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School Of Bass - October 19-22, 2006

School Of Bass
From October 19 - 22, the second School of Bass workshop will take place in Scottsdale, Arizona. Through an intense schedule of daily classes, clinics, demonstrations, and nightly concerts, participants will have the chance to gain valuable experience from some of today's leading bassists. In small group sessions, core instructors will outline a curriculum that is designed to transcend specific stylistic parameters and develop the fundamental bass-playing skills needed to help realize your immediate goals while large group clinics will be led by the workshop's featured artists to expand your approach and inspire you to set new goals.

In the following interview, School of Bass co-founder Ed Friedland talks about the upcoming workshop.

How did the School of Bass come about?

Several years ago, I was instructing at a week-long bass event, and Michael Menduno was a student. At the end of the week, we talked about how the workshop went and both agreed that it could be done better. Michael had experience as a workshop producer, and I had experience designing educational programs. We put together the first School of Bass in 2004, and it went very well. One of our guest clinicians was Steve "Dude" Barr of Vintage Bass Trading Company. He had a lot of enthusiasm for the event and came aboard for this year's School of Bass with his strong background in business and marketing. Now, I think we have a great team that covers all the aspects of what it takes to put on a successful event.

What makes the School of Bass unique from the other bass-centric events that are held throughout the United States?

Unlike most other bass events, we are not focused on the high-end jazz fusion market. There are a lot of amazing players out there doing workshops that appeal to that mindset. It's all good, but I think that many players don't relate to that side of bass playing. Yes, there is a highly visible 10% of the bass world with players that push the envelope, create bold new directions on the instrument, and amaze people. However, there is the other 90% of guys who are playing roots and fifths or maybe just the root! I wanted to design a program that speaks to these players and help them learn more about their instrument, how to maximize what they already know, and give them the information they need to become better.

Who are the artists that will be performing and teaching at this workshop?

We have Chuck Rainey who is one of my heroes, and his work is the epitome of what great bass playing is all about.

We also have Bobby Vega who is at the top of my "Talent Deserving Wider Recognition" list. Bobby played with Sly & The Family Stone when he was 16! When Rocco Prestia was sick, Bobby was the man that filled his shoes, and not many people can fill Rocco's shoes. He is one of the grooviest and most original players on the planet. I'm thrilled to have the chance to bring him to the attention of the School of Bass participants.

Mel Brown is an L.A. studio heavyweight that now lives in Phoenix. He's all over the smooth jazz charts, and when I heard him do his thing live, he knocked me out. He grooves, he blows, and he's a mad scientist with the effects.

Ray Riendeau is an old friend. He's played with Halford, Machines of Loving Grace, Gary Hoey, Scott Mishoe, and many others. He's known as a slap monster which he is, but what I dig about Ray is that one night he's whacking out 16th-note triplet funk and then the next night he's laying down roots and fifths on a country gig. That's the kind of diversity that gets my respect. He's a great teacher and a super nice cat.

Lynne Davis has been playing the L.A. scene for years. She's a groover and has taught at the Los Angeles Music Academy for many years. At the first School of Bass, she was "Iron Chef Theory" and really brought home the concepts of music to the students. Now, she's the "Theory Dominatrix" of Guitar World's Bass Guitar magazine.

I'm currently the Senior Editor of Guitar World's Bass Guitar magazine. I've written many instructional methods for bass players and over the years have played virtually every type of gig imaginable.

As I said, the School of Bass was born partly out of dissatisfaction with some of the events I've been involved with in the past. I took it as a challenge to put together something better, and I believe we have succeeded!

What type of lesson material will the instructors be teaching?

We will be focusing on core skills that bass players need to achieve their goals including fingerboard awareness, time/groove, hooking up with the drums, theory, slap, bassline construction, and more.

Does a participant need to be at a certain playing level or have some experience in a particular style in order to attend?

We can handle players at any level.

How much is tuition, and what is included in this fee?

The workshop costs $495 for the entire four days which includes all the classes and performances. Hotel accommodations, travel expenses, and food are not included. Players can also attend for a single day or two.

Can you provide us with a schedule of the events taking place?

In sum, participants will receive eight hours of lessons in small group sessions, five hours of clinics with featured artists, and nine hours of up-close and personal concerts over the course of the event. They will also take home a bound book of lessons and material to work on.

What type of gear is an attendee encouraged to bring to the workshop?

All you need to bring is a bass and a cable. Amps will be provided. Personal recording devices are also encouraged.

Do you have any sponsors for the School of Bass?

Ernie Ball, Lakland, Fender, Genz Benz, Tacoma, and Vintage Bass Trading Company are sponsoring the event.

Are there any giveaways?

Count on a rich supply of swag from our sponsors! Tacoma will be giving away an acoustic bass guitar.

Will equipment manufacturers be on hand to demonstrate their products?

There will be a demo room for the sponsors to show what they've brought.

Is the School of Bass an annual event?

So far, the School of Bass has been held every two years, but I think we've got our team and system in place to make this easier to produce on a yearly basis. Ultimately, we'd like to do this twice a year in different locations.

Contact Information

School Of Bass
Toll-Free Phone: 1-877-264-8282
Web Site:

© 2006 The IIB