NMIT music teacher Pav Chudiak started playing with bands when he was 17. But it wasn't until much later that he discovered a passion for bass guitar. Chudiak, who plays in original bands, with covers band Blue Pocket and jazz group The Tidy Trio, was always on vocals, occasionally dabbling with the guitar. Then a group of NMIT students asked him to play bass. He was keen to give it a go. "It really took off. I realised I loved playing bass. For me it had the rhythm and tonality to it that was much more appealing than guitar and it's a real grounding for the band. It often sets the pace."
The NMIT Performing Arts Department is now calling for applications from musicians who want to study bass guitar. "Bass players (on double or electric bass), have always been hard to find, but this year there are fewer than ever," says Chudiak. “Bass is a very understated instrument. It's not often that you'll see a bass player take solos in a rock or pop situation. The rock stardom tends to be with the guitarist not the bass player,” he says.
On the other hand, if you want to get work as a gigging musician, bass is the way to go. Chudiak says he is constantly turning down work. “There just aren't enough bass players around. There's a real shortage. If you want to make a living in the music industry as a performer, bass playing is one of the best options.”
What bassists lack in glamour, they make up for in the crucial role they play in a band. “A lot of guitarists should try their hand at bass playing. Many of them may be much more suited to it. It opens up a whole new world,” he says. “It's often referred to as the invisible instrument. If you drop the bass out of the band, many people will know something is wrong but they won't know what it is. The bass player's role in a band is a big challenge, there's a lot of responsibility attached.”
"Bass guitarists need to be confident and self-assured. If someone makes a mistake in the band melodically, you're generally the first person that gets looked at. The main role of the bass in an ensemble is to outline the root note of the harmony and for me it was a huge learning experience to be given that kind of pressure.”
Musicians who are interested in taking up bass guitar are encouraged to apply for one of NMIT's music courses, whether they currently play the instrument or not. “They're open to ideas at NMIT. It's a very supportive environment.”
For more information on NMIT's music program please go to: www.nmit.edu.au/departments/performing_arts. Or contact the Performing Arts Department on: 03 9269 8933
Interview / Photo Opportunity
Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on seven campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.
Interview / Photo Opportunity
Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener.