The fear of not making progress anymore

Hey Forum,
today was the day I de-dusted my Bass again. Sadly, I kept it away for almost 2 years and didn’t even finish Josh’s excellent course. It’s not meant as an excuse, just that I have been lazy but also fighting multiple diseases.
Music always gives me strength, that’s why I picked “I want to learn playing Bass now” a few years ago to appreciate it even more, and maybe also play along some of my favourite music. Anyway I am rambling lol…

Now, that my condition is getting worse, I feel the urge to play and learn again. But my head is not doing me any favors because it tells me “why even learn anymore - you won’t be good enough by the time you can still appreciate it or even be here anymore” - a stupid thought, but it comes up every now and then.

So, I started the course from fresh, noticing how much I still know and feel a bit at home, making mistakes and sometimes even sound good, hah.

I really could use some motivational “long term” experiences and encouragement though, thanks!

And as always, sorry for my English!


Speaking on behalf of many members here. Welcome back.


I started last August. My prompt was the untimely deaths of a colleague and a client. Both were men, both, plus or minus a bit, my age. It suddenly dawned on me that I’m of an age where people are passing away. My response, much to my wife’s amusement and annoyance, was to say I wanted to learn the bass. My wife thinks I’m regressing to my teenage years; I’m wishing I had done this in my teenage years!!

Anyway, one of the things I have learnt in life is that the best time to start something was probably 30 or 40 years ago. The second best time is now!

So 9 / 10 months after first picking up a bass, I’m bashing out covers - 2 week - and I’ve even started a band! The thing is, none of us know how long we’re going to be here, we’ve just got to enjoy the time we have got. If the bass makes you happy, play on!!! And anyway, who is the judge of ‘good enough’? Actually, a colleague and I were talking about this, just this morning … all the mental barriers we erect for ourselves, all the reasons why not…

Break through, say yes!




Hey Stefan - willkommen zurück! Du wirst hier viel Spass haben!!!

Best thing to do: head over to the GAS or Bass Porn thread, look for a cool bass and reward yourself for restarting B2B - buy the coolest bass you can afford :slight_smile:

Nothing like a new toy to start playing!


Sorry to hear about your medical issues, but I’m really glad to hear that you picked up your bass and started B2B again. Learning, practicing, failing and winning is the way of playing an instrument successfully. The key is to keep on keeping on. You got this. Just keep going. :+1:


Blockquote Anyway, one of the things I have learnt in life is that the best time to start something was probably 30 or 40 years ago. The second best time is now !

Couldn’t have said it better myself.
@StefanK , well done for getting back into it, that is a great achievement. Just have fun and enjoy it.
I wonder how long my hands will let me keep playing, but after the bad days I get great days. Make the most of these moments, and keep working on the course. (I’m on module 4 and not gonna let Billie Jean beat me!)


Thank you for sharing this and thank you for your words, they somehow hit real close - I think this is what I need - enjoy the time learning and shredding! I won’t be a pro in my life anymore, but hell I will have fun trying as long as I can!

Hah. Danke! I really like my Bass, but I have a Zoom B1X Four and a Focusrite in my shopping cart already :wink: (I like digital toys as much as analogue ones)

Thank you. I remember… can’t wait to stumble over that again and get stuck for a few days :wink:

Everyone else thank you for the kind words :slight_smile:

I also need to find an approachable target as my first cover song… back to listening to my Black Metal playist… :metal:


StefanK - First and most importantly, I wish you the best regarding your health. Regarding your feeling of futility (“why even learn anymore - you won’t be good enough by the time. . .”), I have had similar fellings. I am in relatively good health, but as a beginner in my mid 60’s I have to deal with the fact that the time I have to actually improve is quite limited. Whenever these fellings creep in, I focus on the following 1) We all only have one life and time is limited from our first breath. This is nothing new for us. 2) Learning music and especially music theory and sight reading is known to preserve cognition. 3) My goal is to play in public with other musicians - That may or may not happen, but I intend to try. There is joy in the hunt. 4) I enjoy playing, so I can make an argument for doing so even if I never get proficient. I am 5’10" and loved to play basketball when I was a kid. I knew I would not be the next Dr J. I played because I enjoyed it!

I believe that the joy of youth is the feeling of unlimited possibilities - at least it was for me. When we stop pursuing our interests, growth stops and decline begins. We don’t want that Stefan! Play bass. Pursue other interests. And stay young at heart! Best wishes to you my friend.


wow that’s a whole lot to unpack. but to keep it simple, two quick things. if playing music gives you joy, then do it. if it’s a struggle to stick to, then you’re not getting a lot of joy (which is fine. find other things to bring happiness). and two, if you continue to play you will make progress. people who have played for decades make progress. it’s slower then at the beginning but it’s continuous. whatever you choose I wish you the very best :+1:


Thanks @itsratso and @rrobm

Progress is very slow and often frustrating, with setbacks.
But why not try my best when I still have time - even if its just 30 minutes a day. (damn you day job, even if I have reduced hours).
Not sure I want to dedicate my time with a music teacher in person - that would have probably made sense a few years ago, but not anymore…

But Josh’s course is excellent so I will do that on repeat :slight_smile:


Progress when learning a new skill is seldom linear Stefan. In the nearly 60 years I’ve been playing I’ve hit more roadblocks than you could ever imagine. If you do find yourself stuck in place you might actually consider a few one on one lessons just to get you past whatever blockade you’re experiencing.

Over the years as I’ve given private lessons I’ve had many players come to me simply to help break whatever blockade or mental log jam they were dealing with. Many times it’s something that’s simpler than expected where just a few sessions gets them back on course to becoming self taught again.


I’ve had more than a few setbacks in the last two years, some my fault and some not. but right now I’m at my favorite coffee shop drinking a cappuccino with my ubass, headphones and my headphone amp. I’m surprised how good it feels to play even though I haven’t in quite a while.


Welcome back and congrats on having another go, I’ve had similar thoughts and one thing that helps me is to play something, no matter how “easy” it might be.

As an example, I can highly recommend downloading all the backing tracks from B2B - after you’ve gone through the video with Josh and are reasonably comfortable, loop that backing track and get lost in the music. I find this really energising. Think I’ve played some of them for 15-20mins straight and buy the end of it, I’ve often thrown a few things of my own in there :metal:
You can keep them tab up on screen if needed.


Is everyone there enjoying ‘Seven Nation Army’ ?


it hasn’t come to that yet :rofl:


This is a critical point.


Be yourself and make beautiful music that hasn’t been in the world before.

I too battle disease, and wasn’t physically able to play for months, and my playing isn’t as good now as I was 18 months ago. I still keep a groove. Keep playing.

I was on the road so again am late to the party, sorry


But what is “good enough” really?

As people we naturally have tendencies to compare ourselves to others. But for creative pursuits it’s one of, and maybe even the single biggest disservice you can do to yourself.

I wouldn’t presume to tell you what to do, but if I were you I would pursue finding pleasure and enjoyment with what you can do with bass and not worry about “good enough” - because as long as it makes you happy to play, it’s already good enough.


Right now, on May 30th (31st in Tokyo) 2024 good enough to me is being able to play Nothing but Flowers by Talking Heads. That’s the goal I’ve set for myself to “earn it” (and get my BB). Once I get good enough, I’ll figure out what the next good enough is. Eventually I might even make it to “half decent.”