Ah got the music in me.

28 07 2005

About a month ago I posted a message to craigslist basically asking if anyone in the metro boston area was interested in taking in an inexperienced bass player. I was tired of just noodling around, and I felt that a bass guitar is best played in a group. It’s a support instrument, not a lead (except in very rare cases), and therefore needs others to play against / with. I was really not moving ahead in my playing, and I decided it was time to seek out other players.
My posting (now expired) was pretty self-effacing. I’ve never played in a band before, and aside from some noodling around in various folk circles, never really played the ‘supporting bass’ position in anything serious.
I got 3 replies to the posting. One was someone looking for a sort of glam-metal bassist. Pass, thanks. The second was from a sort of pop-C&W-folksie group in Weston. I got together with them last week, and while we played well, and did some interesting bits, it didn’t grab me much.
Late last week I heard from another group. These guys were a bunch of geeks who had formed a blues band in their company, and over the years had gigged to a bunch of parties and local bars and the like, but had slowed down over the last year. Now they wanted to get going again, and needed a bass player.
Well gosh. A local geek band that plays the blues. I could get into that.
So I did. Last night I went down to Franklin and played for about 3 hours in my first full blues band. We had lead guitar, rhythm guitar, keyboards, drums, a -kick-ass- vocalist, and moi on bass.
I was EXTREMELY nervous going into the whole thing. This really was my first decent sized band, and the music being played, while more along the lines of what I like, was far more complicated than a simple root-note bassline. But, I had practiced my blues scales, downloaded all the tabs and tracks for what was on the set list, ran through each of them a few times, so I think I was ready.
And I was. We went through 6-7 tracks (sometimes repeating several times to work on various pieces). Each time we went through, my lines got clearer, and the piece sounded better. I worked well with the drummer (in small bands, the bass player has to be in sync with the drummer – we hold the beat and the rhythm that the other musicians are working around, and if -we’re- not in sync, the whole piece sounds clumsy). Fortunately, the drummer and I clicked well, and he commented at the end of the set “We havne’t had a bass player for so long, I got jaded – now I have to be careful what I’m doing because there’s another rhythm piece in. But it sounded alright.”
In the end, I was exhausted, but the band was upbeat and happy with how things came together. There’s some great talent there. I didn’t flub it, I didn’t stand there looking doofy during bits I didn’t know (only happened once where I dropped out – during “Wind Called Mary” by Jimi Hendrix. Complex little piece.) The lead guitarist came over and shook my hand at the end of the set “It was a real pleasure playing with you. You’re coming back, right?”). Wow.
We played a lot of your standard barroom blues. Mustang Sally, Proud Mary, etc. The lead singer has a great voice.
They liked me. They liked the sound, the band worked well together, and we’re gonna do more. Next practice is Wednesday night.
I think I’m in a band.

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2 responses

28 07 2005
Lisa

Congrats! I know you’ve wanted to do more musically for a while now. I’m looking forward to hearing you (plural) play. 🙂

2 08 2005
Jacob

I believe the word, silly as it is, is ‘w00t!’




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