Hey fellow Low Enders,
Something I’m wondering, am I too strict on myself going over and over the same part because I missed one or two notes or is it ok to start working on the next riff of the song as I’ll repeat the section anyway once I’m up to full speed of the next riff?
I always work my way up from 50% speed to 100% and play each 10% speed increase at least 10 times flawlessly before I go faster unless it’s a very easy riff.
I’m currently working on memorizing Rod Stewart’s Sailing and keep missing one or two notes in a riff while at the same time having memorized the entire section before it to the point that my fingers just go where they need to be without looking at anything (mainly by listening to the guitar and my fingers do the right things).
And sometimes, like yesterday, my autistic with TBI brain gets frustrated because I can nail the riff flawlessly each time at even 95% and isolated but added from the start of the song I keep missing a note here and there and am like “the hell with it” and wonder why I picked up the bass again in the first place.
I can’t speak for anyone but myself but I am terrible practicing someone else’s bass line. I learn bits and pieces and then make up my own. The joke I tell to the folks I play with is, “that guy should have called before he recorded that”. Unless it is just iconic, take liberties with it, have fun with it, music is supposed to be fun. In on the down beat with the root, lock with the drummers kick, everything else is left to your taste. If its leading to frustration, anger, and doubts that drive you away from the instrument…how is that fun? I approach guitar the same way most solos are open to interpretation.
You have a long journey ahead of you in bass and will learn and evolve the entire way. You can continue to try to learn those few pesky notes or you can learn many other things. In time those notes will get easier without playing them and, you’ll learn other things. You’re not landing someone on the moon, you’re making music.
Tokyo_Rat, I do the same thing, improvising around the main line is something I’ve always done and keeping it fun. I’m a “bedroom” player and never going on stage and playing with other people, so I play for amusement ( and the cats, till they bolt) and if I learn something new along the way, that’s cool too. Now that I’m retired from work life, I’m done with pressure and frustration, just time to kick back, have fun and enjoy.
Yes, this is too strict. This will start to make it feel like work.
If you try a few times and can’t quite nail it, move on and come back to it in a half hour. If it’s still not improving, move on and come back tomorrow. Etc.
Keep it fun and interesting, and you’ll be surprised what will come together organically.
I would second the sentiments expressed by everyone so far, but especially also what @Tokyo_Rat and @Frisk_Cat have stated!
There is nothing that says you need to play everything that you find out there verbatim, note for note. It is much more important to play in the spirit of the tune and support the music, and much less important to reproduce every single lick someone played (at that one particular recording; and oftentimes not even the originator played the same lick every time).
Yes, there are exceptions (“very iconic lines”) and, no, this is not an excuse for not trying (as this is instructional in and of itself), but I would say if you are able to recognize what is essential in a bass line and what is fluff, and play the essential stuff, you have learned and matured a lot
Agree with everyone above - as soon as it stops being fun, move on. You can always come back to the song later.
Relax and forgive yourself for being human. You’re being too hard on yourself.
Playing should be fun, first and foremost. Take pride and pleasure in the things you can do well, and try to smile when a challenging riff stubbornly pops up and wants to kick your butt. Then move on. That riff will fall in line later.
Yes you are too strict although nothing wrong with concentrating on a part. I find it sometimes is tricky at first to link parts together. After all you’ve just trained your brain to stop at a certain part 20 times in a row so no wonder it forgets to continue or doesn’t know how to yet. Remember even pro’s make mistakes, play it slightly different live to a recording or even seem to play it in a completely different place on the fretboard compared to on a video. Like @Tokyo_Rat says unless its iconic…
It’s a good idea to spend sometime on a section of the song you like but it’s difficult to nail it on the first session even if you have all of the correct notes. It takes lots of repetitions for the notes to feel and sound good under your fingers.
When you find yourself getting stuck, simplifying the section and move on to the rest of the song and revisit on the next session often helps. Try playing them on a different location on the fingerboard. “The show must go on” approach is an excellent day to get yourself ready. Don’t get suck into a restarting mode when you get stuck, it’s a bad habit. When I practice a difficult section I’d put it on a loop, when I play through the song I don’t stop and go back regardless of how bad I butchered the song.
Usually it’s you and maybe 3 other fools in the audience of 100 would know that you messed up not even your bandmate would notice most of the time.
I myself prefer live music, there’s always imperfections and gives soul to the music. Everyone misses notes on occaision, don’t hold yourself up to a standard you can’t reach. Roll with it. It’s music, it should be alive.
I developed this habit and am trying to drop it like a hot rock. Unless I can talk the rest of the band into stopping when I do so we can queue the song again.
Awesome let that creative cat out of the bag
The same happens to me, I get distracted listening to the song… specially when it’s a repetitive riff I will miss the count or something
If you feel like your too hard on yourself then cut yourself some slack Ultimately you have to be pleased with whatever is that you’re doing right? If not nailing those couple of notes is going to spoil the enjoyment then keep on until you get them right, just be sure to set realistic expectations on difficulty and how long it’ll take you to master a piece
To me playing the song as is represents an accomplishment and provides satisfaction at this point in my journey, sure not a big deal on the big picture but it’s something to gage my progress
As a bassist, you are going to come to a realization and make your peace with the fact that very few people in your audience really know what’s going on with your bass lines as long as you are keeping time and reasonably in sync with the rest of the band.
The only time I may get more nervous is when another band(s) visiting, which pretty much means there are 2-3 more people may have a clue how you may have botched some parts, lol.
Yes, you are. Unless you plan to record your masterpiece, give yourself a break. Everyone here is right. Truth is, most folks wouldn’t ever notice a missed note. I get the same thing. As in "why, oh why when i know that transitions into g sharp there i always miss it?!?
Put it down, play something different, come back to it later.
Frustration is a real fun killer. If I’m doing this for fun, then i truly want to keep it fun. I love playing the bass. It’s the one hobby I’ve every picked up that i kept. I’m Never going to be great, or even good really. But I’ve gotten good enough makes me happy.
If i put unrealistic expectations on myself, all i really do is handcuff my ability to have fun. At that point, it isn’t what i want to do-it’s a task. And I’m lazy. I don’t like tasks. So I’ll start thinking of it as a chore- i don’t want that.
When i get to points like this, I’ll learn something completely different, or just riff on something i already have down and change the flavor some-really anything to help me remember that i love this game
Keep plucking, it’s there. You’ll find it.
and about that play it perfect thing? There’s a really great documentary. It’s not about a bassist, but a drummer. Ginger baker. I think it’s probably still on netflix-it’s called beware of mr. Baker, i think. Perfection isn’t always the answer.
Thanks all, I’m just gonna take a break from that song for a few days then get back in it and focus more on grooving and just having fun rather than hitting every note perfectly.
Unfortunately perfection is a bad trait many autistics have. I’m on the mild scale of Asperger’s and have become less perfectionistic over the years but sometimes it surfaces and then I have a hard time kicking it out the door in some areas.
Do you find going over and over the same part because you missed one or two notes enjoyable? If so, I’d probably say you’re not too strict at all. If not, yeah, you’re probably being too strict. Unless you’re a professional bassist, playing bass and learning songs isn’t a job, and shouldn’t be treated as one.
Shrug, just my $.02.
Believe it or not, this is a legendary performance by Ella. Listen to the end. You’ve got to love her