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Posted by Pat Harrington on October 21, 2000 at 19:53:42:

Down the page a bit a question was asked, "What does it take
to be a good bassist? This is probably the toughest question I've
ever seen asked here, well, here goes..To me, the most gratifying
thing about playing bass, or any other instrument for that matter
is getting your music HEARD, be it live, in front of a paying
audience, or be you fortunate enough, getting your stuff recorded
and heard by the masses. I can still remember when I
picked up a bass for the first time, (a cheap, Hofner Beatle Bass
Copy), trying to thumb-pluck the intro to "Day Tripper", thinking
I'm NEVER gonna be able to play this damn thing...Luckily, I came
from a musical family and had an early exposure to music and
musical instrments, first being accordion, and later, Sax and
Clarinet. Not everyone starts with music lessons and method
books, hell, MANY of the worlds most influential musicians can't
even READ music. Does this make them any less valid? NO IT DOES
NOT!!! (That left-handed guy from Liverpool couldn't read music
BTW) Being a successful musician of ANY kind, lies in you heart,
your head and your ears. SO WHAT if McCartney doesn't know the
difference between an Am9 or an Am7 chord on paper, People
can be students for their ENTIRE lives, know every chord, arpeggio,
mode and scale and still NEVER be able to come up with songs
like YESTERDAY, or riffs like DAY TRIPPER..These things lie in
an undying love for music, and the cumulative effects of one's
life experiences. There's a BIG difference between being educated,
and being creative, the former not always leading to the latter..
Einstein once said, "imagination is more valuable than intellect"..
Go figure.....What do ALL successful people have in common?
A commitment and dedication to the things they love most, and
NEVER allowing others to criticize them in to QUITTING!!!!
There are MILLIONS of people that will ALWAYS tell you what
you're doing WRONG...That their way is the ONLY way, and that
unless you do it THEIR way, you are ignorant, and will FAIL...
Remember the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Micheal-
Angelo...What do they have in common?...There were MANY people
that thought these guys were FOOLS!! Just think if these guys
would have listened to these idiots!!!...Remember the guy at
Decca records that turned down the Beatles!!!...Did the Beatles
stop and hang it up? HELL NO!!!! I wonder where that guy
ended up??? It seems that there is always a plentiful supply
of ASSHOLES that DON'T WANT others to succeed in their OWN
WAY....It just BURNS them up that someone is doing something
that THEY THEMSELVES CANNOT DO!!..Fellow bassists, DON'T
LISTEN TO THESE PEOPLE...The saddest thing in the world
lies in unfulfilled dreams and WASTED TALENT, human potential
going unrealized..The most destructive words in the English
Language, (or any other language for that matter) are "NO"
and "YOU CAN'T" If we all were to listen to the numerous
jerk-offs we meet throughout our lives telling us those
above words, where would we be? God only knows.....
What's the moral to this lengthy, rambling diatribe??
Well, learning all those chords, modes, scales, bla-bla-bla
may be important, but not even 1/1000th of one per-cent
as important as what lies in our hearts and our souls, or
our unrelenting LOVE for MUSIC...In other words, our motivations
have to be right..If you want to be a musician to party and
pick up chicks, well, there's a long line of people in front
of you....roll the dice...You probably won't get there, and if
you do, you won't last...There's gotta be something more
substantive...Why do I continue to play bass? Because
without music, I AM DEAD...How do I continue to play, and
even get PAID to do it? By showing others that I enjoy
what I do, and know what I'm doing!! Do I make mistakes?
YES!!...Anybody who tells you that they never make mistakes
is a LIAR and a FRAUD...Futhermore, SNOBBERY has NO PLACE
in the true human experience of MUSIC. Music is ONLY an organized
stream of sound, produced by a human voice or some type of
musical instrument. nothing more, and nothing less...
You must experience music as a whole, not just some
particular musical idiom....LIVE IT, LEARN IT, LOVE IT,.....
ALL OF IT!!!!.....Being a musician is sort of like being
a writer...If you know 5000 words, you can make yourself
understood, if you know 500,000 words, you can CHANGE THE WORLD!!
And NEVER, EVER let anybody tell you that you can't....
So.......Get out there and JUST DO IT!!!!!

Peace, and Cheers as always..

Pat H.

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