Stuck in a rut

Stuck in a rut and regressing. Stuck on my Jeff Berlin book. Stuck on my Hal Leonard Method Book. Been trying to work on picking, but hard to pick with holding bass as 45 degrees. I’ll learn a song, but b can never get recording worthy. Blleghhhhhh


I’m absolutely worthless when it comes to heat and playing :sweat_smile:

Looking forward for a cold breeze and lots of rain :umbrella:


you mean you don’t like the dulcet tones of plastic scraaaaaping against huge metal winds?


Happens! To pretty much all of us! It’s a bit like a burnout…

Don’t fret too much about it :grin:

Take a break from playing, for a couple of days, a week even! That has worked for me…

Do something else when you are stuck in a rut!!


But don’t stay in the rut too long. Remember, a rut is only a few inches from a grave!


Just my two cents but if there’s a really cool song that’s relatively easy and makes you smile play it.
Although progress is important enjoyment is way more crucial to me continuing to pick up my bass.
Also realise we are probably our own worst critics. You may think you sound a lot worse than you actually do.


Sounds to me like you need to take a short break and refocus. Maybe bang through some covers and have some fun, then pick a clear direction to go in (Jeff Berlin OR Hal Leonard).


Taking a break is much preferable to forcing yourself to play to where it feels like work.


You’ll find your way. The power of bass compels you! The power of bass compels you! Begone ye demon apathy!


I’m sorry!
The rut feeling is a bad one.

My ways out of ruts are:

  1. Take a break and don’t do any bass stuff for a few days / weeks. Then I come back and it’s all fun again!

  2. Just go on a listening / loving / fanboy binge and find all the stuff I like to rock out to when I’m listening. Best case scenario is catching a live show that gets me stoked.

  3. DON’T go overboard watching instructional videos / channels of people who are just happily shredding, practicing, destroying their obstacles and ruts… That never helps me. Just makes me see my rut as deeper and gloomier than it is.

  4. Do another art that keeps the creative brain cranking, but outside of the bass world. I like to cook, draw, write… Whatever other thing you like. Kind of like #1, but trying to stay creatively motivated.

  5. Play the bass unconsciously. Just noodle on the thing while you’re watching a movie or a show and let your unconscious bass brain take over for a minute.

  6. Outside stimulus change - start exercising/walking/hiking/biking/doing yoga - whatever - something to get my brain chemistry to start firing differently – this also works with changing social scenario - go out to coffee with a friend, seeing people, talking to people - anything to get the dopamine and seratonin levels firing and changing.

  7. More coffee.

In my life, the way I usually approach this, realistically, is:
#7, #7, #7, #7… then maybe one of the others.

The suggestions and encouragement from everyone else above remind me why I love this forum.
Y’all are lovely.

Good luck in the rut! You’ll see evidence of my long residencies in there, as well as everyone else who has ever played!!


I like your style :+1:


Why all the pressure? I would noodle, play whatever comes to mind, maybe with a drum loop. It’s what I do, that and doing something else for a bit.




@Old_WannaBe is this something a new pedal can’t fix?


Seems to happen to a lot of us. I still practice every day even if it’s just for 30 minutes. After a while a forget how hard it was to drag myself to the bass and pick it up. However a short break can be most useful and helps you step back and see things with a better perspective.


Great advice, thanks for that


Excellent suggestions


@Old_WannaBe, my suggestion would be to try another instrument. For example, practice picking on a guitar. You’ll be amazed how much your picking will improve when you come back to bass.


Stuck in a rut and I don’t think that I can play bass…

Sorry, I couldn’t help it! Seeing Alice In Chains next Wednesday.

Seriously, I’m getting a little stuck myself. Still enjoy playing but not progressing as much as I was during the course. Thinking of starting in-person lessons!


That’s not a bad plan. Maybe shaking up your practice like that will remind you about why you picked it up? I hope so, anyway