What are you aiming towards with bass playing? Is it just for the love of playing the instrument? Do you want to be playing in a band? Any particular type of gigs or style of music?
Personally, my musical goals have shifted over time, and continue to do so. As time goes on I care less about having a big flashy career and more about mastering my craft just for the sake of it, and then making connections and playing music with people I actually like being around when we’re not playing.
I simply want to become a great bass guitar player, whether I get noticed or not, I don’t really care honestly. My dream is to be able to write and play music that delivers a positive and understanding message and be able to show up to any gig, jam session or whatever and completely fulfill my role as a bass player, adding creativity and individuality to my bass lines in any genre of music.
Good question. I want to feel confident enough to play in front of friends and family. I’d like to be talented and be the best player I can be considering I’m starting bass at 46.
My better half is astoundingly musical and able to pick up almost any instrument. Most of my in-laws play something. My father-in-law played bass in a popular regional band.
I haven’t touched an instrument since my teens and they were not similar in any way. So I hope to relearn some theory and music reading. I’m crossing my fingers I’ll learn to play along without needing music eventually so I can jam with them some. You get the idea.
The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. This is my first step!
Anyway, to answer your original question, I was in a band decades ago, but was never really very good at it. I kind of drifted out of that scene and have been HAUNTED ever since.
I should have taken lessons and kept at it, etc. etc. but I didn’t.
After these past several weeks, I’m at module 7 and your lessons have gotten me back on track. Lots of stuff I already knew, but lots of stuff I didn’t. I had NO music theory, NO reading music, and had especially poor technique. I’m making noticeable progress in that area now.
I would love to be in a “70’s rock band” once again, but if not, I will get a lot of satisfaction of CORRECTLY playing the bass tracks to many of my favorites from back then.
I think this should absolutely be the ultimate goal - to make music together with other people; to play together in a band (or loose collective). But, at the same time, this is also the hardest thing to accomplish, in my experience.
I find it difficult to find people to play music with, where I feel comfortable, where I feel neither challenged to the straining point to just barely keep up, nor under-stimulated (for whatever reason). I think it is critical to find people that are at a similar stage (in their musical development) such that you can push and inspire each other to become better (together), but also people that have a somewhat similar interest in the types of music you want to play or compose. That is a huge challenge. (I really don’t want to have to deal with more band discussions on the “direction” the band is headed in anymore )
Sure, eventually it would be awesome to play so well that you can go to an open mic night and confidently sit in on a blues, bring a few musicians together on short notice for a Sunday matinee performing some jazz standards, but I really think it is essential to have a “base”, i.e., a band you can feel at home in, where you feel at ease, where you are allowed to make mistakes, explore, try out stuff, and not necessarily being driven all the time by the next gig looming around the corner, but the joy of making music with others.
That’s great to hear. It’s easy to have major gaps in your knowledge + poor technique without good instruction. I never had an electric bass teacher regularly, but my upright teacher was very particular about technique, which translated to my approach on electric.
Shouldn’t be too hard to find other folks at your level who want to play covers!