Say Yes to Everything.

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I try to remind myself of this when I am offered musical work with new people.  It happened this month when I was contacted to play bass for the musical Legally Blonde in Sarnia.  I said yes even though I don’t consider myself a great reader.   When I got the a copy of the bass part and started to look through it I wondered if I had bitten of a bit more than I could chew.  I was relieved when I few more experienced theatre bassists chimed in with comments like “busy book”.   I’m glad it wasn’t just me. Read More

Categories: Steve Clark On Bass

Sometimes I don’t understand other musicians.

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There have been a couple of odd situations in the last few years that I am now trying to decide how to handle in the future.   For example, I was asked to play with an artist at a conference.   I learned the tunes, went to a rehearsal and at the last minute was informed that the bass player was available after all.   As far as I know there were no concerns about my ability to do the gig. Read More

Categories: Steve Clark On Bass

Joni Mitchell – River

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It’s closing time.   Today I have 2 more shows at the Grand Theatre for Joni Mitchell – River. I’m glad I have a few gigs booked in November and December that I have to prepare for otherwise I’d be left with a big hole to fill.  There’s nothing like an entire month of work for a musician.  Especially when the venue is just down the street.

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A Summer of Good Intentions

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One of the highlights of my summer was playing the Home County Music & Arts Festival and the Kemptville Music Festival with Lynne Hanson as part of her band The Good Intentions.   I’ve played the Home County Festival several times over the years so it was great to be back there again sharing a stage with Lynne and the wonderful guitarist Dan Artuso.  Lynne writes some great music with Murder Ballads that are full of confessional lyrics and the tunes are great to play.  I get to do a lot of different musical things but I would have to say my favourite musical experience is to work with songwriters who have something to say.   There’s a new song we played that brought a tear to my eye on a couple of occasions.  Read More

My Singing Monsters

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Recently I had the chance to add a double bass part to a mobile game.  Big Blue Bubble’s game My Singing Monsters has literally millions of users around the world.  My son,  Sam Clark, has been working for Big Blue Bubble for almost a year as their in house audio engineer.  As the commercial says it really is priceless to work on a session with my son for a game with as high a profile as My Singing Monsters. Read More

Practice Summary Dec 2015

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I’ve kept busy rehearsing for shows, touring and learning music for the last month.  I took a different approach to learning some of the tunes.   If time is limited I usually sit with my bass and play the tunes over and over but this time I added a step.  I listened to the tunes away from my bass.  I’d listen in the car while on the road or sit with iTunes and review the tunes.  My goal was to learn the chord progressions by listening and then confirming on my bass later.   Then I play the tunes over and over trying to internalize the verse and chorus.

I was successful learning parts of tunes for Emm Gryner’s shows while on a 4 hour car ride but still needed to refer to notes for Lynne Hanson’s shows.  I play with Lynne again in April so I better get at it if I want to get away from those notes.  I consider my ability to hear quickly the weakest part of my playing so learning tunes off the bass can only improve that part of my role as a bass player.   Ideally I’d like to get to the point with any artist where I customize my set list and only need to add the keys of the tunes.  For Rant Maggie Rant I’ve played the tunes for a few years so don’t really need notes but I still make my set list with keys for the tunes. Read More

Ground Control to Major Tom

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There can be magic moments when you play music.  It might be a special venue or a moment when you feel like you can do no wrong when you are playing.  Both can be quite rare especially the latter!   Other times it’s the people you meet and get to play with.   I’m lucky enough to work with singer/songwriter Emm Gryner from time to time.  I’ve lost count of how many albums she has released under her name and to watch her perform on stage really is one of those magic moments.

Last year Emm and Chris Hadfield released a version of Space Oddity.  Emm played the piano parts and NASA sent those to the International Space Station where Chris recorded his vocals.   Emm played in Bowie’s band for a time and he gave permission for them to release the track.

So one of my magic moments for this year was playing Space Oddity on a live show with Emm and Chris.

 

John Dymond Interview (Part 3)

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In the third and final part of my Q & A, John tells us what makes a good bass player and a few other topics.  There’s a bit of gear talk as well.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this interview.  I’ll do more of these in the future and get other bassists takes on similar questions if they are willing.

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Categories: Steve Clark On Bass