As the world continues to recover from the Coronavirus, we're all finding ourselves in unfamiliar territory given the subsequent lockdown that is keeping us off of stages and confined to our homes. Luckily, there's comfort in the fact that we're all in this together, and that there are still many outlets for us musicians to keep us active and sane throughout this quarantine. We're checking in with bass players from all over the world to see what they're doing to stay entertained, healthy, productive, and safe during this trying time.
Bass Player: Brad Russell
Bands & Artists: Pat Travers, Rick Derringer, Joe Satriani, Clarence Clemons, Solo artist
Home: New York City & Detorit
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
I’m currently teaching for Detroit Institute of Music Education, a.k.a. DIME. After the lockdown the college went online for all classes. I also teach private bass students via Facetime and Zoom.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
My bass practice routine consists of what I can already play well and what I cannot. What I can play well I practice to play even better, and what I struggle with I practice to improve upon, usually in small increments.
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
I listen to classical music, like Bach and Vivaldi; the music is timeless and so well crafted. Recently I’ve been revisiting music from my youth that had a great incluence on me, such as Stanley Clarke, Jaco and Weather Report, Pat Metheny, Miles Davis, Eddie Van Halen, and Billy Sheehan. I find I now listen to this music with a different set of ears—hopefully more developed—and much of this music is even more impressive than it was then!
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I've been playing a very cool Ferrari yellow Dingwall Combustion 5-string and a rare, 24-fret Fender Jazz Bass with Seymour Duncan Bassline pickups.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
I recommend jumping rope, jogging, and shadow boxing—I used to box in the Golden Gloves competitions. Aall of these are great cardio, and you don’t need to be in a gym.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
I’ll continue teaching bass in college and privately. I’m also going to finish an EP with drummer Aquiles Priester. And I plan on getting more involved in clinics.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
I find I'm doing many of the same stuff I’ve always been doing; I always practice, teach online, and share videos of my playing on social media. Pushing yourself and challenging yourself is a great way to stay motivated, focused, and be in the moment. But be sure to take some downtime, too, to decompress.
Follow Brad: Here
All Check-Ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria and Chris Jisi.