Bass Player "Audition" blues

Peegoo

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Posts
13,364
Location
Beast of Bourbon
I think there are lots of people that like the idea of being in a band, but have little concept of all the stuff necessary to make that happen.

Merely having an instrument and the right look is all that's necessary because that is how much of the music industry works these days. This is nothing new, but I think it's more widespread today than it was 50 years ago.
 

String Tree

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Posts
18,213
Location
Up North
My Goal has Always been to take the Show on stage ASAP.
Prospects get peppered with questions about how much Stage Time they have had and, how they handled the pressure.
IMHO - All of us have someting to Prove. Part of the Dues process. Proving to the Band that I can cut it is simply who I am. I'm not trying to blow them away or, put them down.
Simply that I will do everything I can with my "Talent" to keep them from moving on. I guess that goes for my Attitude as well.

The youngerns simply don't have the places to play that my Generation did.
I don't think that they are 'wrong' as much as they have never been shown what the 'right' way is.
Jamming to backing tracks and Videos simply isn't the same as getting together with Living, Breathing, People in the same room.
 

ReverendRevolver

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Posts
3,089
Location
Ohio (Nerk)
My Goal has Always been to take the Show on stage ASAP.
Prospects get peppered with questions about how much Stage Time they have had and, how they handled the pressure.
IMHO - All of us have someting to Prove. Part of the Dues process. Proving to the Band that I can cut it is simply who I am. I'm not trying to blow them away or, put them down.
Simply that I will do everything I can with my "Talent" to keep them from moving on. I guess that goes for my Attitude as well.

The youngerns simply don't have the places to play that my Generation did.
I don't think that they are 'wrong' as much as they have never been shown what the 'right' way is.
Jamming to backing tracks and Videos simply isn't the same as getting together with Living, Breathing, People in the same room.
You may be on to something, jamming with other humans is how I developed a desire to be in bands. The 20 somethings we auditioned.... well, I talked about the one guy in this thread.
Earlier today my brother told me one of our old drummers is in a local band with 4 other people, all over 45. I feel like 40 somethings and up have panned out as better band members than people my age and younger, and the playing environments prior to the mid 2000s might be part of the reasons. I don't even know if high-school age bands still do shows at union halls, VFWs, American Legion, etc like was the norm when I was a teenager.
Where would the 20 somethings of today have played out? Still no excuse about not jamming in a garage with other people, but it explains some at least.
 

sax4blues

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 14, 2006
Posts
5,963
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Where would the 20 somethings of today have played out? Still no excuse about not jamming in a garage with other people, but it explains some at least.
In Colorado Springs and Denver there several places which have live local bands 3-4 nights. These are people in their 20's. But what has been stated already in this thread, they are not playing classic rock covers. The musicians which I've met through my son are only interested in new, original music, both as players and audience. They are not playing typical bars or music in the park gigs. There really is no crossover to what I perceive as the typical TDPRI musical interest. The only reason I'm aware of this scene is through my son.

Long winded way of saying live guitar driven music may be more widespread than you see.
 

String Tree

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Posts
18,213
Location
Up North
You may be on to something, jamming with other humans is how I developed a desire to be in bands. The 20 somethings we auditioned.... well, I talked about the one guy in this thread.
Earlier today my brother told me one of our old drummers is in a local band with 4 other people, all over 45. I feel like 40 somethings and up have panned out as better band members than people my age and younger, and the playing environments prior to the mid 2000s might be part of the reasons. I don't even know if high-school age bands still do shows at union halls, VFWs, American Legion, etc like was the norm when I was a teenager.
Where would the 20 somethings of today have played out? Still no excuse about not jamming in a garage with other people, but it explains some at least.
Going to Dances was a great way to meet Girls!
Playing in a Band at the Dance ... Well.... Yeah, that!
You simply don't get that kind of reaction from Youtube.
 

MickM

Poster Extraordinaire
Platinum Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Posts
6,518
Age
65
Location
A steel guitar engagment.
I think that getting people you can click with is harder the older, more settled life you have. My best playing experiences were when playing with guys who shared a house/lived together or with at least 3 or so band members living together. Not exactly a girlfriend's dream or very organized but everybody's there for the same reason. "Those days are gone forever, over a long time ago, oh yea" something like that.
 

nickmsmith

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Posts
852
Location
USA
Last night we (drummer and I) auditioned the second bass player we've tried this month. (Context: rockabilly/punkabilly/psychobilly band)
He showed up more or less on time. Looks to be mid 20s, cool. Introduces himself, asks where he can plug in.

Drummer asks aloud "What do you want to try?". This question is being asked because the bass player was sent the set list for most covers we do last week. Bass player didn't really answer. I ask if they want to try a Nekromantix cover. He says sure. We start into it.

He's out of time. He's off key. I chalk it up to a fluke. We try it again, and I sing this time. My voice isn't 100% after losing it last week, but I'm in key, with less growl and 0 of the rockabilly voice break/hiccup stuff I normally add in. Also, I'm playing with my tele oriented so this guy can see the board. Drummer asks him to play an octave under me, basically fishing for him to be in key.
So we run it again, he's on key but falls out if time.

So we try an Eddie Cochran song. Good, in key, almost in time. Try Pet Semetary. I flub the timing on the chorus, restart. He's in time, off key. And doesn't seem to notice.
Starts checking his phone.

We run through a Tiger Army cover. He's on key and almost in time by the end.
Try a Stray cats song. Half the time He's playing the right notes. He's sort of in time?

Says he has somewhere to be I. An hour, nice jamming with us, etc.

I doubt we'll ever here from him again, but I also doubt that it's a loss.

Is this normal now? The previous bass player I didn't meet, he met up with the drummer and crashed and burned hard when they tried jamming.
This guy seems like he kinda knows stuff but didn't do his homework, so to speak. But most concerning, I'm getting flake vibes and he's more workable than orher ones we've tried.
10-15 years ago, you'd get guitarists that couldn't play that well answer your ads, show up and stay in key and in time, boringly following the root note if each chord and Nothing else. But I'd prefer that at this point.

What happened? Is this the modern normal?
A good bass player is like finding a diamond in the coal. Most good ones move to guitar where they can get more glory.
 

nickmsmith

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Posts
852
Location
USA
We do finally have a bass player now, he clicks with us really well and we should (theoretically) be able to book gigs mid july-ish.

We seem to have gotten lucky. Don't want to deal with that nonsense again.
Good to hear. Some people are just natural musicians who also have a true passion for it. Those people will pick up on things quickly.

If someone just can’t keep a rhythm in 4/4 or 6/8 on any instrument at all.. then they are light years from public performance. Even a decent bassist will be able to find the key and get in the ballpark of chord changes.

But not being able to keep time.. that’s not something easily fixed.

I’ve seen some people learn to improve their rhythm keeping, but i think most people either have that ability.. or don’t. That would definitely be an uphill battle.

Glad you found someone competent. If they can just play the root notes at the correct time, that’s better than many aspiring bassists.
 

Matt Sarad

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Apr 29, 2003
Posts
1,862
Location
Buckers Field!
We found our new bassist at the farmers market.
He is a baker. His wife is a high school history teacher.
He knows the fingerboard perfectly, writes songs,doesn't drink or smoke weed.
At his audition he studied the list we gave him.
Absolutely perfect in every way.

He can't gig Fridays or Saturdays because he is baking bread to sell.
 

Oxidao

Tele-Holic
Joined
Feb 6, 2013
Posts
861
Age
58
Location
PNA, Spain
On our last rehearsal, sometimes I wasn't happy with the sound.
Asked the Bass player if he had tuned up his bass, he answered just rolling his eyes... everything was ok to him.
After half an hour tunning and returning my guitar, I was mad enough to pass him over a clip-on tunner...
Yes... out of tune

That proves what I always suspect, he doesn't listen.
 

Fret Wilkes

Friend of Leo's
Platinum Supporter
Joined
Mar 23, 2003
Posts
3,261
Location
Harmony, R.I.
We found our new bassist at the farmers market.
He is a baker. His wife is a high school history teacher.
He knows the fingerboard perfectly, writes songs,doesn't drink or smoke weed.
At his audition he studied the list we gave him.
Absolutely perfect in every way.

He can't gig Fridays or Saturdays because he is baking bread to sell.

It's always somthin'!
 

Happy Enchilada

Friend of Leo's
Gold Supporter
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Posts
3,253
Location
God's Country
Years ago I told my boys that if they were on a date and the young lady felt the need to "check her phone" while sitting across from him at a dinner he was paying for, maybe she wasn't the gal for him. Same goes for bass players. You're well rid of this cretin.
 

FaithNicole

Tele-Meister
Joined
Dec 29, 2012
Posts
131
Location
Florida
I don't understand the 'I want it without doing the work' attitude. It seriously makes no sense whatsoever. The rewards are so much higher for everyone when you actually try. I get yelled at still, after months of being with them. About my playing? nope .. about trying? nope .. about taking and accepting criticism? nope. I get yelled at for understating my playing. Apparently they think that I am better than I think that I am :p
 

FaithNicole

Tele-Meister
Joined
Dec 29, 2012
Posts
131
Location
Florida
A good bass player is like finding a diamond in the coal. Most good ones move to guitar where they can get more glory.

I bet those guys were really fed up with getting turned down to John Myung levels in the mix.

I missed that reply somehow. I don't like playing 6-string guitar. I tried it, couldn't get into it. Then I picked up a bass and found my groove. I may still learn to be passable on 6-string at some point .. nah, who am I kidding. I know just enough to tell if my repair works and that's good enough for me. Oh, and I get the 'turn up' comments a lot. Apparently I play to quiet 🤔😏
 

nickmsmith

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Posts
852
Location
USA
I missed that reply somehow. I don't like playing 6-string guitar. I tried it, couldn't get into it. Then I picked up a bass and found my groove. I may still learn to be passable on 6-string at some point .. nah, who am I kidding. I know just enough to tell if my repair works and that's good enough for me. Oh, and I get the 'turn up' comments a lot. Apparently I play to quiet 🤔😏
Good thing is, you don’t need to! Guitarists are everywhere, but solid people who enjoy bass and are good at it, hard to find.
 




Top