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Needed to share these musical thoughts


King Kamehameha

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I know that a few of you at least have seen my post on the OT thread about changing my practicing style. I'm now:

-writing absolutely everything down

-having an idea in my head of what I'm going to do before I do it

-using a metronome to get licks up to speed

-making my own exercises

-telling my music teachers what I'm having trouble with and what I need to work on so I will be up to their speed

-having more focus (possibly the hardest part)

-looking to take independent theory lessons

-recording myself as much as possible

-listening when people make suggestions about music I should hear

-playing with a band as much as possible, particularly in front of an audience

 

These changes are thanks to Steve Vai. I was reading the very beginning of his "30 Hour Workout" (which inspired me to change my system because he did the same thing) and he said:

From my experience, I've found there are, in general, three types of guitarists: casual players who may use the guitar solely as a vehicle to write songs; working musicians who are relatively accomplished and dedicated to a life with the instrument; and players who are intensely driven and relentless in their pursuit to accomplish brilliant and historical acts on the instrument by discovering their unique abilities and talents and, eventually, presenting them effortlessly, with no apparant bounds. Chances are good you fit into the first or second profile I've described. In fact, if there is any question as to whether you should pursue the direction of the third profile, then my suggestion would be: Do not; it's reserved for those who feel they have no choice but to be intense. There is no question in the mind of those players; true artists are compelled by their desires, and usually nothing can stop them. Please note: I'm not implying that one of these groups is better than another or represents players who have a deeper love of music than those in the other groups. I'm simply creating groups based on the desires and goals of distinct types of players.
The first time I read it, I KNEW I was one of the first two. Everybody wants to believe that they belong in the third category. Hardly anybody really does.

 

But I realized something: I'm allowed to believe that if I work as hard as I possibly can at it. To quote Jaco, "It ain't lying if you can back it up." He knew he was the best bassist in the world far before the world did. (Please note---I don't want to start an argument here over whether or not he was!)

 

And the truth is that I could be. I've always been an obsessive person. This particular obsession can last me my whole life, and I think it will. Being easily "addicted" is kind of terrifying, but it can be used to my advantage, as with practice.

 

My schedule won't easily let me do much more than 5 hours a day, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I'm working up from 2.

 

I have kind of a battle to fight between bass and guitar in my mind, too. I will never give up bass for guitar, not ever.

 

But at the same time, I can't stop playing guitar. So I will do both. But I know that I can't devote myself to both. I am pretty sure that I will end up being somewhat like Billy Sheehan. He's played guitar as long as he has bass (well I haven't, but whatever) and though he's a bassist primarily, he can pick up a guitar and play it easily. I know that it's important to get an education in a chordal instrument and that it's okay for a bassist to play guitar, but sometimes I struggle with the balance between the two.

 

And I will likely end up playing the drums and keyboard. Why? I want to. And I've heard it helps.

 

You will be seeing less of me around here, hopefully. Give me any of your thoughts because I need them. Right now I am feeling overwhelmed by all this. (But I'm also sick, so it's a little bit of that, too.)

"My two Fender Basses, I just call them "Lesbos" because of the time they spend together in the closet."-Durockrolly

 

This has been a Maisie production. (Directed in part by Spiderman)

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you are doing fine, the fact that you are using all your resourses to get to your goals is proof of that.

someone who wants to learn will find the tools they need.

you show that in spades.

Maisie i think you will do fine, you have much time to work with. years will pass and you will find it wasn't that long to start with.

go girl.

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I admire your approach and goals. No doubt, if you have the drive and talent you can go places with music. Me? Never tried to make $$ with it and have gone down other roads for a career. But, as everyone here probably thinks, it'd be a dream to be able to make a living in music.

 

I wish I could practice 5 hours a day!!!!!

 

Keep it up, kiddo!

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You guys are the best. It hurts to type much more than that cause I have a blister but you are.

 

And to correct myself: I think I'm going to end up like Billy Sheehan but able to READ MUSIC.

 

No offense, man. :D

"My two Fender Basses, I just call them "Lesbos" because of the time they spend together in the closet."-Durockrolly

 

This has been a Maisie production. (Directed in part by Spiderman)

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Originally posted by Artist Previously Known As bass247:

You guys are the best. It hurts to type much more than that cause I have a blister but you are.

 

And to correct myself: I think I'm going to end up like Billy Sheehan but able to READ MUSIC.

 

No offense, man. :D

Everyone keep an eye: bass needs 13 more posts til 1,000...
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Yup! My bass teacher works me pretty hard, but it's a good thing. I got my interest in jazz from him (though I would have picked it up anyway, it wouldn't have been as early). My guitar teacher kind of jumps around, but I'm kept on my toes...I actually had to tell him that I want us to finish stuff, though. My favorite thing is to finish stuff.

 

12 more.

"My two Fender Basses, I just call them "Lesbos" because of the time they spend together in the closet."-Durockrolly

 

This has been a Maisie production. (Directed in part by Spiderman)

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Originally posted by Artist Previously Known As bass247:

Yup! My bass teacher works me pretty hard, but it's a good thing. I got my interest in jazz from him (though I would have picked it up anyway, it wouldn't have been as early). My guitar teacher kind of jumps around, but I'm kept on my toes...I actually had to tell him that I want us to finish stuff, though. My favorite thing is to finish stuff.

 

12 more.

Sounds like you're good to go then. Enjoy the journey.

 

Is this "30 hour workout" a book that Steve Vai wrote? I can't seem to find it? Just curious.

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I know you are a teen, and this is the time to hone your chops. God grant you the chance to continue to hone those chops into your adult years :thu:

 

I tell you, I had crazy chops in my early 20's. Life intruded, and I spent some years not playing so much; but when I get a good run of consistent playing time, the notes come back. It's like riding a bike, you never forget.

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The philosophy of music. I personally haven't found a view that I feel safe in espousing. But it sounds like you've found something to have faith in that will grant you a large amount of practice time, something that can only do good. As for that three-tiered system of filing artists...?

 

It's actually quite interesting when musicians write their thoughts; the insights into their personal 'why' on music can be heavily philosophical and make you think.

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Artistist formely know as... hehe Bass Girlie I admire you and your posts the most I think. If I had the resources that you have today when I was your age, I think I'd be a much better player myself. (and I believe you've surpased me already) in what I know now.. YOu go Girl!!! you've got all your ducks in a row.. now jsut to stay at them so you don't knock any over :D
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Originally posted by Hard Tail:

Originally posted by Artist Previously Known As bass247:

Yup! My bass teacher works me pretty hard, but it's a good thing. I got my interest in jazz from him (though I would have picked it up anyway, it wouldn't have been as early). My guitar teacher kind of jumps around, but I'm kept on my toes...I actually had to tell him that I want us to finish stuff, though. My favorite thing is to finish stuff.

 

12 more.

Sounds like you're good to go then. Enjoy the journey.

 

Is this "30 hour workout" a book that Steve Vai wrote? I can't seem to find it? Just curious.

It's from an old issue of Guitar World. Somebody from the vai.com forums sent everybody the PDF. If you want it, I'll send you hers.

 

There's just so much to learn, I hardly know where to start.

 

As I'm finding this balance between bass and guitar playing, it's pretty tricky. Is it cooler if I play bass? Does it make me different if I spend an extra hour on guitar?

 

I don't think I'm going to turn out a guitarist (as opposed to a bassist), but it's confusing because I'm getting inspiration from so many different sources and some of them conflict.

 

Will I get flamed if I say that it's easier to play guitar? In my case, guitar is the easier way in terms of the toll it takes on my mind and body, but you can get a job more quickly with bass and it goes on and on....

 

I guess I don't have to worry about that, but I should be thinking about what to concentrate on.

"My two Fender Basses, I just call them "Lesbos" because of the time they spend together in the closet."-Durockrolly

 

This has been a Maisie production. (Directed in part by Spiderman)

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Originally posted by Ricardo.:

The philosophy of music. I personally haven't found a view that I feel safe in espousing.

Yea, I don't exactly know where I fit into Stevie Vai's description. I don't belong in any of his catagorys.

How about playing just for the sake of loving guitars, music, and playing and for no other reason on the entire planet?

 

Bass - you go girl! It's all a bit deep for me, but you get after it. You can do it.

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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Maisie, you are an inspiration. There's a great list of practice ideas in John Goldsby's book 'Jazz Bass', I can probably type them out sometime. I wish I'd put in the practice hours at your age. I've only gotten serious about practicing after 20 odd years of playing although I've made more progress in the last 3 year than in the previous 10.

 

Steve Vai says some inspiring things about music. In the adys before Bass Player magazine, I used to read Guitar Player every month (much rarer now) and I loved his Martian Love Secrets column which is available online at his site:

http://www.vai.com/LittleBlackDots/MLS_index.html

 

Well worth checking out!

 

Personally I think Billy Sheehan is a great bloke and a great player, but a little limited - I think he himself approaches music sometimes from an athletic/geometric approach rather than a creative/artistic one. I think you're approach will make you way more versatile.

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Nicely written. Nice quote from Vai (kind of a master- no?)

 

I think you will do fine with your obsessive attitude. Maybe you are the 3rd kind? Stay positive and avoid thinking about it as a huge daunting task and just enjoy it.

 

Personally, I don't think focusing on guitar will hurt your bass playing. Really anything you do effects everything else. It is cool actually. Like if you practice singing, it will help out things that will help your guitar playing. I agree with the Jaco quote too. Believing and loving yourself is the key to becoming truly great. Don't let other people bring you down. Some people want to sit around and talk about how bad they suck. I know I have done that before. Stay away from that, it is the belief that somehow if you always believe you suck that you will work harder to get better because of your humble attitude..

 

That isn't true, you will move forward quicker keeping your focus on the good aspects of your playing.

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Its nice to see someone with dedication these days, it seems that Bass 247 realizes that you don't just pick up a guitar and instantly become a master. Just remember that it still has to be fun, and a career in music isn't always going to be fun.

 

I never seriously considered category three but I do work pretty hard at times to play better. I rarely force myself to practice, but I do have things I work hard on. Just rememeber that music playing can be a lifelong endeaver, you don't have to peak when your 20 years old. The best comment I saw Bass247 make was to be open to listen to music that people suggest, thats where the enjoyment comes in.

 

It doesn't matter if you ever make a dime or play for audiences. It is nice to play with other musicians however. Keep playing bass and guitar, and whatever other instrument you have time for. But don't spend your youth locked up in a room practicing, make sure you do all the other things that will make you a well rounded person.

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Good luck. :thu:

 

I daresay my ambition and dedication were not sync'd up at your age. I wish I could go back and change that, but it just isn't possible. :(

 

It sounds like you understand and have a plan so my regrets never become yours.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

Soundclick

fntstcsnd

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Originally posted by Artist Previously Known As bass247:

As I'm finding this balance between bass and guitar playing, it's pretty tricky.

They are just different interfaces to bridge the music inside of you to the actual sounds others can enjoy. Developing the music inside of you is more important, although it does take dedicated practice to develop "monster chops" technique in order to be able to express yourself without limits.

 

An analogy might be that you have a thought you want to express. It doesn't matter if you speak it in English or some other language; it is still the same thought. How well can you express your feelings in, say, German, if you only know two German words?

 

There's no reason for you to settle on any one instrument. It's good that you want to explore other instruments, and now is a good time to do so. I can't think of anybody offhand (I'm sure someone will come up with somebody) who is considered a virtuoso on more than one instrument. That doesn't mean they don't (or can't) play more than one instrument.

 

At the other extreme, it's pretty easy to see that it would be folly to try to learn every instrument in the world to a very high proficiency level.

 

Now, the role of the bass or guitar in an ensemble is often different. Learning both instruments now is advantageous because you are learning different roles: bass, harmony, rhythm, melody, counter, etc. That will help you be a more complete musician regardless of which instrument you are playing at any particular moment.

 

Bruce (Gifthorse) brought up singing. Voice is a very special instrument. In some cultures you aren't considered a musician if you can't sing. The way the music industry works it is in your best interest as a musician to be able to sing well. You don't have to hold singing with the same high regard as the music industry, but you have to recognize its worth. You would do well to devote at least some time to practice singing.

 

Speaking of time, Gruupi has already said this, but I'll say it again. You're only young once. We spoke about this before, remember? Just don't get too carried away, ok? Five hours of practice a day seems a little excessive to me; I highly doubt that kids that grow up to be Yo-Yo Ma or concert pianists are quite that obsessive.

 

We're all cheering you on, Maisie, and you're turning out to be a genuine inspiration to us all. :thu:

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Originally posted by RicBassGuy:

Originally posted by Artist Previously Known As bass247:

As I'm finding this balance between bass and guitar playing, it's pretty tricky.

They are just different interfaces to bridge the music inside of you to the actual sounds others can enjoy. Developing the music inside of you is more important, although it does take dedicated practice to develop "monster chops" technique in order to be able to express yourself without limits.

 

An analogy might be that you have a thought you want to express. It doesn't matter if you speak it in English or some other language; it is still the same thought. How well can you express your feelings in, say, German, if you only know two German words?

 

There's no reason for you to settle on any one instrument. It's good that you want to explore other instruments, and now is a good time to do so. I can't think of anybody offhand (I'm sure someone will come up with somebody) who is considered a virtuoso on more than one instrument. That doesn't mean they don't (or can't) play more than one instrument.

 

At the other extreme, it's pretty easy to see that it would be folly to try to learn every instrument in the world to a very high proficiency level.

 

Now, the role of the bass or guitar in an ensemble is often different. Learning both instruments now is advantageous because you are learning different roles: bass, harmony, rhythm, melody, counter, etc. That will help you be a more complete musician regardless of which instrument you are playing at any particular moment.

 

Bruce (Gifthorse) brought up singing. Voice is a very special instrument. In some cultures you aren't considered a musician if you can't sing. The way the music industry works it is in your best interest as a musician to be able to sing well. You don't have to hold singing with the same high regard as the music industry, but you have to recognize its worth. You would do well to devote at least some time to practice singing.

 

Speaking of time, Gruupi has already said this, but I'll say it again. You're only young once. We spoke about this before, remember? Just don't get too carried away, ok? Five hours of practice a day seems a little excessive to me; I highly doubt that kids that grow up to be Yo-Yo Ma or concert pianists are quite that obsessive.

 

We're all cheering you on, Maisie, and you're turning out to be a genuine inspiration to us all. :thu:

I'm not up to 5 just yet anyway. I'm working myself up from two.

 

You guys are some of the smartest people I've ever heard. Honest! And thanks for the encouragement. I love this forum.

"My two Fender Basses, I just call them "Lesbos" because of the time they spend together in the closet."-Durockrolly

 

This has been a Maisie production. (Directed in part by Spiderman)

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You go girl!!

haha

I kind of have the same situation. Although guitar is my primary instrument and nothing else will ever be(because I've played guitars since as long as i can remember) I started playing drums aboiut 2 years ago BUT i DID FIND A SOLUTION!

 

I usually play drums while I'm waiting for my tubes to warm up. hehe

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Originally posted by Phil W:

Maisie, you are an inspiration. There's a great list of practice ideas in John Goldsby's book 'Jazz Bass', I can probably type them out sometime. I wish I'd put in the practice hours at your age. I've only gotten serious about practicing after 20 odd years of playing although I've made more progress in the last 3 year than in the previous 10.

 

Steve Vai says some inspiring things about music. In the adys before Bass Player magazine, I used to read Guitar Player every month (much rarer now) and I loved his Martian Love Secrets column which is available online at his site:

http://www.vai.com/LittleBlackDots/MLS_index.html

 

Well worth checking out!

 

Personally I think Billy Sheehan is a great bloke and a great player, but a little limited - I think he himself approaches music sometimes from an athletic/geometric approach rather than a creative/artistic one. I think you're approach will make you way more versatile.

Oh yes, I knew there was something I forgot: replying to this post! I love those little articles he wrote....I think the main reason I respect Steve Vai is because he is strong spiritually and understands things that a lot of people don't. That allows his music to to be incredibly soulful and reflect his feelings and moods.

 

That being said, it also requires a tremendous amount of musical knowledge and physical dexterity to create music like his. You can start somewhere so simple and it gets complicated quickly without your realizing it...my musical world used to be so small.

 

There are probably some people on here who view Vai in a very...different way. That he's a show-off shredder, etc. But he has all this soul that is rare in modern music, especially among those who are capable of as much fast playing and nonsense as he is. Some people think that's all they need. :rolleyes:

 

I listen to plenty more music than just him though. Of course.

 

And I know what you mean about Billy....but his technique is impeccable, his stage presence enourmous, his general energy pleasant and his hugs....

 

http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k79/bass247_2006/IMG_0751.jpg

 

Pretty great. :)

"My two Fender Basses, I just call them "Lesbos" because of the time they spend together in the closet."-Durockrolly

 

This has been a Maisie production. (Directed in part by Spiderman)

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247, I haven't contributed to this thread mostly because everyone has done such a good job of encouraging your studies and your rehearsal plans are right on target! I just read Gifthorse and Ric's posts that mentioned singing. My ears perked up because this is one of my favorite subjects because it is SO important to success in music if being a working musician is one of your targets. I cannot stress enough that you work on your vocal ability along with your instrumental studies. When you are able take voice lessons with a voice teacher, do this as soon as possible so as not to injure your voice and understand how to control and take care of your voice.
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I agree with the singing bit; the great part it is it doesn't have to detract from other instrument practice time. As much, anyways.

 

ellwood's posts about it have gone a long way towards convincing me to at least train my voice. I'd given up on ever using it for a long time; I shot myself in the foot for it and have catching up to do.

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Well I can`t say much that hasn`t been said eloquently already, but it`s really inspiring to see someone be focused and dedicated and enthusiastic at just the right time. So many sit around and TALK about doing that. You`ve got the tools in front of you, all you have to do is dive into them. I would NOT spend a lot of time worrying about what will or won`t get you a job in music at this point-that`s a not the way to decide your path. Those situations come and go and change like a traffic light, I`d put all that BEHIND the back burner for now. I really hope you`ll take a little time now and then to update us on how you`re doing, it`s a little like watching your friend in the World Series :)

Yeah, about that article by Steve V., I totally agree that those who throw him in with mindless technique wonks don`t know what they`re talking about. But as I mentioned earlier, you MUST keep a journal, not just with lesson notes but any creative ideas that come to your mind. Write them down as soon as you can, don`t edit ANYTHING out, save that for later. I also believe that, bless his heart but Steve is speaking as an instrumentalist. When great songwriting and blazing technique come together, it`s magic but 90% of the time, the demands of one or the other take precedent. The current trend is toward the song being priority #1, that could change next month but I DON`T agree that someone is either a songwriter with passing interest in the guitar or a total instrumentalist. In fact the more I think about it the more unsupportable that sounds. Maybe that`s not even what he meant but it SOUNDS that way.

Anyway, you got it going on girl. Have fun.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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Yeah, I do sing with my charity rock group and at camp. It does help you so much, because it's so easy to express yourself with your voice because you know where all the pitches are and it can teach you a lot about playing another instrument.

 

Originally posted by Gruupi:

Cool pic of you and Billy, tell us more about the meeting. Did you get a lesson or was it just a quick snapshot?

It was at Bass Player Live. I'd just been to one of his clinics and got some things signed and I asked for a hug. I told him my friend had bet me he wouldn't. Lies, but it was because I was nervous... :D

 

Oh and Skipclone, I do keep a creative journal, couldn't live without it! I need to set aside some time to go through the ideas in there.

"My two Fender Basses, I just call them "Lesbos" because of the time they spend together in the closet."-Durockrolly

 

This has been a Maisie production. (Directed in part by Spiderman)

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By the way K.K.-

I was thinking, a lot of people don`t like comparing music to sports (I usually don`t either), but in fact if you`re keeping up a really heavy practice schedule you`re asking your hands to do a LOT-it`s a good idea to get into the habit of developing some exercises to loosen and warm up your fingers-and I DON`T mean on the fretboard. A lot of people confuse the two-oh, I`ll do warmup exercises by playing-ah, no-not the same. Pianists have some nifty finger stretches, there are several devices like those Chinese steel balls, I have several sets. I also like a big wad of gum eraser, from art supply shops. Whatever you choose use it well, too many people have gotten nerve and/or tendon problems later on.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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