bass player advice

Anthony Tidd backstage in Denmark with his custom Martin Petersen-built Sei bass.

In this introductory installment, our new columnist Anthony Tidd considers his own path to discovering the most important role of the bass—and it’s not lightning-fast technique!

In a world where Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are literally saturated with teens and younger kids who have bass chops capable of scaring most grown bassists into an early grave, the prospects of ever becoming the next to achieve Jameson- or Jaco-level status seem bleak. Last week, a friend sent me a video of a very young girl ripping through John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” solo as Coltrane played along in the background. She sounded great, and so did Coltrane! I, too, learned that solo in my late teens, so I know firsthand how hard it is to play up to speed, but she did it with a smile and made it look easy.

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