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Bass Musician Magazine: Apr/May 2010 Featuring Dave LaRue

Jake: You have just recently re-released your CD, “Hub City Kid”, and the two new tracks you’ve included, which I believe are Bombast and First Tomorrow, flaunt the all bass approach compositionally. Is this a fairly new direction for you, musically speaking?

Dave: Not necessarily, and I do want to do more of that. I kept it that way for these two new tracks because I didn’t want to do any new “band” tracks for this CD. I didn’t want to change the vibe, or make it sound like, here’s a band from 2010. So I kept the focus more around it just being the bass, doing the solo thing. Hopefully, in a sense, it becomes more an “addition” to the record than “changing” the record.

Jake: You’ve been teaching for quite some time now, doing both clinics for Musicman as well as correspondence students. Has your approach as an instructor changed over the years in your opinion?

Dave: Like we were talking about earlier, the evolution for each of us as musicians, and the time we’ve spent learning, creeps into any presentation we’ll do. Referring to the clinics especially; when I do those, I try to keep the format loose, because there will always be people at various levels, beginners to very advanced players. And so I don’t want to go in there with any kind of agenda. I want to be able to address the concerns of all those levels. I actually went to a clinic to watch a player that I knew, and greatly admired, and he had everything very worked out for the clinic, including a handout of some very seriously advanced concepts. I took this home myself and spend some time on it, and was quite overwhelmed by what he presented. But I noticed that there were a lot of kids at this clinic that had no clue what he was talking about. So what I took away from that experience was that I need to be able to talk to everybody. And hopefully, that makes an interesting clinic for everybody involved. So most of the time, I’m just winging it. But I’m always trying to address everybody’s concerns.

Jake: A subject I’ve covered in a lot of my interviews is the relevance of appreciating and understanding multiple genres, and we’ve already briefly talked about this. I know the Dregs certainly went there. What are your thoughts on the advantages of diversifying musically, and beyond for that matter?

Dave: I tell my students that they need to be diverse for a number of reasons. First of all, diversifying is critical as far as making a living is concerned. You need to be able to do a lot of different things if you want to survive, at least that has been my philosophy, and it’s the only way I’ve been able to make a good living being in the business. Plus, I think anyone that doesn’t appreciate all varieties of music, and try to learn them and play them authentically, end up missing a lot of the canvas, or color of music. It’s just good to appreciate everything because there’s so much good stuff out there. So I try to teach my students to keep an open mind in that area. If they want to work, they’re going to have to be diverse. It gets to be about trying to meet the challenge of playing all styles, as well as realizing the cool aspects of playing all styles, no matter how simplistic some things may seem. Another aspect is something we talked about earlier, about getting into the recording thing. The more you know about that part of the process, the more valuable you become to everybody you work for. Learn to help the engineer get your stuff down. The more professional you are in the studio, the quicker you get your sound, the more you’re saving people money… you become an asset to them. All these different aspects need to be taken seriously, and I really try to stress that.

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