Day: July 20, 2010

Day 2: Fear, Destruction, and Using Our Senses

Day two was an eventful day at woot camp and full of fun surprises. The morning felt more like an opening ceremony to the camp. Bass / nature camp isn’t so much about bass as much as it is about music. Before I discovered Vic’s videos and books, I was somewhat torn on music. I played it as an expression through my time with various church bands, but overall thought music was something to compete with. Picking up the bass had originally felt as if I had resigned myself to a lifetime of frustration and competition. While I knew there were ways to serve with music, Vic taught me that music is something to fellowship with, similar to a relationship. It’s something you grow with and learn to become familiar and affectionate with. And if you stick with it, you and music will grow old together and learn to appreciate the trials and frustrations you’ve faced together; the pain is someday replaced with joy in your playing.

Our nature instructor, Richard, proceeded to build fire in only a couple of minutes using the bow and drill method, while Victor serenaded us to some smooth bass. Every native culture has fire as an integral part of their makeup, and soon we’ll be making our own fire building sets. Fire produces warmth and companionship, just as music does. It gives life just as music does. Much of what we have learned so far about music, in fact, comes from our understanding of nature. Richard made the point that what you don’t take the time to get to know something, you fear it. When you don’t take the time to get to know nature, you can fear it too, such as strange bugs or animals, but also in life. How many things have I feared in life because of mere ignorance? How many opportunities did I have that I’ve abandoned because of ignorance and fear? Richard continued, saying that what you fear, you also destroy. Whether it’s a non-threatening spider crawling into a tent, or bigger things in life; how many things have I destroyed in my life simply because I feared them or failed to understand them? I’m no more innocent of making bad decisions in my life than anyone else, and have plenty of regrets in my 34 years on this planet. Have fear and ignorance robbed me? What have I destroyed, or almost destroyed, in my past simply because I was afraid? What you fear, you also attract, and the things you fear in life keep popping up; you can’t run away from what you fear because you call to it. Your fears haunt you like old ghosts.

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Victor Wooten’s Bass/Nature Camp: Day 1

I’m in hot, humid Only TN just outside of Nashville. Three weeks. Thirty students. Vic Wooten and his team of extremely talented instructors are going to pump as much theory, technique, and wisdom into us as we learn the difference between playing around with an instrument, and being a world class musician. If you haven’t heard of Victor Wooten, check him out on YouTube. He’s well respected across the world as quite possibly the most proficient bassist alive. If you want to learn something, go to the best. We’ve got three weeks to whip into shape, and I’d better pay attention as we’ll be performing at a concert in the French quarter of Nashville in three weeks time. I asked Vic if I could blog about my experience, and he cleared me to talk about anything I want, especially if it’ll help people who are reading it. I’ll try and blog every day, and can already tell you my expectations are set high.

This is technically bass/nature “camp”, but being that I can barely focus on bass in this heat, let alone the poor hygiene to ensue, I checked myself into a nearby bed and breakfast down the street. So technically, this is bass/nature/bed and breakfast camp for me. I’ve already taken a reasonable amount of flack for that, but that’s OK: I’m the one sitting here in a nice comfy bed tonight, having had a long cool shower after a sweaty day. Come the first rain storm, or the first 100 degree night, the scoffers will suffer, while I’ll be appreciating my soft, comfy bed, air conditioned room, walk in shower, and mints on my pillow. Chestnut Hill Ranch is a quaint Tennessee farm that’s been converted into a Bed and Breakfast. Hot coffee, juice, and noms await me every morning. I have my own bath robe, rustic furniture in my room, and some of the most comfy pillows money can buy. After all, you spend 1/3 of your life on pillows. They’re worth the money to have the best. And that’s the difference between Chestnut Hill and a La Quinta Inn. That, and the fact that from the minute I left my vehicle, three roosters walked over to greet me, taking turns crowing. Thank goodness I have shades in my room so I don’t scare all the small woodland creatures.

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