When the Coronavirus lockdown restrictions began in spring 2020, it felt like a good moment to take a closer look at my bass playing, and in particular, my double bass. Playing both electric and double bass is really like having two completely different instruments and it is easy to lump them together as the same. They are not the same at all other than the names of the strings and their basic role in an ensemble. In this moment I also decided to dedicate myself to focusing exclusively on the double bass so I could cement my relationship with the instrument and strive for a kind of fluidity and inate control that I had never really achieved before.

I dedicated my time to working out my strengths and weaknesses to gain an overview, as state of what works and what doesn’t. It is always a bit painful to confront truths and that is why I began this series called CoronaBass. I would spend a day or several working on a tune that I had already been playing for years, to identify the bits I never learned properly, or would rush over, or would just ghost a few notes because I never really knew what I was doing to start with.

A gift from lockdown would be the time granted to work at this level of introspection. Hands up, I wish I had done this when I was 18. Maybe, in my case, I needed to be a bit older to respect this time and make it work for me. I feel it has brought about a revolution to my playing and in the process I have almost written a book about it as well. Think Bass is currently a work in progress, but inspired by my college keyboard instructor Charlie Austin, I am compiling a detailed exploration into the mechanics and philosophy of bass playing, as well as a deep dive into the theory and construction of good bass playing.

These videos document some of the progress I made during lockdown and give you an idea some of the work I have done.

Tom Lyne