I have agreed to take on a student. At least for a little while. And not a second engineer. I am helping a musician on bass guitar.
I remember when I first started working at a recording studio. I was an apprentice serving as a second engineer but in reality I was a gopher. I did all of the heavy lifting when it came to documenting console and outboard settings, running tape and a myriad of other activities. But I learned a lot from the recording engineer. He helped to accelerate my knowledge of recording. How to get the sweet spot of an instrument with a microphone. How to capture the best possible sound.
I was playing with a bassist last week and it was clear to me that he had a passion for the instrument and that he could really benefit from some teaching. The problem is that there are so few good bass teachers in our community. So, I asked him to come out to my recording studio this week-end and I will spend some time helping him to improve on his instrument.
To me, a strong intermediate bassist has achieved the following objectives:
- Tone: the ability to use their hands and their equipment to produce a musical sound
- Technique: the ability to leverage the fretboard
- Tempo: the ability to play in time and in the pocket
- Taste: the ability to enhance and create excitement in the music
- Team: the ability to be part of a unit and to pull a groove together
I’ll be starting with a passionate beginner and I will hopefully give him a roadmap to develop his talent in these five areas.
I have recorded some of the best bassists in Canada and I find that these advanced players are able to achieve a voice to their instrument. They have an amazing ability to bring an instrument to life.
Bass guitar is a wonderful instrument. And the Pedulla Thunderbass pictured below is also a wonderful instrument.