What level of good are you?

Do you get those little chills on your arms when you play?

By Jon Liebman
Week of February 24, 2020

Why do you play the bass? What do you hope to get out of it? And are you having fun doing it?

Whether you’ve got your sights on becoming the next Jaco, or whether you just want to jam with your friends on weekends – or maybe somewhere in between – there’s a definite benefit to learning to play bass, regardless of your level.

The subject came up in this week’s interview with Tim Starace, bassist for YYNOT, a prog/rock band (with a soft spot for playing Rush tunes). YYNOT has just released their second album, much to the delight of their raving fans.

By day, Tim works in a machine shop as a mechanic. On weekends, he gets to play rock star! We can learn a lot from Tim’s enthusiasm and his attitude toward doing what he enjoys.

Plain and simple, Tim Starace loves to play the bass and has found a way to work bass playing into his lifestyle. He encourages other bass geeks to do so as well, regardless of circumstances that may make it seem impractical.

But how does Tim’s playing measure up against the countless other bass players trying to do the same thing?

Truthfully, the thought never enters his mind.

“What is considered good is what somebody else considers good,” he says, getting philosophical. “Don’t ever compare yourself to anything else.”

But is that good advice? Don’t we have to compete in order to stand out and be recognized as having something unique? 

In some circles, I suppose we do. In most cases, though, just being able to lay down a cool bass groove and make the music feel good is enough to satisfy one’s inner musician.

Tim doesn’t worry about any of that other stuff. He just wants to play the bass and have fun doing it. “As long as it’s something you really enjoy doing, you’ll get good at it,” he says. “What level of good doesn’t matter. If it makes you happy, and you get those little chills on your arms, then just do it!”

He even seems to embrace his double life. “I’m a mechanic. I bleed a lot. I’m still a mechanic. I work every day at a machine shop. And I get to play rock star on the weekends. It’s so cool that you can do things through music and have your dreams.”

How about you? Do you have a similar story you’d like to share? Leave a comment below. I’d love to know what you think.

In the meantime, check out my interview with Tim here.

Comments on What level of good are you?

  1. fretless says:

    If youre keeping the band in time and the guys are smiling with your groove ,mission accomplished….I LUV THE BASS!!!!

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