I picked up this bass exactly two weeks ago. Honestly, I’m astounded by the level I’ve achieved already. Granted I can’t get through the song yet, but I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to get through the intro in less than two weeks.
I was a really bad guitar player. I think part of my problem was that my hands are small, my fingers are short, and it makes it harder for me to move around the fret board. Also, I have an issue keeping tempo. I once performed for my guitar class and my teacher was amused at how I had managed to hit every right note while being completely off tempo.
I thought my biggest issue was going to be building up strength in my arms, hands, and fingers again. I’m partially right. The funny thing is, lord help me, I’m having trouble with something that I think might be due to the fact Jason played mostly with a pic. A lot of “My Friend of Misery” is just hitting the fourth string constantly. It’s killing my thumb. I’m trying out if it would work out better for me to just alternate with my index and middle finger. I’m beginning to understand Jason’s whole thing about playing from the shoulder and not the wrist.
An unexpected benefit from picking up the bass is that it’s my made my mom so happy. Every time she passes by and catches me practicing she starts smiling. I asked her, today, why she looks so happy to see me playing bass. She says she just always wanted me to play an instrument. She did buy me my acoustic guitar when I was 15. When she came home with it she serenaded me (we lived on the 3rd floor) from the parking lot while singing “Welcome to the Jungle”. I didn’t know it all meant so much to her. Maybe I would’ve tried harder had I known.
In four years of guitar lessons I only remember playing well once. I was there in front of the whole class, I started to play and somewhere in the second line of music I completely spaced out. All I remember is suddenly my fingers stopped playing and I looked up at everyone and asked my teacher “did I just play that song?” and he says “yeah, and you’ve never played better.” That ease that I imagine musicians have. I felt it that once. It was awesome.
I never thought I’d pick up an instrument again. But right now I’m really excited. I’m looking on ebay for tuners and guitar straps. I put a Metallica bass tab book on my wish list for Amazon. My amp is making a funny noise and now I can’t practice with it (didn’t Jason have a similar problem when he was learning?).
Right now though my fingers hurt, my shoulder hurts, my wrist hurts… but I’m still smiling.