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: Jeff Ganz
Bands & Artists: The Village People, Johnny Winter, Roy Buchanan, John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Gerry Mulligan, Marvin Hamlisch, Cleo Laine, Ben Vereen, Vanilla Fudge, Blood, Sweat & Tears, The Hit Men
Home: St. Augustine, Florida
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
In addition to working on my own music, I’ve been doing different kinds of projects online for folks near and far, which include bass tracks, production, composing, arranging, mixing, and mastering.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
Some of these projects are extremely demanding in terms of bass technique, so “woodshedding” the bass parts to get the performances as good as possible is a top practicing priority.
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
I’m very eclectic, musically. I always turn to deep cuts of all kinds, which include surf music, renaissance music, ambient music, British Invasion, ’30s swing, Dixieland, “Brill Building,” and “Wrecking Crew” recordings. I always feel better when I listen to Bill Laswell, Bill Frisell, Tete Montoliu, Zoot Sims, Link Wray, and Ralph Towner.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I’m enthusiastically paying attention to my “Desert Island Basses,” which are my three Hondo 8-string basses (one is fretless), my three Gibson EB3-Ls (one is fretless), and my Yamaha and Samick piccolo basses.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
I always can find something great on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube to deep-dive into. Now that I’ve left New York City and moved to St. Augustine, Florida, getting outside is way more feasible; biking and walking are high on the list of physical activity.
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
I’m looking forward to returning to the road with The Hit Men [www.thehitmenlive.com]. I’m also working on a project for The Phil Ashley Orchestra, soon to be released. Locally in Florida, when I’m not traveling, I work a lot with guitarist/vocalist Rick Levy, who tours with The Box Tops.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
The best guidance, in my humble opinion, is for all of us to get back to playing for the reasons why we started, and not just to learn skills to “get gigs.” Being “stuck with being you” is a good thing!
Read all 100+ Bass Magazine Check-in Features: Here
All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi