Jump to content
NJE

Will a new bass inspire more playing?

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, ubit said:

I know a boy who has two nearly new kids and he is in three bands. How he does it I don't know!

I'd wager his partner is picking up the slack.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi gang,

To be honest I think you are all right to a certain extent and I think it’s a combination of factors. 
 

When my first child arrived I still found time to play and gig and my wife encouraged me to play and I did. The bands I was playing in were good but due to everyone else all having kids and other commitments and moving, a couple just packed up fairly organically. Since then I have done some dep gigs but whenever anyone has asked me to get involved I either couldn’t commit fully to their schedule or I just couldn’t face playing what songs were on the set list.

I think I have struggled with motivation for a lot of things over the past year, and use up what energy and enthusiasm I have on the kids and family. When they are in bed, I eat dinner, chat to my wife whilst a bad film is on in the background and then it’s bed in preparation for work and childcare which starts about 6am

Some of it is just time and space, as I don’t have room to have guitars out anymore and my office/spare room is full of stuff like ubit said. Some of it however is just a general lack of energy for anything but the basics and I don’t know if that’s normal for someone with kids or whether there are some underlying issues I need to try and tackle.

I have friends who still make time for their hobbies at weekends and dip in and out of family time as they please. I don’t judge, it’s their life and it must work for their families, but I struggle to justify taking many hours out of a weekend to do my own thing and leave my wife with the monsters 😄.

I guess some of it is feeling a bit lost without music as I used to know it, i.e gigging and going out, but I need to experiment with getting that musical gratification in other ways.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, NJE said:

Hi gang,

To be honest I think you are all right to a certain extent and I think it’s a combination of factors. 
 

When my first child arrived I still found time to play and gig and my wife encouraged me to play and I did. The bands I was playing in were good but due to everyone else all having kids and other commitments and moving, a couple just packed up fairly organically. Since then I have done some dep gigs but whenever anyone has asked me to get involved I either couldn’t commit fully to their schedule or I just couldn’t face playing what songs were on the set list.

I think I have struggled with motivation for a lot of things over the past year, and use up what energy and enthusiasm I have on the kids and family. When they are in bed, I eat dinner, chat to my wife whilst a bad film is on in the background and then it’s bed in preparation for work and childcare which starts about 6am

Some of it is just time and space, as I don’t have room to have guitars out anymore and my office/spare room is full of stuff like ubit said. Some of it however is just a general lack of energy for anything but the basics and I don’t know if that’s normal for someone with kids or whether there are some underlying issues I need to try and tackle.

I have friends who still make time for their hobbies at weekends and dip in and out of family time as they please. I don’t judge, it’s their life and it must work for their families, but I struggle to justify taking many hours out of a weekend to do my own thing and leave my wife with the monsters 😄.

I guess some of it is feeling a bit lost without music as I used to know it, i.e gigging and going out, but I need to experiment with getting that musical gratification in other ways.

I feel you, and I only have one kid! I wish there was a quick and easy solution, but I don't think there is. 

I found an originals band with a bunch of great guys and that keeps me motivated. Covid has definitely taken its toll on my motivation, due to my job I have been busier than ever when everyone else has had extra time on their hands. 

I have just booked a Skype lesson, with a world class player and even just prepping for the lesson has kick started some inspiration. 

But on the other hand covid has made me want to go down to 1 bass and 1 guitar rather than wanting new gear... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work in Mental Heath and when I see folk talking about a lack of joy in things ‘work mode’ kicks in so apologies as I’m not trying to diagnose anyone nor would I be qualified to🙂

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, krispn said:

I work in Mental Heath and when I see folk talking about a lack of joy in things ‘work mode’ kicks in so apologies as I’m not trying to diagnose anyone nor would I be qualified to🙂

Tbf being a dad to a young family + new demanding job = major new responsibilities + tiredness. Spread over a long period, it can be v. draining and lead to a loss of motivation on lots of fronts. Then add to that the stress and uncertainty of Covid-19. It's not necessarily anything more. 

No instant cure. It's a phase of life many of us will go through or have been through and are now out the other end, celebrating our mid life crisis with our basses and bands!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have kids, but have suffered from chronic depression, anxiety and PTSD for many years now. It sucks the joy out of everything you do, but worse, you lose any motivation to do anything, even the things you did enjoy. If I had kids as well, I wouldn't cope at all.

So to the OP, if there was anything underlying going on, and you had all the other responsibilities on top of that, you are certainly likely to feel unmotivated.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still in the kids taking up most of my time outside of work (and that's brilliant btw once I finally got my head around it and refocused my priorities!) except I'm 10 years down that road but still there as my eldest has full on ADHD and autism, but all good! 🌈

For the last few years I've been getting a new bass every 6 months on average, doing the one in one out thing. Changing to suit whatever I'm listening to. Sounds mad but I have really enjoyed it! Playing with GAS when there's not much time to play has kept me sane and in the game in a way!

What I'm getting to is that things have really progressed for me during lockdown. I'm back in touch with some of my besties (I live far away from where I'm from) as everyone has had to get along with Zoom at al.. I'm now getting 15 minute drum tracks off one mate who is amazing. I'm pottering around my day listening to them, scatting basslines as I go and coming up with really original stuff that's exciting me. I record said bass scatting along to the track then work it out when I can grab my play hour  Amazing what you can do without holding the bass and just letting your imagination get involved unhindered.No same old patterns to hold me back.

I suggest getting involved with others online and create. Just because. Just because it's fun! No commitments, dip in for an hour when you can and just enjoy the therapy from life that music provides. The payment is doing it.

Yes, a new bass can bring you on and inspire you for sure. Having some project to yank your chain, getting you thinking and something to work towards much more so!

I hope you find your mojo mate. 

Big hi 5.. you got this! 👊

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, krispn said:

I work in Mental Heath and when I see folk talking about a lack of joy in things ‘work mode’ kicks in so apologies as I’m not trying to diagnose anyone nor would I be qualified to🙂

But you probably have a better insight than most of us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you are a great Dad and focusing on the important things for now, as you should. I commend you for that. @NJE

Something i picked up on from @miles'tone post was getting a new bass every few months. Have you considered maybe picking up a cheap bass and doing it up as and when you have time and then selling on  for a small profit. Might give you some motivation and you can dip in and out as and when you can.

I personally think you are doing the right thing for now. You don't want to dump the kids on your wife while you take time out for hobbies and fun. I get that especially with your wife being a nurse which must be really hectic for her. Hopefully all of this will settle down in a bit and maybe then you'l find an hour here and there to enjoy bass playing again.

Dave

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are in a band and gigs are booked you will play as needed. If you find that you can't find time in between gigs to practice then some other reason is stopping you. If you don't play in a band (like me at the moment) and you can't find the time to play then either you are being swamped by a situation or you don't have the right mental attitude.

If as dmccombe says, it's family that is taking up your time then enjoy it. You only get one chance at their growing up, so family time is hugely important. However, if its making you miserable that you are not playing then clearly you still have the desire to play but struggle to find time. My situation was different in that I just couldn't be bothered but a small change in circumstances and my love of playing returned. There isn't much to be honest, for a bass player to do without a band unless you explore other areas like deciding to learn new challenging songs or recording yourself so maybe you need to explore another tact.

My problem now is that now that my desire to play has returned during lockdown I am being sent back to work and won't be able to play for a couple of months. I just hope that I am hungry for it when I get back.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After everyone’s responses I have actually been feeling a little more inspired and have been listening to a lot more music which has stoked the fires a little. Watching the whole Vulfpeck Madison Square Garden concert was really uplifting.

I haven’t got the bass out for a proper play yet as we have been spending some time with wider family since things eased off, but I have started pulling my list of songs together. I am sure loads more will come to me but it’s a start.

Most of these are obvious choices and achievable in my view. I’m not putting any Jaco on my list anytime soon:

Rhythm Stick

The Birdwatcher

The Speedwalker

Sir Duke

Who did you think I was

Might try and get the bass out tonight after the kids are tucked up.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, NJE said:

After everyone’s responses I have actually been feeling a little more inspired and have been listening to a lot more music which has stoked the fires a little. Watching the whole Vulfpeck Madison Square Garden concert was really uplifting.

I haven’t got the bass out for a proper play yet as we have been spending some time with wider family since things eased off, but I have started pulling my list of songs together. I am sure loads more will come to me but it’s a start.

Most of these are obvious choices and achievable in my view. I’m not putting any Jaco on my list anytime soon:

Rhythm Stick

The Birdwatcher

The Speedwalker

Sir Duke

Who did you think I was

Might try and get the bass out tonight after the kids are tucked up.

 

Nice one @NJE Good starting point for your set list. Hadn't heard Birdwatcher and Speedwalker before so had a quick listen before replying. They'll keep you busy for a bit and once completed think of the satisfaction you'll get.

I did Rhythm stick during lockdown period altho most of its gone now apart from start riff. Rest i've already forgotten. Probably because i wasn't playing within a band context.

Well done sir.

Dave

Edited by dmccombe7
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, NJE said:

After everyone’s responses I have actually been feeling a little more inspired and have been listening to a lot more music which has stoked the fires a little. Watching the whole Vulfpeck Madison Square Garden concert was really uplifting.

I haven’t got the bass out for a proper play yet as we have been spending some time with wider family since things eased off, but I have started pulling my list of songs together. I am sure loads more will come to me but it’s a start.

Most of these are obvious choices and achievable in my view. I’m not putting any Jaco on my list anytime soon:

Rhythm Stick

The Birdwatcher

The Speedwalker

Sir Duke

Who did you think I was

Might try and get the bass out tonight after the kids are tucked up.

 

I only know 2 of those, and it’s not something I would normally play but I’ve tried rhythm stick many times, and I found it really challenging, good luck with everything NJE ☝️

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like a fun list. I’d recommend the Scary Pocket channel on You Tube for more inspiring funk - it’s a bit of a hipster collective playing reworked covers mostly in a very funky style. Some of, well actually most of the bass playing is tight as and the musicianship across the board is top notch! 
 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 06/07/2020 at 16:37, NJE said:

Hi gang,

To be honest I think you are all right to a certain extent and I think it’s a combination of factors. 
 

When my first child arrived I still found time to play and gig and my wife encouraged me to play and I did. The bands I was playing in were good but due to everyone else all having kids and other commitments and moving, a couple just packed up fairly organically. Since then I have done some dep gigs but whenever anyone has asked me to get involved I either couldn’t commit fully to their schedule or I just couldn’t face playing what songs were on the set list.

I think I have struggled with motivation for a lot of things over the past year, and use up what energy and enthusiasm I have on the kids and family. When they are in bed, I eat dinner, chat to my wife whilst a bad film is on in the background and then it’s bed in preparation for work and childcare which starts about 6am

Some of it is just time and space, as I don’t have room to have guitars out anymore and my office/spare room is full of stuff like ubit said. Some of it however is just a general lack of energy for anything but the basics and I don’t know if that’s normal for someone with kids or whether there are some underlying issues I need to try and tackle.

I have friends who still make time for their hobbies at weekends and dip in and out of family time as they please. I don’t judge, it’s their life and it must work for their families, but I struggle to justify taking many hours out of a weekend to do my own thing and leave my wife with the monsters 😄.

I guess some of it is feeling a bit lost without music as I used to know it, i.e gigging and going out, but I need to experiment with getting that musical gratification in other ways.

My kids are the same age as yours (3 and 18 months) and I experienced the same. As well as music I work as a writer (which I enjoy), run, ride bikes and enjoy gardening. 

My wife an I co-parent, which essentially means we try and share childcare as much as is possible as she works too.

I just had a realisation at some point that I can’t do everything I used to, but I can do something - so I make time every day to do one thing. That might be an hour long run, half an hour practice on DB or reading some short stories. My wife is learning Norwegian which is her escape.

When you have kids there’s a tendency to give everything over to that endeavour, but it’s worth trying to keep as much of you intact because they’ll soon be doing their own thing. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, krispn said:

I’d recommend the Scary Pocket channel on You Tube for more inspiring funk

Scary Pockets might be just covers but they are overflowing with interesting arrangement ideas and very cool playing. A great lesson of how less is more right there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enjoyed that Scary Pockets Hanson cover a lot. Our drummer in our 50s/60s band is incredibly short sighted. When she was a kid she saw Hanson on TV and thought that if the female (or so she thought!) drummer of Hanson could be so good, then so should could she! Great mistake, from her point of view, to have made and started her passion for drums...

My mistake was when I went along to mate's 40th when he mentioned that they were after a bass player. Well I'd played all manner of 6 string guitars, so I thought "can't be too hard, can it?" - particularly as my missus had one in the house which she'd managed to do one gig with 15 years back. School-boy error, but 7 years later I couldn't be happier that I made it! 

I've heard that the bass line to Rhythym Stick is fiendish - looking forward to a challenge! Norman Watt-Roy is one of the unsung heroes of bass.

 

Edited by Al Krow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Burns-bass said:

My wife is learning Norwegian which is her escape.

 

Unusual choice of language to pick. All credit to her for that during parenthood. :hi:

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, krispn said:

Looks like a fun list. I’d recommend the Scary Pocket channel on You Tube for more inspiring funk - it’s a bit of a hipster collective playing reworked covers mostly in a very funky style. Some of, well actually most of the bass playing is tight as and the musicianship across the board is top notch! 
 

 

I love scary pockets, and Pomplamoose which is also a Jack Conte project. I just googled him and he is the CEO and co-founder of Patreon...very cool.

Great covers, I would love to be in a cover band like that, incredible!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Burns-bass said:

My kids are the same age as yours (3 and 18 months) and I experienced the same. As well as music I work as a writer (which I enjoy), run, ride bikes and enjoy gardening. 

My wife an I co-parent, which essentially means we try and share childcare as much as is possible as she works too.

I just had a realisation at some point that I can’t do everything I used to, but I can do something - so I make time every day to do one thing. That might be an hour long run, half an hour practice on DB or reading some short stories. My wife is learning Norwegian which is her escape.

When you have kids there’s a tendency to give everything over to that endeavour, but it’s worth trying to keep as much of you intact because they’ll soon be doing their own thing. 

I think I need to work at creating some time even if it’s just half an hour or so rather than just crash on the sofa. Being on Furlough has allowed me to go and ride my bike which is great because exercise is good for body and mind, but I still need to commit to other activities and create some space to do that as well.

Keeping myself in tact....that is a great way of putting it. I do feel like I am just ‘dad’ these days, but good to know a balance can be achieved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Enjoyed that Scary Pockets Hanson cover a lot. Our drummer in our 50s/60s band is incredibly short sighted. When she was a kid she saw Hanson on TV and thought that if the female (or so she thought!) drummer of Hanson could be so good, then so should could she! Great mistake, from her point of view, to have made and started her passion for drums...

My mistake was when I went along to mate's 40th when he mentioned that they were after a bass player. Well I'd played all manner of 6 string guitars, so I thought "can't be too hard, can it?" - particularly as my missus had one in the house which she'd managed to do one gig with 15 years back. School-boy error, but 7 years later I couldn't be happier that I made it! 

I've heard that the bass line to Rhythym Stick is fiendish - looking forward to a challenge! Norman Watt-Roy is one of the unsung heroes of bass.

 

Ooh that video looks good, I was looking at one by Scott Whitley? on YouTube which breaks it down but this has some tab as well which is handy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, NJE said:

Ooh that video looks good, I was looking at one by Scott Whitley? on YouTube which breaks it down but this has some tab as well which is handy.

A little trick that I only learned a few months back (from Chris_B as it happens) is that you can slow down the playback speed on YouTube vids to 3/4, 1/2 (or even 1/4) - via the "settings" - without impacting pitch. I've been surprised at how many other folk, besides me, that was news to! Really useful when you're (literally) getting up to speed!

Edited by Al Krow
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, NJE said:

Ooh that video looks good, I was looking at one by Scott Whitley? on YouTube which breaks it down but this has some tab as well which is handy.

Doesn't have to be every day. Exercise one day for half hour to an hour and a little bass next day, something else the next day or even every 2nd day depending on your wife's commitments. 

Rhythm stick is a great song to focus the mind. Hardest part for me was finger stamina. Could play each part separately but when joined up it was hard (aching on the fingers) Trying to remember what came next :laugh1:

I did a section each day. Intro riff one day and practised that for few days then moved onto verse and so on.

Norman has a certain feel and the notes occasionally lag a little when he plays it. Its very slight and wasn't in the bass tab i found.

Definitely a great song to learn on so many levels.

Good luck with it.

Dave

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 05/07/2020 at 09:58, NJE said:

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

Me

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To put some flesh on the bones (or tofu on the celery...)

For me a change is as good as a rest. I find playing different instruments really inspiring.

If you have several basses a new one might not make a lot of difference. But if you only have one, get one that's really distinct from what you have.  A Talman or Harley Benton shouldn't break the bank and giving it a setup (if needed) is part of making it our own.

I've been playing almost daily all through lockdown, sometimes for hours, sometimes just for a bit. Regularly changing bass, but for about six weeks I've just been playing my Flea Jazz.

This thread inspired me to swap to my Jag SS, and I played Schools Out right through for the first time aside from a couple of changes at the end (I've been learning it today...)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...