Yesterday was my one year anniversary of playing bass. I still have the receipt for the first bass I purchased, dated 1/22/22.
For the first several months, all I did was play a little bit at home along with records or whatever. At some point near the end of the summer, I wanted to take it a little bit further, so I posted on Bandmix that I was looking for a jam session. August 30 I got a phone call asking me to join a band. I rehearsed like crazy and played live twice with the band that had recruited me, but got cut when their original bass player ended up not leaving the band after all. (See “Yikes! I’ve got an audition!” elsewhere on the forums for the whole story.)
After that, I auditioned with a couple more groups and ended up meeting a drummer I could get along with at one of the sessions, and he and I decided we would get us a guitarist and form our own band. We lost the first one, never gelled with the second one, and then — third time’s a charm — got someone who sounded great, knew lots of songs, and was easy to work with.
That brings us to now; we three are having weekly rehearsals and shopping around for a lead singer to complete the group.
All that in a year!
I’ve learned I guess close to 100 songs by now — although at varying degrees of mastery since I’ve gone through so many iterations and have had to try to learn so many different lists with different people, which has been both a blessing and a curse. I own two basses, an amp, and even a small pedalboard! And more or less have my own band (minus lead vocals) with plans to be gigging at least by summer if not sooner!
All in a year!!!
I’m not meaning to brag. It’s been very difficult at times, and I’ve been tempted to sell everything and forget about this “stupid” music nonsense. But, of course, I haven’t. With the support of my wife and now my bandmates, I’ve been encouraged to do something I’ve always dreamed of but never quite realized in full.
So, here’s to a good first year — and here’s to everyone having a great year ahead!
Congrats buddy! Sounds like you’ve made great progress, and as long as you’re having fun you’re doing something right!
I’m approaching my one year anniversary as well. I’ll have to double check but I think mine is in the last week of February. I still haven’t played with anyone which is something I hope to change very soon, but it’s fun to reflect back and see how far I have come in such a short period of time! Excited to see where we will both be another year from now.
Right now, we are a trio (guitar, bass, drums) and are having auditions for a lead singer. We decided to “invest” in (i.e., split our eventual earnings with) a good vocalist rather than another guitarist or whatever who can — like us — sort of sing. When most people listen to live music, what is it that grabs their attention? (Hint: Not the bass line.) So, we figure that a strong vocalist is worth more to us than having another instrumentalist.
As for set lists, it’s tough because right now we are auditioning both male and female singers, which means we have to have separate song lists for each. (Yes, lots of songs work either way, but some like “Redneck Woman” — which I kind of hate but plays well in our area — don’t cross over. Also, we want to see what the different singers are capable of in terms of range, and no dude is going to sing “Alone” by Heart, lol.) Until we find the right singer, we are somewhat stuck in a holding pattern just using rehearsal time to play stuff we think we might do.
We are really fortunate to be in an area where we have lots of people who are interested in playing music. We have had only two actual auditions so far, but we’ve gotten lots of bites and have at least a couple more singers tentatively scheduled for tryouts in the upcoming week.
It’s a lot of work — time, effort, even a bit of money — to conduct the search. I’ve had to go ahead and ask my guitarist to help out since he’s retired and I still work full-time. (Also, he has a lot of band experience and seems to be able to see through people’s chicanery and flimsy excuses !) Lots of people act all excited but then flake out before we ever get to the actual scheduling of an audition. Really frustrating! But again, I say it’s a blessing to be inundated with (sometimes flaky) offers as opposed to sitting around waiting and waiting and nobody’s calling.