Giving It Up


Giving It Up

Postby Mike Childree » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:34 am

No, not selling my Cleveland or giving up the URB. I've finally gotten comfortable with the idea that I just cannot be the same type of player on URB that I am on electric bass....and realizing that nobody cares but me.

I toyed with URB on and off in years past, but about 2000 I started to get more serious and did lots of bluegrass gigging. I left that band in '06 but practically every paid gig I've had since has been on URB. It just seems that every door that opens for me has somebody behind it saying "can you bring that big bass?". What I've had a really hard time coming to grips with is that I have 30+ years of paid dues on electric bass, and I'm confident in my abilities to lay it down in a wide range of situations....but for whatever reason, nothing has been happening for me as an electric bassist for quite some time. The only substantial amount of EB time I've had is with a variety of ABGs and a wonderful Rob Allen, essentially emulating my upright sound. I've spent a lot of stage hours stressed out that I can't play at the same level on URB as on EB...and all the while being paid good money to do it. At this point, I could sell my electric basses and my income would not be reduced by a dime.

Ok, so I'm throwing in the towel. Gonna stop worrying about it or trying to determine what the hell is happening here. Maybe I'm getting some work simply because some folks think having the big bass onstage upgrades their image somehow, and my playing has nothing to do with it (honestly, I don't see how it could...). Maybe there's just less competition. But whatever, I'm going to try to be happy about it and graduate out of the "Hack Upright Bassist" category. Step #1 was to send the aforementioned fabulous Rob Allen MB-2 (crutch) to live with our friend Brad Dell. Step #2 will be a marked increase in practice time, possibly even including the dreaded bow (I've never even owned one). Step #3 is to get my reading back in shape.

So why am I boring you guys with all this? Hell, I have no idea. Maybe if I state it in public, I'll be afraid to fall short. [smilie=fun_84.gif]
User avatar
Mike Childree
Bouncer
 
Location: AL-GA

Re: Giving It Up

Postby Freddels » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:41 am

I'm in the same boat as you.
|| Aguilar Tonehammer 500, Ampeg 7 Pro, Markbass CMD102P, GK 800RB||
User avatar
Freddels
 
Location: Central MA

Re: Giving It Up

Postby Chuck M » Sun Mar 22, 2009 4:24 pm

I've been in that same boat for several years. I play jazz mostly and do pretty good with the big bass, however, it is so much more work and, at times, the wrong choice for a gig.

Lady singer calls me. Wants me to play a wedding gig with her. Wants the upright. The gig? Mostly soul and funk music outside on a rock walkway! Certainly was a P bass gig in my opinion.

Chuck
Be grateful for luck. Pay the thunder no mind---listen to the birds. And
don't hate nobody.

Eubie Blake
Chuck M
Bouncer
 

Re: Giving It Up

Postby harleyyy » Sun Mar 22, 2009 4:31 pm

Gut Dayum, it's always good to see Chuckles pop his head in, just sayin' [smilie=cool-smiley-031.gif]
"I try to keep 'Thou shalt not kill.' The rest of them I'm kind of shaky on." Willie Nelson
"Forget The Drama, Shut Up And Play." ME

Mr Meanor on Facebook
Image
User avatar
harleyyy
Host Of Your Forum
 
Location: Bad Ass, Ca
Links: http://badassbassplayers.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/BadAssBassPlayerscom
https://www.facebook.com/MrMeanorBand
http://wwwwww.tonewavetech.com

Re: Giving It Up

Postby thesandman » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:19 pm

Funny you posted this today. I just got back from an audition for a blue-new-swamp-rock grass band. The last thing my wife says as I'm out the door-"please don't forget to take your P bass." Haha. Well, I took it. But it never came out of the case. I fell under the spell. Guitar, mandolin, violin.... upright bass, it was pure pleasure. I'm not very good, but I had a blast.

Mike, I'm thinking you're getting all this work because the big girl SINGS. I love a P bass through an SVT, but, an upright has a sound that can't be denied. I don't think it's just stage candy. And it doesn't matter if your chops are better on BG. The URB rules.
thesandman
 

Re: Giving It Up

Postby ghiadub » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:46 pm

I have done a grand total of 2 paid gigs on upright, so, not like I am in high demand here, but I just love to play it.

I love how the upright will make me play a different bassline, usually more economical and with more space.
"Play the music, not the instrument"

Ghiadub Trio | Makosa | Campfire Crooners | Videos
User avatar
ghiadub
Bouncer
 

Re: Giving It Up

Postby Mike Childree » Sun Mar 22, 2009 7:33 pm

ghiadub wrote:I love how the upright will make me play a different bassline, usually more economical and with more space.


After many years of being the bassist in rock trios, I guess that's what I have to come to grips with, Tim. That's the polar opposite of how I play! [smilie=coz.gif]
User avatar
Mike Childree
Bouncer
 
Location: AL-GA

Re: Giving It Up

Postby Sam Sherry » Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:38 pm

Yo Mike, man, you're selling yourself short. You have got lots going on DB that people would want to associate with -- like time, tone and taste.

+ + +

For whatever reason I'm on the opposite boat from you fellas. One of the reasons I love playing DB is because often a lot of material can fit into a part musically. In contrast, on those once-a-year when I'm playing bass guitar nothing seems to work but roots and more roots. My inner Lee Sklar and Chris Squire are long withered, leaving only vestiges of Stu Cooke.

To each their own. Play on!
Sam Sherry
 

Re: Giving It Up

Postby Mike Childree » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:53 pm

Sam! Good to see ya! I appreciate your kind comments, being the monster player and all-around good guy you are.
User avatar
Mike Childree
Bouncer
 
Location: AL-GA

Re: Giving It Up

Postby Chef » Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:53 pm

Work for me has swung to the elctric side of things more here, lately.
I miss bringing my King out; but, it don't fit all things.

I love playing it tho! Bluegrass season's pretty well over, the cajun band ain't workin' lots, and jazz has fallen on it's arse again here, which it does cyclically.

Tear it up while you got the work mate!
Columbia, Missouri.
Cookin in the basement since the early 70's...
Bassist for The Fried Crawdaddies, Shea and Silver Streak, Ironweed Bluegrass Band
Staff Reviewer: BassGearMagazine
User avatar
Chef
 

Re: Giving It Up

Postby Mike Childree » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:23 am

It doesn't seem to be seasonal here at all. I've been doubling on URB/ABG on my main gig 3-5 gigs per month, and now I just rejoined a kinda renegade bluegrass/Americana group I worked with a while back. Been a long time since I did an electric bass gig, and I really miss it...and playing with a good drummer. I am thankful to have the work, though.
User avatar
Mike Childree
Bouncer
 
Location: AL-GA

Re: Giving It Up

Postby SmittyG » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:55 am

I think we identify tone/gear with certain approaches to playing. Hand me a P through a cranked/overdriven 8x10 and I'm going to play a certain way. Hand me a six-string through a hi-fi amp with touch of chorus and I'm going to do something else. Hand me an URB and, well, I wouldn't have a clue what to do with the damn thing myself, but I think you get my point here. Beyond your technical ability and comfort zone on the various instruments, just holding that big beast should make you come at things differently. And, in the end, the proof is in the results--the phone keeps ringing for you to do more. Sounds to me like it is far more a case of you finding your voice on that instrument than of you throwing in the towel. Keep up the good work.
User avatar
SmittyG
 
Location: Texarkana, Texas
Links: http://naradaweeps.bandcamp.com
http://facebook.com/solobassist

Re: Giving It Up

Postby Steve in NM » Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:10 pm

Lately I've been thinking about taking up the Upright, after having decided a few years back that I was an electric bass player and not ashamed of it. But gigs have been scarce this year, and I keep hearing that having a doghouse makes for more gigs. So now there's just that little problem of aquiring one and actually learning how to play it....
Anyone want to trade a Turner Ren fretless 5 for a servicable upright? Just asking ;^)
Steve in NM
 

Re: Giving It Up

Postby Mike Childree » Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:24 pm

Steve, if you posted that offer over on the URB forum on TB, I bet you'd get more than a couple of hits!
User avatar
Mike Childree
Bouncer
 
Location: AL-GA

Re: Giving It Up

Postby Ben Esparza » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:49 pm

Sam Sherry wrote:In contrast, on those once-a-year when I'm playing bass guitar nothing seems to work but roots and more roots. My inner Lee Sklar and Chris Squire are long withered, leaving only vestiges of Stu Cooke.


And there is absolutley nothing wrong with that. The bottom line: are people dancing and grooving. BTW: Stu Cooke is right up there with Duck Dunn on the "less is more, but make it groove" category.

Larry Taylor, formerly of Canned Heat, plays the URB almost exclusively now. He said he rarely pulls out the Precision unless the gig calls for it. Says a lot, I think.
"You can talk about virtuosity all you want, but what it comes down to is you're supposed to back up the other guys. They're not supposed to notice you until you stop."
- Keith Ferguson
User avatar
Ben Esparza
 
Location: Pico Rivera, CA


Return to UPRIGHT



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron