So 2016 is now well underway at West London Bass Lessons. New students taking up the bass guitar and electric guitar as well as old students coming back from Christmas needing to brush up on a few areas after the festive break. For me personally i’ve moved just up the road from Chiswick to Kew so fortunately still very much based in West London and have been setting myself some goals for my own practice routine.
Professionally I have been lucky enough to cover a huge range of styles of music. Studying Jazz but performing in Rock, reggae, soul, funk, disco and everything else in between over the years but the one area I really didn’t have a huge amount of experience in was always Classical music. Like most double bassists playing Jazz the bow was something I owned but never really had much use for until fairly recently. Over the last few years I have been steadily picking up more and more work on the double bass and with that an awful lot of musical theatre gigs which required me to play ‘arco’ passages with the bow. This has lead me down a hugely rewarding path of study almost starting from scratch as I tried to develop a solid grounding in this new discipline.
Books like the Simandl method, Giovanni Bottesini method for double bass, Mastering the Bow by Gaelen McCormack, the Evolving Bassist by Rufus Reid as well as the ABRSM grades, scales and pieces have been fantastic resources over the last few years and have taken my playing to a new level. The next step? Lessons! I am very fortunate to have a fantastic opportunity to study with one of the best double bassists in the worlds of both classical and jazz music living here in Kew so in 2016 i’ll not only be teaching bass lessons but taking them again as well!
As musicians we should always be striving to improve our playing and one of the best ways to do this is analyse and identify the areas we need to improve on. For me it was my classical studies with the bow but for many of my own students it tends to be Rhythm/Time feel, mastering the entire fingerboard or the dreaded sight reading.
There are heaps of great resources out there now to help us improve our bass playing but by far the best one will always been to take lessons with a properly qualified and experienced bass teacher regardless of our age, level of ability or experience.
With a great practice routine, proper bass guitar/double bass related resources and most importantly a great teacher you could be starting off 2017 having made major breakthroughs in your playing and looking for a whole new musical challenge.
My new teaching studio here in Kew has all the resources you could need for lessons and new ideas, Logic pro to record lessons and a fantastic selection of bass guitars, double basses, guitars, effects pedals and amps for you to try in your lessons. We are on the 65 bus route so ideal for Kew Gardens, Richmond, Ealing, Chiswick and Acton or the District Line and London Overground station is less than a 3 minute walk.
For Mums and Dads waiting while your kids have a lesson Kew has a brilliant section of cafes, shops and pubs as well as the beautiful gardens themselves.
I’m really excited for my own personal studies this year and can’t wait to see more students make their own musical breakthroughs. Happy practicing! Dan
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