bass adventure part i

it’s been over a decade and a half since i seriously played the piano and nearly two since i picked up a violin. you can chop it up to me not really giving it a try but to be honest – i didn’t have any real interest in either instrument. i wanted to play the cello or the double bass or maybe the flute or the clarinet but according to my elementary school – i was too young, i had to be in fourth grade and could not (at least to my knowledge) switch to a different instrument. so i was stuck with the violin in first or second grade and effectively quitting by fourth grade. the violin teacher was mean…at least that’s what my brain at seven believed. i still sometimes forget the difference between mean and strict.

i recall the piano much better since i stuck with it the longest. i even had a break and eventually took up classes with a new teacher. i had three in my history of playing. by no means was I good. just okay. okay enough to get through recitals but always berated by my piano teacher. my second piano teacher, i mean. i loved one and three because they took their time teaching me. they weren’t trying to make me piano guild ready. i was just wanting to play casually.

you see. maybe if i had a different teacher for both then maybe i would have stuck to playing longer. or maybe i’m just not musically inclined.

i love writing. i like working the pottery wheel. i love arranging florals. i have interest in other creative outlets. but i love listening to music.

the sound of the low rumble of a bass on motown tracks won be over from the beginning. i don’t even know how i came across this sort of music – i mean, even my dad doesn’t understand where this all came from – how i found this music and came to memorize all the sounds and lyrics. all i know is that from a very young age, motown was my favorite. i would wait for infomercials to come on selling oldies cds and watching the the old school diner videos come on the screen. i loved the low rumble of the bass on the supremes, the shirelles, the temptations, etc. you name it.

i’d always been curious to try the double bass. i imagined this big honking piece of a wood standing up against my five foot two frame. i never attempted though. couldn’t afford lessons on top of renting the instrument after college and how exactly was i going to cart that thing around. i flirted with the idea of lessons when i moved to washington but this never materialized. i wanted to try something new. i always want to try something new.

after mentioning my love for the sound that a double bass makes my SO suggested that maybe i learn the electric bass. he offered to teach me. i thought about it for a hot second and realized you know what, yes. i want to learn. this is my chance. i’m always listening to the bass line for any song.

so here i am — with an ibanez mikro bass, a purchase made online with guitar center. it’s a short scale in case you were wondering…or if that even matters to you. strings have been swapped out for flat wound ones because i can’t stand the sound of the supposed ‘standard’ strings. i didn’t even know there were different strings. see. i’m learning. slowly but surely. i even have a little fender bass amp that i purchased from american music in the fremont neighborhood. i’m ready to learn all i can. i think my focus is better compared to seven year old me. it’s something i want.

currently i’m practicing the c major scale and the bass line(s) for ain’t no sunshine – bill withers. i can tell it’ll be a slow and steady sort of process. i’ve learned how not to hold the bass, what makes it more comfortable for me. i’ve been really nervous to learn at thirty, but you know what, kim gordon didn’t pick up an instrument til the age of twenty seven. i suppose i’m also a bit nervous because i know i want to rush into perfectionism but have to drill in my head that i don’t need to be perfect. i just want to be able to play and create the deep rumble i hear on my favorite tracks.

 

xx/jack

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