For one week in September, aspiring bass masters flocked to Markneukirchen, Germany to attend the Warwick Bass Camp and receive tuition from legendary low-end masters, including Victor Wooten, John Patitucci and Lee Sklar.
How was the camp experience?
Stu Hamm: "It was great – I'd like to thank HP [Warwick founder Hans-Peter Wilfer] for putting on such an incredible event, not just for the students that signed up but for the bass community around the world and for the people in Markneukirchen. For me, you can't believe what a treat it is to hang out with so many great bass players, old friends and new friends, and the spirit of camaraderie is just awesome."
Divinity Roxx: "Stu summed it up perfectly: the Warwick family has been really incredible at giving back to the community of bass players. Each one of us is excited to be here because our bass hero is here, so to be able to hang out with that person and all these incredible bass players and talk bass – man, it's an incredible experience."
Do bass players need more events like this?
DR: "There are other musicians here, too, but the focus is bass, and it just strengthens the bass community. You know, the bass player is usually the one in the back – the person that nobody knows in the band – but through this and over the past few years, the bass player has come out front, and it's beautiful."
SH: "I also think that there's something in the bass player's DNA that makes them enablers and unifiers. I think if you tried to do it with drummers or guitar players, there would be some competition or head-trips, and there's honestly none of that going on here. We're just bass players."
How did you find teaching the students?
SH: "What was great about the students' organisation is that they were divided up into different levels of groups. Because inevitably when I do this, if you've got 20 bass players in a room, generally, the curriculum is going to be really boring for a third of them and too complicated for a third of them. We broke it down: before people got here, they sussed out their skill level, so I was able to pattern my lesson a little bit towards whatever skill level people were at."
Have you learned anything?
DR: "Each time you can sit in with all these masters, you're gonna learn something new, so it's been really cool to sit in classes and think about things that you haven't thought about in a long time or be exposed to some new concepts that you hadn't thought about before."
SH: "And just when you hear another amazing pop song, you go, 'Wait, that's Lee Sklar on that song, too?!'"
DR: "Exactly! It's all about Lee Sklar, man!"