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Kent Beatty talks about technology, touring, and transition

An article with Kent Beatty

Kent Beatty

An article with Kent Beatty



It's a great time to be a musician. Some might disagree with that, in this age of TV Voice/Idol contests and live bands being replaced by machines all the time. Sure, record deals aren't being served up on the hood of a Ferrari often these days. But now there is so much that artists can do independently, if they are willing to put some work into it. Technology is a double-edged sword. More things to keep up with and manage, but most of the time, it is a musician's best friend. Imagine a tour without GPS. YouTube (and many others) allows anyone's music to be heard across the world, for free. And social media is far more effective than posting fliers around town. We take these useful tools for granted, some of which didn't even exist 10 years ago. 


Kent Beatty bass solo with Hamilton Loomis Band.

 

I often compare life on tour to the movie The Matrix. Neo is presented with a red pill and a blue pill. One allows him to continue his normal life, the other takes him farther down the rabbit hole. Touring is a crazy lifestyle. It allows you to live your dreams and opens many doors. You make friends from around the world! What you sacrifice is everyday life events. I have friends whose babies I haven't met yet, and weddings, concerts, and trips are frequently missed. No pets, and relationships can be a challenge. That said, I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything, and it makes you appreciate home and family that much more. Being from Louisiana, I appreciate the food more too!

 

Kent Beatty behind his bass




Transitions can be scary, but with great risk comes great reward. I'll never forget deciding to quit my job to play music full time. After 5 years on the road with Hamilton Loomis Band, I've transitioned more into a solo artist, as well as continuing to be a touring bassist (two very different things!). I've become a sort of "hired gun" between bass events. It keeps me on my toes and sometimes you have to do gigs cold with no rehearsal. I've always been more of a band bassist, fortunate to have an identity in whichever band I'm with. Funny bass player jokes aside, we have it pretty good. The solo bass community is full of some of the nicest, good-hearted people I've ever known. Some of my solo compositions are on YouTube, and I'm working on compiling my songs into an album. I recently performed during NAMM in Anaheim and now I'm recording with an alt-metal band.


Kent Beatty solo bass composition ''Image''.

 

I've grown to appreciate all types of music. I was lucky to grow up with everything from classical to metal. I love music for the sake of its beauty and what's right for the song. I don't get hung up on which genres are "cool" or not anymore, I just love playing bass. This is an area where spirituality helped me to grow. You might see me with a country band one week, and then hear my original projects and wonder if I'm even the same person. Versatility goes a long way, and if you really love music, you'll find something to like about things you may have not liked before. There are songs I love now that I wouldn't have considered years ago. Whatever I'm playing, I'll always be a rocker at heart. 


Kent Beatty

Kent Beatty's bass set up from DVD 



It's helpful to realize your strengths and weaknesses. There will always be someone who can out shred you, new players pop up every day. Just go down Broadway in Nashville any night of the week. Of course, try to improve what you aren't so good at. But realize what makes your style unique and what you have to offer. For me, that has been one of the most liberating thought processes. There are few musicians who are good at everything, so try to be good at being you. And most of the time, you won't be getting paid for your shredding.


-Kent Beatty


''No No No'' live in Belgium with Hamilton Loomis.


''The Instrumental'', original song by Jared Daigle and Kent Beatty.



Kent Beatty works as a touring bassist, and is known for his work with Hamilton Loomis. He performs at bass events, clinics, and is currently recording with upcoming alt-metal band Fight Night Anarchist on their debut album. Find out more HERE.

Bass virtuoso Bryan Beller from the Aristocrats+ visits

An article by Bryan Beller

Bryan Beller

     An article with Bryan Beller Photo Mike Mesker


- I would just say, as a general rule of thumb for music and work: Be authentic, and make sure to be comfortable with who you are as a person and a musician, because no matter how much money you make or don't make, or how much success you have or don't have, or anything else having to do with being a musician - "you" will always be there. So find a place in your being that works for you whether you're touring, or home, or teaching, or playing sometimes, or even just practicing. Practice being ok with who you are. In a lot of ways, that's the hardest thing to practice. Music, playing - that's the easy part, the fun part. Or, it *should* be. 


Bryan Beller with Steve Vai.


- My favorite moments are…when I'm doing a show and the monitor mix and the onstage sound is perfect (which is rare, but does happen occasionally), and the creativity and communication among the musicians is immediate and flowing naturally. When I've just completed a demo of a new song that somehow magically conveys exactly what I was trying to say. And when I'm in an educational environment and I'm able to get someone to get something they hadn't previously considered, and it leads to some kind of breakthrough in their playing, or even their lives. Those are really special moments, and I try and treasure them.


The Aristocrats

The Aristocrats: Guthrie Govan, Marco Minnemann & Bryan Beller.


- Being totally open for communication 24/7/365 in this social media day and age has its pluses and minuses. I personally think it's a net positive to be able to have direct access to fans and vice versa - it can strengthen the bond between you and those who follow you, and it enables an artist to be much clearer about who they really are in "public". I've been online and available for public e-mail since 1995, and for many years I made a point to respond to *every* *single* *communication* that came my way. Nowadays that's just not possible anymore, because of the sheer volume of responses from Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail, for which I'm grateful - but I still try. That said, it can be a hindrance to the essential practice of isolation required for creativity. It's pretty hard to grow as a composer and a player when you're just writing e-mails all the time. So I think I'm finding a balance, and everyone needs to find their own.


The Aristocrats live in 2012.


- Being in The Aristocrats is a wild ride, both musically and professionally! Musically: Playing with two masters like Guthrie Govan and Marco Minnemann pushes me to the absolute limit of what I can do on the instrument, which is a good thing. And it also allows me to not have to be the most technically insane bassist in the world, because Marco and Guthrie have that stuff covered. I'm there to provide the biggest possible sound and as much harmonic support as possible to fill out a trio that's fusion-oriented but rock in spirit, and step out only when needed - otherwise it will all sound like noise. So it's really a dream scenario for me. Professionally, it's been amazing to see instrumental music fans around the world embrace The Aristocrats so suddenly and warmly that we're somehow able to make records and tour the world without having our furniture repossessed. I wasn't sure it was possible unless I was going to be a sideman for someone else. But now we're making it work with a band that's all our own, and it's a great feeling. It's hard to describe how grateful I am for all of that.


Bryan Beller

                Photo T.J. Lambert


- Music, to me is a sound. To be sure, there is melody, and harmony, and rhythm, and tone, but in the end a collection of musicians will have a collective sound, or what some have called "one note." When I am a fan of a band or an artist, I am completely enthralled by their One Note. It's there no matter what song they're playing, and I either enjoy it or I don't. When I do, there's nothing like it.

Bryan Beller


Bryan Beller bass solo.



Bryan Beller is a bass guitarist, who for two decades now has been working with a long list of amazing musicians. Beller has also made solo albums since 2003. His current projects are The Aristocrats and Dethklok. Bryan Beller is a Berklee Collage of Music graduate who frequently teaches and has blogged about music since 1995. Find out more about The Aristocrats HERE and about Bryan Beller HERE.





Bass-legend TM Stevens' exclusive documentary for Musicians' Corner

A filmed article with T.M. Stevens

T.M. Stevens
















Bass-legend+ T.M. Stevens has made a documentary for Musicians' Corner.






Presenting

T.M. STEVENS

STRAIGHT MUSIC TALK



TM Stevens shares his history and wisdom, in this inspiring documentary, which he has produced himself.

In this film T.M. talks about his work with many greats -- and takes the viewer back in time and around the world in his narrative. He plays a few of his famous basslines -- and gives a virtuoso's tips on bass-playing. He also shares exclusive footage -- as well as his views on music of yesteryears and today.




During his extensive career T.M. Stevens has worked with Narada Michael Walden, Miles Davis, James Brown, Nona Hendryx, Joe Cocker, Little Steven, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Steve Vai, Stevie Salas and many, many more. T.M. Stevens has also been a member of The Pretenders and has an extensive solo career with nine solo-albums released to date. Mr. Stevens' bio is so long that it easily fills a few books, and he also does a lot of workshops and masterclasses inspiring the next generation of virtuoso players. Find out more at www.tmstevens.com


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