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which way to go from here?


Selecter

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Hi ya'll. Second Post.

 

I was a sight reading alto sax player for 10 years back when I was in school, first chair. I could and did play anything. I was really, really good. My teacher said I could go anywhere, sky was the limit. Then, the first Boston record came out in 76 and all I heard was the bass part. I traded my sax in on a Ampeg b 100 combo and a no name bass of some kind. I dont remember it except it was white. The next year when I showed up at school the music director informed me that electric bass was NOT an approved instrument and that there was no room jazz or rock and roll there. They turned me down flat. NO INSTRUCTION.

 

I never did really learn to play the thing and sold it all some time later. I have continued to want to learn bass as well as I did sax years ago with the ultimate goal of playing out on weekends and just having fun and getting paid a bit. At 40 I feel too old to try. I have a shitty Hondo POS my ex wife let me buy for 50 bucks becuase it was so cheap ( now you know why she's my Ex ) and a microbass which is good enough to learn on of course. Whats the best way to get from here to there? Is there a best way? I am studying and playing along with mp3's and such but playing with other poeple is what I feel I need to be doing. Yet, I dont feel I'm good enough - that anybody in this area I live in ( upper Shenandoah valley in WV, 75 miles from DC - Baltimore) would sneer at me for showing up at a jam, even a free mike one. How can I get over this? I have read the posts tonite and I think most of the posters and been there and done that at one stage in their life, and I could use the advice. I am not getting younger and since I have wanted to do this since age 15 I think I should.

 

so, recommendations about anything I have said?

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Selector, I just wanted to tell you you're not too old. Don't feel bad about walkin' into a jam. I'm 46 and don't feel too old at all. If you're concerned about not doing too well, it's gonna be the same as it was for me when I was a teen trying my first jam (probably for most of us).

 

Buck up, go in and do the best you can. You're gonna learn from it, and be that much closer when you go to the next jam. Just gotta get in there, man :)

 

There are some posters on here that started later than you, I believe. I think you can find that discussion with the search function.

 

Personally, I'm glad you're following your heart.

Welcome to the bass club. Wish ya the best.

Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
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I guess I qualify in the Oldies but Newbies category. I started playing two years ago at the age of 50. I've always loved the bass lines of songs, and finally convinced myself "I can do that!"

 

I just jam with friends from work. I may never go to an open mic or play in front of a crowd, but I enjoy every minute of playing with my friends.

 

I recommend lessons. I played for about a year, studying on my own, but found that I was skipping around from one thing to another, never gaining any proficiency at anything. A teacher helped me focus on fundamentals that apply to all the other things I wanted to do.

 

Just do it. Don't worry about what anybody else thinks. Find somebody to jam with, and do it. Don't worry about being good enough-- if you can jam with MP3s and CDs, you can jam with people.

 

Bruiser

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Selecter, I PROMISE I've jammed with worse bassists than you at open jams. Just get up there and do it. Most situations like that involve middle-of-the-road songs that everybody knows, like "Mustang Sally" and such. There is absolutely no substitute for playing live music with other human beings, in an educational sense as well as in an emotional sense. Nothing like making it happen in real time with other people. There is also the added bonus of possibly meeting up with someone there who is at a similar level, with similar interests, who doesn't necessarily want to start a gigging band, but has a garage with a drumset and a PA in it, and if you're not busy on Sunday afternoons...

 

And don't be embarassed about the starter model bass. We all start out with something.

"I had to have something, and it wasn't there. I couldn't go down the street and buy it, so I built it."

 

Les Paul

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You will want to eventually work on other fundamentals of music. Lessons are a good idea, as they will give you some direction for practice time.

 

Playing along to CDs is a good way to learn, especially if you are working out the songs by ear. Keep that up.

 

You will want to get out there and play with other people. Believe me, if you have a pulse and can make noises on the instrument, you can start looking for people to play with. See if the local music store has a 'musicians wanted' board and/or check the entertainment publications. You shouldn't have too much trouble finding a band of beginners looking for a bassist who is in their skill level. Going to an open jam night at the local bar wouldn't be a bad idea either... even if you get completely torched by the other players, it can be a very good learning experience. No one is going to make fun of you or tell you 'you suck' for falling on your face in an open jam. If anything, start attending open jams and see how they operate. Listen to the types of songs they are playing, go away and learn a bunch of them, then go back to open jam night and actually play.

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Selecter-

 

Welcome!! I am also a newbie here. I am 28 and the only instrument I have played was the fiddle for about 5 minutes in the 5th grade. Even after I made the decision a little over a month ago to play bass I had my doubts on my ability. But the people here are so supportive and helpful I am full of confidence and charging ahead.

 

I do recommend a teacher. I was at a loss of what to learn first and how to go about it even though I spent probably $100 on instructional DVDs and books. It is just not the same. I started my lessons three weeks ago and have made considerable progress already.

 

Good luck to you. :thu: Don't let anything get in your way if you love this, especially something as silly as age. Let us know how you are doing.

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