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Tips for Up-and-Coming Bassists with Carl Dawkins: Image

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Meet Carl Dawkins –

So this is going to be the last article for a while in this series of tips for the up and coming bass player. Don’t worry there will still be the odd article referring back to it but for the coming few months we will be focusing on performance and stage presence.

For this last article I would like to keep it brief, this is such a wide-spread topic that I could spend days going into detail about everything. So I have tried to give a brief over-view of the subject and for any extra info or just for a chat about any one of my other articles you can email me at carldawkins@live.co.uk

I do hope the advice I have given out over these article have been useful, even if every aspect was not relevant to you. For this last article however we will be having a closer look at a topic we touched on a few months ago – Image.

Now in every case image is different, but the main point that we will be discussing today is that of a plain image compared to that of a more edgy image – both of which I have strived to go for at some point or another in the last 4 years.

Now image is something that very often gets overlooked , sometimes through ignorance or sometimes through the shear fact that one may be very lucky to naturally have his own image and never has to worry about it or morph his image into something else that may be required. From my experience thus far, if your playing live, whether it be in a band, or on TV or striving to be a session player, your image will come into play and may be that deciding factor on getting that gig or not.

I have friends in London who have walked into auditions and before even playing a note been told ‘sorry your not right for this’. Just because of the way they looked. Now I’m not saying its time to go re-evaluate your image, but its just something to take into consideration when applying for a gig…. You wouldn’t turn up for pop act dressed in full gothic clothing…or you might, and you might get the gig…in which case email me! However in the majority of cases its good to try and filter into the sort of image you think they may be after.

If you are looking to join a band or looking to session for artists live, you have to view yourself as a business, as you will be paid for your services. I for one would feel a bit uneasy if you went to walk into a classy restaurant, and found all the waiters were dressed in hot pants…for Hooters it’s acceptable (I love hooters) but if you were greeted with this unexpected welcome as you walked in, you would probably go eat elsewhere.

Now as I said before, a lot of us will have our own style, what we like and don’t like. There is no need to change it just a need to learn how to adapt it. For example I have my lip pierced (it looks very fetching I might add). But for some auditions or gigs I would not wear it, to make myself seem almost a bit normal. For certain types of work it could be required for you to not stand out – where as for other acts (notably Rhianna’s backing band on her tour a few years ago) it may be a good thing to have a more diverse ‘edgy look’. These little changes could be an advantage – after all they say first impressions are everything.

Skip to 8.00 minutes and you get a clear view of members of her backing band – take note that their all different and have there own unique style while still fitting in….looking at that video though I think I may of stolen the keyboard players haircut…

There is no right or wrong image to go for, you just have to be yourself, and the main thing is that you’re comfortable unless you’re working for Lady Gaga and your wearing doll’s house on your head. At the end of the day you are a package, and you may never know why you did or didn’t get the gig, but if you can walk in to any audition knowing you have done all you can then eventually you will find the right band/session for you.

Bass CDs

Album: John Entwistle, Rarities Oxhumed – Volume Two

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Album- John Entwistle, Rarities Oxhumed - Volume Two

Album: John Entwistle, Rarities Oxhumed – Volume Two

Rarities Oxhumed – Volume Two is the second of the series of posthumous releases coming from John Entwistle.

Rarities Oxhumed – Volume Two is a compilation that was curated by drummer Steve Luongo, who served as John Entwistle’s producer, bandmate, business partner and good friend for many years. As Luongo states, “When I agreed to do two volumes of John Entwistle rarities, I knew volume two had to be even better than volume one. It is!” The collection of songs on Volume Two are from his years with the John Entwistle Band and include re-mastered versions of studio tracks including “Endless Vacation”, alternate mixes of tracks like “Sometimes”, and live tracks including The Who cuts “Real Me”, “Long Live Rock” and an epic version of “Young Man Blues”. The latest preview track to be released is the Who cut “Had Enough.”

Listen to “Had Enough” here: push.fm/ps/hadenough

Rarities Oxhumed – Volume One was quickly embraced by longtime fans as it featured gems like “Bogey Man” featuring Keith Moon, “Where You Going Now” (demo for the Who), and a raw live version of “Trick of the Light” recorded during the John Entwistle Band’s final tour in 2001. Deko Entertainment is thrilled to have been able to bring both volumes of this unearthed music of John Entwistle to the fans and forever solidify him as one of the greatest rock musicians ever.

For more information, visit online at dekoentertainment.com/john-entwistle

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Bass Videos

Artist Update With Mark Egan, Cross Currents

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Artist Update With Mark Egan, Cross Currents

I am sure many of you are very familiar with Mark Egan as we have been following him and his music for many years now. The last time we chatted was in 2020.

Mark teamed up with drummer Shawn Pelton and guitarist Shane Theriot to produce a new album, “Cross Currents” released on March 8th, 2024. I have been listening to this album in its entirety and it is simply superb (See my review).

Now, I am excited to hear about this project from Mark himself and share this conversation with our bass community in Bass Musician Magazine.

Photo courtesy of Mark Egan

Visit Online:

markegan.com
markegan.bandcamp.com
Apple Music
Amazon Music

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Bass Videos

Review: Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB

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Review: Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB

Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB…

Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB – Hearing protection has always been front and center on my mind because I love music so much, I cannot imagine my life if I were unable to hear.

You might remember back in 2021, we had a good look at the Minuendo Lossless Earplugs featuring adjustable protection. This system has a lot of very good features but there was always the question of how much sound attenuation to choose.

Now, the great folks at Minuendo have come up with a new version of their earplugs that has a set 17dB noise reduction. You still get a lot of the great features of the adjustables but you just don’t have to think about the specific sound level. In addition, this new version of earplugs comes at a very attractive price point.

For more information, visit online at Minuendo.com

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Bass Books

Review: The Bastard Instrument, A Cultural History of the Electric Bass by Brian F Wright 

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Review: The Bastard Instrument, A Cultural History of the Electric Bass by Brian F Wright 

I was intrigued when The Bastard Instrument showed up on my desk… let’s dig in!

When we dive into the history of our beloved instrument, the bass, we find roots that go back as far as the 15th century. This instrument was a member of the violin family and was for the longest time, an acoustic instrument. As the years passed and music changed, there was a need for the instrument to evolve and the electric bass was born.

Comparatively, the electric bass is a relatively new instrument with its earliest appearances dating back to the 1930s and it is exciting to be an electric bass player while this history unfolds around us. Fortunately for us and future generations to come, Professor Brian F. Wright has taken on the herculean task of documenting the trajectory of the electric bass with this excellent book.

The Bastard Instrument presents an extraordinary amount of fine details about the instrument itself, the development of the amplification to handle its output, the pioneers that dared play it, the rapidly evolving music that flourished because of its presence and so much more. 

When I first started reading this book, I noticed that it felt a tad academic, like a textbook (it might be one someday) or a doctoral thesis, but to present all this information accurately, this approach is more than appropriate. Another detail that might be a bit of a spoiler is that the book only gets us up to the late ’60s. I was left wanting more as we know that so much has happened in the bass world since that time frame; I hope there is another volume in the works to get us up to the present!

All in all, “The Bastard Instrument, A Cultural History of the Electric Bass” is a must-read for all of us who play electric bass and understand its essential place in music.

I found that there was a lot that I already knew but also quite a bit that I was unaware of. I believe that to know and understand where you are, you must know the history of exactly how you got here.

Highly recommended.

The Bastard Instrument is available at Amazon.com (beginning July 2024)

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

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