Hit a wall and haven't practiced for months

Started playing during the pandemic. Did BassBuzz and some private lessons. I built up a decent amount of covers, and was working my way through Jeff Berlin, Hal Leonard, and some True Fire courses. I auditioned for a couple of bands, built my own bass guitar and after 3 yrs just stopped. Dont know why. Havent practiced since the x-mas holidays. I got bored, hit a wall, stopped improving, got frustrated, and life got in the way.

Now, i am so rusty and behind and still lacking focus/drive/motivation. Trying to figure out if and how/ where to jump back in. I think the 2 failed auditions really got me down and overall lack of anyone to play with and just general lack of direction. Found myself being frustrated more than having fun and just getting upset picking up the axe.

Maybe posting here is my first step to getting back in…maybe not.

Dont know why i posted this really…but i miss talking to folks here i guess.


I think you will be surprised how fast it comes back. A couple days and you’ll be back at like 80% or more.

Look, you needed a break. It is just that simple. Don’t be so hard on yourself.


Sounds like you were going balls to the wall until those auditions.

Your time and your attention are entirely yours to direct as you will, but I’d suggest that you forget the auditions stuff and play for yourself and the joy of it. If you do, and another opportunity to join a group of players comes up, you’ll be more than ready and able to show them who’s on bass, mofos.

Lighten up, man, and just play. BTW, glad you’re back.


How about setting a goal of say ten minutes just to get the fingers going. As Howard said, you’ll be surprised how fast it comes back.

If I can make this about me for a second (sorry), I had a similar thing where I was all in, averaging 2 hours a day on the bass. Then we had a very stressful family situation and I stopped playing due to having no motivation. When I would pick up the bass to play, the negative self talk started again. Why am I bothering, not like I’ll play in a band as if I’m a teenager again, etc etc. But now I’m back in to it, loving it again and while my pinky was out of practice, a few days later and it was all back to normal. I started watching some bass videos too like Josh’s content but I made a rule I’d be holding my bass when watching the videos. Also, I think the break helped me in the end. Perhaps the break is what you needed.

And good on you for posting here as a possible first step to getting back in to it! I think there would be quite a few people who understand exactly where you are right now and would offer you every encouragement.


Why am I bothering, not like I’ll play in a band as if I’m a teenager again

We have the same inner monologue


Willie Nelson’s first album was at 40. Louis Armstrong’s at 64.


no shit???..huh…
…learn something new every day


Susanna Hoffs last year at 63. She’s still going strong - she released an album and her first novel this year at 64



Oh Susanna :star_struck:
Personally I think you should give it all up and send me your gear so it doesn’t depress you further @Old_WannaBe :grin:


Wait - what? She’s 63??? :dizzy_face: You sure one of your fingers wasn’t typing faster then the other? 36 I would buy… Must be stage lighting…


I can relate to the feeling that playing by yourself is not fun at times. Maybe you had reached your goals and weren’t in love with the process anymore.

The rejection sure stings, but ask yourself why you felt the need to get to the next level. And how do you view yourself without that cool hobby?

And what I would do is to just rock out for a bit. Like, have a cold one and turn up the amp and play along to a song you like, pretend you’re in the band. Sweat it out, man. :metal:


I go to a weekly jam session. You can play with others without having to ‘pass the audition’ to be in the band and ability is varied. We usually have a song to learn over 1 or 2 weeks as a motivation and an occasional small gig for friends and family. All 2 drummers, 2 bassists, 5 guitarists and 2 vocalists.


When I have lost the drive to play, I simply read bass books (Ari Cap) or watch Charles Berthoud video’s and then I play a few scales. By doing these type things, I find myself understanding the layout of the bass and how it all inter-connects. These activities also translate into renewing my enthusiasm as my understanding deepens quite a bit. I can then play, use my new found knowledge and end up playing for hours with a goofy grin on my face.


Welcome back! I too get this once in a while. After I’ve played a gig I won’t want to play again for several days or longer. I just keep finding new music that sounds cool and something will spark my interest to see if I can play it and I’m back in the saddle.


Honestly I go days or weeks without touching a bass and don’t think twice about it. I still love it but if my focus is elsewhere for a while, it simply is. Only so much time and a lot to learn and do. For me, doing things that are musical is what’s important, not pouring large amounts of time into a specific instrument. It’s not a race or a competition, and you don’t have a test at the end of the quarter. Give yourself space to enjoy it without pressure.


well. did some scale exercises from Mark’s Cyborg Bassist Exercises and played a run through of Death or Glory from The Clash…so, at least I did something.


That’s a good chunk of something. I’m really enjoying Mark’s Cyborg Bassist.


To be fair, they literally didn’t have albums when Louis started playing. :laughing:


@KenKnight @howard Perhaps not when he started recording in the early 1920s, as we think of record albums today (LP, long playing). But they literally did have record “albums” in the 1920s (see bold statement below), and later he did record some LPs when they became available:

  1. History of record albums, from Wikipedia

With the advent of 78 rpm records in the early 1900s, the typical 10-inch disc could only hold about three minutes of sound per side, so almost all popular recordings were limited to around three minutes in length. Classical-music and spoken-word items generally were released on the longer 12-inch 78s, playing around 4–5 minutes per side. For example, in 1924, George Gershwin recorded a drastically shortened version of his new seventeen-minute composition Rhapsody in Blue with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra. The recording was issued on both sides of a single record, Victor 55225 and ran for 8m 59s. By 1910, though some European record companies had issued albums of complete operas and other works, the practice of issuing albums was not widely taken up by American record companies until the 1920s.

By about 1910, bound collections of empty sleeves with a paperboard or leather cover, similar to a photograph album, were sold as record albums that customers could use to store their records (the term “record album” was printed on some covers). These albums came in both 10-inch and 12-inch sizes. The covers of these bound books were wider and taller than the records inside, allowing the record album to be placed on a shelf upright, like a book, suspending the fragile records above the shelf and protecting them. In the 1930s, record companies began issuing collections of 78 rpm records by one performer or of one type of music in specially assembled albums, typically with artwork on the front cover and liner notes on the back or inside cover. Most albums included three or four records, with two sides each, making six or eight compositions per album.

The 10-inch and 12-inch LP record (long play), or 33+1⁄3 [rpm] microgroove vinyl record, is a gramophone record format introduced by Columbia Records in 1948. A single LP record often had the same or similar number of tunes as a typical album of 78s, and it was adopted by the record industry as a standard format for the “album”. Apart from relatively minor refinements and the important later addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums.

The term “album” was extended to other recording media such as 8-track tape, audio cassette, compact disc, MiniDisc, and digital albums, as they were introduced. As part of a trend of shifting sales in the music industry, some observers feel that the early 21st century experienced the death of the album.

  1. Louis Armstrong, (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971). He could have recorded an “album” in one variety or another from the 1930s on. And Wikipedia also shows, under “Original Albums” for him:
    Year. . . . . . . Title. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Label. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Additional Notes
    1944 . . Jazz Classics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Brunswick B-1016
    1951 . . Satchmo at Symphony Hall. . . . Decca DL 3087/8038. . . 2-LP set; concert recorded November 30, 1947

The 1944 was likely a 78rpm album, and the 1951 likely an actual LP album (collection of separate musical pieces on one disk) as we think of them. Another, recorded in 1951, “Satchmo at Pasadena,” was 48:05 in length, and undoubtedly an LP album:

Al Campbell at AllMusic gave the album four stars and said, "At the time of this concert, musicians began to take advantage of the new LP format that allowed them to bypass the usual three-minute time constraints of 78 rpm and stretch out a bit. Armstrong was no exception, and even though Satchmo is more of the ringleader/vocalist/showman on this set . . .

By 1964, with his release of the “Hey Dolly” album, Louis Armstrong had recorded 27 albums.


Yes, I know how old this makes me: I met Mr. Armstrong :smiley: OP - there’s nothing wrong with deciding that playing music was a pandemic era project for you. You learned something new, your life was enriched and now the pandemic is over.

If you want playing music to be part of your future life, maybe a few things to consider. Plateauing is part of learning anything new, especially as an older, neuroplasticity challenged learner. Maybe focus on theory or learning a different instrument? Work on your sightreading? Anything that lets you pull back a little and come back at music from a little different perspective.

Have you played in bands before not as a bass player? If not, auditioning is its own thing that takes more than 2 tries to fully grasp. Did they give you feedback that was helpful? If you lack experience playing with other people, look for no pressure jam opportunities, even if it’s just one other person.

Also want to mention that while Louie and Willie may not have recorded until later in life, both were involved with playing music as children. It’s way harder when you start as an adult. No less rewarding though.