Updated: Jun 3, 2020
This morning I treated myself to a wonderful experience. To some it may not seem that great but to me it was a wonderful chance to enjoy some time alone with an old friend and practice some very important tools that I use everyday in my life. Mindfulness, acceptance and most important changing your perspective.
This morning I cleaned and put new strings on my Black Bass.
My black bass came to me while I worked in a music store. I ordered this bass and had it built for me directly from Fender. I waited 6 months for it to arrive and when it did, I was very surprized. When I opened the case, it was very obvious that something was not right. Everywhere that hardware was mounted on the bass the paint was bubbling and the finish was not that shinny, not like it should be with a nitrocellulose lacquer. I picked up the bass and it was magical; I tuned the bass and it sang right away. I plugged it into an amp, I was blown away, this bass played like it was part of me.
I was faced with a horrible decision at that moment, either I send it back to fender, it was 100% defective by it’s finish alone or I just accept that this bass is the way it is and live with it. I chose to live with it. I then sanded the finish off the neck, I then did a hand rubbed oil finish like silk. I then played the hell out of this bass from that moment on, never judging and never questioning my decision in keeping this instrument.
Over time the paint just started to fall off the bass with very little contact, instead of getting upset I embraced how the bass was aging with me, both of us maturing at the same time. I never once saw anything that happened to this bass as negative, always positive, each chip, each dent, all the rust was there for me to love and cherish. That was the magic behind this bass, a strong life lesson that it was going to be with me even to this day as I take the time to once again love it.
As I cleaned the fret board, I noticed that there was little to no fret wear even after this bass has been played 3 or 4 times a week on gigs, never mind teaching and the hours and hours of practicing I did over the uncountable years I spent as a professional musician.
When I played this bass in bands, it always did what I asked, nothing was ever forced. I never applied more pressure then what was needed and this bass always with out question respected that, in return always sounding and played fantastic, always working with me and never against me.
When I polish this bass I do it with love all the time even though it is chipped, dented and the black finish is always just a little foggy. I still take my time, ever time to clean it, show it love. When I stopped playing music live in bands, the bond between myself and this bass grew deeper and deeper. I sat with it and slowly learned to play it again, but in a totally different way. The bass never questioned what I was doing but instead just played along with me like it always did and always will.
So what is the lesson here? Why I am writing this? Who cares about my Bass Right! Well here is the meaning because I think that sometimes we need to be reminded in life to see the beauty in even in the most negative times. The most negative situations.
When I hold my bass, when I clean this bass, I am showing myself love, the bass is just a physical outlet. All that love and all that acceptance is there inside me, but this bass always amplifies those feelings, that love. This bass is beat up, looks like hell and I love it! This bass was a custom build that should have been perfect out of the case! But guess what? It was! This bass was built just for me at that moment in my life. A tool to help me not just then, but evetime I play it and show it love. I learned to accept things, I learned that things are never the way we want them to be! Learning to accept things and then find the happiness is the lesson. To slow things down see the beauty in the ugly! Nothing is perfect and that is what makes it perfect! Seeing the beauty in even the hardest of times is possible and will serve as a lesson, away to make it through to build resilience and love!
This black bass of mine is a non stop reminder to me, that life is for living! Each and ever time I play it, I walk by it , even just sit and look at it there is a deeper meaning, and it all comes from inside of me, no where else. Take the time to slow things down, change your perspective, practice mindfulness, use radical acceptance and learn that everything in life is here for your growth!
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