The son of the man who created Alaska’s blues scene in the 60s, years of classical studies, graduate level jazz studies, and a keen understanding of the intricacies of a huge range of genres on multiple instruments- there is more to this wild eyed musical entertainer than meets the eye. Bassist Gary Sloan is a full-time performer bouncing all over Colorado and the US driving bands with relentless energy, explosive & entertaining solos, and eye-catching stage moves, reveling in the joy shared amongst band mates and audiences alike, proving that musical excellence and schtick are not mutually exclusive. He performs on bass guitar, tuba, other brass & string instruments, and literally on the acoustic bass if he is so moved.
On every instrument, it is important to figure out your personal goals, what you want to do on it, which styles of music you want to dig into, and- just as importantly- the stuff you aren’t interested in. In our intimate bass masterclass there will be enough time for me to get to know each individual student, your current abilities, and your individual goals. The beauty of a bass course where I can tailor to each of your goals is that we can use the same tunes as a launching point for your area of interest. I fell head over heels for the role of the bass as soon as I barely got a grip on it- we’re fundamentally important rhythmically, harmonically, we’re the only rhythm section instrument that is melodic at all times, and we’ve got such power and responsibility in setting the overall vibe of the music. I do and cherish all things bass clef, whether you are just getting started on technique, bluegrass bass lines, or want to rack my brain on slap bass technique or harmonic language I am equally passionate about sharing my joy of it with you!
Creativity Breakout Session:
Want to try some open-ended musical exploration? This will be a fun, open-ended class with no concrete goal other than looking at music and your individual instruments differently. We’ll explore free improvisation- by removing the barriers of time and harmony (sounds daunting? It’s not!) we can fully focus on mood, energy, space, listening, taking turns, growing together, fading together, and all of the other absolutely critical aspects of music. We’ll experiment with one of my favorite exercises, imitating drum beats on our instruments both with and without pitch or a combination thereof. On the second day we will spend some time discussing the roles of the various instruments in the string band before we experiment with playing the other instrument’s roles- the mandolin role on a fiddle? The fiddle role in a guitar? Why not! What we cover might be just the thing that you needed to find that new way to play a tune you feel stale on or it might open your mind to how you approach ensemble playing in various instrumentations. Regardless, you will have a better understanding of the holistic view of music as it is too easy to have tunnel vision from the perspective of the instrument or style of music we have chosen. We will have a ton of fun in this musical playground! All that is required is an open mind.