I would like to wish you all a very warm welcome to my new column, Biscuit’s Bass Business, where I will be covering topics that will assist those of you wishing to become a professional bass player. In my first few columns I will be aiming mainly at the less experienced bass-bashers among you, but I’ll be catching up with you longer-term players very soon – so please bear with me: all will be revealed!
I’m a great believer in the old saying that if you want something badly enough, you’ll get it in the end. With that in mind, let’s get down to business. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway for the sake of total transparency) that in order to turn your bass-playing hobby into a business, your playing ability needs to be at a very high level. You’ll also need to attain as much knowledge of different genres of music as you can. These things will take quite some time – probably years and possibly decades – but they’re paramount should you wish to pursue a career in music. The more adaptable you are, the better your chances of being offered more varied and lucrative work. And ‘work’ is the key word here. This is no walk in the park. To achieve your ambition of becoming a professional musician, you’ll need to put in a great deal of effort, leading to many a sore finger or three – but I can assure you that if your dream is to become a full-time bass player, then it is worth every minute of your time and commitment. The good news is that with enough serious commitment you can become the professional musician that you always wanted to be.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that all you have to do is become the best bassist in the world and then everything will fall into place. Even if you get to the point where you can play every bass-line known to mankind at 100mph, there is still much to learn. It will take a lot more than that to maintain a constant workload and in doing so sustaining a regular income, but never forget: it is possible.
The world is full of talented bass players, but most of them are shredding away at home, driving their neighbours insane, but there is so much more to it than that. You’ll need to be recognised musically, visually and verbally, and these are the issues that I’ll be going into in more detail in subsequent columns. Stay tuned my friends!
Gary ‘Biscuit’ Bennett is a freelance bass guitarist and tutor, covering Essex, London and the south-east, with many years of experience in the music industry under his belt. His CV includes hundreds of live performances and many domestic and international recording sessions. Awarded the title of Hartke’s ‘Best Unsigned Bass Player Worldwide 2008’, Biscuit is currently an endorsing artist for Hartke, D’Addario, Planet Waves, Boss, Essential Sound Products and Hypnotic. Contact: @biscuitisation