All I have right now is a big bodied Dean Electric/Acoustic Bass. I had all kinds of plans on what I was going to get. (I’m looking at you Yamaha TRBX604 with the Dark Cherry Red Burst. You beautiful beast) Then my mother needed four new tires and mom’s tires take precedence over a new bass. So, if I want to practice on an electric bass I go to the Guitar Center across the street.
I was pretty uncomfortable at first but I made myself keep going back until I was less uncomfortable and I will keep forcing myself to go back until it feels like I’m in my own living room.
I smile. I am polite to everyone. I ask a million questions and I play with whatever I feel like playing with and often try things I’m not interested in just to see what it’s like. Sometimes I plug in. Sometimes I just want to feel the instruments without worrying about it.
What I play:
Blue Orchid by the White Stripes for the low end.
Dramamine by Modest Mouse for the high end.
Drinkee by Sofi Tukker just because it feels weird to me.
Mountain Song by Jane’s Addiction
Some slides, some scales, and some minor noodling.
I play all of the above poorly, at best, and I try to play unapologetically poorly. Not being a jerk. I’m just not very good yet and I want to enjoy the whole learning experience rather than be intimidated by it. It helps that I have no problem laughing at myself.
I think most people worry that some self important want-to-be musician with an inflated sense of their own self worth is going to either say something shitty or make it obvious they’re talking shit about you. Those people are irrelevant and deserve nothing more than your own laughter and an increase in volume on your amp. I haven’t had this experience but I am prepared with laughter and volume, just in case.
Anyone who’s opinion might matter will probably have a good understanding of where you’re at and won’t be a dick about it.
So, either way, don’t be intimidated by going to play at your local music shop. It’s fun and it’s worth it.