[thechat] pease porridge hot

Noah St. Amand noah at tookish.net
Tue Nov 29 01:29:28 CST 2005

Canfield, Joel wrote (11/28/05 6:57 PM):
> So, are you supposed to lower your expectations just to be able to play,
> or do you keep refining who and what you are until the magic happens and
> you fall into the right tub of butter?

I'm also a bass player. That's a particularly topical issue for me right 
now. Right now I'm fortunate to have a fair number of opportunities to 
play, but they're pretty distinctly divided into:

1. playing original stuff that I really enjoy, but very rarely actually 
get to play in front of anyone

2. playing cheesy quasi-oldies rock in a band that's constantly in demand

It's kind of depressing how you can work your butt off on something you 
really believe in, and people are only semi-interested. Pull out some 
old April Wine / Honeymoon Suite tunes, though, and they can't get 
enough :-).

As far as opportunities to play, my experience has been that they come 
in waves. A year ago I was hardly playing at all, these days I'm playing 
all the time. I'm not sure how you get from one extreme to the other, 
though. When there isn't much going on, I pretty much take anything I'm 
offered in hopes that one way or another it will turn into something real.

Something else, more bass specific. Personally I think the bass is 
really not very much fun at all to play by yourself. Until recently I 
almost never practiced, except when learning new stuff. So if I wasn't 
playing with anyone, I wasn't playing.

Eight months ago, though, I bought an (low-end) upright. It's a beast, 
and it sent me back just about to square one in the chops department, 
but it's a whole lot more fun to get out and play by myself than the 
electric ever was. I pretty much practice every evening through the 
Daily Show (and now the Colbert Report too -- Comedy Central's parlay is 
making me a better bass player). And when you develop the hand strength 
to play an upright, the electric feels like a toy :-).

So if you're looking for a challenge to keep you interested while you 
look for another band, an upright might be fun to play around with.

I did some recording with an original band I'm in a few months ago -- 
we've got some mp3s available, if anyone wants to check them out (ignore 
the not-so-subtle hints on the site about sending money -- we wouldn't 
know what to do with it).



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