Before I start this blog entry let me preface by saying I have been very blessed in my life to have been given the musical opportunities that I have been. When I was 5 until I was 16 I took classical piano lessons from a professor of music that was trained in Italy (he was from Italy - Professor Romeo Fracalanza). When I was 12 I began viola in school and took that until I was a senior in high school. I was in choir from grade 6 onward in school and my vocal teacher in high school was completely brilliant and now tours (rather successfully) as a tenor opera singer. I also took 2 years of classical guitar in high school. Like I said, I've been very blessed in my musical opportunities.
@jencutler1asked me tonight on twitter how long I've been playing bass for. Tihs is a rather difficult question to answer for me. I took double upright bass for about 6 months in public school in grade 8. I switched public schools for the first half of grade 8 and my class had no bass players in it. Since I read music, I offered to the teacher to play bass so that my class would have a bass player. I switched back to my old school later in grade 8 and my old music teacher decided that she wanted me back on viola (read: "Control freak") and so my bass playing days came to a screeching (albeit temporary) halt. In high school my friend Nat dated a guy who's brother played bass and I frequently played around on his bass. But I think that was when I was about 15 or 16...and since then...I haven't played.
In May about a month before my 40th birthday in June my husband (as I have previously blogged) bought me my beautiful, gorgeous, stunning bass that has been dubbed "Rio". Rio is dark brown Peavey 4 string BXP bass guitar very much like the one our lovely John Taylor plays currently.
I feel... like I have forgotten how to play bass. I don't feel like I'm LEARNING to play...although I am. I feel more like I'm remembering...and its as odd for me to write that as it is for you to read it.
Since I started in earnest back in May, I have learned (by Duran) via a youtube tutorial how to play: Serious. By ear I taught myself: Safe and All you Need is Now. I'm currently working on Save a Prayer as well as Come Together by The Beatles. I sat one day and also taught myself Love Removal Machine by The Cult but to be honest as much as I adore the song, after learning a Duran Duran song...the line in The Cult song was a snoozefest. So I left it behind. But it's another song I can play.
I enjoy a challenge musically. So who better to have as your idol for bass playing than someone who has been noted by others as a brilliant player but makes things far more elaborate than they need to be? (Yes that has been said about John). But in my opinion that "elaborateness" is what lends itself as an integral part of Duran's original and unique sound that I've always loved.
So in answer to your question Jen... "in total" I guess it's been close to 2 years that I've played. Mostly self taught, although I did have classes at school on the double (upright) bass. But honestly...truthfully it feels oddly like it's what I've always done and known how to do.
One Last Glimpse,