It's Bass Lab Legend time!
For this month, we have a long time Bass Lab PLUS member. For those who don't know, the Bass Lab PLUS membership has been around for about 5 years now, and this member has been around since the very beginning!
I'm so proud to introduce Bill Bedford as the Bass Lab PLUS Legend for the month of May.
We'll get to know how Bill got started on the bass, and some of the bass gear that he had.
Also, we'll touch on why Bill left the Bass Lab PLUS and then still came back. We'll also know what's next in Bill's bass playing career.
Watch the video below to know more about Bill's story!
J: Hey everybody! It’s time to welcome this month’s BLP Legend. This guy has really been super supportive of the BLP community; a really good egg as we say in the UK now for quite a number of years. It’s really a pleasure to give this month’s BLP Legend to Bill Bedford over at the US
B: Hey! I’m doing good! How’s everybody doing?
J: Great! Now let’s go over your story as this is instrumental to everything. How did you become a bass player?
B: I was in to music as a kid; started 8 years old on trombone. Went to formal lessons, when through music programs in school. From 8 until graduation of highschool, I stayed with the music that way. Then I joined a disco band after that for about a year and a half; a 7 piece band, that was really fun, playing trombone still. I was around bass players and that was cool too. That kinda fizzled out, as all bands do. I met my wife, went into the HVAC field and all that.
About 35 years later, hooked up with some guy and he had a bunch of instruments around. He was like “ Wanna try this “. I was like “ wooooooow “ ! It was a Peavey Foundation bass. It was really sweet, I kinda fell in love with it. He won’t let me have it,so I kinda bought myself a used one. It was kinda really cool bass, with a thin neck and all. Started playing with that; didn’t have a formal direction or anything, playing around the internet. I kinda lost a little interest; your job takes you away, your life takes you away. I ended up giving the bass to my daughter, at that time her husband. They were married at that time. He played around with it and stuff. After some time, I kinda wanted it back but at that point he had given it away to somebody else; it was all gone. I had a trailer when we were camping years later and my daughter came up to visit us at the campsite on fathers day. She presented me with a father’s day present; it was an acoustic RC Rich bass. Not a lot of low-end, but still a bass. I’m like “ wooooooow”!I kinda got into it and I got the best I could get out of it. A couple of months later I bought a 5 string Dean. That’s a beast! I still have it; I’m gonna try bringing that back in the videos. I got used to that, and then I got my Fender Jazz, I love that one. I also have a Squier now as a back-up bass and I love that one too. What got me into the bass part was I always loved bass. I was in Jazz bands like in school, stage bands and marching bands, which while they didn’t have the bass, they have tubas and stuff. I really like the low end sound.When I picked up that Peavey Foundation bass I thought this is great! This is awesome!
J: So let’s rewind a few years now and talk about the BLP. You were one, I believe, of the founding members back in 2016 / 2017. I’ve known you for quite a while now, and I am really grateful for your longevity and being part of it all. What first attracted you to the BLP and what has made you become a loyal member for all these years?
B: That’s a good question! While looking for direction, doing internet searches, I looked around and this was very appealing. I was on the normal eBass group site, not the BLP site. The members were very friendly and supportive and they still are to this day. I really liked it! It was good for me as I wasn’t in any pressure. I just wanted to learn things and increase my knowledge at my rate. That’s what happened!
As a matter for fact, going back to that acoustic bass. I did my first video on YouTube with that acoustic bass. In fact if you go to my YouTube Channel Bill Bedford, go to my very first video. You’ll see me sitting in the trailer with that acoustic bass. You actually gave me a couple of pointers. I was starting out with Bass Lab.
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J: What improvement have you seen over this 4 / 5 years of being a member?
B: Where do I start? I feel so much more comfortable with the bass. I’ve learned to play more by ear. I’m still a little stubborn on some things. I’m gonna get them down, but as far as my tone, my confidence is really high. I’ve been in a very small for a couple of years. You don’t really work much but we jam a lot so that’s fun. Now I could just jump in; I’m not terrified. I just play and I don’t get too many bad remarks.
J: I’m gonna touch on something here that nobody really touches on. You actually left the bass for a while. You went off to pursue some other things. Then you came back! It was a real treat for me as I guess it shows we’re doing something good. I’d love you to explain what happened and what drew you back.
B: Oh you really put me on the spot there! I had some things going on around the house. Just got a little busy, that's one reason.I saw another bass group; an educational group. I decided maybe I’m ready for this. After a very short amount of time, maybe I am ready but I didn’t like the format. I didn’t like too much of the community. Everybody was respectful to each other but it just didn’t have that home feeling to me.
J: Can you put your finger on it? What is it about the BLP community that draws you in? Lots of people say this and I always try to put my finger on the intangible at time.
B: I think for the most part, 99% of anybody who shows up in the Bass Lab is in the same position as me. We just want to learn. We’re not afraid to be wrong. We’re very hungry for information and everybody is so willing to give it. Sometimes you get information you may not want to hear, but when you start to learn; when you start to say “ You got a point there, let me try this “. Learning is not about being stubborn; you take in what you can. Sometimes someone tells you something that’s off the cuff and isn’t really the right thing to say and another might disagree as well. It’s the way everybody interacts in the group. Nobody is out to get anybody; nobody is disrespectful. Everybody’s nice. And you too! I mean James come on, the way you teach, you’re very kind to everybody. I really appreciate it.
J: I love producing this positive community and I love inviting guys like you to come on and co-host the Q & A course with us because you bring other information. You soak up stuff that I don’t necessarily know. I remember you sharing this wonderful app which will pull out the bass. I thought I had my finger on the pulse in what was going on, and this app was news to me! It’s this sharing of information it’s just so powerful.
B: Actually Terry brought it into the group I think. I think I presented it in one of the masterclasses. It’s great! Everybody has something to bring in. Now I’m seeing everybody starts doing videos. Let’s flood this, let’s see and let’s have fun.
J: It’s been a real thrill watching you throw yourself in. You did one of our accelerator programs not so long back. I know that was quite a jump for you as you said afterwards. As you said you’ll throw yourself in the deep-end. I can see you reap the rewards from that, and I’m so proud to see you do that. I’m wondering; what’s next on your bass playing career?
B: I just got approached about a month or so ago by somebody who saw me playing before and wants me to play bass in their group. They’re putting a group together; it’s not a constant group to do a benefit thing in the end of July. They remembered me for other things that I was playing at, and they brought me in. That was such a great feeling. I got my book here,all the songs, all the chord sheets. We’re doing a whole bunch of stuff.
J: It’s really amazing to watch you so enthused and to hear your story going from playing in your trailer, to your bass guitar gear, to playing in a 10 piece. I just want to wrap up and say thank you Bill and congrats on being this month’s BLP Legend. We really appreciate having you as part of the community.
B: James, thank you very much! It’s an honor, it really is. I’m speechless. Thank you!