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Cat Burrito

Have these Lockdowns improved your bass playing?

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Overall, no. I've spent a lot of time doing technique exercises and trying to keep the fingers in trim, so that part hasn't deteriorated. However, having just done a couple of online Jamulus sessions with band members, I find my ensemble playing has suffered because I haven't played with others for so long. It isn't the same playing along with recordings, jam tracks and teaching/practice vid's and it doesn't provide the same motivation. You don't spark off others when playing in solitary splendour.

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LOL!

Just played along to Peter Gunn and discovered that one thing I haven't developed is the stamina for over 4 minutes stretching the same pattern!

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1 hour ago, lozkerr said:

...Things will improve, I know - but the last few weeks have been the toughest for me since last March...

All too familiar, and I can't say that I'm in the best of conditions right now myself, either, but, because the snowdrops are now out (which means the daffodils are nearly here...), here's a small bouquet of virtual daf's to tide you over. The days are getting longer; slowly, too slowly, but Spring is on its way. :friends:

EEUM35O.png

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From a practice point of view lockdown has been a positive for me.

I’ve taken on a teacher, and have sectioned off an hour a day to practice (which I often use!). As a result my walking skills have gone through the roof, comparatively speaking.

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Fretless muscle memory is there, for the first time.  So yes, I think I've improved.  Admittedly from a low bar :)

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I play when I'm home alone, & now I'm rarely alone, so...

We have gotten a mic. & do at-home kara-okay/bass singalongs, but those generally only last 30 to 45 minutes.

In the beginning I was announcing to all & sundry that the lockdown wouldn't affect me, because I'm a recluse anyway, but I went stir-crazy & my nature of being a complainer 'blossomed' into pure angst that got me canned from a large bass forum. Ah well, such is life when Winter depression hits!

On the bright side, now I'm less likely to be staring at my computer screen when the 'good stuff' is happening on television. Yeah, I missed a lot by 'multi-tasking'.

adding:

OTOH I've developed a callus on my fret-hand index-fingertip, probably more about the dryness of Winter

it broke last night, in bed of all places

 

Edited by Killed_by_Death
added callus
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I can say 100% yes, as before lockdown I had never held a bass or any guitar since music class at school 35 years ago😃

A very different situation for me, as someone who has spent the last 25 years as an engineer/manager working mostly in a busy office to suddenly be working from home with almost no social interaction lockdown was tough.

Projects we had were put on hold so we had a reduced workload in the team so I actually had time to do something new, and having something to learn has really helped me get through the Lockdowns. 

I blame Mark Gooday at Ashdown who I've known for a number of years, through nothing to do with music, as when they started their B-Stock sale I picked up a B-Social as a bluetooth player really, but then thought I could buy a cheap bass (Hofner Ignition cause that's what Paul McCartney has) to mess around and learn, had a few chats with Mark, signed up to Fender Play, and have really enjoyed it, I will never do anything other than play at home, and I'm not very good but things got out of hand. I now have the B-Social and Hofner, I've added a 210 & 115 cab, a Ashdown CTM-30 (also an cheap Ashdown Mag400 from ebay that is too loud for home😄), and a Harley Benton SBK and Bass Centre Betsy.

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I'm another one who has almost completely stopped since March. I've gotten a massive promotion at work (I mean, yay, but for the first time ever I actually have a proper job and I'm coming in tired), we've got a new cat and there's a general malaise hanging over the world. I tried playing a little last week and I was even more rubbish than usual.

 

Thanks BC, I thought I'd be the only one.

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Lots. Practice a lot more than I used to. With the core band we do a lock down vid every month or so, a few different singers here and there,  even though they are out of fashion now we do it to keep our selves motivated.

Check out Inner Soul Collective on FB if you want to see anything we do.

I've found that because we are not gigging I have more energy and enthusiasm to try out new things. With no pressure to make sure I've got all my stinky poo together for the gigs  I can relax into just having a really nice play just for the pleasure of playing. Its why I started playing in the first place.

Really got into Bobby Vega and my pick style (or rather Bobbys'pick style) is really coming on to the point I'll use it live plus I'm writing little things I can get into.

My readings gotten a lot better too.  What I'm more concerned about is post lockdown being able to play a whole gig without going wrong. Sure it will all come back but right now, some tunes I'm like...how does that go again?

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22 hours ago, BigRedX said:

No. I've barely picked up any instrument, since April last year. 

Because of my personal situation at the moment, I have little opportunity to play music right now and as neither band are doing anything because of the pandemic I've almost completely stopped playing. If either band starts rehearsing//gigging/recording again then I will make the effort, but without that incentive I find it very hard to get the enthusiasm to play for the sake of it.

Absolutely this.

If I'm not in a band, or if the band I'm in aren't doing anything, I just haven't any enthusiasm to just play. 

I've picked up my bass a few times and played along to a few tracks and learnt/relearnt some however, because I don't keep playing them the next time I pick up my bass I've forgotten them.

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Lockdown has done nothing at all for my bass playing.

I have all of the time in the world to do home recording, but no ideas.
I feel like giving up, but I know that we will regroup when this is over. But I can't see us gigging until next year at the earliest.

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This all makes for very sad reading....

I really hope you can all find the joy in just holding and playing your instrument again (fnar...fnar...). It's tragic to think that, for many of you, if you don't have a gig then you don't practice or play at all...
As I said before, I've taken the lockdown opportunity to play for myself and to rediscover the innocent pleasure of owning, playing and learning my instrument for no other reason than it is just 'part of me'.

Cheers to you all..... and here's hoping you too can rediscover than simple pleasure.

x

 

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15 minutes ago, cetera said:

Cheers to you all..... and here's hoping you too can rediscover than simple pleasure.

x

 

 

.... oh, and if you can't.... and feel like giving up..... then remember to give me first dibs on any Spector or Hamer you own.... ;)

😆 😆

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I pick up a bass less than I did before, but then that's due to the fact I've got less time to do it - supporting a burning-out Covid Nurse and a stir-crazy GCSE 15-year-old as well as sitting in my home office 9-10 hours a day kinda hoovers up the spare time and energy. Like many others, I'm starting to struggle now with motivation, as the best part of playing an instrument for me is playing with others, and I really don't see when that's going to happen again.

I'm considering selling off some of my herd and buying another motorbike, just for something I can actually do...

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17 hours ago, Clarky said:

On the upside I have raised a whole bunch of cash flogging basses on BC and am down to two that are gathering dust instead of 5 or 6

I've sold nearly all of my "collection" I've down to two 5-string basses (for one band) 3 Bass VIs (for the other - one of which needs to be sold as soon as I can organise myself enough to take photos and get it listed) and 4 guitars (for my own amusement two of which will get sold soon, see above!).

Unfortunately all my amplification is in one of my band's rehearsal space and I've not been able to access it, although I don't currently have any space for it at home, which is one big reason why I've done so little playing.

I was considering doing some electronic music on my own, but I've been struggling to find time and energy outside of my working day.

The weird thing is that apart from the absence of band rehearsals none of the lack of motivation has anything to do with the pandemic.

 

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This is strangely reassuring. All the time in the world to do the things i want and I'm not motivated without the pressure of performing live. Recently a fellow band member started doing some recording and asked me for some bass and bv's. My goodness I'm so rusty. That's at least motivated me to go back to maintenance mode where I do enough bass playing not to get any worse but that's it. I'm trying to motivate myself a bit by rehashing some of the fun songs I played years ago that I don't have an opportunity to play now. 

I still think it likely that we will be back playing at least open air gigs this summer, this will come to an end so hang in there everyone. The lower the infection rate now the better chance we have long term. Good luck everyone.

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I feel like my "chops" have slightly improved, as I've had more time than ever to practice at home... when I say practice, it usually is noodling around or playing along songs... I'm not much into scales and stuff.... I know I know....

But yeah, I feel a bit more confortable around the neck, it's hard to explain, I've been playing for 18 years but there's nothing to show for it haha! I really miss playing with my band, we got lucky to be able to rehearse (safely) between August and November, then obviously things changed again... I can't wait to get back in the practice room, and plan a gig!

But I'm not like some of you who have stopped playing.... I'm quite the opposite, I pick up one of my basses as often as possible, and my GAS for a new bass is stronger than ever. 

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I haven't played as much bass because I've been improving on the guitar, with regular practise and on-line tuition. This has helped with cementing theory and improving my ear. I did 3 outdoor socially distanced gigs on bass, and they went well enough. Just started back on bass to determine if any of them should go, and the guitar playing has opened up the instrument, although I am experiencing quite a bit of muscle ache.

I'm sorry to hear others are struggling to play. It's been a massive solace for me during these hard times.

I would say, home practice is no substitute for what I get out of rehearsals, musically, psychologically and emotionally, and can't wait to get back to it.

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2 hours ago, Jack said:

Thanks BC, I thought I'd be the only one.

Same, I was thinking I was the only one too...think there's a general feeling of apathy across society at present with everything.

I feel like there is some kind of end in sight now, so I plan on making a concerted effort the next few week / months to get back on the wagon!

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For once, being a bedroom bass player is an advantage, as motivation doesn't come from gigging. I've played more than I did pre-Covid as I've had more time to dedicate to bass, as opposed to spending evenings gigging or days driving around to look for gigs or preparing our equipment to gig. Unless I'm too knackered, I play bass for at least half an hour before going to bed (headphone amp), so it's now 4-5 times a week. I feel I am improving faster than I was previously. :)

Edited by Silvia Bluejay
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Without a doubt - trying new material in a styles that I'd never have considered prior to the l/d.  Playing unplugged versions of things in a trio (acoustic guitar, bass and vocals) where the bass is much much more prominent and I have spaces to fill has improved my playing massively.

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