After dinner that night, Ric grabbed the bass his Dad owned but never used, blew some dust off it and sat down on his bed. He knew nothing about guitars, even less about basses, but he knew this one was relatively cheap, and therefore probably not all that great. Still, it would be good for while he learned some basics.
Ric had been taking guitar lessons for a few weeks, so he assumed his basic knowledge of playing a guitar could transfer across to a bass. Well, except for the finger plucking instead of plectrum picking. Or whatever it was people called it.
He thought for a moment about which songs might be good for him to start with. He moved to his computer and scrolled through his list of music, seeing only songs with complex riffs that he wouldn't be able to learn in a short space of time. Finally he found one that seemed suitable. Smells Like Teen Spirit.
He put it into the Internet and searched for a tab. After looking at one that was highly rated, he decided it would be simple enough. He grabbed the bass and started playing.
In his head, the song started playing, and he played along with it. In his mind he was keeping up, but in reality he was making some mistakes. Unfortunately, he was too wrapped up in his thoughts that he didn't realise this, and play on happily, if not very well.
Well this is easy enough he muttered, smiling. Time to try it with singing.
He started playing the verse again at the normal speed. His mouth opened and he started to sing along. That's when the problems started. He couldn't keep the rhythm of the bass and the rhythm of the singing the same. His fingers would slow down to accommodate his voice, or his voice started going in rhythm with the dum-dum-dum-dum of the bass.
He tried for another five minutes to get it right, but failed constantly. In anger, he threw the bass down onto the bed and went back to his PC. A message was waiting for him. It was Brad.
Hey there, Sting'. How's the bass going?
Ric sighed and replied, I suck. I just can't get the rhythms separate. Turns out this whole playing bass malarkey is a bit harder than I expected.
Aw, diddums. Are the strings too thick for your widdle fingers?
Several miles away, Brad laughed. Winding Ric up was always fairly easy, and usually pretty fun too.
So, have you thought of anyone who can play bass for the band?
Ric thought for a second. He didn't know anyone who had even touched a bass guitar, let alone play one. All his friends had gone straight for the guitar, thinking one day they'll be the next Hendrix or something. Slowly, they had failed to achieve this dream.
Nope, I got nothin'.
Well what about John's brother? I heard he's not too bad at it.
Ric made a confused face at his computer screen. John's brother? He'd been to John's house quite a few times and never seen a hint of bass. Then again, he was usually far too wrapped up staring at a screen to have noticed much, including a steady beat being played on a bass guitar.
John's brother plays bass?
Yeah, didn't you know?
I don't really know John's brother that well. He seems a bit quiet whenever I'm around.
Brad laughed. That's cos the last time you spoke to him, you told him everything that was wrong in your life, then made fun of his favourite bands.
Ric tried to remember this event. It DID sound like the kind of thing he'd do.
Awesome. Anyway, we've already got one of John's family in the band, let's keep it at that.
Fine. What about Laura?
Ah, yes, Laura. Laura was one of the few girls that Ric had as a friend, and somehow managed to completely slip his mind in the bass-player thought process. Probably because he usually only thought about her in a different way.
Oh, yeah, her. Er, I dunno.
Let's ask John's opinion.
Ric waited a moment, muttering obscenities towards Brad, and John joined in the conversation. Brad told him the jist of what was going on.
Wait, Brad's the drummer in our band? asked John.
Ric slapped his hand against his head in an over-the-top, dramatic fashion. He'd completely forgotten to tell John about the addition to the band.
Yeah, sorry, forgot to tell you. But anyway, I think inviting Laura to join the band would be a mistake.
Brad jumped in first with a comment. Why, cos you've fancied her for the past 5 years?
John dived right onto the bandwagon. Yeah, and you wouldn't be able to sing cos you'd be too busy jacking off in the corner?
Ric was beginning to get annoyed. No, I just don't think she'd be that great in the band.
Sadly it was too late. Brad had already started with Ric fancies Laura! and John was drawing some fairly explicit pictures on the screen.
Alright, thanks, I get it. You can stop laughing at me and drawing penises now.
John laughed in his large house in the hills. He was probably a good artist really, but preferred to draw stick figures doing things that would make the vicar spit out his tea.
Sorry. So Laura's in the band then?
Ric was bemused. I never agreed to that.
Brad responded positively. I think we should give her a try. Looks like you're being outnumbered, Ric!
Ric sighed. It was fairly obvious he wasn't going to win this fight. Alright, I'll ask her tomorrow.
John smiled in his box room. Want us to come with you so you don't end up screwing up and grabbing her boobs?
Ric snapped back. You know, surprisingly enough, I think I can handle it on my own, thanks.
He knew that far away both of them were crying with laughter. It was pretty funny, he had to admit that. But sometimes it got boring to be at the wrong end of every joke.
Right, I'm off. I'll see you when we have a bassist.