The Hidden Skills Of a Great Bass Player/Musician
We all know that we need to keep good time, lay down some smooth grooves & such, but what can make us stand out & achieve the ultimate goal of being a great bass player?
1. Do some homework.
Be it a recording session, jam session or live performance, make sure you brush up on any material that you have been given to perform. If you're just jamming etc, try and find out what styles & artists your fellow musicians are interested in and have a little look at some notable artists & tracks.
2. Be Prepared for any scenario.
Anything can happen when performing live, power cuts, loss of audio signal. Maybe you drop your prize instrument! Always have a backup plan in place. I always travel with two of everything if I can. 2 basses, numerous cables for all occasions, 2 tuners etc. It is s bit of a pain taking two amplifiers or cabs but what I found was that it was easier to take just one amp & cab, but take a DI/ pre amp with me just incase. During the current tour My main amp failed & I spent the whole show using an MXR Bass DI +.
3. Right on time!
Being on time for a session or meeting is just common sense. If I can turn up early to prep its's great. Theres nothing worse than waiting for players to set up, soundcheck or even turn up! I know sometimes things don't happen to plan, but please be courteous when you can. If you do turn up late, apologise & get straight to work asap to minimise disturbance.
4. Atitude adjuster.
Being in the right frame of mind & having the right attitude can trigger the MD, musicians or other colleagues or workers, to either work with you all the time or never again! I've always tried to be upbeat, even in the most dire of situations. Theres no room for egos or a bad attitude. You can be the best player around, but if it's coming with snobby remarks, rude or vulgar behaviour, its a no from me. Also. try and be polite to everyone & as helpful as can be.
5. Patience is a virtue.
Maybe the guitar player is tuning up, or the drummer is taking a while to set. Maybe someone hasn't prepared the track correctly or it needs some final polishing. Patience is key! take some time to work on other aspects of the performance or session if theres a stop. perhaps the soundcheck is taking a while. Don't complain or "kick off" maybe sit down and take a break or try and help out if it is needed. The worst thing is when a player is having trouble during the soundcheck & other musicians are complaining loudly and generally disrupting the proceedings. Don't be that guy/gal.
With these 5 little tips that aren't bass related really, you can be the top player around! The main theme to take from this little post is that attitude is key! Having the right attitude, patience & skills can make or break a deal, session, show or musical friendship.
I hope you can take something from this. Next time we will look at 5 practical skills to help boost your playing & hire-ability.
I hope you have enjoyed this update & thanks for reading!
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