Music has always been an important part of my life. I can’t say why – it just calls me, if that makes any sense at all.
As a young child, whenever I saw a piano I was always drawn to it and just had to play! Give me the choice between a chocolate biscuit and the piano – there was simply no competition.
I played descant and treble recorder in Primary school and we took part in the Herefordshire Festival every year which was my first introduction to public performance, apart from ballet and school productions.
At Grammar School I somehow ended up playing the French Horn for a few years and got quite good, playing in orchestras and brass bands, but when my orthodontist gave me a set of rail-road tracks that was the end of that!
For my sixteenth birthday my Mum bought me an acoustic guitar and I had one lesson with this guy who basically spent the whole time showing off and telling me how good he was and I came away with nothing more than I walked in with. So I bought Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles and Songs for Buskers books and started from there.
Nick, my then brother-in-law, was a great inspiration for me as every time he turned up, he would always grab my guitar and play me a song or two – Blackbird, anything and everything by Eric Clapton, and he taught me how to play Here Comes the Sun (which I still remember to this day).
And then I started to write my own songs.
Jumping to now, it’s been an interesting and diverse musical journey. I’ve recently started playing piano again (which has given me a new inspiration with my writing) and also play keys in my husband Simon‘s band.
But getting to the point I guess, I have found my true love.
It’s short, black and shiny with flat wound strings: my new Gretsch Thunder Jet bass guitar!
Where do I start – from the moment I picked up this beauty a few months ago it has set me on fire! I don’t worry about all the fiddly complicated lines at the moment. Just keeping it simple and taking time to learn properly and understand from the ground up; one step at a time climbs a mountain.
I had never thought about playing bass before and it has been a complete revelation to me. From understanding the role of a bass player in a band to listening more intently to the great players of our time (and before) like James Jamerson, Tina Weymouth and the intensity and power of Bernard Edwards has motivated me more than any well placed rocket would do!
One thing I do know though… is that you can’t teach the groove! You’ve either got it or you haven’t…