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Will a new bass inspire more playing?

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I have barely played bass for the past couple of years apart from an odd few rehearsals and maybe 2 gigs. I never really play at home as I know the set for the band well enough to go straight to practice and new songs usually only take minutes to figure out.

It makes me a little sad that I don’t want to play, I have no interest or time to join or form bands but I could easily be productive in some way at home but I just don’t want to pick up my bass.

I have had basses in the past that I just couldn’t put down, they just needed to be played but I haven’t felt like that about my past few instruments. They are good basses and my current one is superb (2001 MusicMan Stingray) but it just doesn’t make me go ‘wow what an instrument’.

I wonder whether this is just my mental state and general attitude to music or whether going hunting for a different bass will make me want to play and inspire me.

So has anyone been pulled out of a slump by a great bass or am I deluding myself?

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I can't believe I'm going to say this but I don't think a new bass will help. 

It will for a bit until the novelty wears off and then you'll be back where you are now. A decent Stingray shouldn't be holding you back. 

Maybe try playing a completely different style of music and follow it back to its roots and see where that leads, I quite like playing along to hip hop and really getting a groove going, but then find out where the samples came from and play along with those songs, then if I'm enjoying that I'll hunt out more songs by that artist or others in a similar style, I end up playing music I would never have thought of and discovering new stuff.

You say new songs on take minutes to figure out so either you're phenomenally good or you aren't taxing yourself enough. Try learning something completely out of your comfort zone. 

But ultimately, I don't think a new bass will get your head and heart back into it, only you can do that. 

🙂

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Exactly what @Maude says. Any boost will be very short lived.

Have you ever played anything else? 6 string, keys? Might be worth switching around, noodling on something different to get your mojo back. Or mess around with some recording software. Just let music take you somewhere else for a while, hopefully you'll get back on track soon enough.

Good luck!

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Agree with Maude & Mykesbass, however, a new bass can't hurt can it? 😉😀👍

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43 minutes ago, NJE said:

So has anyone been pulled out of a slump by a great bass or am I deluding myself?

I don't know what to suggest, but your bass isn't stopping you from playing so I doubt that a new instrument will drag you out of this malaise.

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47 minutes ago, NJE said:

I have had basses in the past that I just couldn’t put down, they just needed to be played but I haven’t felt like that about my past few instruments. They are good basses and my current one is superb (2001 MusicMan Stingray) but it just doesn’t make me go ‘wow what an instrument’.

Try it. Get one that gives you that "wow" factor used if you can, then any financial downside should be limited if doesn't work out.

What have you got to lose?

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I agree with the above comments.  A new bass might give you a short bump to play more, but I doubt it will last long. 

My 2 suggestions to find motivation to play are:

Listen to more music, and it may trigger inspiration. 

Get some lessons with a good teacher that will open your mind to new ideas and approaches. 

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Basses in the past that couldn’t be put down - well I’d be looking for one of those again. If your current instrument isn’t generating that kind of feeling then maybe it’s just not the right type for you. Nothing wrong in that.

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You could maybe try swapping basses with a good mate for a week or two, see if that changes your feelings at all? Must admit though, a Stingray to me isn’t an easy instrument to fall out of love with.

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Buy a new set of strings. Clean the instrument completely. Change the battery. Tune it. Take a good look at your instrument few feet away. Think about what could you do with your tool. Make a schedule on paper of your future wishes.

In short:

Clean your tools. 

Stop for a while to think.

Start your mission.

Revise from time to time by starting all over.

 

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It might be more worthwhile to look at why you’re feeling the way you are and deal with that. Sure it could be a phase and we’re in quite unprecedented times!

If having no free time isn’t the overriding issue then the next question would be why have you lost interest and does this lack of interest or drive extend to other hobbies or day to day activities. If it’s more of a mood thing and you’re beginning to experience anhedonia in other aspects of your life it’s time to talk to someone and figure out what might be going on. I don’t wanna make it sound all heavy but if this is the start of a change in mood go speak to someone and invest some time in yourself and your well being. 

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Or just get a new bass? 😁

(Sorry couldn't resist).

 

But seriously, there's clearly wisdom in what @krispn is saying.

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A new bass always works for me, then I end up picking up my other basses, and I remember why I bought them in the first place 🙂

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Trying a different genre is a great idea. Ennui with playing the same old, same old is a common affliction, I certainly suffer from it. This year I decided that, where possible, I would only play fretless. This resulted in me seeing if it would actually be practical and work with the set list for every song in my '80s band (some tunes are already fretless) and it did. However, because I was technically re-learning the sets, I found a new joy in them. So a new instrument might help, but what I would say is, a new genre and a different style of instrument (a hollowbody perhaps?) might be just the double whammy, kick up the musical butt you're looking for.

Good luck.

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12 minutes ago, krispn said:

It might be more worthwhile to look at why you’re feeling the way you are and deal with that. Sure it could be a phase and we’re in quite unprecedented times!

If having no free time isn’t the overriding issue then the next question would be why have you lost interest and does this lack of interest or drive extend to other hobbies or day to day activities. If it’s more of a mood thing and you’re beginning to experience anhedonia in other aspects of your life it’s time to talk to someone and figure out what might be going on. I don’t wanna make it sound all heavy but if this is the start of a change in mood go speak to someone and invest some time in yourself and your well being. 

I have to say, I play less when I'm depressed and is often an indicator that I'm in a downswing if I hadn't already noticed it. Funny thing is, once I make the effort to pick an instrument up, it brightens my spirits, if only a little bit and I'll take any lift I can get.

The section highlighted in bold is key. Once I figured out that I have cyclothymia (bi-polar lite) and talked about it with anyone, not just professionals, it helped. Prior to this, I just thought I was a miserable git and that work was getting me down; not so much it seems in retrospect.

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19 minutes ago, ezbass said:

I have to say, I play less when I'm depressed

I feel this is also true, I wouldn't classify my feelings as depression, but if I am not playing music as often it is definitely an indication that I'm not feeling great. Ezbass is 100% right if I break the cycle and play I will start feeling better. 

Edited by Crawford13
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8 minutes ago, Crawford13 said:

I feel this is also true, I wouldn't classify my feelings as depression, but if I am not playing music as often it is definitely an indication that I'm not feeling great. Ezbass is 10% right if I break the cycle and play I will start feeling better. 

Just 10% :( ? Hopefully, a typo :lol:.

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Yes, it definitely can make a difference, but it depends on you. In the past I’ve always had a few different basses, and some of them may not have got played live, but I always noodled around on them at home.

Now I only have 3 basses of the same type (other than my acoustic bass); however, they pretty much never get played at home, although they’re used at all rehearsals and gigs. I tend to like a different sort of instrument to noodle on, so it does work for me.

I’ll add that I suffer from depression (and PTSD) and find that throwing myself into something new, finding a new interest, does help a little. 

Edited by 4000
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Play double bass. This transformed my entire perspective on music, helped me to meet loads of new people, join bands and fall in love with playing again. i spent my 20s in bands and hated it by about 28. Picked up DB in 2016 and all changed. 

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2 minutes ago, Burns-bass said:

Play double bass. This transformed my entire perspective on music, helped me to meet loads of new people, join bands and fall in love with playing again. i spent my 20s in bands and hated it by about 28. Picked up DB in 2016 and all changed. 

A nice thought, but not practical for everyone. 😉

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48 minutes ago, 4000 said:

A nice thought, but not practical for everyone. 😉

I use an electric double bass that folds away to nothing and can be stored under the stairs, so it’s not always the problem that it may first appear to be. 

The problem with buying a new bass is that you’ll use it the same way as the old ones. You’re doing nothing to tackle the fundamentals cause of your malaise.

For me it was bass didn’t really hold much of a challenge anymore, but DB (or more accurately EUB) did. That’s why I suggested it.

 

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18 minutes ago, Burns-bass said:

I use an electric double bass that folds away to nothing and can be stored under the stairs, so it’s not always the problem that it may first appear to be. 

Which model EUB do you have? 

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The fact you say you have no time might be ruling out playing at all, even at home. You might be thinking "why bother". ?

If that's the case then i don't think a new bass will help in the long run.  

Are you actually missing being in bands, playing at home or the excitement that playing can bring or is it just sadness of times in your past when you had the time and playing was the most important thing in your life. ?

Have your priorities in life changed ie family, work, other hobbies ?

I guess what i'm really asking is "Why don't you have time" ? Who knows whether the answers you have might help resolve the issue.

I gave up playing in bands for that reason. No time due to work commitments. I had no real interest in bands or even bothering too much at home.

When i turned 50 i decided i wanted to get back into bands again. Maybe i just realised that i shouldn't live to work.

It turned out to be a form of escape from work and i've been quite busy since in different styles of bands from rock to prog to finally a band i never thought i would be in......... a 70's Glam Rock covers band and its simply great fun with a great group of people. 

Think you just need to find out why you don't have that drive. Maybe its just time to walk away from it for a bit.

Whatever you decide i can only wish you all the very best.

Dave

 

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5 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Which model EUB do you have? 

I currently have an MK bass which really does collapse down into a small package. It’s similar to the SLB basses, but most EUBs are easy to store.

Dont want to detail the thread, it just that I found applying the knowledge is acquired playing EB to EUB and DB was really exciting.

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