It’s that time of the month where we honor the awesome members of our Bass Lab PLUS community!
For this month’s Bass Lab Legend, it’s Martin Evening!
Martin started as a beginner with a bass just about a year ago when he joined the membership. Today however, it is clear to see that Martin has built a solid foundation to play really well, and I can really see him improving massively in the years to come.
However, in our conversation prior to recording the Bass Lab Legend interview, I was surprised about the story that Martin shared, and has definitely made this award more significant.
Read on more about Martin’s bass playing story as well as life journey below:
James: Hey guys I’m super excited to talk to this month’s Bass Lab PLUS Legend Martin Evening! He’s from the town I’m originally from, so we already share that!
Martin joined the BLP community about a year ago as a complete beginner. I’ve watched him improve and improve and become a really active part of our community. The reason I invited him on and gave him the Bass Lab PLUS Legend for this month is because I’ve been so impressed with this progress. Also, literally about an hour before this call, I discovered there is a ton more to this story.
I’d like to hand this over to Martin now. Tell us; when did this all start?
Martin: Thanks for the introduction there James! I feel really honored to be given this Bass Lab Legend. I could not believe it, as I only started seriously playing the bass about a year ago. I don’t consider myself worthy of this. It was quite a shock to me actually; I really appreciate that.
The reason why I chose the bass is because the past couple of years, our routines were completely disrupted. One of the reasons I picked up the bass was that it was a lockdown thing, looking for things to do.
Going back to my childhood when I was a schoolboy, I was really fascinated with the bass guitar. It had a certain mystique to it.
At the time, when I was at school I was learning to play the acoustic guitar. A few of us joined together at our friend John’s house and we would just try and jam together and see what we could do.
John’s father was a bass player and he had all of the equipment there. For us, going along with our little bits like our acoustic guitars and the piano at the corner, it was all a bit low-tech. However, here was this amazing Gibson SG Cherry Red guitar with a huge 2x2 speaker stack. It really looked like the business; it was literally stage ready, rock and roll kit.
We used to just hang out and play together. The only problem was John’s dad was really strict and that nobody was allowed to touch the bass. All we could do was kind of imagine what it would be like to play this instrument. It was like going to a museum.
We had aspirations of becoming a band and calling ourselves Apex, and then one day a guy came along; one of the cool kids from school. He just came and listened to us play songs which we thought we played well.
What he did was break the rule and grabbed the bass guitar and he instantly went into this slap bass groove; we just couldn’t believe it as we never heard bass playing like that before.Sadly we didn’t play any more after that. I think we were kind of shaken by the experience.
I’ve had an acoustic or electric guitar at various points of my life. However, it took about 45 years before I tried to find a bass guitar.
I just sort of moved around with it and was watching this video and that video. It was aimless. It wasn’t until I came across eBassGuitar and noticed how your videos kept propping up when I was searching around. That is the impetus for me to get serious.
J: Fantastic! Let’s delve a little bit more into the story of how this went forward. Could you share a little bit more about that.
M: There was another reason why I picked up the bass. 10 years ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and it was quite a shock. It’s a big moment.
I think one of the positives that came out of it after I managed to calm down was to realize that even if you have an aggressive disease, you can still have many years of life ahead of you which is sadly not the case for all.
It’s kind of like a blessing of having prostate cancer that gives you this opportunity to reset and rethink things and re-evaluate your life to think about what it is that you want to do now and in the future. A chance to reset and be the best that you can be.
Back to the bass guitar. So while everything was on lock down, I knew that there was something else I can do which I’ve always been meaning to do and that is to play bass, so I wanted to get on with it. That’s whyI’m really grateful to you James for what you’ve done with the bass lab and the community that you built up around it.
The support comes from the community as well as the training and what I like to call directed learning really made a difference.