ricky minor

Ricky Minor, former musical director for American Idol and bandleader for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, is a great example of a bassist successfully serving as MD on high-profile gigs.

Does being at home between the rhythm section and the melodic instruments make bassists uniquely qualified to listen objectively?

As someone who left his native country to pursue music in the U.S., and who spends most of his life on the road, my definition of “home" is an interesting one. For me, home boils down to an environment where I'm most at ease in my own skin. For me, that's the stage, with the drummer to my right, my amp behind me, and the singer and familiar view of the crowd in front of me.

The physical, musical, and mental state of being right at home between the rhythm section and the lead/melodic instruments is why bassists make great musical directors (“MDs") and bandleaders. Linking the rhythmic and harmonic elements is a natural evolution of our job, and is what we do best. Many superstars have bassists for musical directors, as do some of the biggest TV shows.

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