My interest in playing my own songs has taken a back seat to playing bass. I have come to realize I have always loved bass and some of my favourite songs stood out because of their great bass lines. At concerts I would find myself spending more time that normal watching the bass player. I loved the groove. Strangely, I never thought I could learn to play the bass. It does involve adding a new set of calluses onto my already severely callused fingers. My goal has been to learn a song a week but there is a drawback to playing bass. It permeates the entire house. Jill came home one day and said she could hear me in the car as she drove up the driveway. This week I found a solution. I bought a pair of Sony open headphones, which allows me to hear normally so I can play along with songs on my computer but my bass is only heard by me.
My bass guitars are a Fender Jazz with flat-wound strings and a fretless Stagg. The Stagg is like driving on a road without speed bumps, a bit of a challenge but the tonal rewards are incredibly satisfying.
Songwriting is now low on my priority but when songs like the bluesy Automobile, present themselves on the bass, I follow the same process to completion. I couldn't have written this song on guitar, which proves that new instruments inspire new songs. And it sure is a big thrill when you hear the song come alive with guitars and percussion during jam sessions with Paul McKeracher (rhythm electric guitar), Andy Robillard (vocals/ lead guitar), and Bruce Davies (cajon).
Adam Shaw and Andy Robillard have regular gigs at O'Brien's, a quaint Fergus pub, and I have been joining them on bass. Playing as a sideman has been a ton of fun and has inspired me on to keep learning as much as I can about my instrument. Three more dates at O'Brien's are scheduled for the balance of 2012 and are listed on my gig page, Sept 22, Oct 6, Nov 3.