How do you deal with the feeling of inferiority?

Hello gals and guys…

I wanted to discuss a mental state that I keep finding myself frequently since I started learning to play the bass…

I would describe it as being intimidated or alienated from what I am doing while I watch other people on youtube etc. The things that were inspiring me at the beginning of the road are straight freaking me out now.

I can for sure look back and see how much progress I made and when I play for my family they get amazed pretty easily but looking down the road (especially without knowing what I wanted to do in the end with this “hobby?”) I sometimes get demotivated…

Gotta train my ear, gotta learn more theory, gotta figure out sight reading, would have learned so many songs, styles techniques…etc all of that while Wooten keeps saying “what matters is the groove”…

When I find more than 30 minutes of time to play my instrument I usually freeze with all these options.

I am not a lazy guy and don’t get shy or feel awkward easily. I learned 2 foreign languages in the middle of my thirties, plus dancing or bazillion new stuff at work… But never felt so much out of my element…

So when you watch a 9 year old kid literally shredding the bass on youtube while you cannot even keep in mind a 2 bar riff, how do you manage to push on?

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You have to remember that 9 year old kid is what they call a “prodigy” . . . :wink:

Not all of us are born with that kind of talent, so don’t be hard on yourself.

Cheers, Joe

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I just recorded a cover of roundabout by Yes. with no slap because my slap game is garbage at current. And to be honest I’m still pretty proud of it.

At the end of the day my suggestion is to play what you want how you want. enjoy it, relax, and just feel the music ( the groove Victors talking about) and just go.

You have your whole life ahead of you to learn theory and technique, and a lot of it you can actually pick up with just playing along by ear to some songs. and some things you may not be able to do, that’s just a sad state of life I think all of us face. Sure I could push myself and make myself learn slap, but I’m having more fun just playing at the moment.

So really at the end of the day instead of trying to keep it all in your head and thinking about what you could do. enjoy what you can do and it will carry you into new things on its own. :+1:

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From my standpoint, all I really care about is making music. So I am at peace with the fact that I am likely never going to be a shredding bass hero. As long as I can play well enough to track things in a DAW I am happy :slight_smile:

I still want to improve my skills and get better over time, but I am at a point now where I am competent enough to be able to record, and that’s what makes me happy.

I’m working on a cover right now where there’s a stretch I have trouble with at full speed. There’s a lot of punching in and editing going on. I am not ashamed at all - the end result is what matters for me.

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I know what you mean. I’m on my last two days of b2b and I’m feeling a little disenfranchised that I’m still kind of struggling to follow what’s being talked about. Or having trouble keeping pace with the drums and knowing my scales from memory. Something I’m trying to keep in my head is “this is supposed to be fun” I watch a lot of covers on youtube so I can glean some skills and yeah, these people are insanely good, but it didn’t happen overnight. I may never get as skilled as them, but it doesn’t mean I can’t have as much fun.

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I’m still going through the course so I have up and down days depending on my progress, whether I’ve been muddling things up or managing to keep up with all the new things.
I’m very much a perfectionist which is all well and good except for when you’re doing something that you’re not entirely proficient in :joy:

I’ll occasionally get stumped by a workout or get a mental block when noodling which almost always brings out that “ugh I’m just not good” train of thought… If/when that happens it’s really useful to take a 10-15 minute break and a breather, and come back again and either try it again with a different approach, or try something else.

I also follow a lot of ‘home-grown type’ musicians as I find it really interesting. Some of them are still teenagers, but regardless of their ages I’ve seen them reply to comments saying that they’ve been learning or playing for like 5+ years… and then I remember that I’ve only owned an instrument for the past 3 months :sweat_smile:

The thing is, even being able to recognise these feelings doesn’t stop them! I just try to strike a balance of focused practise / learning and just picking up the bass to keep my fingers engaged - just depends how I’m feeling that evening!
One thing that I will be doing soon is looking to buy an audio interface so I can record things to start building on, instead of just playing sounds that will get lost in the ether. I’m hoping that’ll help me push myself further.

The vibes I get from everyone is that age means next to nothing; it’s all dedication, enjoyment and patience :slight_smile:

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well for one thing, it’s much easier for a nine year old to learn to shred on bass, that’s the way young minds work. they can learn at a faster rate than adults can. and young people also have way more time and energy in general to put into frivolous pursuits, like learning roundabout.

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That’s a fair point . . . :thinking:

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Well, in my case I came back to bass after almost 20 years break and I’m learning again from scratch… … in my middle thirties…

I won’t push myself to compare with professional bassists or with popular internet bass players (like Charles Berthoud or Davie504), I play bass as a hobby, I play to enjoy my free time, to challenge myself, and see what I can do.

Comparing with another is not for me, you will always be better than some and worst than others. For me is not about being the best bassist in the world, is about play and enjoy the music on a different level, to be the best bassist I can be, is good enough for me.

Idk if it helps, but that’s my view and philosophy for hobbies.

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These are all lovely guys thank you.

Reading most i noticed that I wasn’t feeling this way so much going through the B2B. After I have finished I also pushed for all gold star checklist as well and then… All became less obvious.

Maybe that’s what I am missing, something to shove my progress in my face. But still it’s super hard most days.

Free lessons on YouTube did not really do that for me. Josh simply set the bar so high

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It’s ok, you can always blame @JoshFossgreen :stuck_out_tongue:

Play and enjoy your time with your bass!
Keep it up, keep it up keep it up!

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I know exactly what you are talking about, but I’m sure you have heard the saying: it’s the journey that matters, not the destination.

I know that I’m not going to be a gigging bassist. I’m only doing this for my own amusement. I’m probably never going to reach whatever level Josh was at when he was 12. But that’s ok, because I’m having fun learning and playing, and that’s all that matters to me. I had never held a bass or a guitar in my hands until 3 months ago, and now I’m playing along to Nirvana, RHCP, some RATM… Already more than I would have hoped for at this stage, and I have barely just started. And because the road ahead is so long, and there’s an endless list of music that I still haven’t played, I know that I’m not going to run out of challenges and (hopefully) accomplishments for a very long time. (Unless I injure myself…)

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You are putting way too much pressure on yourself. Think of all that is going on in your life and compare that to someone with none of those responsibilities going to college for music. Under even the best circumstances, what you’re talking about takes years to learn and a lifetime to become good at.

This is what’s hurting you. All the examples you gave have clear goals associated with them. Without having a clear goal for what you want to accomplish with music, it’s hard to build a plan to achieve that goal.

If you could name one thing you want to accomplish on bass, what would it be?

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Yeah. I feel that. In another thread Josh talked about going to a bass camp and trading solos with Victor Wooten… at 17 years old.

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Just my two cents…I make music for me and I learn at my own pace. Its a hobby if I had any plans to make it a career then I would put the time and effort into it that I did my for my regular job, which I feel like I’m pretty damn good at. When it comes to children shredding I remember when my son who was six at the time and I took up Tae Kwon Do. He comes into the living room leans back shoots one leg straight up until his legs is perpendicular to the floor and proceeds to flip kicks like that for about 15 seconds. He looks at me and says, “betcha can’t do that Dad” which I responded with, “can you park the car…didn’t think so go to your room”.

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Hey @Fahri,
I have read your story and all the responses from other members on the forum.
I agree with all the comments, Here’s what I think,
1: I will never play in a band, I play for me.
2: this is my hobby, I do it for fun😎
3: I am learning different things every time I pick my bass up, stimulates your mind and takes you to a place that makes you feel good.
4: you say you can only remember 2 bars, that my friend is an achievement in it self, Music is not easy, if it were we would all be rock stars.
5: Being part of this great group of people on the forum allows us all to work to help each other improve and be the best we can be😎
6: and as we improve it builds our confidence and we start to put ourselves out of our comfort zone, IE: posting fragments, covers , our own musical pieces etc, via different mediums, soundcloud, YouTube, websites, all these opportunities build our confidence and allow everyone else to see our improvements and provide feedback etc on how we played, the tones, the genres of music we like.
We are all different and have different expectations.
I started playing in around 1988, had lessons etc, then family and other commitments didn’t allow me time to pursue my musical passion, so I stopped playing in 1992, and it’s only since Covid that I decided to pick my bass up and play it instead of looking at it in the corner and finding B2B have I rejuvenated my motivation to pursue what was always there, my love of music and trying to put some licks together that sound good to me.
Hang in there and enjoy playing notes on your bass, it will all come together.
Cheers Brian

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I too agree with everyone here!
I think we are all harder on ourselves than most listening to us pla because we have high expectations for ourselves which is good.
I am a US Marine and the one thing that has held true for the last 30 years after my active duty was over are 2 phrases that are ingrained in me …

If you don’t mind, it don’t matter ! (true mind over matter)

Improvise, adapt, and overcome

So don’t worry about everything. There is nothing wrong with taking a hard baseline and simplifying it all the way to the chord progressions with most root notes and some fifths. Added, and occasionally go back to add more and retry the original version. Look at your strengths and play what you can. I go find backing tracks on YouTube Sometimes and just play and jam out to them and nothing else. Enjoy playing and what level your at and the journey!

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I too get frustrated and disillusioned frequently but if I I feel like that I’ll quite often go back to something simple that I struggled with in my early days with the bass and hopefully play it well enough to make me smile again and give myself a virtual pat on the back.
I have issue in remembering it’s fun and not just a challenge. Once I get that in my head things do flow a little better.

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I loved this post and answers/testimonials!!

It made me feel better and part of something!

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+1.

I recommend setting micro-goals. “I want to be able to play this riff at X bpm.” One small thing at a time, and work up to them.

Another secret of mine to keep it fun: I rarely, if ever, practice in the traditional sense (doing scales/fingering exercises/etc). Maybe I should but I don’t.

I just play songs and work on what I need for them. It keeps it a lot more fun that way.

One of the things Josh does in the course early on is emphasize playing music right from the start, and I recommend going with that, for at least part of your practice/jam sessions.

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