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Calling it a day on Bass


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5 hours ago, thebigyin said:

Well after 20 odd years playing Bass on and off i've decided to concentrate on Guitar....always had an Acoustic knocking about and learnt some fingerstyle ect, but bought an 80s Epiphone LP Standard a few months ago and little Blackstar 10w practice amp and find it much more enjoyable....really tried to up my game with the Bass learning theory but the big mistake came after enrolling on Joe Hubbards 2 Year Bass Mastery Course (at great expense) took the risk hoping this would make me focus and better my playing but been a non reader it went straight over my head and the endless meaningless drills just bored the tits off me, i'm just not a Jazz/Improve player just not good enough.....give me some good ol' 70s power chord Blues/Rock classics and some 80s Metal and it's happy days, wishing you all the best i've enjoyed the Forum it's been great but always deep down wanted to learn Guitar and progressing quite well.

As long as you're still making /playing music, that's the important thing IMHO.. 

Music is good for the body, mind and soul - I think we can all agree on that? 

(But it's ever so slightly more beneficial when you're a bass player! 😉😁

Best of luck with it all @thebigyin

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I’ve gone back and forth between guitar and bass many times over the years. I get bored or scunnered with guitar mostly, and switch to bass. I tend to prefer completely different styles of music on each instrument, even between electric and acoustic guitar. Once I just stuck my guitar under the bed for a year, I was so bored with the whole thing.

I hope you will find some satisfaction in whichever instrument catches your fancy. 

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5 hours ago, thebigyin said:

Well after 20 odd years playing Bass on and off i've decided to concentrate on Guitar....always had an Acoustic knocking about and learnt some fingerstyle ect, but bought an 80s Epiphone LP Standard a few months ago and little Blackstar 10w practice amp and find it much more enjoyable......give me some good ol' 70s power chord Blues/Rock classics and some 80s Metal and it's happy days,deep down wanted to learn Guitar and progressing quite well.

This, 9/10 I play guitar, so much fun and endless possibilities, well at least for me. Good luck and keep 🤟

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I think you learn a lot more by having to research (on the net or otherwise) what you need to learn, and then forming your own practice plan.

I believe these hand holding courses are mostly a waste, and are only useful to certain people.

 

 

Edited by TheLowDown
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This is something you are doing chiefly for pleasure and the satisfaction of progressing.

So follow your heart and your inclination and don't be ashamed to stick to the music you enjoy.

My only advice is a change is as good as a rest and keep a bass somewhere - especially as changing between instruments, even just for the odd twiddle, helps improves skills on both! 🙂

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5 hours ago, uk_lefty said:

Know what you mean about endless drills. Had my first ever lesson after 21yrs playing last month and though I'd asked for drills and theory I was told words to the effect you can pick up what you need to know by playing different and interesting songs that you like. Any other theory stuff might not be that useful to you. And after one inspirational lesson I agree!

I took one bass lesson some time ago, hoping it would help me get back into things. I was clear I wanted advice on my technique, but I just got modes and scales. I've made massive progress just by learning loads of songs, most of which were beyond my skills two years ago.

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6 hours ago, thebigyin said:

but always deep down wanted to learn Guitar and progressing quite well.

Wait until the plateau arrives, and then you will start to question if the guitar is for you in the same way that you questioned about the bass. It won't always be about progressing.

I get the feeling that the underlying reason for you playing bass/guitar is only to achieve something with it rather than to simply enjoy the process. The bass or guitar is just a vehicle for you. That's where you're going wrong.

At the end of the day it sounds like this instrument switching is about frustration rather than some deeply felt realisation.

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19 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

I took one bass lesson some time ago, hoping it would help me get back into things. I was clear I wanted advice on my technique, but I just got modes and scales. I've made massive progress just by learning loads of songs, most of which were beyond my skills two years ago.

I asked the teacher, a full time quality musician and bassist, specifically about expanding my creation of bass lines beyond major and minor scales. I said I have books with all the modes etc and I could parrot fashion learn them but I want to know how and when to deploy them. I sent him recordings of recent gigs so he could hear my playing and so the lesson was geared instead around how I can create more within those songs, study what the original player was playing, get out of bad habits, rather than learn a load of scales and modes and then be more confused about what to play. I've really benefitted from just one hour with a much better bassist, but luckily he is a great communicator too who can quickly understand what I really want to know and how to get there. I don't think a prescribed course would do that for me. 

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I too play both, not an either/or. 

For me, this is one of the potential difficulties in education in any art form. Experiencing something that destroys your love of it, rather than enhancing it as planned. It happened to me with painting; the “tutors” I had completely destroyed my enjoyment of it, so I stopped painting altogether. Unfortunately at the time, although I was considered extremely talented, I wasn’t sufficiently strong-willed to tell them to stuff themselves and take my own route, which is what I should have done. 

FWIW, I believe Tori Amos eventually gave up /was let go from her music academy because of her interest in popular music forms aligned with a dislike for reading music. It didn’t stop her being an extremely creative and talented musician. In fact most of the successful musicians in popular music probably don’t have much background in theory and reading. Obviously if you plan to play jazz or classical, that’s different, but it doesn’t sound like you do. 

As others have said, if you’re happy playing blues & rock and didn’t enjoy this particular course, then play the blues/rock and forget the course. 

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2 hours ago, TheLowDown said:

Wait until the plateau arrives, and then you will start to question if the guitar is for you in the same way that you questioned about the bass. It won't always be about progressing.

I get the feeling that the underlying reason for you playing bass/guitar is only to achieve something with it rather than to simply enjoy the process. The bass or guitar is just a vehicle for you. That's where you're going wrong.

At the end of the day it sounds like this instrument switching is about frustration rather than some deeply felt realisation.

Wow....i think your right, i have good days and bad on both, really in a rut, what would you suggest.

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2 hours ago, thebigyin said:

Wow....i think your right, i have good days and bad on both, really in a rut, what would you suggest.

Try some music you enjoy listening to but wouldn't normally play along to.

Funk classics are a good choice I find, something like Ball of Confusion or I Feel Good is a joy to play but challenges you to get in the groove.

Edited by Stub Mandrel
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It really doesn’t matter what you play - I choose bass just because it’s what I felt/feel (I played tenor trombone as a kid) my Dad played trumpet, wife plays alto & tenor sax, daughter plays flute & Keyboard. We all get a huge amount of enjoyment of just playing music which is what it’s all about. We’re all doing different things in different ways and we’re all at different levels but we’re all getting the same amount of enjoyment from this thing called music.

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15 hours ago, thebigyin said:

Wow....i think your right, i have good days and bad on both, really in a rut, what would you suggest.

For me it was a change of material - I play both guitar and bass but really only play heavy rock.  Once lock down started myself and two members of the rock covers band I play in formed an acoustic/unplugged rock trio and playing stripped back versions of song where the bass has to work to fill space has really improved my playing, along with material that I'd never have consider playing before - The Police, The Pretenders, Ryan Adams, John Mayer to name just a few.  Anything that encourages you to learn is always better than just going over things you already know.

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I've never played music for a living, pocket money yes, so I've never just focused on one instrument, flipping between bass, fingerstyle acoustic, electric guitar, drum kit and assorted hand and stick drums. I've never believed in formal music education, being of the view it's something that should be instinctive. I prefer to learn tunes not drills. I've heard many great musicians from developing countries in African and Latin America etc who learnt to play from family members or others in their communities. No such equivalent as Berklee in Cameroon.

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It's all just pitches and rhythms, do it on whatever lets you enjoy it the most, and switch when something isn't floating your boat anymore. I've had to play lots of guitar recently for some recordings, and I think it's improved my bass playing if anything. I can't imagine wanting to play anything other than bass live, but I'm surrounded by guitars, ukes, mandolins, drums and a keyboard.... They all feed into the same stream.

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Coming from a large family, always working  plus socialising I have done well initially to actually get as far as I have playing the bass . 

When I was around 15 mum  managed to get me a bass ( hohner firewood precision copy ) from her freeman's catalogue . This was after a short attempt to play a lovely black les Paul copy . Thankfully she was allowed to change it.

I phoned up an ad placed in sounds for lessons . " You don't need lessons for bass" . Um.. ok. 
It wasn't until I started learning tab from American guitar mags and meeting one of my best friends through work that I actually could play something remotely tuneful . My friend at the time was charging me £5 and he would play endless metal for hours after I fed him . If I as broke, I'd give him my ozzy albums that I had on cd . It was through him that I discovered Rudy sarzo hot licks video. He also got me to play my fist gig ever ( 30th birthday gig ) with him on guitar in front of 200 people in the centre of London . 
That got me auditioning for bands .

Playing root notes , and frightened to stray too much in fear of sounding too much like les Dawson I was somewhat ltd .

when stu hamm and slapping and tapping became popular , I spent too much time trying to do that ( unsuccessfully obviously) and one guitarist who was possibly going to be in a band with said " [email protected]@k stu hamm! Learn the basics"

So I did , and started seeing a lovely bloke in tooting ( John hills) . I spent a few months with him , and learnt some theory and a bit of proper music . I day a bit ' every good boy deserves fudge ' etc . He helped me understand triads , scales properly etc . Plus he let me usd his WALfretless for brief periods .

I ended up being in a few bands but got bored for a few years . Then after doing my 40th birthday gig on front of 70+ people got the urge again to join a band again . It took me a while to up my game when playing in a proper gigging pub band , and eventually I could play by ear a lot better . But with bands , they start off well and dissolve. Mainly due to ego or commitments .

Im pleased to have played places such as the grey horse🐺 in Kingston albeit to shady managers and one man and his dog .🐕

I packed up playing in bands for good around 10 years ago.

I have purchased more bassses in case I do gig , but may offload then although letting go is hard.

Since noodling at home , I find bass a lot easier . I did have a five string but sold it as I was too nervous to use it live . I thought it more fun to jump around doing rock poses for entertainment rather than people watching me looking bored . I was going to get another 5 string but  I have a bass whammy . I found 5 string not difficult to understand . Fretless.. the best neck I have on any bass is my vester custom series . I like the one that my bass sold me on here that he made . 

All that said, I have now finally got my finger out this year and am managing  to record stuff on soundcloud. For years I was trying to use GarageBand on my old Mac mini , but tbh the Ram was not powerful enough and I had glitches everywhere . Plus I never had time to use it due to work and band commitments , Now I have a Moog grandmother which I need to get to grips with ., plus a better Mac with more storage etc. Apps are cool also .

so, I'm still keeping a musical interest and it's good to see  that everyone here still has . In my case age and time  seem to have  made a difference .

I could have done a lot more with everything but I'm more or less happy with my lot .

Just do what gives you enjoyment . 

 

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1 minute ago, RAY AGAINST THE MACHINE said:

Coming from a large family, always working  plus socialising I have done well initially to actually get as far as I have playing the bass . 

When I was around 15 mum  managed to get me a bass ( hohner firewood precision copy ) from her freeman's catalogue . This was after a short attempt to play a lovely black les Paul copy . Thankfully she was allowed to change it.

I phoned up an ad placed in sounds for lessons . " You don't need lessons for bass" . Um.. ok. 
It wasn't until I started learning tab from American guitar mags and meeting one of my best friends through work that I actually could play something remotely tuneful . My friend at the time was charging me £5 and he would play endless metal for hours after I fed him . If I as broke, I'd give him my ozzy albums that I had on cd . It was through him that I discovered Rudy sarzo hot licks video. He also got me to play my fist gig ever ( 30th birthday gig ) with him on guitar in front of 200 people in the centre of London . 
That got me auditioning for bands .

Playing root notes , and frightened to stray too much in fear of sounding too much like les Dawson I was somewhat ltd .

when stu hamm and slapping and tapping became popular , I spent too much time trying to do that ( unsuccessfully obviously) and one guitarist who was possibly going to be in a band with said " [email protected]@k stu hamm! Learn the basics"

So I did , and started seeing a lovely bloke in tooting ( John hills) . I spent a few months with him , and learnt some theory and a bit of proper music . I day a bit ' every good boy deserves fudge ' etc . He helped me understand triads , scales properly etc . Plus he let me usd his WALfretless for brief periods .

I ended up being in a few bands but got bored for a few years . Then after doing my 40th birthday gig on front of 70+ people got the urge again to join a band again . It took me a while to up my game when playing in a proper gigging pub band , and eventually I could play by ear a lot better . But with bands , they start off well and dissolve. Mainly due to ego or commitments .

Im pleased to have played places such as the grey horse🐺 in Kingston albeit to shady managers and one man and his dog .🐕

I packed up playing in bands for good around 10 years ago.

I have purchased more bassses in case I do gig , but may offload then although letting go is hard.

Since noodling at home , I find bass a lot easier . I did have a five string but sold it as I was too nervous to use it live . I thought it more fun to jump around doing rock poses for entertainment rather than people watching me looking bored . I was going to get another 5 string but  I have a bass whammy . I found 5 string not difficult to understand . Fretless.. the best neck I have on any bass is my vester custom series . I like the one that my bass sold me on here that he made . 

All that said, I have now finally got my finger out this year and am managing  to record stuff on soundcloud. For years I was trying to use GarageBand on my old Mac mini , but tbh the Ram was not powerful enough and I had glitches everywhere . Plus I never had time to use it due to work and band commitments , Now I have a Moog grandmother which I need to get to grips with ., plus a better Mac with more storage etc. Apps are cool also .

so, I'm still keeping a musical interest and it's good to see  that everyone here still has . In my case age and time  seem to have  made a difference .

I could have done a lot more with everything but I'm more or less happy with my lot .

Just do what gives you enjoyment . 

 

I played the Grey Horse, Kingston, to one man (no dog to boost numbers unhappily)!!

I think a knowledge of theory is helpful. I had a good few years of piano lessons and, while self-taught on bass, I did have the advantage of the theory behind it all. I also concluded that if I was ever asked to slap I would provide Mark King's or Nick Begg's number. 

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Good point about the piano Steve . One of the hardest instruments to learn .

Speaking of dogs at gigs , I did play a bizarre gig with Fred the deaf dog in a pub in Fulham . 🐕 Lovely big placid dog . The pub was full of smoke high up into the ceiling . Alas, we were not Celtic frost , but a blues band called sponge fingers 

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16 minutes ago, Steve Browning said:

 

I think a knowledge of theory is helpful. I had a good few years of piano lessons and, while self-taught on bass, I did have the advantage of the theory behind it all. 

Of course a knowledge of theory is helpful. But - depending on the type of musician you are, how you learn and create - it’s not essential. I don’t think anyone is arguing against learning theory. But if the process of learning theory is putting someone off playing, surely it’s better they keep playing? 
 

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Another veteran of the Grey Horse here!  25 years ago or more...

It's a shame that you haven't got anything out of the lessons, and I can understand how they may have put you off.  Not exactly the same thing, but an ex of mine didn't read a book for ten years after doing English Literature at A Level because for her it squeezed all the enjoyment out of reading.  We all learn in different ways, and have different levels of ability, and it's all about finding what works for you

Maybe the course wasn't for you, and hopefully you'll get more enjoyment out of playing the guitar.  But like a lot of the others, I question that it needs to be a "one or the other" decision - I have more guitars than basses at the moment, have played guitar in bands in the past, but would always consider myself a bass player.  I used the extra time at home from lockdown to concentrate on playing 7 string guitar, just getting more used to how to get around the neck with an extra string. And while I play an instrument most days, more often than not it's a guitar rather than a bass - my motivation is often "what haven't I played for a while?" so with more guitars than basses it's usually six strings that win.  Add to that the fact that I think I'm a much better bass player than I am a guitarist, so I will spend more time practicing technique on the guitar to try and improve.  But I'm still a bass player, always will be.  Just sometimes I'm a bass player who is playing the guitar

All playing is good, whether it's improving your technique, just playing for fun, learning a specific song (and learning other people's songs is much underrated - learning how to play a favourite song and understanding the structure is a really valuable exercise) or playing with a band. I personally get the most from playing with a band, but just noodling away in front of the TV also helps, and there's certainly been more noodling than playing in a band over the last year

Playing the guitar has definitely made me a better bass player, and vice versa, although I haven't always realised it at the time...which brings me to my last point.  You may not feel the benefit of the lessons right now, but you might in due course.  All our experience contribute to how well we can play, and I can definitely see the benefit of stuff that I learned on the bass when I'm playing the guitar, and stuff I'm playing on the bass that is informed by knowing guitar chords and progressions.  I'm a much better musician now than I was 25 years ago when I was playing the Grey Horse, a product of all the experience I've had in the meantime, whether that's playing different instruments, in different bands playing different styles of music, whatever

So while I understand you wanting to concentrate on guitar, I'd say that you should leave the door to the bass open, hang on to your gear, certainly keep your favourite bass, and see if you feel the urge to play coming back in a while

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22 hours ago, thebigyin said:

Wow....i think your right, i have good days and bad on both, really in a rut, what would you suggest.

One of the above posters suggested one to one lessons. It will make lessons more interactive for you, providing instant feedback, and most importantly of all they will provide some direction, inspiration, and hand holding which is important when you reach a plateau. I probably wouldn't recommend this method forever because of the prices, but they're a good way of getting you out of a rut so that you have a clear direction of where you want to go next.

Edited by TheLowDown
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