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Witters

New toys and a rant

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Bit of a novelty this morning, no mad dash and I get a few minutes to tidy my home studio and plug in the new amp.

Having got the new amp and cab I’m now considering getting the TC HoF reverb (version 2 looks nice) and there are some recommendations for it on here.  I might do that and play with the six for a short while before considering what to do next ie active/fretless/both. Common sense is controlling my desire for all of them and the Cort A5 plus.  I hate common sense.
 
Rant...
 
My new bass students leave a lot to be desired.  The grade 8 distinction (classical double bass) barely knows her major scale harmonies ie major/minor chords and then 7ths. This is what annoys me about the grade system.  You can get to grade 8 WITHOUT any theory.  I have to give this one student a crash course in basic harmony (grade 5 stuff) so they can play in the school jazz band.  Granted jazz and classical are completely different disciplines so it’ll be hard for them anyway, but no theory?  It should be compulsory to have grade 5 theory BEFORE doing grade 8 practical. 😡😡😡. Once they’ve done that teaching them to walk should be fun!
 
...and finally, having met my new students what do most them want to do? Ed Sheeran!  I suspect it has nothing to do with the music.
 
Last student of the day walked in and sat down.  Lower 6th (aged 16/17)
 
Me: (sighing, expecting the worst) So, what do you want to learn, who are your favourite artists? Ed Sheeran?
Student: (rather cautiously) Can we do some Led Zeppelin?
 
oh yeah!  Bring it on!  Thursday last lesson is gonna be good!
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I'd be interested to know how kids of today compare with what us men of a certain age were like back in the day.  I never had any lessons, picked up a bass at 18, joined a band immediately, and spent my 20's playing as much as possible...never got anywhere but didn't stop trying for a while.

Two friends with kids who are 16/17 and apparently very talented at the guitar, having accumulated grades and playing in school bands, etc tell me that:

  • one has no interest in being in a band outside of what school make him do, and he actually much prefers playing trumpet in the school jazz band - it infuriates his mum that his two best friends play bass and drums, and none of them show any interest in forming a band either.  The boy himself loves going to gigs and festivals with his mum, but apparently has very limited desire to do it himself.  Instead, he is interested in music technology, and wants to be a soundman or lighting engineer (which, in fairness, is probably a better income stream)
  • one loves playing his guitar, it's all he does in his spare time (and apparently he's no academic star so it's good he has one thing that he excels at).  He's never been in a band.  His ambition is to get a job in a music shop so that he can be around guitars all day.

I don't want to launch into "it were all better in my day" rant, but after how things have changed over the last 30 years - far less chance of making a million by being in a band, fame from talent shows not from learning you craft or writing songs - I wonder if the excitement that we all had at that age, the sex, drugs and rock n roll possibilities of being in a band, just aren't there any more.

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You may be right Steve, at work the younglings seem very offhand to the ideas of bands etc. Now it may be cos to them, at 52, I`m old, but when I mention gigs/albums/recording sessions/video shoots etc the response is a polite "that`s nice" or similar. Whereas in my youth if anyone at work had been in a band touring, releasing albums, irrespective of their age I would have been listening to it all with both envy and admiration, hoping at some day I could do the same.

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26 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

... I would have been listening to it all with both envy and admiration, hoping at some day I could do the same.

That's nice. 9FNYGV8.gif

...

:lol: :P

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2 hours ago, Monkey Steve said:

I wonder if the excitement that we all had at that age, the sex, drugs and rock n roll possibilities of being in a band, just aren't there any more.

Or maybe playing in bands is just seen as an undesirable historic activity. Why bother when you can produce release-quality material in your bedroom and distribute It, too?

Edited by discreet
Edit out rambling

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It's classic old guy talk without knowing it.

Unfortunately I completely agree regarding with doing led Zeppelin over Ed Sheeran.....and the lack of bands and creativity..... BUT ...... Led Zeppelin is nearly 50 years old. That's the equivalent of walking into the music room in the 90s and saying you want to do Vera Lynn stuff.

What did you want to learn when starting out? the current cool artists you see everyday and are part of youth culture....or some 40-50 year old music you're parents liked?

I suspect those of us who love 70s and 80s grew up in the 70s and 80s and that why we love that and not music from the 20s and 30s.

Weve got to move with the times....

I quit djing for a living for the very reason I'd got stuck loving older music and being bored of newet music. Doesn't make me right or wrong.....just older!

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I didn't hear Led Zeppelin until the mid-90s, having grown up mostly ignoring the pre-punks (aka boring prog-head old hippies) going on about 'Zep' and therefore was used to Guns'n'roses, Nirvana and Therapy? et all (aka very noisy RAWK) being played on daytime radio 1.

I hate to say it but i found it simplistic, 3 chord blues rock'n'roll and about has heavy as a not heavy thing...

Its context innit?  I don't like Ed Sheeran either BUT he represents more what people are going now - Ableton, loop pedals, amp modellers... All the stuff that makes 'recording sessions and video shoots' something you can do in your bedroom... 

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2 hours ago, Witters said:

oh yeah!  Bring it on!  Thursday last lesson is gonna be good!

Surely that should be 'Bring It On Home' 😉

 

 

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6 minutes ago, la bam said:

We've got to move with the times...

Why? Deliberately trying to 'get down with the kids' - apart from being practically impossible (and frankly, undesirable) - comes across as terribly sad...

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1 minute ago, operative451 said:

Its context innit?  I don't like Ed Sheeran either BUT he represents more what people are going now - Ableton, loop pedals, amp modellers... All the stuff that makes 'recording sessions and video shoots' something you can do in your bedroom... 

Even if you don't like his music, (card carrying Led Zep fan here), you've got to admire someone who can entertain a whole stadium of people by himself playing just a travel guitar. 

 

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24 minutes ago, la bam said:

It's classic old guy talk without knowing it.

Unfortunately I completely agree regarding with doing led Zeppelin over Ed Sheeran.....and the lack of bands and creativity..... BUT ...... Led Zeppelin is nearly 50 years old. That's the equivalent of walking into the music room in the 90s and saying you want to do Vera Lynn stuff.

What did you want to learn when starting out? the current cool artists you see everyday and are part of youth culture....or some 40-50 year old music you're parents liked?

I suspect those of us who love 70s and 80s grew up in the 70s and 80s and that why we love that and not music from the 20s and 30s.

Weve got to move with the times....

I quit djing for a living for the very reason I'd got stuck loving older music and being bored of newet music. Doesn't make me right or wrong.....just older!

Not really to do with age though. Would you Say Ed Sheeran has invented a new form or genre of music, or even pushed the genre of solo singer song writer to new areas of creativity? He is simply very popular with lots of people, and who knows if he will still be played in 20 years time. Lots of kids and young musicians find Zep relevant and enjoyable, or why ask to play it. I was in a music shop a few years ago and a kid who was about 12 years old, at most, was drooling over the Gibsons and Fenders on the wall whilst humming Voodoo Chile. Music has nowt to do with age, my playlist has stuff from 1940 and from this year. If it moves you its good.

 

And If I remember correctly KT Tunstall did the looper pedal thing a number of years ago, so its hardly new or groundbreaking. Songs are what its about and I don't find Ed's songs to be very good.  Led Zep also did a lot of stuff that was meh, but at their best they gave me shivers up the spine. Its not the age or the genre, its the quality of the song.

Edited by mikel
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2 hours ago, Monkey Steve said:

I'd be interested to know how kids of today compare with what us men of a certain age were like back in the day.  I never had any lessons, picked up a bass at 18, joined a band immediately, and spent my 20's playing as much as possible...never got anywhere but didn't stop trying for a while.

Two friends with kids who are 16/17 and apparently very talented at the guitar, having accumulated grades and playing in school bands, etc tell me that:

  • one has no interest in being in a band outside of what school make him do, and he actually much prefers playing trumpet in the school jazz band - it infuriates his mum that his two best friends play bass and drums, and none of them show any interest in forming a band either.  The boy himself loves going to gigs and festivals with his mum, but apparently has very limited desire to do it himself.  Instead, he is interested in music technology, and wants to be a soundman or lighting engineer (which, in fairness, is probably a better income stream)
  • one loves playing his guitar, it's all he does in his spare time (and apparently he's no academic star so it's good he has one thing that he excels at).  He's never been in a band.  His ambition is to get a job in a music shop so that he can be around guitars all day.

I don't want to launch into "it were all better in my day" rant, but after how things have changed over the last 30 years - far less chance of making a million by being in a band, fame from talent shows not from learning you craft or writing songs - I wonder if the excitement that we all had at that age, the sex, drugs and rock n roll possibilities of being in a band, just aren't there any more.

Actually I was a bit like these lads when i was their age too. I liked playing guitar, drums and bass but never actually enjoyed being in bands,  though I've done a lot of depping since. I've always preffered depping as I don't have to commit myself and I avoid boring rehearsals going over the same old stuff again and again. Not that I ever pursued such a career  but being a producer seemed more interesting to  a 17 year old me than being a band member

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They say You can't put an old head on young shoulders.  It's a sweeping generalisation.

Why not own your age?  If you are an old person you have a unique perspective.  By the same token, why would you think it's any easier to put a young head on old shoulders?

To address the OP;  I am surprised you can get that far without reading.  I am always discouraged by lessons because of some bad experiences with teachers in my youth.  I therefore avoid getting into that territory with a passion.  I know little about it.  It is unlikely that I would ever feel it necessary to embark on a mission to gain certification in the existing Grade system so it is of no consequence in the cosmic scheme of things.

As my eyesight deteriorates, I wonder how the grade system copes with blind students.

Edited by SpondonBassed

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Just my take but playing with others, making music on the fly, Is what it has always been about.  Nothing gives me the buzz like playing with other musicians when that "Magic" happens and you float. Almost anyone can play along to recorded tracks in the bedroom, or practice for decades to play at 200 MPH, but without the context of doing it in a live music situation it is fairly meaningless to me. Anyway, currently most pro acts or artists make the vast majority of their money from playing live, only the biggest make money from recorded music.

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37 minutes ago, mikel said:

Not really to do with age though. Would you Say Ed Sheeran has invented a new form or genre of music, or even pushed the genre of solo singer song writer to new areas of creativity? [snip]

Weeeeeeeeeeell i can say that i believe that 'Zep' more mixed what american black musicians had been doing for years and then dropped some white boy folk on top of it, and um, see also the Edster... :D  But yes, actually to the solo singer songwriter thing. Ableton is probably the closest thing to a completely new instrument since the electric bass guitar, and while i would say he's basically nicked all KT Tunstall's ideas and thrown tech at them, its still pushing boundaries...

Also, maybe theory is different now? I mean, i am old enough to have bought 'Appetite for Destruction' on the original vinyl but don't read music. I do however, understand and use recording and production techniques that would have required a degree (probably?) in studio recording even 20something years ago... I understand sequencing, drum programming, and the way that chords react with each other and how different tones of instrument slot together, and i even code a bit.! Can i read dots on a piece of paper? No. Can i look at a waveform and see where its glitchy? Yup...

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39 minutes ago, mikel said:

It's not the age or the genre, its the quality of the song.

This. And in any case, there's room for everyone and everything. Sheeran is where he is through good management, shrewd marketing and proper manipulation of all available media platforms. And a lot of people like his songs for some reason.

But I'm not going to give up my band, give up recording and give up gigging because some fücking airhead kid thinks I'm too old for it. While I enjoy It, I'll do it. Thhhp! :P

57 minutes ago, petebassist said:

Even if you don't like his music, (card carrying Led Zep fan here), you've got to admire someone who can entertain a whole stadium of people by himself playing just a travel guitar. 

Yep, Jimmy Page is one hell of a player. :biggrin:

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1 hour ago, la bam said:

I quit djing for a living for the very reason I'd got stuck loving older music and being bored of newet music. Doesn't make me right or wrong.....just older!

Yup, I'm the same - it's when you look at your music collection & realise that most of the artists are long-dead.........!

😎

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3 hours ago, Witters said:

This is what annoys me about the grade system.  You can get to grade 8 WITHOUT any theory.  I have to give this one student a crash course in basic harmony (grade 5 stuff) so they can play in the school jazz band.  Granted jazz and classical are completely different disciplines so it’ll be hard for them anyway, but no theory?  It should be compulsory to have grade 5 theory BEFORE doing grade 8 practical.

Agreed, that seems absolutely ridiculous. Presumably said Grade 8er can read, but it seems to me that having the mechanical skills and the chart knowledge without any of the underpinning basics is pretty ridiculous. Having said that, I can't read a note and my theory knowledge is non-existent, but there y'go... 

Still, it could have been so much worse than Ed Sheeran.
 "What do you want to learn, who's your favourite artist?"
 "Errm, I'd like to do some Kanye West stuff..."

*awaits wave of "god you're so old" derision*

 

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Well, I’ve opened a can of worms! Lots of great views and ideas, the most important for me “it’s personal”.  I do what I do because I was hungry to do it then and I am still hungry today, perhaps even moreso the more I discover.  It’s “whatever floats yer boat” and as much as I find modern “pop” repetitive and dull, many people love it and for them it has value, and I respect that. There are people on here who can do mixing/engineering/production/etc and that to me is a dark art, I have no interest in or idea how that all works (much to my sons irritation - “Dad, it’s easy, you do this.....”) and I admire and even envy those who love it and do it well.  If ever I record an album I will employ you!

I agree that music is not about age in any sense of the word, but it is about conveying emotion and connecting with the human spirit.  I’ve seen music cross racial boundaries, political boundaries, age ranges, compel the dying to give one final dance, and so much more. Yes, move with the times but a big NO to leaving the rest behind “because it’s old”.  There is much to learn and enjoy in all styles/tastes and everybody has something to offer.

I was raised in a musical household, primarily classical and jazz, but my elder sister introduced me to the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Free; school mates introduced to “music of the period” (seventies), my parents introduced me King Oliver, Louis Armstrong and more.  (A major influence on modern bands/styles like The Electric Swing Orchestra and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy). I researched the rest.

As a teacher I believe it is my role to firstly help people play what they want, then educate them across the musical spectrum and encourage them to be open to all ideas. Hopefully, that way I may help someone enjoy more than they realised.

more later, gotta teach!

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I’ve personally never really been into the must join a band thing. It was really a requirement though in the past, if you wanted to create music with others. Nowadays I love the fact that I can sit in my studio at home, record stuff and in minutes send it to someone the other side of the world for them to add their bit to.

Kids still love creating music, just in a different way to maybe 20 years ago, which was no doubt different to how it had been 20 years before then.

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Did anyone's dad/mum hate the music you listened to ?  Mine did.  " Turn that shyt off "

I shuffle upstairs , as i hear Burt Bacharach lurch out of the stereogram ,   i go upstairs to sulk and hear him mutter " now that's music "

I dont like Sheerans rubbish, though he comes across as a rather lovely young chap, and if the kids like him,  wtf.

Kids berate their parents music and we berate theirs ( too a degree, not everyone , YMMV  , etc etc )

Reminds me of this...

 

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1 hour ago, mikel said:

Just my take but playing with others, making music on the fly, Is what it has always been about.  Nothing gives me the buzz like playing with other musicians when that "Magic" happens and you float. Almost anyone can play along to recorded tracks in the bedroom, or practice for decades to play at 200 MPH, but without the context of doing it in a live music situation it is fairly meaningless to me. Anyway, currently most pro acts or artists make the vast majority of their money from playing live, only the biggest make money from recorded music.

This. The weird alchemy of plucking something tangible out of thin air, something that also has the potential to move people. Magic.

I've been fascinated by it for decades and still am, it's why I keep doing it. There really is nothing like it. :)

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