It's been a long while since I've furnished this part of my site with an update! Lots have changed & lots have stayed the same! Heres a (mostly) comprehensive recap on what I've been doing & what I've got lined up.
I've had great results from recent exams for ABRSM Theory, RSL Awards, Trinity & more! All distinction & merit grades. I'm still runing a 100% for all the exams my students have undertaken.
I've had a great influx of students since September & only have limited places available on Tuesday's & Thursday's.
I'm still providing tuition at The Practice Pad on Saturdays & have a space available at 11:00am for either a half or full hour lesson on Bass, Vocals or Theory.
I've also had fun rewriting and updating my current syllabi to teach my students. I love researching & expanding my syllabi. Especially incorporating new modern educational methods & theories.
Composing & Arranging
I've been a bit lax one the composition front as off late, with only small solo compositions for some live work. I've come up with a nice chordal melody that I'm going to expand upon soon.
Arraning wise I've been use arranging some new tracks for The Special Brew & we debuted one last week which received a great reaction from everyone. I'm also in the middle of arranging a track for Trumpet player Morgan Rees' band Shake Your Brass which is coming a long nicely. Its very nice to arrange for brass more often for these groups.
Sadly I have stepped down from the Executive Committee of The Musicians Union for personal reasons. I am still sitting on the Regional Committee for Wales & South West England & am thoroughly enjoying the work & getting involved with matters that affect all musicians.
If you'd like some promo materials or a discussion about the pros off the union for yourself, students or friends please give me an email 👍
I've been full on with dep/su work for most off the year! The time being split between The Navarones, Simmer Down, Too Toned Lights Out & The Manic-Phonics Experience. Some great shows & tracks have been played & even more connections have been made too!
I also got to dep with Session UK one off the UK's set wedding/function ands, who had a killer setlist too!
I pride myself on my reputation as a dep/sub bass player & if you'd like to use me for a run of shows or even a one time thing just let me know!
I've also had opportunity to dep with & get involved with some big name artists this year & some next year from my dep work & I'm very excited!
The Special Brew
After a major reconstruction to the lineup & management we've gotten back together & are gigging the new lineup (which sound incredible I might add) My rhythm section is very tight & we've only got two more shows this year, but with plenty coming in for 2020.
Reyoncé & Reeta Ora Tribute Show
After quite a few full day/half day rehearsals & a debut showcase performance in Blackpool this month, I am pleased to announce I, along with some very talented musicians, valise & dancers have formed the above named tribute acts. The sound and production level is immense & a lot of hard work has gone into these two acts especially from the vocalist Victoria. I absolutely love playing more "relevant" and up to date music & refining my tone, stage & musicianship to match these artist who both have top quality musicians behind them.
Promo videos for Reyoncé - A Tribute to Beyoncé can be found here
I have been asked (but not yet confirmed) to join the great Jazz/Jazz Fusion quartet The Bakery (maybe soon to be a quintet?) I'm looking forward to hearing them live this month & hopefully joining early next year. From what I have seen & heard so far, its right up my street musically & has some great experimental qualities.
Although I'm only technically a full member of two/three groups at the moment, I'm always still looking for great gigs, groups & artists. It's been a long time since the days of being rotated in & out of 10 plus groups/ensembles but it is something I miss from time to time. If you've got room or need a player just hit me up!
As I'm writing this post Ive just got an email to work with Rhys Bradley (vocalist, multi-instrumentalist & producer) to work with him on a track again. In the past I've worked on his Eurovision entry & a few other tracks too. Always a nice easy & stress fretwork ethic, plus its a remote session, so all from my own studio.
I've been drafted to records electric & upright bass for an academical music project by my old tutor/mentor Phil Harris. This has us, or mostly him arranging and directing a 5 piece ensemble to cover two tracks. Im really enjoying this laidback but hard couple of sessions wee had of late (including a 16 bar solo on the upright!) It's great working with Phil and all the other accomplished musicians in this ensemble for the session.
My practice schedule has recently been inundated with tracks t learn for numerous artists/groups, which has sadly dropped the amount of quality time I can put into my instrument in a constructive way.
I'm hoping I can at least add the ole' one standard a day - Walking bass, melody, chordal accompaniment & improvisation over it. I think that a few weeks on that will help bring my overall level back up to scratch (fingers crossed)
I'm also adapting my schedule as above to my upright bass sans chordal accompaniment just to bolster my skills & to prevent fatigue & injury during long playing sessions.
Bits & Bobs
I've absolutely been loving my Overwater Custom P5 & have used it on nearly everything I'm working on! Hopefully I will be visiting Overwater in January for a tour of the workshop & a service on my instrument. I'm also gasping for a white Overwater J5 ala Sandy Beales. So we'll have to wait & see!
Heres a few vids of my Overwater in different playing styles & utilising many different pickup/tonal settings, which are outlined in the description of each video.
Iv'e got a great review of ACS Custom's IEM's coming shortly! Which I have been using as of late along with their custom hearing protection.
I've also had & taken the opportunity to buy back my old American Deluxe Jazz Bass V & I'm over the moon on having it back! It was my first higher end instrument & holds so many amazing memories for myself & some musicians I've worked with.
Swanflight have made me an amazing custom bass rig flight case too. It's perfect & the build time, quality & process was second to none too. I'll be using it on some of the larger shows/tours coming up. their link can be found on my links page here
I'm toying with adding some more opinion, gear & musical history posts on here soon. I have around 6 already written that just need editing. These mainly encompass the music industry, basses, players & tuition in a private & public sense. I'll put a few up in the coming weeks before Christmas & see how they go down.
These are some of the articles I am currently working on & will release periodically.
A Question For Private Music Tutors & Students
The Bass VI
What's The Deal With Undercutting People?
"Bassicly" Speaking October Update
Play Your Sounds Right
The Joy Of Teaching
I visited A Strings recently to pick up some tour supplies too. It looks like I'll be in a few of the videos they produce on the new Fender American Ultra range (specifically basses)
The Trio situation is also something that needs to be addressed. It's finding the time & a strong connection with the musicians involved which needs to be formed. I'm not cancelling it or postponing it. I'll be looking at a small lineup change in January & will grasp it with both hands.
I've been an Optima Strings artist for a while, predominantly using the RB Flats, but recently I've started using the 24k Gold Unique Studio Strings for more of a modern cutting tone for some work. I'm really liking them so far!
Another really cool thing that happened back in July. I was contacted by Average White Band's tour manager. Due to some equipment being sadly stolen. They were in need of a 5 string bass. I gladly hired one out & in my opinion it looked & sounded great! Thanks for the goodies too!
That'll do it for this update, I know I've left a lot of things out! but my memory is fading at this hour! If you have any questions, enquires or anything, visit me at the links below. Also, please take a look at my upcoming appearances post to see where I will be next.