10/15/2016 – “Can you share an experience in the Bass Kune Do group where playing your instrument and honing your craft lead you to the self discovery of who you are as a bassist and more importantly a person?”
(Photo by Aaron Gibson, taken at the 2016 LoDo Bass Bash.)
Self discovery is always ongoing. But playing my instrument and honing my craft taught me a lot of practical skills both as a musician and as a person; time management, how to balance multiple projects, electronics, dedication, sacrifice, discipline, listening.
It also made me face my fears when I made the decision to become a full time musician and pursue a music degree; I had a lot of negative societal pushback in my life from that decision, and the fear of failure felt very real. Confronting that pushback and my fears ultimately made me a stronger person…but it took a long time. It did not come easy. It’s a human victory, meaning self doubt still pays visits, but I have better tools to knock it into place, mentally speaking. That’s the part where I’m a stronger person now; music helped me learn those tools.
It also taught me how I work best when learning new material….which is important when you are working on multiple projects at once.
Some of places I have traveled to and the musicians I have had the good fortune to meet…all of those experiences are a part of who I have become. I had the opportunity to travel to Hong Kong some years ago because of connections I made through music and teaching. That trip definitely changed me for the better. That good fortune has happened over and over again…opportunities to travel to places and meet people that change me for the better. That would not have happened without bass and music in my life.
I think the most important thing is something my mom pointed out a long time ago. She said I was hard for some folks to relate to because I was always growing, always changing, and very driven. She already knew I needed to be around folks who were similar. Music is always changing and growing…the industry, the business, but also your own personal voice and what you have to say. I think once I found music, it was a very dynamic medium for expressing myself…as a business person, as a musician, and as a teacher. There’s always so much to learn, there’s really no reason to claim one is bored. That means you are stuck in a rut…there’s so much out there to master. And it’s not that I want to be the best bassist or necessarily push boundaries in music…I’m really looking to just be the best version of myself. To try new things and find out what sticks and what doesn’t, and explore my playing…and also master aspects of the business itself. You can’t master it all…so for me, music has been a engaging environment where I try to develop the best version of myself…both personally and on the instrument.
Check out Tiger Taj Sonchai’s Facebook group, Bass Kune Do, for more content like this.