There are a lot of really really bad bass teachers around. I know ‘cos I end up having to undo their efforts when students come to me with some really twisted ways of thinking about music, and some odd ideas about the student teacher relationship. So it’s great when I find a teacher who is speaking the same language as me.
Ed Friedland is arguably the best bass tuition book writer working today. His books are always full of great material, and contain precious little filler material. I recommend them highly. He’s also an amazing player (come on Ed, do a solo album NOW!!), but I’d ever read the page about private teaching on his site before. Go and read it – he says all the right things, and I’m certain he lives up to them. It’s just a shame he lives in Tempe Arizona, or I’d definitely take a lesson or two with him.
Maybe I should start a list of teachers I would recommend. It’d be a pretty short list at the moment, given that I don’t really know that many other teachers, and even fewer whose work I would vouch for.
Todd Johnson is another bass teacher I admire greatly, and the only person I’ve had a bass lesson from since I left college. He’s also one of my favourite bassists, and has recently released an amazing CD along with Kristin Korb called ‘Get Happy’ – you can get it from Todd’s website – it’s one of my favourite CDs of the last year, and shows just how adept a chordal instrument 6 string bass is – Todd’s bass arguably sounds better than a guitar would along with Kristin’s voice as it stays out of her range, leaving more room for her. Add to that Kristin’s marvellous swinging upright bass playing and Kendall Kaye’s drumming and you’ve got one fantastic record. Again, it’s a shame that Todd’s tucked away in the mountains above Los Angeles, or I’d be getting regular lessons with him too!
soundtrack – McGill/Manring/Stevens, ‘Controlled By Radar'; Jonatha Brooke, ‘Back In The Circus’ and ‘Plumb’ (don’t forget she’s playing a load of gigs in London, starting next Tuesday!!!!); Erin McKeown, ‘Grand'; Renaud Garcia Fons, ‘Entremundo’ and ‘Oriental Bass’ (Renaud is my new bass hero – the most frightening chops and musicality that I’ve ever heard from an upright bassist. Get these CDs!!)by