This is always a fun event. For me, it’s more like a family reunion than an expo. I was an instructor at the Gerald Veasley Bass Bootcamp for a few years. There’s two “schedules” of instructors at the camp; the daytime instructors and Night Owl instructors. The campers would be so excited at this event, they would awake all night, so the hotel staff would have to ask them to keep it down. As time went on, the camp added classes that go on into the late evening/early morning hours. I did some very well attended Night Owl classes that started at midnight until 2 AM (and 3 AM on one occasion).
My topic material ranged from using a looper to performing as a solo bassist. I would co-teach a class with Ben Titus that taught beginners jam session etiquette and some basic song forms to memorize for jam sessions. The camp also helped establish Lady Bass Gear in it’s early years.
Lots of history here; lots of learning, lots of networking, and lots of experiences that helped me grow into a better player. The camp helped me grow both as a musician, and as person. Lots of great, life changing opportunities and life changing friendships came from my time at camp…both as a student and then as an instructor. If you want to change your game, enroll in camp with an open mind and an open heart. You’ll leave a better person.
For me, this weekend really is a family reunion of sorts. The Expo is my way to reconnect with extended bass tribe/family. The Philly BassGear Expo started a few years back. The format thus far has been there; there is a masterclass – this year it was Marcus Miller. Vendors will arrive from all over the country to set up booths and demo their products on Saturday. IMHO (and I do mean that) this event is growing and starting to fill the void created when Bass Player Live vacated NYC a few years ago and headed to the West Coast.
This year, the main purpose for my visit was in assisting Aaron Kipness demo at the Gizmotron booth.
The Gizmotron is a mechanical bowing device for bass or guitar. It’s a unique new voice for the instrument, with many innovations since it made it’s first appearance in the 1970s. I now have two instruments outfitted with this device; the Spector Legend NT and the Lightwave Saber VL5 fretless.
My reasoning for putting one on the Lightwave was twofold;
1) The Lightwave has optical pickups. Therefore, an eBow is fairly useless on it.
2) Since it is a fretless AND it has the optical pickups, it tends to sound more like an upright bass than any other electric bass I own. What will actually happen with one of these devices attached?
The Spector Legend NT install happened because I needed a second unit on a bass where I could change from slapping to the Gizmotron.
Anyway…back on topic…the event was a blast. The Expo is free, but it is recommended to register. Info about the camp is located here; http://bassbootcamp.com/
Had a great conversation with Michael Griffin at Essential Sound Products. He explained his product in detail; it is very easy to understand the idea and the concept behind the development of his cables.