In my opinion, it is necessary to pay a lot of attention to the development of basic skills at the beginning of the learning path. Here I am thinking of technique, timing, rhythm, phrasing, dynamics and hearing, but with this I also include theoretical knowledge, knowledge of style/genre, equipment knowledge and building a repertoire. The basic skills are aimed at developing great flexibility. This flexibility allows for more possibilities during playing so more spontaneous, creative and varied musical solutions can be found.
Next to the mentioned basic skills, I find it important to work with students on the search for and development of their own sound and playing style. In addition, working on self-reflection, stimulating curiosity and developing independence are essential issues that I want to address frequently during the learning path. These are, in my opinion, major themes that should always play an important role in the development of any independent musician for the rest of his/her life.
My personal vision as a bass guitarist is influenced by the strong similarity between the bass guitar and guitar. The playing style of the guitar involves the use of frets, elements, picks and techniques such as banning, sliding and playing chords. The application of these things to the bass guitar has its origins in pop music, but in my opinion is necessary to achieve good results in genres such as jazz, Latin and other improvised music as well.
The usual jazz bass guitar style is largely taken from the double bass tradition. However, I don’t think this is the right approach. In my opinion my personal right hand technique offers a better alternative. By means of this technique I avoid ‘over-articulation’ and contribute to the swing-feel by the percussive use of deadnotes.
As a teacher, I use my unique style of playing to offer an alternative to what most conservatories offer. I believe that many bass guitar teachers at conservatories have the double bass legacy in their playing and approach, and many students today are looking for a different sound but have little opportunity to do so in their choice of education. I am dedicated to contribute to and support this new generation of modern bass guitar players in order to create a dissent against the legacy of bass guitarists that have been educated by a double bass generation.