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Beyond Bass Camp

Digging Deeper Inside the Bass, with Steve Lawson.


Photo of Steve Lawson from someoneoncetoldme.com licenced under creative commons

The title of this post is taken from a book by American futurist and Christian writer , Tom Sine. The thrust of his book is that by chasing ‘stuff’ – bigger/better/faster/more – we end up missing the magic in life, that which we were born to do.

As musicians, the parallels are many – I know so many musicians who are downcast not because their music is in any way ‘bad’ but because in the pursuit of someone else’s idea of what music needs to be in order to succeed, they’ve ended up playing music they have no belief in, love for, or commitment to.

The idea that to ‘make it’ as a musician, they need to play the right kind of hip music, write songs that work on the radio or play music that promoters will understand has crippled so many musicians from playing the music that they really love, and ironically, has resulted in music of far worse commercial potential cos it’s starting life as music that even the creator of it doesn’t believe in.

They have, in short, settled for a vision of ‘more’ and missed the best that music has to offer; creatively, personally, spiritually, socially…

The ideas behind Beyond Bass Camp stem directly from my own journey into playing the music that I love, the music that motivates me, the music that soundtracks the world as I see it. It’s not about me having all the answers, but more about providing a space and a starting point for questioning the assumptions that so much music making is built on, and then providing the tools and time to explore what’s possible creatively if we let go of other people’s vision for how music should be and start a new kind of relationship with the sounds our instrument can make, and how they interface with the music we hear in our heads.

The picture up top is taken from a site called ‘Someone Once Told Met’, where people are photographed with something that someone once told them. Something wise, something funny, something weird… Mine, as you can see, says ‘First Prize Is Ten Years On A Bus’. It’s a quote from my good friend Kennan Shaw, and is his description of the lunacy of the ‘dream’ of becoming a successful musician.

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2 Responses to “Why Settle For More and Miss the Best?”

  1. Russ Sargeant Says:

    Fantastic idea Steve. Only in the last few years I made the decision to write the music that flowed from me, rather than try to live up to some sort of false expectation. I now feel my music is much more honest. I’d love to be kept informed of these workshops – sounds like they promise to be very educational and inspiring!

  2. Trevor Dyer Says:

    Funny that you’ve come up with this concept as you are quite right. Many of us including myself have made music we think we should make and ignored or even stiffled the real music inside us. And funnily enough through listening to your music and reading you blogs has inspired me to make music that I want to make without thinking about where it would sell and what market I’m aiming for. It’s very liberating and a little daunting. Thanks for the continued inspiration and as I’ve said before please keep me abreast of developments. It’s a very exciting project!!

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