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#1
I've been playing a lot recently, for various reasons. I've also been thinking about why i play the bass, and what i want from it. At 29, i have no aspirations for stardom, or making it big. Obviously if someone signed my band i would give it all up, but luckily i have a job i love. So what do i want from the bass? Well, i think if i can reach an advanced level and perhaps end up teaching people for free in my spare time i would be happy. I know i will always play the bass for the rest of my life. I'm interested in what other people think...

How many people want to be virtuoso? Like, seriously.. Who out there wants to teach, or be a session player? Is it just a hobby? A bit of fun? Who is paying the bills by playing their bass? Can you see yourself always playing bass or is it a fad?
#2
i play bass because i like music. i will always play it, but don't really know what i would do if i was presented with the opportunity to make a living off of playing.

i want to record and release music because i would like to be able to share whats in my head.
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#3
depends where you mean that?.....cuz i play both bass in symphony and bass in rock,funk groups.....symphony is where i'm goin with my life , and if that in turn means turning into a Domenico Dragonetti.....well sweet eh? but my bass will be my profession after college so i see myself always playing.
#4
at the moment its a personal thing, im looking to get into bands soon like. i cant see ever gettin big off it, id like to keep on the down low, plus ill enjoy my career too much (touch wood, if im offered a huge contract then maaaayyybe)
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#5
I would love to do session work. Seriously. I am a singer, guitar player, and now a new bass player. I knocked around in bands for years, but have no interest in the commitment. I like writing my own music, years ago I used to use computer programs to fill in the instruments I couldnt play and release songs, ALA NIN. I might go back to that...but I need to get a physical bass first!

In terms of what I want from the instrument, I want to broaden my horizons. I *feel* music, and I find that the rhythem of the guitar provides that sensation for me, but the rythem and the sound of the bass does it for me, so the bass is more satisfying...if anyone can follow or make sense out of that!
#6
Well, you see, even on a 7-string, I can only tune so low..
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#7
I would like my band to go somewhere but if not then I would like to be a session musicain or just do something musical, probably not even full time to be honest. I play the bass because I have a passion for it, I love the look, the feel and the sound of it and there are not enough hours in time for me to play every great bassline every written.
#8
A couple of months ago I worked at a construction site as the site director, and a fellow architect one day asked me if he could borrow some machinery for just a couple of hours, I said sure, why not. Then after some small talk with this man, (he is a close friend of the architect I work for) he told me he was a bassist, and he played in a cover band during weekends and gave classes every now and then. I saw myself in his eyes.

I am currently studying architecture, and meeting this fellow made me realize I don't have to give up my hobby and my love for music.
#9
I play because because it's just a lot of fun to realize how much you can really do and how much is there for you with the bass guitar. I don't ever intend to gig and make a living off of it, but I do like writing original works with others and love playing with others and do so when the opportunity occurs. I've pretty much always played bass just for myself, and it will likely stay that way for as long as I play.
As of right now I would say that bass will always be in my life, and I think I'm old enough to finally know what actually will be in my life. (as opposed to being 10 and saying I'd play with pokemon cards for the rest of my life)
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#10
I wrote a blog along these lines a little while ago, and it's still up if you want to read it.

Music used to be my one-and-only goal, but I found out through hard knocks that I'd never be happy with it. I figured there are better ways to change the world than being a rock star or session guy.

Although I'll always play bass and enjoy it thoroughly, I really have no desire to play in bands or do gigs for some reason. I'm putting most of my focus on school nowadays. My whole first year of college, I was constantly ready to abandon ship if the right band came along. Now, I just want to take advantage of my scholarships and do as much with education as I can. I'm majoring in electrical engineering; perhaps one day I'll start an amp company? It's just me, and sorry if I offend anyone, but I want to do a bit more for the world than be an entertainer.

So I guess bass is mostly a "meditation" for me. Some people do yoga, some play video games, some do martial arts, some play sports. It's a stress reliever. I take acoustic guitar the same way, but I enjoy bass much more.
"Comedy's a dead art form. Now tragedy, that's funny." -Bender Bending Rodriguez
Last edited by mountaindew88 at Oct 26, 2008,
#11
I play bass to explore tonal possibility, be it through note strength, technique, pedals, equalizing, bass type, I love finding tones to use. I like sounding good. I like sounding interesting.

I play bass to make art. if someone buys it, sweet, we have business, if I get to keep it, it's my little secret.

I play bass to meet people. if it's UG, or a jam session, or whatever, it's fine. I get to do something with my peers besides make dirty jokes and have drama

I play bass because I want to build instruments eventually. I'm not as for along as Leo Fender, hell, or even Nutter 101, but I will get there.

I play bass because it impresses people. you tell people you can flip your tongue upside down, eh. you tell them you can dance, eh. but as soon as people know you play an instrument, they think you rock.

but most of all, BASS IS F@#$ING FUN!!!!!!!!!!!
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#12
I had brief aspirations of trying to make it as a musician in my early twenties (as a guitarist). But after a few years of making beans and rice wages at horrible gigs and the prospect of having to live at home for an unforseeable future, made me realize it wasn't going happen.

I play bass because I love music. and its the instrument that above all others speaks deeply (pardon the pun) to me.

I play bass because its a challenge on a daily basis. There's always something to learn and something to conquer and perfect. I will become a solid jazz bass player someday. And I will play Portrait of Tracy at some point as well.

I play bass because it connects me with my loved ones. I get great joy from sharing music with my husband (drummer) and my son (guitarist).

I play bass because I become connected with other people in my musical community at large. I play bass because it has allowed me to meet many creative people in my own backyard. They allow me to share their own creative visions and allow me to share mine with theirs. I play bass because I am part of a musical scene in my area and its not about the money, its about the music.

I play bass because I have met either virtually or physically, some really wonderful people who share the love I have for our instrument of choice.

I play bass because one time I was playing in a outdoor gig and this huge biker dude came up and said..."Bass playing chick, you're very, very cool.".

And I'll play bass until they take my bass from my cold stiff hands.
#13
well as im dumb as a brick my whoel goal in life is to become a professional musician becuase my music is also my passion. its something im good at and i love. so if i dont become a professional musician, then im S.O.L. and just like the song "Dont forget me i can't hide it" i wanna be remembered as someone who did somethin and was unique. its my calling.
Try adding more delay.
#15
I play to clear my head.
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Now say his name.....
#16
In an ideal world, I'd be the next geddy lee, on stage hammering out awesome bass solos on a customized fender jazz. If not I still want to be in a band, no matter how much effort I have to put in I'll either get there or die trying. hopefully the former. anyway, bass to me means life.
"I hope I die before I get old"-Words of Pete Townsend, 1945-

"I hope I die before I turn into Pete Townsend"-Words of Kurt Cobain, 1967-1994

Funny old world eh.
#17
Quote by telecastrmastr
well as im dumb as a brick my whoel goal in life is to become a professional musician becuase my music is also my passion. its something im good at and i love. so if i dont become a professional musician, then im S.O.L. and just like the song "Dont forget me i can't hide it" i wanna be remembered as someone who did somethin and was unique. its my calling.


this

altho my overall musical goal is to be Eddie Vedder, except in my own band and without the political garbage
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#18
My musical goal? To keep me happy and be able to express myself. At the moment I'm halfway there- I am happy. I just don't have enough creative outputs to let me express all of me- I have my metal band, I have my progressive indie band (that's right, PROGRESSIVE INDIE!), but it isn't enough.

I also want to use bass to pass music on to those younger than me- I already teach my brother and a few of his friends. I hope they can get what I've gotten from playing music, and even beyond that. I want them to see music not just as something to do, to entertain people, but as something to help them reflect on themselves as people. Music has a strange way of doing that, if you're doing your own thing.

I also want to apply music to other facets of life- the discipline involved, the determination, the ability to take something and mould it into your own. I'm very drunk right now, so I'll probably delete this post sometime tomorrow afternoon, but meh, screw it
#19
I think there's a gross unawareness of what it takes to be a professional musician, espicially with some of the younger members.

A talkbass member spent a week on a berklee summer course, the whole thread can be found here but one of the key quotes was this:

"Someone asked Shane how much he practices, and Jim stepped in and said, "Shane, I'm going to rephrase that question a bit. Do you practice more than 2 hours a day?"

Shane said, "Yes."

Jim said, "Do you practice more than 3 hours a day?"

Shane grinned a little and said, "Yup."

Jim asked, "Do you practice more than 5 hours a day?"

Shane said, "Yes, I do."

Then Jim asked, "Shane, how much do you practice?"

And Shane said, "I practice between 7-8 hours a day [on upright]."

The audience was a bit taken aback, but Jim said something I will never forget:

"Folks, we need to stop the clinic here for a second so I can go over something very important with you. What Shane does is not unusual for someone who wants to play at a professional level. This is what it takes to be an expert at something - anything. Practice is how you get better, and how you maintain your level once you're there. If you're not willing to practice several hours every day, you need to seriously consider if music is the right career for you.""


I think that should really say it all for anyone who wants to be a professional musician.
That said, I usually manage to squeeze in 2 hours of PRACTICE (not playing) a day as well as several ensemble practices a week as well. I also take regular lessons and work on a myraid of styles and techniques. I feel that I can succeed with my playing, but only time will tell.
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#20
Play to have fun really, at 36 I dont think I'll be getting up on stage(girlfriend has other ideas) But playing bass has helped me get thru some shit that life throws at you and great to play loud and smash the shit out of it. Anger management? Maybe, but also how do u get your kid/s to like bass? My 6 yo daughter finds it boring, but she has a knack for the drums so thats what she is getting for Xmas, so maybe I will be jamming with her soon? lol.
#21
I play bass because I love music and I want to make it my career.
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usually, this is often discussed in the political threads ...

let's change the question: are you pro or antti niemi?
#22
I play bass because I love doing it and it'd be great if I could make a career from it.
haha, ( to the berklee post) When I first got my bass a I practiced for around six hours a day. and even more on the weekends.
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#23
I would Like to become a session musso for a job, but It would also be a hobby because I enjoy playing music.
#24
I play bass to blow out peoples' buttholes with such low frequencies.
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#25
I play bass to play in my band, and I play in my band to take it as far as I possibly can. What do I want from my bass? The entire world at my fingertips, one note at a time.
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I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#26
Its nice reading all your thoughts. Sometimes i come on this forum and all the posts are about gear, and i cant help but think some people care more about gear than playing.

I started playing bass to help me write electronic dance music, and as soon as i started i realised i wanted to play in bands, with other musicians. I am an extremely determined person, and i hate being shit at something i want to be good at. After my recent life changes i have been practicing for about three hours most days. I've found a decent teacher that i am going to take some lessons from, and i hope he can take my playing to the next level. I've got that feeling again like when i first started - you know, you cant wait to get home from work so you can play. Some nights i dont even have dinner 'cause i look up and its 11pm. Like i said, i do not want to be a pro; i am already a professional in my chosen career, and that took me 8 years! But i do want to be able to teacher, and i never want to stop getting better.

Someone mentioned bass as an outlet for your emotions, a way to emerse yourself in something to block out things in life that are troubling you. I couldnt agree more, and music has that massive power. Currenty my bass is my mental nurse, when i play i think of nothing other than playing.

Peace
#27
i want to be a session musician that's why i'm studying music as much as humanly possible
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#28
I took it up just last week. I was looking to change some things in my life, and pick up a hobby that could motivate me to work hard to accomplish something. I instantly thought of playing an instrument, and bass guitar was one I had been considering for years. It just really happened this time. And I couldn't be happier. Here I have to work early tomorrow, and I've been almost up till 2am playing around.
Practice Gear:
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#29
Wow, cool thread.

I play bass because its the only instrument I have been able to express myself on so freely. I pick up a bass and the ideas are there. After struggling for years as a guitarist, it was so satisfying to pick up a bass and write something i was truly happy with (that first thing I wrote was a simple pentatonic fill, but it fit the riff my guitarist was playing so perfectly).

I dream of world domination and virtuosity on the instrument, but fate and my laziness will probably get in the way of that. Just to play in front of people with my band is my main goal at this point.

What do I want from bass: nothing that I dont already get out of it; the simple pleasure of jamming with my mates.
#30
In the end I want to do music as a job or at least as a supplementary income. Not necessarily a professional, but even teaching lessons on the side, or the ideal of the unideal would be teaching at the high school level at some point. I could really see myself doing that. I'm not sure I have what it takes to be a studio or session guy. I don't really want to play other people's music, I want to play mine and if I can't, well, those who can't do... Anyway, I just can't see myself practising for hours and hours a day to be a pro musician, I'm having enough trouble getting half an hour in now, so I doubt 7-8 hours a day is very viable. I just don't have the love of the instrument I need to be a pro I guess.

One of the worst things for me though, would be having music as a hobby. I'd rather not play at all than just play by myself in my bedroom. It's just so unfulfilling to me. I'm not very... "feelingy" so I don't get this stuff that people say about conveying emotion or their life. I don't know, I can understand what people are saying, but I can't empathise. So I need to be playing with someone and hearing what's come of my practise. Music to me is about, sounds good, sounds bad. That's what I like about it so much. It's one of two places where I can go and say the answer is this, it couldn't be that because that has symbolism that provides a more profound mood than this, it is definitely this, because this is the right answer.

That's my views on it anyway. I'm a pretentious asshole who isn't willing to play other people's music and finds no emotion in music. Pray for me UG.
#31
I'm 17, and in a music programme 11th year, and unlike many of my friends who want to be in a band and make it big, I firsthand want to study the instrument and study music for some time ahead (hopefully MI/Berklee).

I see no problem in not becoming a solo artist such as Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller or any other, I would be happy if I could live by playing as a session-member or perhaps be a teacher at a higher level of music education.

Of course, joining a progressive band alike Dream Theater wouldn't be that ba d
#32
Dunno if this thread should be done yet, but i thought i would throw my thoughts out here.
I play bass cuz music will always be in my life, if i don't play i will only listen and wish i could play. I play because i want to make music with others, as well as by myself. I don't know if i will always play the bass, i played the piano for four years before i picked it up. Maybe in a few years i will learn something else, but i will make music. Many of my freinds and most of my family play instruments, so it is a social thing as well. I'm not a part of a band, and i can't see myself being dedicated enough to be a professional musician of any kind. But i think i will always be learning something new about music.
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#34
No, not really. I see stories though. Not in modern music, I find nothing in music written past the turn of the 20th century other than good vs. bad. But, in classical music there is stories, which is why I've started listening to a lot more classical music and why I've started incorporating it into my writing. So not emotion no, but I do see a story unfold when listening. And when I'm playing there's no emotion, but again I try and tell a story. Not of me necessarily, actually, never of me, but of something or someone.
#35
I try to tell stories through music all of the time; just never, ever, EVER using my bass. I think words have a strong semantic meaning but the meaning of notes is very much up to the listener, and I'd much rather have my story be clear than have it's meaning decided upon by the listener.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#36
^ But people take different meaning from words, too.

That to me is the for me is the beauty of music. everyone takes something different away from it.

I agree with Jazz that modern music is often lacking, but one listen to In Rainbows by Radiohead will show that modern music is alive and kicking.

For me, nothing will ever compare to classical music, though.
#37
Yes, people do take different meanings from words, especially when lyricists try to write enigmatic lyrics for that very reason, but if you do it right, you can be very concise with your lyrics. I just think it's much harder if not impossible to tell a story with any detail, or at least I can't do so in a way that's better, easier, and more effective than words.

Also, I thought I'd throw out something: I really think that music, above anything else, is entertainment. Some cats fancy themselves politicians or word painters in their songs and I think they're missing the point. Robert Plant said it best: "The whole point of music since the beginning was for people to be happy." However, I do think now that music is the most 'entertainment' it's ever been, but at the same time I think the mainstream audience thinks it's way, way, way more artistically or politically significant than it actually is.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#38
I play for the simple love of music like most everyone else. If I happen to join a band and make music that affects peoples lives in positive ways (as is my dream), then so be it. If not, then fine. At least Im still playing the music I love.
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#39
Quote by thefitz
Yes, people do take different meanings from words, especially when lyricists try to write enigmatic lyrics for that very reason, but if you do it right, you can be very concise with your lyrics. I just think it's much harder if not impossible to tell a story with any detail, or at least I can't do so in a way that's better, easier, and more effective than words.


Agreed

Quote by thefitz
Also, I thought I'd throw out something: I really think that music, above anything else, is entertainment. Some cats fancy themselves politicians or word painters in their songs and I think they're missing the point. Robert Plant said it best: "The whole point of music since the beginning was for people to be happy." However, I do think now that music is the most 'entertainment' it's ever been, but at the same time I think the mainstream audience thinks it's way, way, way more artistically or politically significant than it actually is.


I agree again. Thats why i laugh when people ask Bono what he thinks about current political climates! Who gives a **** what Bono thinks, he is a goddamn singer!!

Music has changed so much though - its delivery, style, substance - everything. Its still entertainment, but just in a different way.
#40
IMO, music should be able to be used as a platform for beliefs, but not be used as a platform for a political or religious rally.

e.g.- The Smiths playing 3 songs in the entire set and ranting about politics for the rest of it.

Rage standing there naked for a while.
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