For the past couple of months I have gotten way off track with my writing and bass playing and desperately need to get back into the groove. It is evident here as I haven’t written a new post in quiet some time. My bass studies have, unfortunately, suffered the same fate. Truthfully I hardly touched my bass for a span of almost 2 months.
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Lately I’ve been feeling like I have hit a plateau in my learning. You know the place, you keep practicing but don’t seem to make any progress. This is a frustrating place to be, to say the least. I’ve been here many time and have learned to recognize it as such, but still, I have been struggling with finding the motivation to sit down and practice.
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For the past two summers I have had the great pleasure of spending an evening at Wooten Woods. For those who may not know, Wooten Woods is Victor Wooten’s Music Camp, located outside Nashville, in the Tennessee woods. Victor holds several camps throughout the year ranging from weekend camps, to an intensive 3 week music and nature camp. Although the camp does have a bit of a bias towards bass, it is open to any instrument and musicians of all skill levels.
I have come to realize that I am a master at the art of self distraction. Over time I have become very good at derailing myself from accomplishing my goals. It’s become a common scenario, I start something, a new practice routine, a new technique, ear training, etc. State clear goals and have good intentions, then somewhere down the line, for various reasons, I convince myself to change course. Case in point, I have recently been feeling that I am in one of those growth periods when it comes to learning music and playing bass. Theory concepts are really starting to make sense to me, my playing has improved, and my bass is really starting to feel like a part of me, an extension of myself if you will. Obviously this is great! All my time in the shed is finally starting to pay off. So, what do I do? Ride the wave as far as I can? No, I convince myself that now is the time to make the switch to 5 string.
Hey Folks, one of our bass brethren is in dire need of our help. My friend, blues bassist extraordinaire, Lane Baldwin has been having some serious medical issues the past several months and is in need of financial support. He is currently unable to play out which means no income is coming in and his living expenses and medical bills are really starting to add up. Lane is a great guy who really needs our help right now. Anything you can do would surely be appreciated.
As 2013 draws to a close I thought I would offer some final thoughts on my year. Truth be told I have a lot of mixed feelings about this past year. Things have not been so great for me career-wise. Don’t get me wrong, I am still gainfully employed at a pretty decent job, it’s just that I feel like I am stuck in a rut with no clear path out. I have always been one of those upwardly mobile types, yet as it stands I don’t really have anywhere up to go at my current place of employment. This, as well as a number of contributing factors, have made for a very stressful and unhappy year. Thankfully I have music and a fantastic family to keep me going.
Jeff Berlin is currently doing a run of clinics at Guitar Center’s throughout the U.S. and I highly recommend you try to catch him if he hits a city near you. On September 20th I was fortunate enough to catch him in San Jose, Ca. Berlin’s clinic was a bit different from others I have attended in that, instead of dazzling us with his chops he educated us with his wisdom.
September 9, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA – Media Entertainment Management Group (MEMG) announced that their premier artist Lane Baldwin won the Sacramento, CA, International Blues Challenge regional solo/duo competition yesterday, performing on bass guitar and vocals. This is the first time a solo bassist has represented the city in the IBC competitions. It may also be the first time a solo bassist has competed in the final rounds of the IBC.