A bass player whose work has been praised by Thunderrow.com, NoTreble, Indie Music Mag and others, Aaron’s work is clearly something special. I first caught one of Aaron’s videos as it came up as a suggested video to watch on Youtube. I remember being instantly hooked at what I was seeing and hearing. A person with an Alembic bass standing up to a single microphone singing while strumming, slapping and tapping his bass. The bass seemed less like a bass guitar and simply an instrument; a crayon that Gibson chose to paint his musical picture with.
In the world of solo bass where instrumental jazz and funk are the most common genres to go to, to find a solo bassist who seems to do neither of those things and instead something you’ll find solo guitar players doing was certainly a treat to see. As I’ve written about before, finding bass players who are doing something totally unique from the status quo is a rarity.
I had a chance to reach out to Aaron to ask if he’d like to participate in a How I Play segment. Below you’ll find Aarons gear rundown, his favorite books and an awesome illustration of Aaron in his practice space.
1. WHERE ARE YOU CURRENTLY LOCATED?
Presently, I am rehearsing and recording ten songs for a new album. A project which, admittedly, is taking far too long, as my family and I are preparing to move away from our home in the Pacific Northwest.
2. WHAT IS ONE WORD THAT DESCRIBES YOUR PLAYING?
One word to describe my playing? I would hope to say “melodic” or “musical”, but in truth iit might be closer to “sloppy”.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF GEAR AT THE MOMENT?
My bass is an Alembic “Special Edition” Epic, I have a Mesa Boogie Walkabout Scout, and I won a new cable and a great Access gig bag at the last LoDo Bass Bash. That’s all the gear that I have. I have had my Alembic since ’98 and it is not only a fantastic tool, but has become a part of who I am as a player.
5. WHAT IS YOUR PRACTICE SPACE LIKE?
I have a tiny house, so my practice space and studio are tucked away in the corner of my bedroom. My poor wife has always had to live with music gear as furniture. Lucky for her, I am now a minimalist.
6. WHAT ALBUM ARE YOU CURRENTLY LISTENING TO?
Right now I am listening to Key Lime Pie from Camper Van Beethoven.
7. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
I just finished reading Earth Abides by George R. Stewart.
8. I’d love to see ____ answer these questions.
Well, you’d get some fanciful and entertaining answers from someone like Scott Fernandez. But I would hit up some other great solo bassists like Darren Michaels, Scott Varney or C3 (the bassist with the 24 string WTF bass).
9. WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
The best advice that I have ever received was from my old producer when we were discussing the musical direction of the project we were working on. While discussing the songs, he asked “ Do you want ten big fans in Portland, or do you want to make a living?” The suggestion was designed to get me to simplify my songs to be more listenable.
How I Play is a new segment for Smart Bass Guitar where we ask bass players to introduce themselves, share their practice tips, rig setups, favorite music and more. Want to be featured as part of “How I Play”, send an email to [email protected] with the headline, “How I Play”.
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