Experimental MusicAug 01, 2019
To the extent that I have a reputation for anything amongst my musician friends, it's for practicing as little as possible. What began as a matter of disposition in my twenties has become a practicality in my fifties, when time seems to be the scarcest resource of all. One summer at the National Guitar Workshop, I wandered into a bass clinic with Anthony Jackson. Aside from a pretty excellent story about how his mentor broke in new bass strings (too long to recount here; suffice to say it involved flatwounds, a great deal of patience and a not insignificant quantity of butter), his most memorable advice to the predominantly teen-aged crowd was: "Get your parents to buy you as much gear as possible! You won't have the money for it yourself when you get out of school." If I were to give my own advice now to any kid optimistic enough to pursue music professionally, I'd tell them: "Practice all you can, while you still have the time."