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Nicko

Happy being average

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I suppose most of us get to the standard that we need to be for what we aspire to do then the drive to improve, and indeed the pressure to improve lessens.

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[quote name='Les' timestamp='1475175668' post='3143826']
I suppose most of us get to the standard that we need to be for what we aspire to do then the drive to improve, and indeed the pressure to improve lessens.
[/quote]

Exactly. Why pressure yourself to learn stuff you will never need? If a song requires you to learn a bit of new technique, and it interests you, then great, cos you need it and will use it.

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After a good few Friday night pints chat (life in general not just bass) a good friend of mine told me that my problem was that I was a perfectionist. Bollocks I thought. And told him so. Thinking that meant manicured nails, lawns, tortured poets all that

Then by chance read this article

[url="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/apr/20/should-i-stop-being-a-perfectionist"]https://www.theguard...a-perfectionist[/url]

Researched perfectionism a whole lot more, and realised that maybe this was actually me.

Stuff I do well, somebody else could do better. Stuff I can't do yet... why bother ? Procrastinate...good at that ...always have been

This way of viewing the world is Bollocks. A pissed up pub chat opened my eyes

Do what you enjoy doing. Do it well. Don't worry about it. It is it's own reward.

Perfectionism can kill the fun

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As long as you are happy and love doing what you do, everything else is irrelevant and it will show. The amount of amazing bands musically I've seen who bore me with little or no stage presence. Nodding there heads when wrong notes are played etc, to me perfection comes at a cost at times.

I've had a philosophy on gigs and the band I'm in, if anyone makes a mistake,laugh,take the piss enjoy it even more.

I make sure I play each gig like its my last and enjoy the hell out of it.

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I am below average basically using root notes but try to lay down a good strong backline with the drummer. I am prepared to learn but just don't get the time.
Been in a band for 15 years we have gigged and been paid and that is one of the things I wanted to do. Would love to be better and I practice when I can but most of all I enjoy playing at the level I am at but my aim is to improve if I can.
I want to devote more time to music when I retire. Got to have a goal...

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[quote name='blisters on my fingers' timestamp='1475196251' post='3143999']
After a good few Friday night pints chat (life in general not just bass) a good friend of mine told me that my problem was that I was a perfectionist. Bollocks I thought. And told him so. Thinking that meant manicured nails, lawns, tortured poets all that

Then by chance read this article

[url="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/apr/20/should-i-stop-being-a-perfectionist"]https://www.theguard...a-perfectionist[/url]

Researched perfectionism a whole lot more, and realised that maybe this was actually me.

Stuff I do well, somebody else could do better. Stuff I can't do yet... why bother ? Procrastinate...good at that ...always have been

This way of viewing the world is Bollocks. A pissed up pub chat opened my eyes

[b]Do what you enjoy doing. Do it well. Don't worry about it. It is it's own reward.[/b]

Perfectionism can kill the fun
[/quote]

This 100%.

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i think i'm average at best, i can play the songs im asked to play but ask me to jam, no chance. never had the time to learn any theory but i'd love to be able to jam or learn something. i dont let it bother me i'm sure i'll have plenty of time when the kids leave home

if you enjoy what you do thats enough for me

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I'm average, but not particularly happy - not about being average, but because I'm a miserable sod generally.

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I'm way below any objective standard of "average" but well proud of where I've got to. In that sense I'm happy.

But - "encumbered forever by desire and ambition" - I'm determined to go on learning and getting better, and I have no interest in living any longer than I can go on learning. In that sense I will never be happy, and that's as I want it.

"If you're any good at all, you know you can be better." (Lindsey Buckingham)


ps the first quote is from Pink Floyd, "High Hopes". Which will be played in full at my funeral, the Gilmour Live at Gdansk version. I can't listen to that guitar solo more than once a year, it's too powerfully poignant.

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[quote name='mikel' timestamp='1475167039' post='3143702']
My point was that no matter how good he is, or may become, he is not enjoying it, so what is the point? I play cos I love and enjoy the whole experience, and I am a firm believer in the old saying "[b]Its not what you play but how you play it[/b]"

Also, on 99.9% of gigs, I could play what he is required to play so I dont see the point of learning to play at 300mph, or play like Jaco Pastorius when I will never need to in a gig situation. If you are happy with what you have then you have everything you need.
[/quote]

This is where the most gains are made... you can put all the time you like into solo's and certain techniques that you hardly ever use live but you will get gigs because you make the track work better than the other guy. Being able to slot in and sound as though you have played the tracks for ages is invaluable.

But feel is not something you can learn so much... you have it or you don't.
That gets you the gig... all the networking in the world only gets you so far.

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My theory is that too much technical ability doesn't make for a good bass player. People who can play lots of notes very quickly on a bass tend to do so at every opportunity, which isn't especially effective or enjoyable.
You can play this bassline with one finger on each hand but it sticks in your head forever.
[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaRXtLX4sMk[/media]

Edited by JoeEvans

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[quote name='JoeEvans' timestamp='1475397412' post='3145540']
My theory is that too much technical ability doesn't make for a good bass player. People who can play lots of notes very quickly on a bass tend to do so at every opportunity, which isn't especially effective or enjoyable.
You can play this bassline with one finger on each hand but it sticks in your head forever.
[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaRXtLX4sMk[/media]
[/quote]

Exactly, play the song not the instrument.

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[quote name='JoeEvans' timestamp='1475397412' post='3145540']
My theory is that too much technical ability doesn't make for a good bass player. People who can play lots of notes very quickly on a bass tend to do so at every opportunity, which isn't especially effective or enjoyable.
You can play this bassline with one finger on each hand but it sticks in your head forever.
[media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaRXtLX4sMk[/media]
[/quote]

Anthony Jackson, Matt Garrison, Michael Manring, Janek Gwizdala, Lawrence Cottle, instantly spring to mind as being players with amazing technical ability, who use it only when needed.

Personally, I'd rather have the ability and use it when required, than not have it.

I've personally always strived to be the best player and musician that I can be. Consequently I studied with some great players and teachers.I'd practice for hours and hours, maybe 30 or 40 hours a week. Then went to uni and did a music degree.

In life I'd rather set my goals high, I may not ever reach them, but I'd achieve more than if I just settled on being average. That's just me though.

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Ambient - yes, perhaps I should have phrased that more carefully. I don't want to knock players with a high level of technical ability, only to say that being a great bass player isn't the same thing as being a technically extraordinary bass player.

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Personally I just approach the bass as an extension of myself and so don't really worry about how "good" I am. I'm not really a conventional player and am more interested in experimenting and letting my abilities grow with the music.

I've got a lot of admiration for technicians (Alex Webster is probably my favourite player) but I'll never be one. I'd say just figure out what makes you happy/comfortable and rock it.

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[quote name='ambient' timestamp='1475412701' post='3145700']
In life I'd rather set my goals high, I may not ever reach them, but I'd achieve more than if I just settled on being average. That's just me though.
[/quote]

This.

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[quote name='ambient' timestamp='1475412701' post='3145700']
Anthony Jackson, Matt Garrison, Michael Manring, Janek Gwizdala, Lawrence Cottle, instantly spring to mind as being players with amazing technical ability, who use it only when needed.

Personally, I'd rather have the ability and use it when required, than not have it.

I've personally always strived to be the best player and musician that I can be. Consequently I studied with some great players and teachers.I'd practice for hours and hours, maybe 30 or 40 hours a week. Then went to uni and did a music degree.

In life I'd rather set my goals high, I may not ever reach them, but I'd achieve more than if I just settled on being average. That's just me though.
[/quote]

Its an admirable quality in a young musician If you want a job in the music industry. For us older guys it was never intended as a career. Back in the day you played in bands and hoped to get signed to a record deal and play the big gigs etc. A great band was the way to make records and tour the world, and with a lot of luck, make a bit of money. Since the bands I was in never made it big, back in the day, I play now cos I love it and gigs are my musical oxygen. Never wanted to be a cog in any industry, and that is what I feel the session musician/hired gun now is. May as well be one of the suits.

Edited by mikel

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[quote name='ambient' timestamp='1475412701' post='3145700']
In life I'd rather set my goals high, I may not ever reach them, but I'd achieve more than if I just settled on being average. That's just me though.
[/quote]

If I was the sort of person who set my goals high it would be for doing something a lot more important than music.
Music isn't going to save the planet, it's not going to cure cancer, it's just trivial noise at the end of the day.

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[quote name='RhysP' timestamp='1475432741' post='3145877']
If I was the sort of person who set my goals high it would be for doing something a lot more important than music.
Music isn't going to save the planet, it's not going to cure cancer, it's just trivial noise at the end of the day.
[/quote]

Ummm... try an internet search on "music and brain".

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[quote name='josie' timestamp='1475434522' post='3145895']
Ummm... try an internet search on "music and brain".
[/quote]

I've done plenty of reading on the subject.

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Bottom line is the average punter doesn't give a monkeys left tit how technically good players are as long as they sound good enough together and know how to entertain. Quite a long time ago I went to see G3 n Brum with Fripp joining Vai and Satriani, praps the most boring gig I've ever been to. In my row we were all stifling yawns and looking at our watches. A week late I went to an ageing Stiff Little Fingers gig and it was a blast but without fancy schmancy guitar heroics. It was a lesson well learned.

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