band has rehearsed a lot and now, for the first time, youre
in a recording studio, where youre going to record your first
great demo CD. After a lot of waiting on your part, the technician
is ready for the first take. Your band plays enthusiastically, so
everything seems to go alright
until you listen to the take.
Everybody is disappointed in the way they play. You realize youre
not the great bass player you thought you was and you never heard
it before. How is this possible?
I discovered that when I find something difficult to play, I just
dont listen well how I play it. Something happens on a subconscious
level: a sort of defense mechanism seems to take over. I hate having
to listen to myself not playing well, get tensed because I think
I wont play a difficult passage well. This tension makes me
play bad, but now my subconscious protects me, by making sure I
wont hear what Im playing. I dont hear so well
when Im tensed, see lesson 1. Maybe this mechanism holds you
back also, anyway, its worth investigating. The only way to
rid yourself of this misery is to relax consciously, and to keep
listening to your playing at all times and certainly when
you play something difficult.
Music making is like driving a car in one respect: you have to take
care all the time. You must keep listening to your fellow musicians,
also when your playing the same lick over and over and youd
rather concentrate on that.
One of the reasons why you have to do that, is that you have to
react adequately when there are small (or big) timing problems,
caused by your fellow musicians (or yourself). Nobodys timing
is entirely perfect, were not machines, and us bass players,
we have the responsibility to keep the band together.
Another reason is that a song can take an unexpected turn. Some
musicians like changing everything unexpectedly on stage. You have
to be very flexible as a bass player.
Especially when youre playing improvised music, the playing
together can be so tight and total that at some point the whole
band chooses another approach at exactly the same time. For some
reason, I just know what to do in such a moment. Such moments are
pure magic, theyre the main reason Im playing. This
is a very, very rewarding experience. These moments only happen
when the communication in the band is total and everybody in the
band understands perfectly what's happening because everybody listens
to each other with practically total concentration. So listen!