Author Topic: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,  (Read 1151 times)

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Offline hushnel

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Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« on: February 02, 2018, 05:58:46 PM »
 and one I don?t usually suffer from. Their are those that do.

In the middle of May I?ll be spending 5 days in a ?Wilderness Camp? more like tent camping in a park. It?s called Bass Camp. The list of professional working Bass Players are among a who?s who of apex bassist, they will be instructing seminars, workshops and private instruction for those that attend.

The main facilitator and owner of the Camp is Victor Wooten, I don?t expect many of you will know who he is. I?ve played the instrument for around 56 years. Usually I?m rarely intimidated by others but this will be kicking around with one of the best bassist ever. I imagine a little intimidation will be acceptable but I will blast right through that in a short time.

I?m really looking forward to this, I?m interested in what my feelings will be when playing my instrument for a guy who is rated one of the 10 best bass players ?ever?. He has push the boundaries of the instrument more than any other, including Jaco Pastorious, I?ll be there to learn, not impress anybody.  It?s just east of Nashville near the Duck River, maybe I?ll take the Wenonah with me.

http://vixcamps.com/bassnature-3/

Offline Yeoman

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2018, 04:48:51 AM »
Good for you Hush.
There's a Canadian saying that goes, "It's more fun to play better hockey."
I'm sure that being exposed to bass players of this caliber will certainly develop your own skills, but I'm equally certain that with 50+ years behind you, that you'll also help develop the players there.
"Learning: a continuation of the failure process"

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2018, 08:17:26 AM »
It sounds like a opportunity of a lifetime for you.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2018, 08:22:14 AM »
I actually had heard of Victor Wooten.....I recall listening to a YouTube video when one of his videos popped up in a search for 'Amazing Grace.'    Not too bad! ;D

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Offline Unknown

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2018, 09:32:05 AM »
Conscientiousness; hard to spell? For me yeah. Still, I know what it means and that is what I think you are describing Hush. All I can say to help is, don't take too much stuff, be the wise minimalist.
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Offline madmax

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2018, 10:47:20 AM »
I think you'll settle in quite quickly and just be yourself.  Everybody loves your playing.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
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Offline Spyder1958

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2018, 11:26:21 AM »
Very cool, I'm sure you will enjoy greatly
what part of the Duck River, it flow's from Kentucky lake to lake Normandy near shelbyville.
You are free to choose but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.
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Offline hushnel

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2018, 03:55:12 PM »
Not sure Spyder, I?ll let you know when I figure it out.

The intimidation will only be a few moments long and I?ll embrace the feeling. The humility will be useful too, I do work at being more humble, people will listen to you closer if you speak with humility.

Victor is a monster talent but also a very humble guy, he?s got like four older brothers, who are also great musicians, he never had a chance to be anything else. His camp is ?Non-Profit? and can be applied to a Berkeley School of Music Degree.

As for too much stuff, that is just logical, I will bring the pyramid tent though, it?s easy to put up and has plenty of room. I?ll need 3 basses, fretted, fretless and one of my own builds to be signed by the instructors, that will be the hardest one to chose and one of my Martins for acoustic crap around the evening camp fire.

Offline Mannlicher

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2018, 03:18:00 PM »
well Mike, at least you know how to pitch a tarp,  pop a bullwhip,  paddle, and start a fire without matches.   :)

Offline hushnel

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2018, 04:42:33 PM »
Hey Sam, the whole back to nature aspect of this is not aimed at me.  It?ll be interesting to see what form it takes, I?ll do my best to not correct any one ?o), I?m sure this instructor will be top notch, Victor, I imagine, is in good company.

Offline hushnel

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2018, 11:05:55 AM »
I?ll hit the road tomorrow morning, all packed but for my instruments and shower bag. I still feel normal, no paralyzing intimidation....yet ?o) Did a bit of wrenching on my basses to make sure all is well. Pretty much have learned to read music over the last few months, and about half way through Victor?s book. I could stand to learn the fingerboard a little better. Being a Ferral Musican I?ve learned most of what I know by playing long and often. Doesn?t mean I don?t understand music but I don?t actually speak the language. If asked what note I?m playing, specially above the fifth fret? it?ll take me a second to figure it out. I got music in me and I can get it out, just can?t really explain it. This will not matter to Victor, he?ll of course encourage me to learn the language and can point me in the right direction. It?s like if you come across a man in the wilderness who was raised by wolves and taught by the forest, he can?t speak with you but he can survive, and likely do it better.

I?m stopping for a night or two at Cheaha Resort State Park in Alabama. Should be at my brother?s place by Saturday. Hope to swing by Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals.

I?ve been busy, a few days after my last post here, on 02/09/2018, my birthday, my mother passed, family came from everywhere, I was with her, holding her hand all night, she left us at 9:15 the next morning, surrounded by her children, grand child and Bob, the love of her life.  I?d been playing the guitar for over an hour, and when I stopped, she left us. 65 years to the day and within 15 minutes of the hour that she brought me into this world. She was my greatest fan and always encouraged me in my tendencies to be artistic and creative. I could have led with this but it?s the circle of life, she knew it as well as I. In her family and generation she is the last of 4 sisters? 1 brother, her mom, dad and grandparents. She is with them as I will be. The soul is not a mortal thing, the flesh was made to carry it, so that we may learn the things of life. She is gone the music goes on. RIP mom.

It?s extremely importaint that we love one another, maybe the only thing that is.



Offline madmax

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2018, 11:40:11 AM »
   Mike,  So sorry about your Mom.  I know you'll miss her.  And I know your Faith will see you through.

    Learning to read music.  Wow.  That's a daunting task for a young eager mind with lotsa brain yet to be filled.  But anyone can learn to read music.  Not everyone can play the blues.

    I knew you'd try to get by Mussel Shoals.

    Have fun.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
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Offline Mannlicher

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2018, 05:43:18 AM »
Mike,  thanks for the update.  So very sorry to hear about your Mom though.  We lost ours in 2015
Good luck on your trip.  Travel safe............

Offline wolfy

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2018, 07:28:41 AM »
Nicely chosen words and a touchingly constructed piece on your mother's passing, Mike.  You are a good son and I suspect she played a major part in instilling the dedication you have found within yourself for the many achievements and artistic abilities you have been blessed with.   I will keep you and the remaining members of her family in my prayers for peace & comfort in this time of sadness.
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
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Offline Yellowyak

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2018, 04:04:54 PM »
Sorry to hear about your mom Mike.

Have fun on your road trip, I'm sure you'll have a blast.

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2018, 08:57:26 PM »
Prayers for you and you family and your mom. 

Good luck with your tour and I suspect you will do just great.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline hushnel

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2018, 09:13:55 PM »
Thanks guys.

I?m at my brother?s house. Last night at the State Park was great, really primitive for a state park. They had level pads filled with soil and gravel for the tents and fire pits ringed in field stone. The roads comming off this mountain made me wish I hade the Harley with me. Deals Gap ain?t got nothing on these roads, it?s like driving in 4 dimentions.

I swung by Fame Studio, spend an hour or so talking with the intern at the front desk and a couple musicians that were taking a break from recording. I decided to hit the road and get on up to Nashville. I?ve my brother, his wife and two of his sons, their wives and kids, figured family is as cool as it gets and bee lineded for the reunion. They were all down in April when we celebrated moms life. Never miss an opportunity to hang with family, and friends.


Heading into Music Town USA tomorrow morning.

Offline hushnel

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2018, 09:39:52 AM »
I cant believe it?s already been 2 months since the first day of bass camp.

I arrived at Wooten Woods around 11:00am, the posted time the gate opened. I saw Holly and Tone? on the porch of the Black Pearl, she was going over the schedualed and other information for a small group of us.

Spoke with Holly about setting up my tent. As I was finishing moving my junk into the tent a car stopped, It was Victor Wooten, he commented positively on the tent, I gave him the short history of the style going back to the days of the Roman Legion, we spoke for a few minutes. Everyone there was very personable and genuinely engaging, including all of the instructors. I was surprised to see Chuck Rainey, if his name doesn?t ring a bell google him, he was actively involved with the teaching and was mostly partnered up with Dave Welsch instructing the classes, Chuck and I had a lot in common and became fast friends, I felt that with the rest of them by the end of the week, it was like I was leaving family as I headed home on Sunday.

That first day, after the tent was set up, we all gathered for dinner (lobster). As we were dining and talking among each other Victor walked up to a white board and wrote ?Imagine describing yourself, who you are in 60 seconds, then playing it on bass.?

Genius, in a way it was the incapacitating intimidation I was expecting when asked to play my bass for Victor, except it was so much better, I?d get a chance to freeze up in front of an audience of skilled bassists. Oh man, I was feeling it and I embraced it, I?m not easily intimidated but I wanted to feel this, and man did I. It also served to bring us together quicker as all of us had the same dilemma. Us attendees were discussing what to do, we had an hour and a half  before the event. One guy asked me what was I going to do, I told him, I don?t know how to describe myself with a 60 second bass line, so, I?m going to opt for something I?ve played so many times I have a better chance of not screwing up. I guess he hadn?t thought about that, he said it was genius. Victor had to know how intimidating it would be for many of us to play in front of these amazing bassists, rather than us being concerned while being in class, just get it over with on the first night, see who we are and what we brought with us and unite us students as a group. I started my 60 seconds with two lines of the Barny Miller Theme then transitioned and ran out the time with Jr. Wells ?Messing with the Kid?. It sort of described me, in a way, at least as a bassist. I may have been slightly shaky on the first note or two but managed to pull it off with no major screw ups. I slipped back to my tent for 15 minutes of warm up before the assembly. This also acomplished addressing the intimidation that would follow us to class and the lingering fear of haveing to play for Victor, Steve Bailey (Chair of bass at Berklee Collage of Music), or any of the other pros that were their to instruct us.
 

I guess there was about 65 attendees which made it around 15-16 per class, four classes a day, it was a pile of information, I recorded almost all of it. By the days end I was pretty much done.

Quite a few of the students, most of them, knew a lot more about music theory and fingerboard theory than I. I was probably the weakest in this regard. I figured this would be the case, but I needed to know exactly which way to go to move forward with my skills. I certainly wasn?t at the bottom of the barrel when it came to playing. Much of the stuff I understood and was aware of but the language and structure I lack. I?m a feral. Bassist, what I?ve learned about music is what the songs have taught me. I?ve been working on filling in these holes.  Scales are not really a problem I use quite a few of them though I can only name the primary major and minors.  Modes, are a completely different story, I had heard of them and the names alone were enough to keep me at arms length ?o) Anthony Wellington?s class cleared up most of that, I still have work to do but he explained it in such a way that I?ll be nailing them with confidence in a relatively short time, I?ll also have to get better aquatinted with chord structures. I?ll continue to learn to read music and learn the fretboard up in the area I rarely use ?o), but it will have less impact on my playing than knowing the modes will. Putting it all together is still a bit fuzzy but at least the path is clear. I still have no interest in playing leads, though it seems this is prominent among the younger crowd, and I?m not physically able to slap, my right arm elbow joint?s rotator is fused.

The Sea-foam green short scale fretless, I built, I brought with me. I had Victor and his teaching and volunteer staff sign the front, all the students signed the back. Once home I pulled the bass apart for clear coating the body and all the signatures, I?ve gotten a couple coats on, with the high humidity I?m taking my time between coats.

I stumbled a couple of times, being a feral bassist, knowing little of theory, scales, notes of the chord structures, Modes etc., once with Victor and again with Anthony. I said don?t let me hold the class back, I?ll get it just keep going. Neither one of the guys would do that, Victor explained what I was to play, in my language ?feral? and Anthony listened to what was my understanding of the scale, intervals and modes and confirmed my basic understanding of their associations. They would not leave me in the dust or anyone else.

A few times I was speaking with these instructors explaining that this level of ?Music Language? is not a strength of mine, the only thing I know about the music is what the music itself has taught me. Anthony smiled and said, don?t forget, I heard your sixty seconds, you are a good bass player, this stuff we?re teaching will make you better, he offered me free lessons, after I do a bit of ground work I?ll take him up on it.

All the players with the weakest skills  received the same attention.

I had an opportunity to play with Roy ?Future Man? he plays with Victor and Bella Fleck and the Flecktones, and Reggie, Victor?s older brother that got him started on bass at the age of 2.

One of the four classes every day was bushcraft. I kept my mouth shut, I didn?t want to be that guy, I did ask the Bushcraft instructor the range of a few of the plants he talked about, he couldn?t answer the question. I caught him after lunch one day, I gave him a slow match I made up, he knew it?s purpose but had never seen one, I had my flint and steel kit and let him check it out. I mentioned to him some of my experience, I just had to let him know I wasn?t exactly a tenderfoot. I apologize if I had steeped on his presentation in anyway. He said I kept it to myself much better than he probably could have, or maybe I?m just thinking I heard him say that ?o)

When we had a skill to practice in this class I always deferred to my partner, letting them try it out, I would offer instructions and let them succeed. He had us do the firebow, most of the groups never got a fire started, we had one in about 5 minutes, with the other guy doing all the work me helping and instructing, one of the younges guys at the camp was really up on this stuff and he gave us some great information.

I?m still practicing around 2 sometimes 3 hours a day on this stuff. One of the most important things I learned was in Victors class, he really wanted to drive home this point, the biggest mistake a musican makes is when they invariable hit a wrong note, the screw up is not hitting the wrong note but screwing up the groove by trying to find the right one. Any note can work in a transitional phrase. He explained it thus, How many notes are their, 6  how may totally, 12 how many in a scale, 7 so, any one of 7 notes can work in a passage, you?ve got a better than a 50:50 chance of hitting a correct note first off, if you do hit bad note you are only a half step in either direction from a right note, transition the bad note to the right one up or down and proceed keeping a tight groove and all is well.

I knew this to a degree. As a child first learning only one note at the correct time and space in a song was the correct note. As I grew I found that I could use just about any note, if I did it right. One of the old sayings is, ?If you screw up just play the mistake again at the same place and call it improvisational Jazz.? This single idea presented to me by maybe the best bassist on the planet is hugely liberating. Hearing it from Victor make it so.

    The instructors all had patience and respect for every one of us, it was obvious they were there for us. Time was tight and a lot of information was given too us. It really required a recorder to get it all, Application of the information was also shown and tried by the students to assure they got the idea.

   Meeting all these musicians, and staff, who were mostly musicians too, was great. I don?t know what it is about musicians but from top to bottom of the skill sets there was zero attitude, other than supportive and  positive. These skilled and extremely talented musicians showed nothing but respect and love of music and the instrument. They didn?t feel like iconic super hero?s, even though they are, it was more like family. I have to say meeting and spending a good amount of time with Chuck Rainey was amazing, to meet and speak at length with this man, a friend. Without me being aware, he influenced me as a bassist and musician. I bet there were times in my life, on stage, when every bass line I used was either his or inspired by him. Chuck Rainey is a Global Treasure.
   
The guys in my band have both told me my playing has improved substantially since I got home. The amount of stuff I?ve taken away from this experience is amazing, I?ve learned that I am in fact a very good bassist, that I have paths to increase my skill and I can?t screw anything up if I hold the grove.  I am engaged in all of it.

« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 09:45:36 AM by hushnel »

Offline madmax

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2018, 09:52:59 AM »
Glad you had a good time and it strengthened your playing.  I know that means a lot to you.

Tony
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
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Offline Sarge

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2018, 10:11:15 AM »
Sounds like good times. Thanks for sharing.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Stage Fright, it?s a thing,
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2018, 10:26:08 AM »
I think I know the feeling that you got from this gathering.....it's rare thing to be surrounded by genius in any field, but when it is a subject that is near and dear to you, it nearly leaves you speechless.  I'm happy for you, man.....I can tell you took a lot home with you! :thumbsup:
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
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