Global Bass Online September 2000
by Dann Glenn
.....so I'm in a showband on tour. We're playing Kansas City and staying at the Sheraton downtown with the cool restaurant at the top that slowly does a 360 while you eat. Best kept secret in town. What a view. Only one...not three.
Before and after the shows all I did was practice while watching the TV with the sound off. I also would read quite a bit. Once I was reading a story about fretless legend Percy Jones who was on tour with the British fusion band Brand X. Man....it was so inspirational to read about him and drink in the frozen history of the photos with his face grimacing as he coaxed un-worldly notes and sounds from his trusty Wal fretless.
Fast forward years later. John Goodsall (guitarist legend from Brand X) and I have a band together. He calls and says he's bringing someone by that "I should meet." "Cool"....I'm thinking. "Wonder who it could be. Hmm...maybe the Dali Lama, or even the Dolly Parton."
I'm sitting in my apartment in North Hollywood playing my bass when the doorbell rings. (Actually it was supposed to ring, but always sounded more like a clunk) My wife, Françoise, answers the door and in walks John Goodsall with non-other than Percy Jones in tow. John announces in his thick British accent..."Dann Glenn...this is Percy Jones." I just sat there for a minute in a trance staring up at him until my wife cleared her throat in that "you're acting like a star-struck imbecile" kind of sound only wives can make. I spring up off the couch and shake Percy's hand. I don't know why (maybe nervousness) but I handed him my bass. He took it played it for a moment and handed it back saying..."yeah this is nice Dann." A wonderful visit ensued and we became fast friends to this very day.
I had a parallel experience meeting Jeff Berlin for the first time. We are also good friends and (as Jeff puts it) colleagues.
I have had other players that I'm now good friends with tell me similar stories about their experience in first encountering myself.
What's my point? I have no point...I just like watching the words pop onto the page. No....I'm kidding....my point is simply the thing that directs us towards those that we should or should not know is our most powerful entity. The Spirit. It guides us well only as long as we are conscious enough to be aware of it, and sub-conscious enough not to get in it's way.
Please remember this when you're trying to gather the courage to write or approach someone you feel a simpatico with, yet are feeling trepidation in hitting the send button or taking that first step. If you get no response or a "what do you want" it's not necessarily bad. No, not at all, my friends. It's just the Spirit voting NO on this particular person.
Listening to the Spirit is akin to the "popular vote" of your psyche rather than the "delegates" of your ego. The deeper you listen the more you won't hear. It's that silence that will give you an azimuth for a true course in your artistry. Being influenced by those whom we admire yet who are holding us secretly in contempt is going to backfire. When these "backfires" occur they are sometimes powerful enough to take us off course.
Have you ever wondered why you chose the bass instead of one of the bazillion other instruments you could have decided upon? It goes deeper than just a set of circumstantial stories we all have to tell. Much deeper indeed.
You see being attracted to the bass shows that you are grounded. Think about it. It's a subharmonic voice, is it not? Case closed.
Being grounded is a form of power not to be taken lightly. What happens if the band is flailing away and you decide to change just one root note? That's right...it effects and ultimately changes everything in a most profound way. One note. Now that's power. Please remember this the next time your watching one of your band mates make those ridiculous faces while soloing as if they might actually be impacting the axis of the planet with their note choices.
I've had some cats tell me they "never play the bass alone"..."can't think of anything to play without an ensemble." I ask them "so if you're in a canoe drifting around in the middle of a lake, you'll just contemplate the oar?" Enough said.
At the inception of this new millennium we are graced with more choices, vehicles, technologies, and miss-information than ever before. It takes but a split second to make a bad decision that may take much longer to correct. The pedantic self is much more apt to come up with a bad note choice just as the spiritual self will choose something wonderful you didn't know was in you. That's because it was never in you to begin with. It was without you. That's where all the great stuff is, my friends. All you can conjure up from within is a different version of something already known.
The spirit pulls in new and untested ideas, feelings, emotions, and more. Call it inspiration, call it what you like...the bass player that takes full advantage of their instrument is the one who plays from the spirit...not from the ego.
...and of LightWave Optical Pickups, Dann says,
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