On the bass

What happens when you lose a bassist in a band, but know of somebody who wants to learn to play the instrument? Well, you do your best to get that person a bass and you better know how to play the thing.

That's what has happened in my current band project. Mike from the Pull Tabs politely decided to leave the current project Ryan and I have had going since the Pull Tabs played for the (possibly) final time a few months ago. The music is pretty different and the approach is different, but I'm still enjoying it. And we're doing it from the luxury of my house.

A while back, an idea floated around with forming a doom metal side project with Diana on bass. She had the interest and the desire to learn, so with Mike out of the picture on bass, we decided to teach her the bass first and foremost. Whether or not we actually will play doom metal is moot at this point; we want to play what we want to play.

The thing with bass is that neither Ryan nor I are proficient on bass. I think it's safe to say we could wing it through a band situation that played punk or grunge, but we are definitely no John Myung or James Jamerson. Not even by a mile. When Collective Soul, Bush, and Silverchair were my entry points with how a guitar and bass can play in a rock band, the basics are going to be very basic.

Luckily, Diana, being the pro that she is with everything she wants to do, has taken quite well to the bass. Borrowing a bass and amp from a friend, we have begun to teach a few things about how to play. She understands basic rhythm and has a desire to learn more about the bass and bass lines themselves. Score!

Previously, I had unfortunate luck playing with people on bass before who weren't bass players. Whether the person just sang or just played guitar before, usually there was an element of begging simply to have the low end represented in a band situation.

There was no begging with Diana, and we're going to take our time learning to play together and play something we like. I like the pace and I'm happy to still be playing with people. Playing by yourself can only go so far, you know?