Monday, May 21, 2012

Jesse Hendrick - I Didn't Really Want To Play Bass Guitar But Now I'm Pretty Much Cool With It

Okay, so, bands are one of those things that we always talk about but they never really happen. Kind of like how me and Kyle always talk about how sometime we're going to go to the civil war museum, but we never actually go because it costs money to get in, and plus Kyle has a job now. Like, it's a good idea, but it just never really comes together.

So anyway, speaking of Kyle, he called me because Sam Allen bought a drum set on Craigslist for like a hundred and fifty bucks, and since we always talk about starting a band he figured, hey, now we actually have a drum set, so why the hell not? So of course, I was like, "hell yeah, I'll be in a band. I'll play the guitar and sing."

But Kyle tells me that he's playing guitar, which is shitty for me because I was going to have to borrow his guitar anyway, so now I can't even be second guitar. So I tell him, "hey, that's cool, I'll just sing then."

But unfortunately for me, Sam Allen knows this chick who is apparently a really good singer and I guess he already decided that she's singing, because, after all, he's the one with the drum set. Plus, Kyle says, they're just thinking that a chick singer would be way better.

So I'm sitting here watching my spot in this band kind of close up, because all I can really play is drums and guitar, and I was thinking of some kind of backup plan, like keyboard or something, when Kyle says, "we were thinking you could actually play the bass."

Now, I've seen enough bands to know that the bass player is usually the guy in the band who sucked too much at guitar to actually play the actual guitar, but I wasn't going to complain to Kyle because I didn't want Kyle to decide that maybe they didn't really need me in the band after all.

"Yeah, I can totally play the bass," I said, "and I can probably, like, sing some backup vocals too, or sing the ones where we don't want a chick singer."

I slipped that last part in so that I can maybe move up to singing if we want to play some covers or if Sam Allen's chick turns out to be a bitch.

Now, I don't actually own a bass guitar, or a guitar that has strings on it, but that's a whole 'nother story, so when we had our first band practice at Sam Allen's house I just borrowed his bass. At first we just jammed for a while, and I was super bored because I don't really know how to play this thing that well, and so my parts were pretty much just watching Kyle's hands and playing some of the notes that he was playing, which was actually sort of difficult even though this thing is just like a guitar except that there are only four strings and it's way quieter.

We did that for, like, 30 minutes, and I really wanted to stop jamming but I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want to seem like I was going to be a drag on the band, and I was sort of hoping that maybe if I didn't say anything Kyle and Sam Allen would forget to look at me and they wouldn't notice that I was pretty much just playing quarter notes of whatever Kyle was doing the whole time. Then our jam got interrupted because the doorbell rang and it was the chick singer, who came in and didn't introduce herself to me at all, which was fine because I was still kind of pissed that she took my spot singing and I think Kyle was a little pissed that she was so late.

So now that everybody was there we started to play some cover that the chick and Sam Allen were really excited about but I had never heard of it and I think Kyle had only listened to it like once before practice.

After running through like half of it, Sam Allen and the chick were shouting at Kyle because I guess he kept fucking up on parts, and I thought to myself, hey, maybe playing bass isn't such a bad deal, because I definitely am fucking up way more than Kyle but nobody even cares. Plus while they were arguing I even figured out how to make the bass all fuzzy and awesome sounding and then I could hear my playing way better and even though I was still just playing quarter notes I thought it sounded pretty rock star.

After practice we decided to hit up Kyle's, which is a bar, and not the actual Kyle's actual house, and there was some band playing but I didn't even hear their name. So anyway I was drinking a Blue Moon and Kyle was drinking PBR, because that's his favorite, and I was watching the band, and I realized that the bassist was definitely not just playing quarter notes. Actually, he was totally shredding. I don't think his amp was up high enough, because I could only hear him when I was really listening for him, but his grooves were totally awesome. It made me think to myself, hey, some people are pretty good at this bass stuff.

So anyway, Sam Allen let me take his bass guitar home, and even though I don't have an amp for it I've been playing it a bunch just for practice. I tried to look up that song we were learning but I couldn't remember the title of it so I just made up bass parts to songs I used to be able to play on guitar. They were still pretty much just quarter notes, but hey, everybody's gotta start somewhere, right?

Jesse Hendrick

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