While bass is my primary instrument, I tend to think of myself as a musician who happens to play bass. When I play music, my focus is on exactly that: playing music. The bass, and my performance on it, is just one small aspect of that bigger picture. The fact that I’m playing bass is really secondary to the whole that the group that I happen to playing in at the time is trying to create. I was a musician long before I ever picked up a bass, so I got the opportunity to look at music from a number of different vantage points before settling into my current role as a bass player. Having those different perspectives really helped me understand the role of the bass as I see it: it is the instrument that lays the harmonic and rhythmic foundation and allows the other, more directly accessible aspects of the music, most notably the melody, to come to the forefront. In my mind, you’re not really supposed to notice me. You’re supposed to notice the song, or the soloist, or the singer. My job is to hold them up so that you can see them. If I really do my job well, you hardly notice me at all.
Long before I started playing bass, I studied classical violin (I started at the age of 5) and classical and jazz piano. When I was 15 I took theory and harmony at the (now defunct) Dick Grove School of Music. I switched over to guitar, and eventually landed on bass at the age of 16. I really cut my teeth as a professional musician as a pit musician and musical director for musical theater productions around Los Angeles, where I developed my chart reading, piano, and conducting skills. This was a great learning experience for me, because where other young musicians were learning pop songs by ear (which I did as well,) I had to struggle through books of charts written for vocalists and instrumentalists in all clefs. I had to become a strong reader, and I had to familiarize myself with lots of different styles of music, and I often had to do it all very quickly. It was an invaluable experience. By the time I was 18, I had a really solid understanding of lots of grooves and musical styles, and none of it came from a classroom. It was all hands on.
In my twenties, I was admitted to the jazz department of California State University Northridge, where Gary Pratt insisted that I learn how to play upright. I studied under him, and Oscar Meza, Assistant Principal Bassist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Playing upright really opened up my horizons, and made me at least twice as employable, if not more. I got bowing skills, and played a enormous amount of demanding orchestral music.
Now I make my living playing and teaching bass. I teach privately from my home, and spend the rest of the time doing recording sessions, playing jazz casuals, and touring with an amazing Tribute to U2. Take a look through my site, listen to some music, and be in touch!