Audiences

Posted: July 18, 2013 in Bass Guitar, Music, Uncategorized

Hello!

I havent blogged for a while, as I have been very very busy with various projects and things. I have a little bit of time now, so I thought I would write a short blog about audiences, and how this relates to Bass playing (or performing anything on an instrument actually).

As a professional live performer who performs in front of thousands each and every month, I have learned a few things. When I was kid, I would spend hours and hours and hours learning very complex techniques. In fact, it was more like years and years. Complicated two-handed tapping stuff, super-fast licks etc. I did my first gig when I was 15 years old, in a nightclub. I started doing all these super-fast things, and you know what? No one really battered an eye-lid. There I was, showing off this lick and that lick, and not getting the reaction I thought I would get. When I hung back and played a rock solid groove in time with the drummer, people would smile…..Anyway, suffice it to say – I ignored this indicator. I had spent years learning all this stuff ! Someone, somewhere must appreciate it.

Fast forward 10 years. I am still gigging, playing lots. I am utterly convinced that playing like a demon is the way forward. Then it started to happen!’Hey man! You got some cool chops!… I play bass too..how ya do that?’
‘Great show! You played your ass off. I’m a bass player too!’

At this point, I was starting to see a trend. Only bass players noticed. And they were few and far between. The ordinary, run of the mill guy did not.

This finally, finally hit home this week. Why, I do not know. I was playing in a Theatre, it was packed…and suddenly it just hit me.

No one cares how fast you play, or how you do it. The only thing they like is good, decent songs and a rock solid groove. Only other bass players care about what you do.

I mean, this really hit home. The general public, they like to sing, dance..they don’t give a damn about your two handed 16th note cross handed run that took 2 months to figure out. Not one iota. They want to feel a song, be entertained. So why bother sitting in your bedroom spending years on things only other bass players appreciate? Because its fun ? Well, it is..however, if you want to work, eat, provide for a family as musician or a bass player I would not recommend it AT ALL. I would say, learn songs…write songs, and keep your timing good. That way, you wont have to work in a DIY store. Or a bank. You can do what you love.

I wish that someone would have told me this 20 years ago. But they did not. So, I am telling you now…this is the way forward for you, and this is what I am going to be teaching to my pupils. Sure, I will teach them all the complicated techniques in the world if they ask for it.

But I wont push it. Not anymore.

Peace and success

Chris Malin

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