I was very happy to be included as one of the players in Bass Guitar Magazine this month! I've included the clip of "Hurricane" below :)
Absolutely no excuses for the blog silence on my part, I have been in rehearsals and on tour with a completely new and interesting artist called Soom T!
Soom's style is an unusual mash of 8 bit dub reggae, pop and guzhal - however on the initial listen I had it down as pop, easy peasy, job done. And yet, life is not that simple! Once in rehearsals, the massive reggae influence behind her writing began to shine through and after a few more rehearsals and listening back to some recordings, the placement of the bass in the music (for me) became a bit of an obsession.
Let me explain...
Reggae is one of those styles that I personally feel you can either play or you can't. It's as simple as that. The culture and vibe behind the placement of each individual note is not easily imitated and it is not as simple as simply "playing further behind the beat". I actually found myself almost swaggering around the stage trying to find that perfect placement (which you will be able to see in videos online!). As well as the placement, when you have the drummer on click and a quantised baseline on track, and a keyboardist's left hand hammering away..this seems like an impossible job! However it was one that I could focus on night after night - sometimes I got it and sometimes I didn't! A lifetime's work I think!
Anyway, please have a look at some tour highlights below. we've got a huge number of shows lined this summer and I promise I will at least try to give some updates and/or thoughts for my readers!.
Further tour dates: https://www.facebook.com/SoomTMusic
Having played bass for a while, I have found that it's very easy to get stuck in a pattern usually as follows:
1) Have songs to learn for gigs.
2) Learn songs (or what I call the "Noddy version", every nuance isn't picked up but the chords are followed and it's very easy to just "get through the tune").
3) Drink tea.
4) Do gig.
5) Get paid.
While this is a relatively fool-proof way of performing, it doesn't really speak to the musician within and neither is it a good way to develop good playing technique or practice. In fact I have found over the last year or so that I have fallen into bad habits.. something I am now taking the time to remedy.
So, I have begun a new regime of exercises before practice, namely technical to help my left and right hand co-ordinate. I've included some of the links I've been using below, namely Josh Fossgreen and Scott Devine who put up some excellent (and musical!) YouTube vides.
So the interview that I mentioned in my last update has come through - I have the pdf scans for you to have a look at (in Swedish!) and the translation below. Massive thanks to Tom Holmberg, we spent 3 hours in the restaurant of a hotel talking bass, music, production.. If he had put everything down that I had said, I'd be promoting my new book instead!
Translation courtesy of the mighty Vicky Neon!
Kat Bax - a bass player's confessions
At school, I would leave my essays to the last minute and as blogs have no "hand in date", the inevitable happens and nothing gets done. I am my own master etc etc.
However I would love to update you all what I have been doing over the last few months as there have been some shifts in my own well trodden path and stepping outside of my comfort zone is becoming a more familiar place!
Back in September of this year, I did an interview with a thoroughly entertaining man called Tom Holmberg who writes for a newspaper in Finland (more on that later!). He asked me what I would like to do more of this year, and I said that I would like to record more as the vast (if not all) of my playing this year has been live. The next week I was asked to play on Johnny Ashby's new album (http://www.johnnyashby.co.uk) and although I had some reservations initially.. I accepted and cracked through 7 tracks in 6 hours. I know that muso heavyweights will consider this recording time perhaps a little feeble, however having not really heard the tracks before, I was so pleased with my tone and ideas that came out on the day. I went on to play with Johnny at the St Mary's church in Ealing and then later on again Upstairs at Ronnie Scotts (again, more links to follow!). A great experience all round and one that has lead to me being requested to play on Paul Adams' album in the New Year.
I did a promotional video shoot for the beautiful SHE band (http://shefunctionband.com/) in November this year. I love working with Keisher (the band leader) as she is always pushing me to become better and stronger in my playing, and I know that I will always look beautiful on any gigs with her. I have shared some photos below (with massive thanks to DK - @dreamkiddmc)