I bought my fourth bass guitar this week. A Spector bass joins my two Schecters and my Epiphone.
Today was my first live bass playing “performance”. My guitar teacher invited her students to play with her at a fundraiser for the radio station she works for.
I switched to bass (from guitar) at the tale end of last year, and I haven’t regretted my decision. I love playing my bass and take weekly lessons with Deborah Magone, a talented local musician and an awesome and patient teacher. Check her out on iTunes. She’s even more awesome in person.
Today’s show was at the Jetty at the Port of Rochester.
I was nervous, but I played anyway. It was terrifying and fun at the same time. My hubby and two sons were there to support me. I’m glad I did it even if I felt a little silly up on stage. I wish I had smiled more, but I was busy concentrating on not making mistakes. I think I only made two small ones. No one noticed.
Here I am waiting for my turn to play. We did five songs, and I played on the last three.
Here I am almost looking like I knew what I was doing.
A video of us performing Teach Your Children.
It was a stretch, and I had to push myself way past my comfort zone to get there and get through it. Would I do it again? I might even if I am a 60 year old beginner musician. Life should be about challenges and successes. It keeps us young.
I went through my calendar items and my photos for the year. All in all, 2018 wasn’t a great year, but it wasn’t all that bad either. I spent a good third of the year sick, and I’ve lost more weight with my stomach woes. I also spent three-quarters of the year pushing myself and learning.
On the learning side, I was inspired to use a $100 Amazon gift card on a very cheap beginner’s guitar package (a cheap electric guitar and a tiny amplifier). I took lessons as a kid on an acoustic and didn’t stick with it. I’ve always regretted not following through so I decided to pick up the cheap guitar to see if I could still do it. I could. Guitar one became eight guitars and two bass guitars (guitar acquisition syndrome). Daily practice sessions where I pushed myself to learn using DVDs, books and online lessons turned into weekly guitar lessons with a private teacher. She’s going to teach me bass, too, since I’ve been doing those lessons on my own for about a week now.
The sick of it was a series of infections – SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), a UTI, an infected tooth and emergency root canal, and a long, drawn-out bout with a c. difficile infection that still hasn’t completely resolved itself. I’ve eaten a lot of bland food, taken lots of medication (thus the c. diff infection) and taken more medication to combat the CDI monster. My house smells like bleach, but I guess it could be worse.
2018 also brought two new tattoos and three rock concerts in five days. Not bad considering I was sick and on an antibiotic the week we attended the concerts, one including a trip out of town for two days.
I have no New Year’s resolutions for 2019. My only goal is to get well again. I’d like to spend some of my free time cleaning up the clutter that has taken over my house, but being sick most of the time, working full-time takes the majority of my energy. When I get home, I expend the last of my reserves on practicing the guitar and then I’m done. I sit with my feet up, a heating pad on my belly and a cat on my lap, and I fall asleep in my recliner.
Not a very exciting life, but not all bad either.
Guitar number six joined my collection a few weeks ago. I picked it up on my way home from the Cooper concert in York, PA. It’s a used Schecter Diamond Series Spitfire-6. It’s a pretty thing – a glossy black with mother of pearl edging. He plays nice, too.
Number seven isn’t here yet. He (or she) is supposed to arrive on Wednesday. I wanted a Fender but couldn’t afford one so I bought the cheaper (subsidiary) version – a Squier guitar. I got the stratocaster style.
My idea with the Squier guitar was to get something new (not a used model) that was fairly light and fairly inexpensive that I could easily transport back and forth to my lessons. I had my first lesson last Monday, and I took Phil, my Epiphone Les Paul. Phil is top of the line, new, and he’s built like a Mack truck. He’s heavy. He’s also in a hardshell case to protect him. The only problem is it takes awhile to get him out and put him away. My lesson is thirty minutes. It felt like I just got him out and I had to pack him back up again. I’m going to shoot for something lighter and easier to carry. We’ll see how that goes. I won’t have the new one for this Monday, but perhaps I’ll take the Schecter instead or maybe my Ibanez.
I’m not sure how the lesson went. She said I am doing well with the notes. The chords are harder. We spend half the lesson on theory and half on something I want to learn. Of course, I picked Alice Cooper’s Poison as the song I wanted to learn to play. It’s hard! I guess anything worthwhile is going to be hard work.
I’ll let you know how I make out.