How Do You Handle Rejection ?

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How Do You Handle Rejection ?

Post by LeftyBass » Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:20 pm

Goofy question - that probably does NOT even apply to most of you on this forum . . . . .

When you continually hear "I really like your bass playing" when at an event with many musicians (we had a state-wide Oldtime Fiddlers campout and meeting here this past weekend), yet when it comes time to create small "bands" for the evening performances for the public, the fiddlers ignore you and select another bass player - how do you keep from having your feelings hurt? Maybe it's just me !

This situation seems to happen to me every year. Even my own local district members don't select me (although most of them play so slowly, I really don't mind). Perhaps no one understands that Hubby and I are NOT connected at the hip, and we can be asked separately. I just do not know or understand the selection process. Oh well - got me home so much faster last night, when no one asked either of us to play on stage as part of their backup. Once I lug my bass up on the stage through the skinny doorway and up the tiny stairs (we bass players all leave our basses on stage til the end), I am pretty much stuck that way. And this year, they did two nights of individual sign-up, instead of having one night as sign-up, and the other as a "can band" (where the bands are selected by drawing the names out of the cans to "create" the bands). When they do that, I do get a lot more playing, but sometimes they'll pick a song that I don't even know - and then embellish it so badly I struggle to keep it all together.

Apparently I'm okay enough for the massive jams during the daytime, but not for the evening shows. Maybe they don't feel I can play "oldtimey enough. Maybe they don't know me well enough. Maybe they assume I won't be happy if they happen to play a slow song. Maybe they just don't like me. I don't know. But it sure makes it hard to keep supporting an organization that keeps ignoring me so much.

Lefty Bass
Left-handed Player on a Right-handed Bass

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Re: How Do You Handle Rejection ?

Post by kenbear » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:43 am

Don't sweat it! I think it may happen to most of us at one time or another. Over the years I have found a lot of musicians and want to be musicians tend to have a large and very high opinion of themselves, and tend to be "better" than a lot of their peers. Not all, but a lot.
I was at a country show once where a lot of jamming was going on outside when an older lady known for singing off key and out of time to us came out and said" I need a bass player for my set". I was standing there with a bass in my hands, but did not want to play with her because of her poor singing, when a buddy said there is Ken and he has his bass. Her reply was ." we play country, he is a bluegrasser and isn't good enough to play with us". Well, it kinda hurt my feelings at first, but after thinking about it for a while, I kind of agreed with her. I really don't like to play slow whining country music with an off key singer. I love playing traditional country with the right folks, but was glad I wasn't good enough to play with her!
all my friends that were there got a big kick out of it, and teased me for months. Once after that I was playing the same place with a put together band of friends and was introduced as the only bass player they could find, even if I wasn't that good! Most of the folks there knew the story, and the place broke up with laughter, so I guess I got the last laugh.
All this to say, Don't get your feelings hurt, you are probably good enough to hang in there with them, it may just be a personality or ego thing with them. People are some of the strangest critters I have ran across! Come on down to Alabama, you can play bass with us, I will play something else!

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Re: How Do You Handle Rejection ?

Post by flip18436572 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:07 am

My thoughts are that there is always someone better at an instrument. I may never be the one that would get picked in your type of situation either. I don't do 100% bluegrass, so I have no idea on some of the songs played. Right now I do maybe 1% bluegrass and 99% of whatever is thrown out there. Bluegrass is not common in my area and the only person that was playing in the area, moved about 4 hours away, so that isn't an option for me. The people just over an hour away, don't want newcomers from what I could tell, so I went back to Folk, Americana, country, rock, etc.... Right now playing with three different groups, but there are at least 4 better electric bass players that live in my small town.

Keep practicing and playing the music you want to play. Sometime the day will come where you are the person they are choosing. Keep having fun playing music, because when it is no longer fun, it is not worth doing.

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Re: How Do You Handle Rejection ?

Post by seenoweevil » Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:34 pm

Lefty, my first guess would be what you were thinking - that the groups think you and hubby are one item. The way you described drawing for and building bands to play together though, I've never heard of that. That sounds SO neat, to get yanked right out of any semblance of a comfort zone, and thrown into a blender with a bunch of other players! Any other advice - shoot, I don't know about that! I see a lot of the old time bands that compete here in period dress, perhaps that would help because anything you can do to set you apart helps in a competition.
Handling the rejection? Root beer and ice cream usually work for me! Ken's comments just killed me :lol: - I've had my share of those comments too. :cry:
I video a lot of our performances, then critique(read: cuss, gripe and cry) at home later, because I seem to miss a lot of what goes on in the moment, and it helps me and the group make little changes to the way we do things. I also record other bands when possible, and watch what works and what doesn't. You might record some of your jams(from a spot back a bit to get several folks around), and check out what the other pickers are doing around you to see how they are taking what you are doing, as well as record and review what some of the "in demand" bassists are doing that keeps them getting first calls. Just a thought, and mostly incoherent! :drool1:
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