Your Style

Discussion in 'Ask Anthony Wellington [archive]' started by iwearpumas, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. iwearpumas


    Aug 12, 2011
    I spend a lot of time on YouTube. A LOT OF TIME. And lately, one of my most searched topics is Anthony Wellington Bass. Thats just the truth of the matter. Anyway, as I watch the videos, I also read the comments. There was a video in which you and Victor were dueling. So of course I watch the video, then I further read the comments, and one of the comments (referring to you and Victor) read "considering that they excel in two completely different styles of bass guitar playing, this is freakin sweet." So my question is, How would you describe YOUR style of bass playing?
  2. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Jan 4, 2011
    Hey Puma,

    Thanks for the kind words!

    I actually DON'T spend a lot of time on YouTube. Actually, I rarely go to YouTube. And when I do, it's rarely to check out a musician. Sometimes I'll watch something funny sent to me from a friend.

    My musicianship is very important to me. I'm sure there are great learning tools on YouTube. But mostly it's narcissism. Especially when someone puts up a video of themselves. That's one of things that I notice,...most of the musicians I like don't put videos of themselves up. Their fans will put the videos up. Like I said before, most of the time it's the guy filming himself in the bedroom who puts his own videos up. Rarely will working musicians have a video on YouTube with their bedroom as the backdrop.

    Sorry,...I had to get a YouTube rant out!

    Lets see,...where were we,...oh yea, would I describe my style,...

    I think a person's style will ultimately be 'everything' that they've experienced and exposed too. I think that when you become a real musician you are playing your life experience. Your 'style' is a 'life' style, in the true sense of thr word. I'm not talking about the guy we call 'good' because he has fast licks or he can play other people's fast licks. I'm talking about the guy who can play every 'sentiment' he has. The guy who can play everything he hears,...externally and internally,...instantly.

    That's what I've been working towards. I'm not offering up a set of signature licks and calling it music. But that's what I hear from most of the people we call 'good' or 'great'. I want to 'instantly' express every sentiment I have. Just like what I try to do with my English vocabulary. So I work on dexterity and I work on my knowledge base so I can understanding this language better everyday.

    I'm at a point that I can play about 95% of what I hear externally and internally the first time I try to play it. I'm no longer 'hunting and pecking' to find the notes. I can instantly play the bass lines, melodies and chords I hear in my head. When I write a song in my head I know when I'm hearing diatonic chords or a secondary dominant or a tritone substitution or something from the parallel minor. I don't limit my musicianship to bass. That's just a small part of my musicianship.

    Now my 'life' challenge is to broaden my set of life experiences and what I'm exposed to so that I'm not hearing the same things over and over again externally and internally.

    That is how I define my musicianship, style. 'Life' style in the true sense of the word.

    By the way, the best musicians aren't the ones who 'play' the fastest. The best musicians are the musicians who 'hear' the fastest. And MOST of the musicians on the planet don't hear fast at all. They are just 'physical' players. Physically manipulating an instrument. Offering up cool technique and calling it a song or music. Not even realizing that technique is merely one of many 'tools' to help facilitate playing music. But not music itself.

  3. iwearpumas


    Aug 12, 2011
    That was great, and really encouraging. For a while I felt I wasn't "as good" as others because I can't play as fast or have all the latest licks, but I can play what's in my heart. All I have to do is learn how to play the melodies in my head and I can be ok.
  4. Lichtaffen


    Sep 29, 2008
    Rhode Island
    That is by far the best quote ever on Talkbass. Mind if I use it as my mantra?
  5. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Jan 4, 2011
    It's already my mantra! But you are very welcome to use it. And please help spread the philosophy.

    But remember, just because someone plays fast and has chops, doesn't mean they're just a 'wiggler'.

    But MOST of the fast players I've heard are just wigglers.

    I have a lot of chops and I can play and thump faster than most. But I can do diatonically over the whole fretboard if I need to. And I can sing everything I play before I play it. That's how I ensure that I'm playing the music from the 'inside'.

    By the way, a wiggler is how I 'affectionately' refer to guys who are just moving their fingers fast.

  6. iwearpumas


    Aug 12, 2011
    Sometimes I notice that i am "wiggling," any tips on overcoming that?
  7. cire113


    Apr 25, 2008
    that hearing the fastest you get that from hal galpher or dizzy?

    Someone really cool jazz cat said that i forgot who..

    Im always confused when i hear the word "chops" ...
  8. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    What I always think of is: You don't come home from a party and say that the coolest guy there was the one that could talk the fastest. Girls don't go on dates and think about how fast the guy talked.

    Oh yeah, and then you think of the best speeches, and there's always plenty of rests for the statements to sink in.
  9. This is a very interesting thread, a lot of the stuff Ant is saying has struck a chord with me. Unfortunately over here people seem to worship people who can play very fast, but if you put them in a new situation where they actually have to listen to other musicians closely most of them don't have a clue..

    Ant whats your views on learning other peoples stuff, i generally don't do this at the moment as i'm trying to improve my basic technique.


  10. Lichtaffen


    Sep 29, 2008
    Rhode Island
    Believe me, the musicians who are hiring bass players are gonna hire the guys who are the most cooperative and supportive players. I think that's universal.
  11. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Jan 4, 2011
    I'm preparing for a sound check right now do I'll have to respond properly later. But I'll just say this,...

    Martin Luther King, Jr is my favorite speaker of all time. He had very important things to say about very relevant issues. But not only that, he understood the importance of words, articulation, phrasing, space, technique, dynamics, emotion, tone, rhythm and listening. At our camp we refer to those as '1-10'. Or '2-10' if we leave off words or notes.

    If I learned an MLK,jr speech word for word and captured ever single nuance to the point that you couldn't tell the difference between me and him,...


    That would make me a good mimic!

    And if I invited 500,000 people to the Lincoln Memorial because I wanted to tell them something and I started reciting MLK's speech word for word and nuance for nuance,...

    Let's just say it wouldn't go over well.

    If I want to be a good public speaker it makes sense for me to study MLK and his speeches and other speakers too. It would even be a good idea to learn the speeches. But to offer up his speech as a barometer of how good I am is immature. We see that with 'speaking' in any other language other than music.

    And one of the reasons is because,...

    As people, we go through 'adolescence' in our teens and early 20s. We'll dress and talk like our idols and friends we look up too. We give in to peer pressure. It's not til our mid to late 20s, and even later some times, that we start to MATURE into our own individual selves.

    But as musicians, most of us don't go through that adolescence til we're in our late 30s and early 40s. Some a little earlier, most a little later.

    One of the things I like to get Bassology students to see is that there is a musical maturation process. I like for them to see that we don't transcribe others so we can have a 'go to' Jaco, Marcus or Victor lick. We transcribe because, in a lot of instances, that'll be the only way you'll ever get a lesson from that person, especially Jaco or Jamerson because they have passed on.

    Almost always when I see a player who owns or wants to buy a 'signature' model bass it'll be someone who is musically immature. I try to get my students to see early on that you have to be an individual. Buy a bass, any bass, and play it so well that a company wants to name it after you and give you money so 'adolescent' musicians will pay for it.

    Marcus' bass wasn't a bass that was any special bass. He just played it so well that fender copied their OWN design with his modifications and named it after him. The same with Victor's #37 Fodera. It was just an early Fodera model that he PAID for. He plays it so well that people thought that owning one would make them play well. Nike did the same thing with Air Jordan's.

    Damn! I already typed way more than I wanted to.

    To be continued,...

  12. Firstly, hope you enjoy your gig :)

    Whoa! Well that was an inspiring post, can't wait to hear the next chunk!

    I get the concept of playing other peoples music to try and learn parts of their styles, for example i love playing Jaco's stuff but i like putting my own twist on it :)

    I hadn't really thought of it but your thoughts about maturity make a lot of sense, growing up playing cello for the first years of my musical journey. It's pretty rough in my opinion as everyone is trying to outperform each other. . . it starts to make music less enjoyable after a while and that's a part of the reason of moving in a new direction towards bass. I feel that i can be more expressive and have a LOT of fun playing + you don't have to play exactly what is written (classical music) all the time.

    Sorry for the random rant.

    The last two paragraphs are pretty cool, i am nowhere near being mature but i know what you mean, people just buy the stuff because they think it will make them play better. . . luckily i was brought up to research pretty much everything i buy and was encouraged to invest in things. I only buy something i if like the sound etc.

    This is why its taking me like 2 months to buy an amp lol.

    Anyways hope you have fun and look forward to hearing your next interesting pearls of wisdom :)

  13. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Endorsing Artist: Tecamp Bass Players Gear, Bartolini Emerging Artist
    I would add and this is just my opinion that youtube is a great vehicle for a lesser known cat trying to promote himself and get more visbility. For any great trend setting musician that I have known personally a little bit of Narcissism is one ingredient in the total makeup of that person. I have not known a single bad cat that didn't have some amount of ego. It's necessary to be brave enough to get on stage in front of people and display your wares. Now take this with a grain of salt. I am merely indicating that youtube can be a great tool for exposure and that our so called bass heroes have evolved into total people after a ceratin amount of experience and maturing to realize the whole negativity related to having to much ego etc. In a youtube video I saw Marcus giving a clinic in the UK. In the clinic he hinted that when he was a younger player he had an EGO. Like othetr things all of this must be in balance. I personally love youtube as all the music I want to hear is on there. If I have to learn a new song for a gig, I can readily hear it on youtube.
  14. dbamta

    dbamta Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2009
    Preach brother, Man your knowledge is awesome
  15. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Endorsing Artist: Tecamp Bass Players Gear, Bartolini Emerging Artist
    +1. I remember asking Ant how he got to be so damn smart :)
  16. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Jan 4, 2011
    I'm sure there are some YouTube success stories. But I haven't heard any. And you didn't list any.

    Marcus isn't a YouTube success story. Marcus has a track record that predates YouTube by almost 30 years.

    I've had my business grow because of YouTube and I'm very thankful for it.

    I think we are talking about very different things.

    Show me someone who's making money off of YouTube. Please do! And then show me how I can. I'm not talking about fame or a little notoriety. I'm talking about a career.

    And as far as teaching goes,...

    There is WAY more blatantly WRONG stuff on YouTube than right stuff. And 'real' educators will tell you that. But 'education' is in the eyes of the beholder. To a lot of of us 'education' is the next cool lick. That's just not my definition of education.

    Show or tell me what you've learned on YouTube. And show me how you've been successful because if YouTube. Or anyone you know.


    I'm a full time musician who's more successful than most and I'm still tryna' figure this industry out. If you have it figured out I'll gladly follow your lead.

    But if you haven't,...

    Let's agree to not steer the next generation in the wrong direction just because we've been chasing our tail.

    I can definitely show you tons of musicians, including Marcus, who is losing money because of YouTube.

    I've done a lot of research on records sells and revenue generating on the web using tools like Facebook, YouTube and as far back as MySpace. And I can tell you now that they are NOT generating as much money as most people think.

    But YouTube does 'feed' a lot of egos. But not a lot of families.

    We can compare research(not opinion) whenever you like.

  17. I would agree that YouTube is not doing any favours for the music industry.... You can go online and listen to a lot of concerts/CD's and tracks without people actually having to buy them, tbh i only check YouTube for new artists and see what they are like then i generally buy their stuff.

    Then i can listen to it on my iPod when on the bus and train to Uni all day long :)
  18. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Endorsing Artist: Tecamp Bass Players Gear, Bartolini Emerging Artist
    I wasn't making reference to well known and established professional artists such as Marcus and the like for using youtube for promoting and exposure. What I am making reference to is lesser known players both amatuer and professional. I enjoy listening to a great amatuer player as well as a seasoned well known professional for example I found about Walter Barnes JR. on youtube. And most of the postings I look at are not by the Artists but by fans. youtube has helped me find out about a great number of cats who play and play well that I would have never heard of. I'm 56 years old and well know how people were discovered by the masses well before computers and automation. I think of youtube as being a modern day extension of word of mouth. I can too/also understand how an Artist would feel if a song or concert was on youtube and they received no royalties for it but not to the degree where I will stop using it. I guess it depends on your perspective and where you're coming from. If you don't want any of your performances on youtube, don't allow cameras in the concert hall and forbid any bootleg postings. I've seen youtube take down songs because of legal issues. I'm looking at youtube as resource for both entertainment and knowledge gathering, and mostly as a resource for listening to my most favorite old school Funk songs. Some even provide a link where I can buy the song if I want. Even if we take away that faction of youtube where the Artist is not getting paid, I'd still use it to check other cats out. This is just the way I look at youtube. Works for me. If you took all the professional cats, their songs, their concerts, and their music, I would still enjoy youtube if it existed only for amatuers and for people not expecting to get paid for posts. Why, because I enjoy music and the creation of it and from folks of ALL levels not just the professionals.