Rocking the bass guitar world: Meet Jonathan Jackson
Jonathan Jackson, sophomore, is playing his bass guitar. This is the sixth instrument he has learned. Photo Credit: Allison Ho
Q: What inspired you to play the bass guitar?
A: Well my friend Matt is a guitarist, and my friend Alex is a drummer, and so they convinced me to play bass so we can start a full band. Also, I have an obsession with the Scott Pilgrim books and the movie, and I wanted to be like Scott.
Q: How long have you been playing bass?
A: I’ve been playing the bass for about a year, but I play it almost everyday.
Q: How often do you practice and for how long?
A: Usually, I practice maybe 4-5 times a week, for about three hours. During that time I’m learning tabs from all of my favorite songs, while inventing my own bass lines along with it.
Q: What was the biggest obstacle you had to face when learning to play strings?
A: When playing the bass, you have to have strong fingers. Bass strings are thicker than guitar strings, so after a while your hand gets sore. Also, the frets are bigger so you have to be able to stretch your left hand more.
Q: What do you enjoy most about playing the guitar and why?
A: I love the feel of the bass. A bass is like an extension of the guitar, so it’s really cool when we all play our own songs.
Q: What certain aspects of a guitar is a must-have for you?
A: One aspect is enjoying what you do. If you are not giving your 100% with what you’re playing, what makes you think anyone else will like it? You have to put your energy into what you do.
Q: What are some of your favorite songs to play?
A: Although fun and simple, I love to play “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. “Reptilia” by The Strokes is also a favorite of mine, so it was one of the first songs I learned.
Q: How has playing an instrument affected your perspective of today’s music?
A: To play an instrument you should know a good background of music. I personally listen to rock, such as, White Stripes, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Modest Mouse, The Killers, and more. You learn from listening to what you like and making your own bass lines.
Q: Have you played other instruments? If so, what instruments?
A: Yes, actually. In middle school, I played the saxophone for three years. My brother played the trumpet in high school, and he taught me how to play. Also, I played snare in drumline. I play a little piano and ukulele.
Q: If you could be any famous musician, who would it be and why?
A: It would probably be Duff McKagan, one of the early bassists of Guns n’ Roses. He participated in “Appetite for Destruction,” one of their most popular albums. I want to be like Duff because in laymen’s terms, he has mad bass skills.