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bored of bass ;(


Albini Fan

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I'm new here, but I'm in a rut. I'm 16, I don't go to school (homeschooled ;p), and I've been playing bass for about 8 months. I play on a mexican fender jazz, and a 100 watt 1x15 crate amp.

 

I've never played in a band, I've just sat in my room and fiddled. I can't play by ear, I just use tabs (sigh!). I don't think I'm getting anywhere, and I'm thinking about selling my gear. I don't know how to find a band, I'm not any good and I'd just be emberassed. I'd let my parents down if I sold my stuff, because they have high hopes for me or something.

 

Sigh.

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Well, I kinda know how you feel. I currently have a passionate love affair with my bass, but it wasn't always like that. I play on almost identical gear, (MIM p-bass, 100w 1x15), and I just kinda goofed around on it for a while with no direction or training. After about 2 years of that and after forays into g**tar and percussion I picked up a copy of bass player just for kicks and read it. I got a little jolt of bas enthusiasm and played more often, and it just built on itself (lurking this forum helped also...). I found a few websites like activebass.com and others through this forum and then things just took off! I run through excersises and scales and play to Cd's and MP3s for hour on end, much to the chagrin of my new wife! I still have not found a band either, but just reaching a point where you can play and enjoy what you hear coming out of your amp has been very exciting. :cool::cool::cool: The moral of the story: Don't just give up after 8 months! Take some time to develop your skills and tastes and build a relationship with the instrument. After all, if you still don't like it after another 8 months you can still sell your gear, it won't affect the value! :D
Official Member of the Low Down Younguns Society
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Hey guy,

 

You are in the absolutely worse situation I can think of to try to learn bass...no wonder you can't seem to get ahead.

 

Please don't give up.

 

Most kids your age go to a school where guys hang out and jam...I did, way back in the '70s. You don't have that.

 

Bass is a supportive instrument, you can't sit down and sing Dave Matthews songs...

 

You need to find a guitar playing friend, and don't worry about what you don't know...

 

Just make something up that sounds good.

 

Maybe a church band, or whatever. And if you don't find someone right away, keep practicing and don't give up hope.

 

You'll be alright.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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FIND SOMEONE TO PLAY WITH!!

 

Bass by itself is no fun, but when coupled with something else its a blast. Try a local events calander magazine (we have a free reader that has lots of wanted adds) or go to the local guitar center and check out the bassist wanted adds usually there are a crap load. Play to the radio etc... bass is the shit

 

thats my 2 cents

Dave

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Signing up for lessons would help. Good teachers will help you set attainable goals and help you get there. Also, good teachers will have some contacts in local music networks and might be able to help connect you to some other musicians you could jam with from time to time, even if it's not a regular band.

 

Good luck.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Originally posted by Albini Fan:

...I'm not any good and I'd just be emberassed.

We've all been there. Everybody sucks when they first start out. Yes, it's true, I know it's hard to picture, but I'm sure there was even a time when Jaco sucked. There's nothing to be ashamed or embarassed about. The first step to de-sucking yourself is to get a bass teacher. Not only will it help speed the learning process 100x, but it will help keep your interest up and it'll get you into the music store once a week so you can start making some connections. Go a little early to your lessons and learn who the guitar, keyboard and drum teachers are and get to know them. They all have students in various stages of suckiness so just make it known that you'd like to find some people around your experience level to jam with. Stick with it. Starting out is the hardest part and once you're over this hump I think you'll find it gets much easier. You may think you're not any good now, but it sure doesn't have to stay that way.
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I guess I'll keep to it, but I'm a moron when it comes to the bass. My bass is exactly how it was when I bought it, even the strings are the same! They are all flat and sound REALLY terrible, but I don't know how to change them :( There's alot of stuff I want to change on my bass (pickups, and the bridge. AND THE STRINGS, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THE STRINGS) but I have NO know-how.

 

I probably will get with a teacher, tho. Does guitar center really have bassist wanted adds? I might want to get my strings changed before I go audition for a band, or whatever :/

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You see how your current strings are attached? Take them off, buy some new ones, and put them back on in reverse order... :D There are some more steps/details involved, but they should become apparent as you go through the process... And if you like G**tar Center, ask the dude/chic, at the accessories counter for some help/advice on strings... :cool: Learn to do it yourself though, I have a G**tar playing friend who pays for a setup/string change every time he needs it done... :freak: Its kind of embarrassing to see a grown man who can play the crap out of his instrument, unable to figure out how to adjust/restring his Les Paul...

"Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of Congress

... But I repeat myself."

-Mark Twain

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/63/condition_1.html (my old band)

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Don't worry about changing the pickups or the bridge, for now, they won't make you a better player!! All the other posts are right, a teacher is a darn good way to get started.

 

But if you can't hook up with a teacher, look in the book and video section of your music store. There's lots of good books and videos, find a beginning video (in the style of music you like!!) Make sure it's a basic video, don't want to get overwhelmed, you need the basics. And make sure it's songs or the style of music you are familiar with.

 

And buy an electronic tuner if you don't have one. Also an electronic metronome to learn time.

 

Good luck.

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I've had my bass for 2 or 3 years (somewhere around there) and still havent changed the strings. I should change those things sometime.
"Cliff Burton (the "Major rager of the 4-string mother f***er", from Metallica)" Direct quote from Wikipedia (censored out of respect for the forum)
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Yes, it's worth knowing how to change strings. It's very easy to do. There was even a BP mag about strings a couple of years back that gave some great tips on string-changing.

 

However, some cats -- even some real famous, bad-ass cats -- will leave the same strings on for-frickin'-ever. Others will change them for every gig (I think Geddy Lee is a frequent string-changer). Depends on how you like your tone -- and your wallet. We all know that bass strings can really set you back!

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Originally posted by Mudbass:

Everybody sucks when they first start out. Yes, it's true, I know it's hard to picture, but I'm sure there was even a time when Jaco sucked.

Nah. Jaco was king from the day he started.

 

I know it too, man. I still am not very good after two years, but I'm making progress. Don't worry with being a great player yet, just get the basics down.

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Bass lessons will greatly help your rut. Interaction with a more experienced player and ambiance of a music store will help you. If this is not available, there are several books by Mel Bay and Hal Leonard that are good for helping your learn to read notation and develop a style. There are also several personality videos by the likes of John Patitucci, Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey... that will give you plenty of inspiration.
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Albini fan wrote:

I've never played in a band, I've just sat in my room and fiddled. I can't play by ear, I just use tabs (sigh!). I don't think I'm getting anywhere, and I'm thinking about selling my gear. I don't know how to find a band, I'm not any good and I'd just be emberassed. I'd let my parents down if I sold my stuff, because they have high hopes for me or something.
First off, Albini, welcome to the forum! :wave:

 

Sounds like you need to do three things:

 

1) Lose the negativity. You've only been playing for 8 months. Nobody has become even a decent player in that short amount of time unless they're already an experienced musician and have their ear together. Music's hard at first if you're not experienced with it, but you need to look at your current level of playing as a reason to try to improve rather than a reason to give up. Trust me, I've been there. If you want to play, keep playing! You WILL get better if you want to and put in the time.

 

2) Sign up for some lessons. Don't worry about being nervous in front a teacher because if they're any good they'll encourage you. A teacher can help you get started on the right track by showing you some techniques to get a good sound, play cleanly. They'll also show you how to change those strings! :idea:

 

3) Keep listening to those records! Tab's fine right now, but you should do youself a favor and find a song with a bassline that sounds easy and (*gasp*)learn it by ear. You'll have trouble finding the notes...that's okay! Rome wasn't built in a day. Once you have those new strings, you'll hear what notes you're playing a lot clearer. Try singing the bassline before you play it so you can figure out what it's supposed to sound like. Then hunt and peck the fingerboard to find the right notes. If you can't sing that low, sing it an octave up. If you don't know what an octave is, see point #2. ;)

 

Bottom line, relax! Everyone sucks at first! I did! Soetimes I still think I do! :D Don't be afraid to ask any of us more questions! There's a lot of wise bassists here who dispense their wisdom way more cocisely than I do! :rolleyes:

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albini fan- what these guys said. play with someone. there are so many guitar wanks around that you should be in demand. i guarantee you will learn something, good or bad, from each person you play with. i didn't start til i was in my 40's and i know a guy who started at 60, and he is getting good. use tab to find out where the hands go- then use your ear. it doesn't happen overnite and you may not become the next jaco (or you might, you have time) but you will have a lot of fun. keep in touch and let us know how your musical journey is going. relax and have fun, be able to laugh at your mistakes, keep a positive attitude and people will want to be around you regardless of your ability level. good luck
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I got one of my friends who happens to play guitar over today, and we jammed some. It was kind of lame (but fun!), because he wasn't in the mood to learn anything I wanted to play. So, we played some Blink 182 (eep.) It was great, except for the fact that playing pop-punkish tunes without a pick tore my fingers up :( Oh well, no pain no gain, yes?

 

I'm going to sign up for lessons this week :D

 

Thanks everyone for their advice :P

 

And PS - To whoever called me Albini, hehe! I'm not Albini, I'm a Steve Albini (Big Black, Shellac, Rapeman, he produced for The Pixies, Nirvana, and Bush, to name a few) fan!

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Originally posted by Albini Fan:

I got one of my friends who happens to play guitar over today, and we jammed some. It was kind of lame (but fun!), because he wasn't in the mood to learn anything I wanted to play. So, we played some Blink 182 (eep.) It was great, except for the fact that playing pop-punkish tunes without a pick tore my fingers up :( Oh well, no pain no gain, yes?

 

I'm going to sign up for lessons this week :D

 

Thanks everyone for their advice :P

 

And PS - To whoever called me Albini, hehe! I'm not Albini, I'm a Steve Albini (Big Black, Shellac, Rapeman, he produced for The Pixies, Nirvana, and Bush, to name a few) fan!

Don't worry about what kinda music your friend plays, don't worry about the pick, don't worry about whether or not it's "lame."

 

Focus on the "fun." There's time enough to be an artist later.

 

And lessons will be great for you.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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Everyone wants to play "their" kind of music, & if you're lucky, you'll be able to someday. There's nothing wrong with wanting that. But it CAN become a trap, if you get into thinking, "Well, that's not really the music I'm into; what a bore." That keeps you from (a) enjoying what you're doing at the moment, which leads to frustration & all the bad crap that follows, & (b) learning something you didn't know you didn't know. Keep that mind OPEN, and remember that any day you get to play anything at all, is a VERY GOOD DAY!! It's a day when music is in your life.
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Man...this doesnt apply to bass, but anything. DONT play or not play or do or not do something because it will please your parents. It may smooth things out for now but down the line you will regret it with a passion.

 

Being homeschooled may be part of the problem too, you need to get out and interact with other people, in terms of music and everyday life.

 

Stop worrying about your parents and get out there and mingle with other kids your age.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Pirate- Idnarb
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Do your parents play?

 

My two children are both home schooled, and I am teaching and playing with them all the time. I am fortunate that our tastes in music are similar, but they have learned a lot and have taught me a lot.

 

Hang in there and don't stop playing. I used to sit in front of the tv, and just play scales up and down the neck. It helped toughen up my fingers and got me comfortable with my instrument.

I'm trying to think but nuthin' happens....
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"The world sucks and I'm so bored and I don't like anybody and I can't find anyone to play music with and I don't like anyone else's music and I can't learn to play an instrument by just looking at it and I'm just going to crawl into a hole here and wait for someone to pull me out."

 

Sorry to be so harsh with you, but the world actually is a fantastic place, bass is a wonderful instrument, and you have just started on an amazing journey that will take you who knows where.

 

Be positive, keep an open mind, listen to and play any kind of music, be friendly and see who else plays an instrument in your town. Apply yourself to practicing and anything could happen. With the attitude you have expressed in your posts, nothing is going to happen for you.

 

It will be very hard to change your attitude, but it is possible and your life will change.

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Amen. And here's something else that will cheer a normal 16 year-old guy up:

Girls love musicians. :D

 

Shallow? Sure. But I'm honest enough to admit I've came to this realization :idea: there are a lot of things that I like to do, but why don't I spend thousands of dollars on those hobbies?

 

But seriously . . . (well, I was serious, but this is more serious I guess) . . .

 

All of us w/ more experience will tell you that you must have the desire and love for music to do it well. So do it for the right reasons, and when you get good, it'll be worth all the work.

 

Good luck, and buy a tuner!

Ah, nice marmot.
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