The Future? / "Bassicly Speaking" Update April 2017
So what does the future hold? In this post I will be exploring & explaining my own ambitions & changes i'm going through on a professional & somewhat personal level. Plus a lovely update about what's been going on since my last post.
I've been lacking a lot of ambition as of late. As a bass player & as a person & I think it's time to sort it out. For a while know I've been complacent and have been regularly playing with groups/artists & teaching. I'm finding everything a little bit stale. I'm not blaming anyone but myself but I need to add some excitement into my career.
I met up with my old mentor Clark a few weeks ago. I wanted to put a comprehensive practice schedule together for me. The first thing he asked was What do you want to achieve? I had no answer at all but now I've got a plan!
As of late I've been inspired by the bass player Janek Gwizdala. I don't want to copy or imitate him, but I really want to be at the forefront of bass playing and play solo bass. I want to gig, do workshops & release an album as soon as possible to get me over this lull in my playing & life.
Myself & James (From the band Dead Method) are putting together a record label & arts mentorship program with four other directors, which I will be able to release my album on. As for shows I have one lined up (But not definite) in the summer of 2017. I'm currently bouncing around ideas for some tracks and have about 4/5 progressions to work on so far!
Hopefully this will boost me into the "limelight" and help me progress and be happy in a career I find stale. I know a lot of people would give anything to make a living from music, but it's not all it's cracked up to be a lot of the time. I want to do this sooner rather than later due to health issues. IF It doesn't go well or I can't find any lift to my career or ambition I may just walk away gracefully ;)
I hope this all makes sense, but as a guide I'll list my main ambitions at the time of typing this.
Release a solo bass album, in the style of solo bass Jazz but with many other ideas.
Put on my own shows to release & promote my album.
Start giving masterclasses on the subject of solo bass.
Maybe collaborate on one or two tracks with some musicians.
The Special Brew
We have been very busy as of late, performing all over the UK with The 2-Tone Tribute Tour. Some highlights have to be playing the O2 Academy in Liverpool & The Leadmill in Sheffield. We have loads of shows lined up for the year in some prestigious venues. Including Weston Superman Pier & The O2 Bristol, but not forgetting Boomtown! The tour also came home for a show at Y Plas in Cardiff. It was an amazing show & both bands put everything to the performance. A great night was had by the band & plus not too much travel either!
On another note, I've been in the band exactly 1 year & I've made so many amazing friends & played some great music with great people too. I owe a big thanks to The Brew for that.
Everyone has been rushed of their feet in this band as of late. We are currently in negotations with a record label about releasing our first single/EP. So it's all hands on deck at the moment!
Unfortunately it looks like this band has run it's course. It's a joint decision, but with my commitments & the singer playing very regularly with Owen Money and his own solo shows it makes sense. Myself & the rest of the rhythm section are in discussions to start up a small group to keep us in good practice. You may see us at a little pub somewhere near you shortly!
Things are at a standstill at the moment for me as I need to concentrate on my health etc, but will be gigging soon this summer! I'm currently learning the very comprehensive set at the moment.
A collaboration including myself, James (Dead Method) Bob (Dead Method) Greg (Ferinus & my old band Tomorrow Can Wait) Razkid and others. We will be playing & performing an eclectic mix of HipHop, Jazz & anything we fancy! We are currently writing out a set & recording ideas. I will be playing upright mainly.
Tuition is stable but I've had to take some time out due to health problems, but all students are on track to pass the summer exams & are well on the way to becoming great musicians. Places are very limited at the moment but I'm happy to fill my schedule.
Session & Dep Work
I will be depping with Dictaphone Devil in August. I've depped with them before & was on the same music teacher's course with Greg the drummer.
I'm recording bass for The_Experiment & the various artists associated with it. I will be recording bass with Rhys(Dead Method) on some of his great Instagram drum videos in the near future.
I'm constantly writing all day everyday for my solo album. It's hard work but I've got some great ideas so far & can't wait to develop them further. I'm also composing some instructional tracks for my students to use while developing different techniques, skill & theory knowledge.
Other Bits & Bobs
I've received part 2 of Phil Mann's Chord Tone Concepts & it's a formidable reference & recourse. I can't wait to get into it.
I visited the Coventry Music Museum. There were some great basses on display which caught my eye, but the whole place was brimming with information & great displays.
I visited the London Bass Guitar Show in March. I had a great time & managed to catch up with a few of my old mates & made some new ones. Although I did lose a losing battle with Markbass (due to a language barrier) I had a great time & can't wait until next year.
I've ordered myself a new looper. The Ditto X2 Looper from TC Electronic & a delay pedal to get me motivated & ready for the solo shows & albums coming up.
I stripped my pedalboard down. Only so I can chop & change different pedals for different occasions. IT makes life a lot easier.
Starting a record label & arts collab organisation called Gutterbreed with James from Dead Method & four other directors.
Formulating a songwriting course to deliver to young people in schools as part of Gutterbreed.
Experimenting with soundscaping on bass using various effects & pedals.
Constantly practicing as much as possible.
Refining my skills & knowledge of my main instruments (Electric & Double Bass) with a comprehesive practice & development schedule utilising The Real Book & Jazz Standards.
I hope you have enjoyed this update & thanks for reading!
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