#1
Okay, so every now and again I'm sure most of us go through periods where we don;t play our basses (or other instruments) as much as we'd like to.
Recently I got into one of those slumps, I wasn't in a band, I seemed to be having no good ideas when trying to come up with stuff and I wasn't really learning any grooves or songs.
I wouldn't play for maybe weeks at a time, until about 2 weeks ago, when I "rediscovered" Rush's Moving Pictures. Now I use that term loosely as it more "getting off my arse and deciding to push through the barrier to learn a new song".

So my question is, for purely conversational matters, what gets you out of that "slump"?
#2
The prospect of a career that doesn't involve playing guitar :P
Nah seriously, for me, it takes a while. But it's often a band I love. As you said, Rush seems to have inspired you. Pantera sort me out. Dime's playing has an effect on me that's pretty unexplainable.
"If you don't get out of this slump, you'll never be compared to these guys" Kind of thing.
Last edited by 5_minutes_alone at Mar 12, 2012,
#3
Buy a new bass.
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#4
pretty much just hearing a bassline that stands out. last night, i was watching friends and heard the theme and just felt the need to bass
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#5
Quote by moody git
pretty much just hearing a bassline that stands out. last night, i was watching friends and heard the theme and just felt the need to bass


^This. Nothing inspires me more than hearing a fantastic bass part that I desperately want to learn how to play. Even if I never learn it, it will get me to pick up my bass and play.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#6
Usually when you hear a riff and you want to play it i find.

There was a period when i hadn't played my basses in ages - i was taking guitar over them so one day i just stuck on some music and had a merry old time.

My playing ability on bass is better so it feels more loose/free playing it over guitar.
Drummer of 7 years, Bassist of 5 years, Guitarist of 4 years.
#8
Listening to music.

Specifically though, going outside your comfort zone.

I spent WAY too many years pigeonholing myself into similar genre types. It wasn't until i expanded that i transitioned from "a guy that plays bass" to a "bassist".

Play metal? Listen to some Jazz. Play punk? Listen to some R&B. Listen to motown, gospel, soul... listen to what bassists do in other genres. Pick and choose what things work for you and your style. After a while you will develop an individual style that is an amalgamation of all the influences you've absorbed.

THAT is one of the greatest feelings ever, getting recognized as an individual through your bass playing.


With more of a meta-goal like "personal best" in your mind, it's harder to find yourself in times of slump.
"Punk Rock should mean freedom, liking and accepting anything that you like, as sloppy as you want, as long as it's good and has passion."
#10
Going out and seeing live performances.

The other is regular lessons with a good teacher. Nothing kicks my butt into action like knowing I have to be able to play something with some level of competence in a week.
#11
Quote by anarkee
Going out and seeing live performances.

The other is regular lessons with a good teacher. Nothing kicks my butt into action like knowing I have to be able to play something with some level of competence in a week.


This also works for me, although due to a lack of money (student life) it's usually watching a live DVD I have and missing out of the lessons!
#12
Stepping away from my bass for a couple of days always works for me. I just play some other instruments for a day or 2. When I pick up my bass after this break, it just feels like coming home and I find myself having more inspiration than before.
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#13
Normally jamming with my band. Doesn't matter if I use the guitar or bass when we jam, after the session, I get back my momentum.

Also, it helps if you watch music themed movies. The Pianist, The Soloist, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, etc...
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#14
Listen to diffrent types of music to get re-inspired. I tend to try diff song writing techs when I do this, which is a great thing.
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#15
Watching some covers of various songs on Youtube always helps, or just live performances by the artists themselves. Really starts up that idea of "Keep practicing, and you'll be able to do that one day.".
#16
It kinda feels like I'm in one now. I think that my playing ability is adequate for my punk band. Whenever I start trying to add lots of bass lines to our material, it almost feels like I'm violently masturbating all over our songs with silly bass lines and bass fills that won't serve the song.
We haven't been getting any gigs, and it is horribly depressing, having to sit around, not making any progress. It kind of sucks out any desire to get better. If any of my bands don't improve, it feels like there's no reason to try and improve myself.

Also

Since my jazz band at school is mostly made up of players who haven't ever played jazz, it gets kind of tedious waiting for everyone to learn their parts, since there aren't many who practice outside of class.

I hardly ever pick my bass up to just practice something, or learn songs by myself, its mostly rehearsals and performances now, which isn't a good thing.

The way I get out of it? Joining a new band usually does the trick, or if my band writes new material, and we start playing shows. I've joined a Nirvana tribute band, and it's sorta nice having to sit down and learn a bunch of songs, even if they are pretty easy. Or, if all else fails, the for sure way to get out of a slump, buy a new bass. That's by far the most expensive, but it does the trick.
#17
Quote by Pandawithapick
It kinda feels like I'm in one now. I think that my playing ability is adequate for my punk band. Whenever I start trying to add lots of bass lines to our material, it almost feels like I'm violently masturbating all over our songs with silly bass lines and bass fills that won't serve the song.
We haven't been getting any gigs, and it is horribly depressing, having to sit around, not making any progress. It kind of sucks out any desire to get better. If any of my bands don't improve, it feels like there's no reason to try and improve myself.



when it comes to punk, groovy but simple basslines are key. something that catches interest but doesn't overload the song. It is far too easy to start doodling out fills and ruin the song.
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#18
Listening to new Post-Rock songs does it for me, even those that have no bass.
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#19
Quote by anarkee
Going out and seeing live performances.

The other is regular lessons with a good teacher. Nothing kicks my butt into action like knowing I have to be able to play something with some level of competence in a week.

This.

It is just plain embarrassing to show up for lessons and be out of practice. I look at it like professional athletes that have personal trainers to keep them honest.

I generally try for two live shows a month, looking forward to May when Roger Waters comes to town.
If I miss one day of practice, I notice it.
If I miss two days, the critics notice it.
If I miss three days, the audience notices it.

Ingacy Jan Paderewski (1860 - 1941)