Learning bass should be as much fun as playing bass
By Jon Liebman
Week of March 8, 2021
Whenever we set out to learn something new, we have a definite goal in mind, right? Well, the same thing applies to learning bass, whether it’s a certain technique, groove, cool lick, whatever.
So you decide what you want to accomplish, and you set out to conquer that goal.
At what point will you be happy, though? Will you not be satisfied until you achieve the goal? What about the process itself? Isn’t that enjoyable too? Or is it just a necessary chore?
The topic came up in this week’s interview with phenomenal Nashville bassist Jon von Boehm. Jon says when he’s learning something new on the bass, he gets just as much gratification from the learning process itself than he does from the finished product.
Think about that for a minute…
One example Jon shared was the two-handed tapping technique. Jon described how he simply needed to learn how to tap because it was the only way he could play the music he wanted to play.
The goal wasn’t to be flashy or to dazzle his friends. He had to figure out a way to play what he wanted, and that was the only we he could find to get the job done.
All the while, though, he was taking pleasure in the learning process itself.
“I know a lot of people want outcomes quickly,” Jon says. “For me, it’s really about the journey and what I’m learning, and what I’m immersing myself in, not so much the outcome of it.”
In other words, according to Jon, getting there is half the fun. Patience is important, he says, but why should that be a bad thing?
“The outcome will happen,” Jon says, “but just kind of look in the present and what you’re working on to get there, especially if you’re new at it. If I had someone sit me down and tell me that in the beginning, it may have been a little easier.”
Think of that the next time you feel like you have to “pay dues” to learn something new. Why not enjoy the ride?
How about you? Have a thought on the subject? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. In the meantime, check out my interview with Jon here.