When the music's (not) over

(warning: this is going to be a sad story.)

Hey everyone,

I’ve been awfully quiet for quite some time and I feel really sorry for just having disappeared from this community, which gave me so much joy, especially during the lonely months of the pandemic. I had spent a bit too much time on here and practicing bass, that I needed to step away a little. Then it happened that I met someone and was able to pursue my other hobby of climbing and these took too much of my attention and distracted me from my beloved bass. I find it hard to balance these things, so one thing always gets neglected.

Those of you who are on Discord might remember though, that some weeks ago, I was very excited about my (future) band mate sending me a song she had written and recorded, asking me for a funky bass line to add to it. Which I then tried to do with lots of improvising with the funk box. Her feedback was a very polite soso (I think) and I was going to work on it again but put it off because of the other distractions.
Now something absolutely terrible happened. This very close friend of mine, Eileen, suddenly passed away two and a half weeks ago. I’m devastated. She was only 33 years old and the most talented person I’ve ever known. She made me buy my bass a year ago because we wanted to form a band once the pandemic was over, but we never made it to actually play together. And that song remained unfinished.

So my bass ist standing there untouched and sad. I haven’t been able to pick it up again. I want to and I know it will bring me joy again and maybe even comfort but it is really hard to do. There are all these emotions attached to it and also the fear that I’ve lost my ability to play because it’s been really quite some time.

I thought I’d turn to you guys to help me with this, if you might, in some way. I’m not even sure where to start. Maybe repeat some older lessons that I enjoyed? Or play some songs I’m familiar with (not sure which)? I guess the first thing should be tuning it and maybe a setup. Maybe it’ll help to just write a little about my way back into bass life on here.

Thank you for listening! (it already feels good to be back)

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@Regina ,
I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. Thirty-three certainly is too young. Try to keep the memories you have of her with you as much as you can. Celebrate her life by getting back on the bass and working on the bass line for her song.
Jerry

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Sorry for your loss but you have to ask yourself what Eileen would want for you and you already know the answer. She wouldn’t want to be the reason you stopped playing your bass.

Time to get back on the horse, Regina.

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So sorry for your loss.

To me there is no better way to remember someone than to express yourself in a way that was meaningful to them.

The tipping point for me starting bass was the untimely passing of my cousin. He was two years my junior and loved guitar. Built them. Played them. Etc. We always bonded over music, KISS records and girls. I can’t play guitar so pulled the trigger with bass as a sort of homage to him so I can remember him a bit and feel connected to him.

Maybe take a little time if you need. Maybe not. Maybe play for her. Maybe one day you will write a song for her.

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Hi @Regina ,
Sorry to hear of your loss, I agree with comments by others, your friends legacy will be to carry on her memory with the song she gave you.
This can always provide you with some comfort knowing that you put the bass line to the song and it’s yours forever.
It’s nice to see you back on the forum,
Cheers Brian

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The first thing you need to do is name / rename your bass Eileen. Her spirit will then come alive with every note you play.
From there, it’s up to Eileen to help drive you, but first you need to get in the driver’s seat and start playing.

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Dang, that’s young. I’m very sorry for your loss.

I would recommend starting with just playing whatever is fun.

When you’re ready to start trying to find your place to start working from, go hear…
Module Wrap Up guide
@bschaefer66 put together links and time stamps for every Module wrap up for the course.

This should give you a pretty good idea of what you remember and what you might need a refresher on.

After that, check this out…
50 First Songs 100 Week Challenge
Even if you don’t record or post videos, it’s a great resource for what to work on next when you need something to help keep you moving forward.

If you’re not feeling any of that, check out this…
BassBuzz YouTube Video Guide
It has all of Josh’s YouTube videos organized by what Module they most closely relate to.

Good luck @Regina. If you need any more help, don’t hesitate to ask. There are plenty of us here that are glad to help.

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Sorry sorry for your loss @Regina . Certainly a very hard pill to swallow at any time but for someone so young it’s even worse :pensive:

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Hey there. I am a drummer and a friend of mine passed away suddenly last year and I lost all motivation to practice and play. I basically did not touch the drums for several weeks, however I slowly got my motivation and passion back. One tip is that I kept my kit out in the open where I would see it each day. Some days I’d just sit on the throne and just touch the kit, not play it. Then slowly I began to do more and more, I’d do some practice drills for 5-10 minutes and eventually I started playing songs again. Don’t be too hard on yourself, you will start to feel motivated again. I’d also say that any musical instrument takes life-long discipline to keep improving on, no matter if you feel on top of the world or a bit down. Even in normal times you’ll go through periods where you just don’t feel like playing, at these times it’s important just to take little steps and keep going, even if you just pick it up for 5-10 minutes and bang out some scales or little riffs. Hope things are on the up for you soon. :heart:

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So sorry for your loss.
I too had to step away from bass for a few months due to medical reasons.
I was delighted when I returned at how much I actually retained from B2B, and talkingbass courses I took.

I was a little worried prior to stepping back into bass, but I quickly found myself right back in the swing of things.

My biggest hurdle was to build up callouses back on my fingertips, and to get back the strength and endurance I had built up, and lost due to not playing for close to 3 months.

You know it will bring you joy, and I do too. You are worried where to start, I would start by browsing for some easier songs that you always wanted to learn, and learn and play them for a week or two.
before you know it, you will find that love you once had, and will be good to go.

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I have no good advice for you here, seems like others are chiming in well, but I wanted to say I am really sorry for your loss and hope you can find some peace with this.

I will say you’ll be surprised when you pick it up again. You’ll be rusty, but the skills will still be there, and the level you were at will come back really fast. I think most people here, probably even Josh and Gio, have gone some stretches without playing so much (or at all). Life is just that way.

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Sorry for your loss @Regina
I’m not good at this type of thing, I really like and second Pam’s advice, just grab your bass, tune it and pluck, no agenda, just pluck after some time you’ll know what to do next…. Welcome back

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I think @PamPurrs phrased it beautifully to be honest. Actually brought a tear to my eye and no one has done that for a couple of years :flushed:

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You just been through a devastating emotional experience, @Regina . . . :neutral_face:

Sorry for the loss of your friend, too . . . 33 is way too young to die!

Life (and death) gets in the way of lots of stuff we like to do, including playing bass. Don’t worry though, you will not lose your ability to play! I know this from personal experience with the issues I am facing myself.

Just give it some time! You can always go back and review some older lessons from the course if you’re afraid of getting rusty. When you feel better, you’ll pick it up again, and may be surprised to find you haven’t fallen as far behind as you thought . . . :slight_smile:

Cheers and best wishes,
Joe

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When something like this happens, nothing seems important any more; sounds, tastes, smells, sights, feels become all “grey” and without much meaning… Every effort is too much, as we seem to know (and feel confirmed) it is all futile anyway…

Until you realize (again) that every little thing has meaning… every bird singing, every leaf swaying in the wind, every sound you create with your own hands on your bass!

I would just pick up the bass, do a quick tuning (forget all about a setup for now) and just noodle… just let come out through the bass whatever comes out. Don’t worry about whether it’s an arpeggios, whether it’s melodic, whether it’s “correct”… just play and listen to the sounds… quiet, sombre, crushing, crating, popping, screaming, whispering, …

Feel the strings vibrate underneath your fingers, feel the weight of the bass on your thighs or shoulders, feel the curve of the neck… and don’t forget to breathe :wink:

I am very sorry for your loss!

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Nicely put @joergkutter :heart_eyes_cat:

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So sorry for your loss @Regina. Your BassBuzz family is here and keeping you in our thoughts. Prayers for peace and wonderful memories of your friend - and a rekindled take at the bass when the time is right.

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Sorry for your loss. Through pain and sadness and dealing with tragedy can come great motivation for creativity. The bass might be the perfect tool to honour and remember your friend and as some have mentioned continue to work on the bass line for her song and perhaps record it as a tribute to her.

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Thank you all so very, very much for all your kind words, they really mean a lot to me, each one of them, especially coming from strangers. :heart: I’m a little overwhelmed and you brought a few (good) tears to my eyes.
So last night, after a drink and a little smoke, I finally picked up my bass. Yes, I did feel pretty rusty and I was still a bit lost but it felt soothing. I played “Into my Arms” by Nick Cave, which I learned a long time ago, couldn’t really play it anymore, but it still felt a bit like talking to an old friend. Then I just went through some of the jam tracks from module 4 and 5.
This is what I realized: As much as Eileen gave me the idea to start playing bass, something I’d never even considered before, it became my own thing. That’s what good friends can do, they inspire you and push you to do something, but then you can go and fly by yourself, knowing they have your back. However, the prospect of one day playing together motivated me to become better, to take this course because I wanted to be ready for the moment when we can actually get together and jam. Having lost that is probably the reason for me feeling lost now when I pick up the bass. It’ll take some time…
I will try to check in here on the forum more regularly again and repeat a few of Josh’s lessons, I’m sure it’ll make me smile and play.
I’ll see you soon! :hugs:

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Great to hear from you @Regina . We are family, and we are here for you.

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