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Worst or rudest criticism of your playing?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Playbyear, Nov 21, 2019.


  1. Playbyear

    Playbyear

    Nov 20, 2019
    MA
    I posted in the compliment thread and got to thinking about the opposite.

    When things aren't going great usually the bass player and/or Drummer get the blame.

    I've recived my share of criticisms, some deserved, most not.

    What have you been told (and what was your response)?

    I was recruited to try out for a trio. They sent me some material of blues based classic rock and some blues. None of it was particularly challenging, but I did play through it before meeting up.

    We played for about an hour and a half. They were good players and I thought it went well.

    After the session, the guitar player asks me " do you know any music theory" ?
    I knew it was over at that point and replied
    "nope, not enough to hurt my playing"
     
  2. organworthyplayer337

    organworthyplayer337 Professional Hack

    Oct 28, 2014
    Charlotte, NC
    I had a drummer hear a fill that I did, turn to me and laugh :sorry:

    My response: :atoz:
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
    fretter, tindrum, crankypants and 2 others like this.
  3. JBuckley

    JBuckley

    Dec 18, 2008
    Alameda, CA
    My wife heard some recordings of an old band I was in and told me it sounded like adult contemporary music.
     
  4. kohanmike

    kohanmike Gold Supporting Member

    In the 5 years I've been playing bass, so far no one has made a negative remark, I'm glad to say. I guess the closest I came was about a year after I started playing, I ran into a guy who's part of a duo, and asked me if I would like to play bass with them. I know the other guy in the duo, have taken group ukulele classes with him, bought my 1st bass from his ukulele store, a Gold Tone MicroBass.

    I told the first guy I'd check with the other guy, which I did by email a couple of times, but he never replied. My take is he didn't think I was qualified to play with them, he's very well known in the ukulele world and a very accomplished musician.
     
    WI Short Scaler likes this.
  5. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    California
    I don't think anyone's ever insulted my playing. The closest thing I can recall was the same as the compliment, when another musician told me I was a "great pocket player." You can take that as an insult if you think it means that you don't have chops. But I really don't have a lot of fancy chops, locking in to the pocket is what I do, so I wasn't too distraught over it. He was being honest and I was happy to hear that I'm achieving my main goal.

    I've been lucky enough to not play with too many big egos who thought they had to put others down. I wouldn't stay long in a situation like that, anyway. Most of the people I have worked with through the years, even though they might know way more theory than I know, have still had respect for what I bring to the table. I try to return it in kind.
     
    dr doofie, b_carville, RoaDan and 6 others like this.
  6. WI Short Scaler

    WI Short Scaler Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2018
    Central WI
    I've gotten a couple typical comments about having no "flash" to my playing and too basic, but no worries.

    The two worst:
    1- guy who said he was gonna sit in for our next set and show me some stuff. Told him in no uncertain terms I would never allow that to happen and was sure to let him know what an #$%^&*() he was.

    2- similar low class dork said I "had to be kidding playing out with those short scale basses" Also clarified for him that he was an @#$%^&*(.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2019
    marcwhy, 8guy, richntiff and 17 others like this.
  7. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    Xmas night, 1972 (the day I got my 1st bass)-
    "Keller...you're hopeless".
     
    Robert B, tindrum, Need Gigs and 10 others like this.
  8. Playbyear

    Playbyear

    Nov 20, 2019
    MA
    A gig I had for a few years was straight up blues. The act was very particular about what he wanted from the bass player.

    During a break at a club, one of the soundmans buddies said " all you play is 1-4-5" open on that thing".
    I said "that's what I get paid for... but you can ask if he's hiring".
     
  9. Not rude, really, I thought of it as a correction... There was a time, about 30 years ago where I was all about Jaco, Geddy, etc.... The bandleader leaned over in my direction after a particularly note-y song and said "Dave, the band needs a bass player and since you're holding one it might as well be you."
    : D
    He was right, I got the message, he still hires me for gigs.
     
    StargazerMP, marcwhy, mcnach and 49 others like this.
  10. I've only ever been asked to turn down ONE time in my life (in public) & it was at Sam Ash.
    There was a Peavey Mini-Max in the back & it sounded so good that I was just plunking out Ace of Spades on it.

    Guy up front nearly ran back to ask me to turn it down & even after I turned it down he came over & turned the knob down so far I couldn't hear myself over the guitar players who were all the way up front.
    This store is huge BTW, at a guess I'd say there's 40 meters from the back of the store to the front.

    I got up and walked out. I've been back since, but it was a long while before I did & that dude no longer works there.
    The look of disapproval on the dude's face was the worst part, like he had some deep-seated vengeance for anyone who would dare to play bass with distortion.
     
    8guy, K Marshall, tekhedd and 3 others like this.
  11. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Not exactly on my playing, but...

    Our drummer's other band's guitarist came to see us one night, and the next time I bumped into him he gave me an extra tuner of his :p

    (the night he saw us I was still fresh and sharing our guitarists tuner, just as its battery died right before the set :meh:)
     
  12. Shalto

    Shalto

    Aug 23, 2019
    As a drummer the problem is usually not the thing said being overly rude, but rather being overly predictable. It's like when someone drops a drink in a bar and you just know someone, somewhere in he bar is going to say it....."taxi". Ah the height of creativity. Pretty much every joke or criticism of drums is like this. It's not even the fact you may be the but of it, it's the sheer, utter predictability.
     
    LessIsLess and HolmeBass like this.
  13. joebar

    joebar

    Jan 10, 2010
    No complaints. After 35 years of playing.
     
    zubrycky and LBS-bass like this.
  14. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    My bandmates criticize my playing once in a great while. I take it to heart. I criticize my playing all day every day. I will never be a virtuoso, but dammit, I'm gonna be good enough.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  15. pbass74

    pbass74

    Sep 19, 2015
    Sunland, CA
    My mother said that I should smile more when I play. She's been a music teacher for at least 70 years. :D
     
  16. After a concert where I was hired to play bass accompanying a vocal jazz group for a private function at someone's mansion:

    Guy goes around complimenting the singers.... goes up to me and says, "you weren't good."

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "You play so uneven, the level changes from section to section" (recording engineer after tracking me.... I was playing a song that had loud and quiet parts.... he wanted me to play exactly the same all the time and change level in the mix after.... he actually told the other musicians I was bad and "good bass players play the same level all the time". This isn't straight ahead rock.... but whatever....

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "That wasn't what was written on the page." director of musical I was playing in. In the part outlined, I played what player on original soundtrack played - not the basic chords that were in the chart.
     
  17. I used to live in the Land of Smiles & it really does change how people react to you or interact with you.
    Unfortunately it's also a great cover for predators, smiling as they take advantage of you.
     
    crankypants and pbass74 like this.
  18. also....

    "you play bass like a guitarist". it wasn't meant as a compliment.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "Oh, you read music and know theory." this was a derogatory remark from a rock band I was auditioning for - they treated me like crap as soon as I mentioned that I'm actually an educated musician.... did they think I was going to be treating them differently because they don't know the same things I know?? talk about judgemental....

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    And the worst one that I hate hearing:

    "You're just not the right fit." That sort of noncommittal criticism is the most destructive... it doesn't give you anything to improve upon or adapt to, it just says "we don't like you". Nice.
     
  19. One time during a post-rehearsal jam the keyboard player told me I could be really good if I practiced.

    He left the band a couple months later under somewhat murky circumstances.
     
    MonetBass likes this.
  20. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    GA
    Got taken to task once for playing jazz on an electric bass. :rollno:
     
    MonetBass, Oddly, gebass6 and 2 others like this.

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