Re: Nickey the agitator..

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Posted by Nickey on December 22, 2000 at 03:25:41:

In Reply to: Nickey the agitator.. posted by Pat Harrington on December 21, 2000 at 17:17:46:


: Geez, Nickey, you sure know how to stir up the pot!
: Got even some of us old guys ruffled...Bottom line,
: however you decide you wanna play, go right ahead,
: You won't see me defending fingers or pick much either
: way; I'm equally proficient at both. It all depends
: on the situation, and what the person paying me wants to
: hear; Would you turn down $35 an hour gigs 5 times a month
: because you couldn't or simply didn't want to play a certain
: type of music or style?? Versatility is the key to long
: term longevity in the music business; cover as many sounds
: with your instrument as you can, learn as many styles as you
: can, learn how to play guitar, piano, sing lead and backup,
: buy an upright and learn that too, (fingerstyle of course!),
: because chances are you're probably not gonna be playing
: with the same cats you're playing with for very long. People
: move, change careers or ideals, or give up on music entirely.
: These are undeniable facts I've learned from playing bass
: for nearly 25 years, shit happens, be prepared...Just for the
: hell of it...How long have you been playing? Where, and with
: whom have you studied? Do you read music? How many times a month
: do have paying gigs? Do you teach? Don't think I'm prying, I'd
: just like to know....

: Happy X-mas
: Cheers,
: Pat H

I can agree with you about versatility as far as different instruments are concerned but I think you should sound you on your instrument. I mean your way of playing should be something people would come to hear. If you play all these different sounds and styles nobody will know what to expect from you and youíll be forgotten into the background. I quess these kind of Nathan East types of players are needed but Iíd like to encourage bassists to come Ēup frontĒ more and be more original.
Iíve been playing the piano since I was a small kid and I think everybody should learn it, it is a great help whatever instrument you play. When I started playing guitar with some of my friends, I improved a lot faster than them thanks to my piano playing. Oops, now Iím praising myself again but you get my point. Even when I started playing harmonica I didnít have to learn theory, just the blowing technique. Bass playing came really naturally as I had already been playing guitar for a while and piano Ēfor agesĒ. From the guitar I got all the places on the fingerboard and from the piano I got the theory, all the notes and stuff. Itís really great, that way I didnít have to learn the treble clef seperate also when I started learning John Patitucciís six string bass solos. There was some talk on this forum about notes and tab a while ago and I must say itís best and fastest if you have both. I recently learned Marcus Millerís solo on the song ĒMoonsĒ from the album Ēthe sun donít lieĒ I had both tab and notes. If thereís a tricky bit I can look it up from the tab fast and from the notes I get the complex rhythms fast, which I would have to listen to many many times without the notes. (This is a beutiful frettless solo by Marcus you should check it out.)
I seem to have stranded a bit here, back to your questions.
You asked me if I would turn down gigs because I didnít like the style of music. To this I have to answer yes and actually I already have turned down paying gigs because I didnít like the style. BUT I havenít turned down gigs yet that would have paid me 35$ an hour. (The heavy metal bands donít seem to pay that much.) But Iíve also gone to play at gigs I like for free. I donít do this for the money, anyway, you donít earn enough money by beeing a musician here in the nothern parts of Europe. I have a regular 8 hour job.
As I said I play bass, piano, guitar, harmonicaÖ and drums. This is another thing every bassist should learn it is a great advantage when hooking up with the drummer.
Not to strecth my answer too long hereís the answers to your questions:
How long have you been playing? 11 years next spring. ***
Where, and with whom have you studied? With private teachers, I never have liked the conservatory way of doing things.
Do you read music? As I said before both bass and treble clef.
How many times a month do have paying gigs? I havenít done any gigs during the fall, cuz of personal reasons, nothing to do with music but before that 1 to 2. As I said you donít really get rich here.
Do you teach? Yes, but I donít charge anything, I leave that to the pros, I just like to help other fellow bassists (and pianists).

*** It doesn't matter how many years you've played, more how many hours have you played. Perhaps the most that matters is how have you practised. Like Peter Erskine has said it's better to practise 15 minutes properly than jam around for 2 hours. I try to practise properly for an avarage of 2+ hours a day. (I do have to work too.) Someday I might not play at all but some day I might play for 4 hours. The thing is to keep it continuous, for years.

I hope you had the time to read all of this,

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