Our PR & Marketing Account Manager Anna talks about her love of bass, classic rock music and being in a cover band on the Yorkshire music scene.
To paraphrase John Miles’ 1976 single and top-ten UK hit, music truly was my first love.
It started at a very young age when my non-musical, music-loving parents decided their second born was not going to share the same instrument-less fate. They enrolled me, just shy of my third birthday, to receive violin tuition by the Suzuki method – whose approach takes the precept that children learn to speak their native language with ease, and applies this to the learning of music.
Through the years, my love of playing music grew stronger. I studiously kept on with the violin (plus a few dalliances with piano, French horn and the obligatory school recorder!), and carried on with my weekly lessons, workshops and music theory learning. By my teens, I was playing in the local orchestra and a chamber music quartet. However, I had raided my parents’ record collection on a very frequent basis and formed a real love – or obsession, you could say – for classic rock music.
Mainly from the 1970s, mainly from people that fully adhered to the decade’s penchant for flares and questionable haircuts, and their names are recognised by us all – Rainbow, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, the Sweet, to mention but a few. As I hit my late teens, I started to go out to local pubs that hosted live rock bands – eager to see good musicians play the music that I had fallen in love with. I particularly enjoyed watching good bass players – how the instrument is used to enhance, harmonise, keep time. This carried on into my early thirties, when I had a thought – why can’t I do this myself?
So, I went into town and bought my first bass, a combo amp and a jack lead. I applied what I knew from playing the violin, and voraciously watched YouTube tutorials. I sought advice from my bass-playing friends and took lessons. I learned that it was tuned in fourths (not fifths, as I was used to with my violin). I practiced endless scales to expand my left-hand stretch and familiarity with the tuning. At this time, it wasn’t my intention to join a band; simply to play along with the music I loved at home. It wasn’t long before a good friend pointed out to me that it would soon become very boring!
And here I am, four years and hundreds of cover songs later. On a weekend, I play with two covers bands in pubs, clubs and venues across the north of England. It’s all a little more ‘Spinal Tap’ than many of us care to admit, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.