed yet
  20. Started at age 29....I'm 43 now and to be totally honest it's never really clicked. I can play but I've never felt completely comfortable. Maybe I shouldn't be playing bass but I can't stop...I love it that much.

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