Daily Prompt: Beyond the Pale


When was the last time you did something completely new and out of your element? How was it? Will you do it again?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us NEW.

I think I quite enjoy sharing a video with you, so I’ve done it again! This video is an advertisement from Yamaha for their TRBX series of bass guitars. Darrell Craig Harris, known for playing bass (particularly slap bass) for Cirque du Soleil, demonstrates both the TRBX300s and the slighty enhanced TRBX500s. I play bass for our band, and I was using the singers bass up until now. We’ve been a band only since the end of the summer. The guitarist and I are self-taught, however we managed to catch up on some needed skills by transferring some of the principles and skills we have from playing other stringed instruments.

Since we were four months into being a band, I decided I was going to purchase my own bass, one that was better than the one I was using. After investigating and seeing reviews of different guitars which I could afford, I decided I would go and try a TRBX. I tried both a 304 and a 504 (the ‘4’ at the end means it’s a four-string bass)Yamaha TRBX304 and loved the sound of both. However I did go for the 304, a white one as you can see (sorry about the photo – it was taken on my phone and I had to use a little bit of touching up  to make it slightly better than it was, mostly done by the computer!).

The shop I bought it from is called Red Dog Music, the nearest branch to me being the one in the Grassmarket of Edinburgh. I had been in here often to look at guitars, effects pedals and keyboards, but I had never bought anything from it before. They’re a very nice bunch of people – all of them play guitar or keyboard and almost all of them have had experience as part of a band.

Some of them know how to repair guitars – in fact, after I had bought the guitar I had to take it back because the EQ switch, which is a nifty little feature of the bass, had come loose. The instruments you can buy there come with a really good warranty, so I felt quite comfortable going back to see what could be done.

The manager, a young bloke with long, strawberry-blond hair, took the bass downstairs after I had explained what was wrong and he said he’d go and repair it. He shortly came back and said that it was merely that the screw holding it in place was loose and looked a bit small for the job, so he had replaced it with a bigger, stronger screw so that it wouldn’t happen again. I was very happy with the end result and they didn’t charge me a thing! It was strange, however, when someone mentioned afterwards that as a consumer I had the right to three options: a repair, a replacement/item of equivalent value, or my money back. This had never crossed my mind, however they seemed more annoyed about it than I did, but maybe that was because I said just to let it go.

This brings me onto the main part of my post about this particular subject. It’s actually quite a painful thing to write about – I feel the overwhelming weight on my chest as I remember certain things – this idea of letting go of things, because that includes things you may have held dear like, for instance, a relationship that ended or a job you couldn’t take up because of family or such. My ordeal with buying the bass and the shop, Red Dog, was just the first example I could come up with that also included both letting go, even though to a much lesser extent, and something new that was out of the ordinary – buying a bass for the first time.

Recently there has been a few things I’ve had to let go, and that’s why I’m writing about the idea. It’s incredibly emotionally and mentally draining, and requires a great deal of endurance on both planes. I know that it equates to other things I’ve done in the past, things like when I uplifted one of my closest friend’s spirits because she had found out from her doctor that she had an 83% chance of liver failure. I had to remain positive in a very grim situation. That takes a lot out of anyone. It turned out that she was in fact part of 17%, to our relief! It’s scary being in situation where things are either not fully in your control or not in your control at all – it’s like fumbling in the dark trying to reconstruct a jigsaw.

This is similar to letting go in the sense that often one of the ways people tell you to help let go of something is to remain in a positive outlook, however, like my past experience, it is incredibly draining. Trying to remain happy when you’re not is possibly one of the hardest things to do in life, whatever situation you may be in. I think that counts as doing something “out of your element”. Sometimes, and this happened to me last year once, one might just descend into the darkness. It’s a bad place – the abyss of life. However, if you’ve experienced it before, like I have, then you must know how others feel when they’re in the same situation. How much they want someone to understand.

That’s why it’s worth it. That’s why it’s worth remaining positive when you’re not. For others. For your friends.