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: Eva Gardner
Bands & Artists: Pink, Gwen Stefani, Cher, The Mars Volta, Tegan and Sara, Moby
Home: Los Angeles, CA
What have you been doing to keep yourself occupied during the lockdown?
I’m taking an online music engineering course, so I’m working on my recording and mixing skills, and getting to know my DAW better. I’m currently using Logic. I’ve also been doing lots of writing, so that’s been going hand in hand with the recording/mixing work.
What have you been working on in your personal bass practice?
I’ve been working on my reading and doing exercises to keep my chops up!
Which bass have you been playing the most right now?
I’ve been digging the Fender American Performer Precision with a maple fretboard. I’m usually a stickler for a rosewood fretboard but I’m really enjoying the change. It’s a very different sounding bass to my usual standard Precision and it’s been fun to explore.
What music have you been listening to through this?
I’ve been mostly listening to uplifting and empowering podcasts, spiritual speakers/coaches and meditation music. I feel the need to stay calm and centered right now, and these are the things that offer support. I’ve also been listening to local radio because that provides a sense of connection to the “outside world.” On the music side, it’s been Nick Drake (Pink Moon, Five Leaves Left), Chet Baker (Chet Baker Sings), Paolo Nutini (Sunny Side Up), and Tom Petty (Wildflowers).
What non-musical things have you been doing to stay busy?
Painting, cooking, reading, yoga, Qi Gong, walking my dogs, taking online personal growth courses, and video chatting with family and friends.
What books, shows, or movie recommendations do you have for us?
I’ve been watching Westworld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Libraries are an excellent resource right now. You can borrow materials for free (audiobooks, e-books, music, movies, etc.) electronically through Hoopla. You can also visit your local library's website and borrow from them directly. I’m currently reading The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I’ve been loving his suggested morning routine to maintain inspiration and motivation.
What’s the best advice you’d give to musicians during this time?
I see this time as an opportunity to grow and expand our knowledge! There are quite a few free resources online. Also don’t forget to move! It’s easy to get stuck into just sitting around right now, but it’s helpful for our mind/body/spirit to keep movement in our daily activities. Gyms and fitness studios have moved classes online if group activity is your thing. Insight Timer app has lots of free meditations. Roland & Skoove are offering free piano lessons: HERE And Ivy League schools are offering free online courses: HERE.
What are you most looking forward to when this all passes?
I’m looking forward to being able to reconnect with people in social settings! All of the small things that we took for granted - like going for coffee with a friend – will surely be savored when this is over. We are tribal, social beings. Being a musician and sharing live music with people is part of that – I’m really looking forward to being able to perform again!
What’s your best advice for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Knowing that the only constant is change is always helpful for me. We are going through a global shift and these might be something akin to growing pains. But we will get through it. It helps to see this as an opportunity to shift our focus and better ourselves by spending time reflecting on our priorities, learning new skills, and/or getting better at things we already enjoy. This is potentially a time of vast creativity and productivity!
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All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi