June 23, 2006

Les Claypool: the busy bassist speaks

Les Claypool

Les Claypool discusses his busy schedule - a book, a film, a new solo album, the Oysterhead thing. And he has some advice for aspiring bassists:

My advice is just to play. Young players - and I did the same thing - will come to me and want to know what the secret is or the magic button to push. Everybody looks for shortcuts. If you take shortcuts, your career is going to be short. Play with as many people as often as you possibly can, because that’s the only way you’ll get good. You might be able to play all kinds of crazy licks, but if you don’t have that salt….it’s like the ability to have a good conversation. You know all the words, but you’re a horrible conversationalist, and that’s what playing music is – it’s having a conversation with a lot of people, being able to hold your own - and that comes from experience. I very much relate playing to having a conversation. I think the more experience you have communicating with people, the better conversationalist you are and that comes from experience; I call it salt, you gotta get your salt. A lot of young players can play their asses off, but they don’t have that salt, so it doesn’t seem genuine.

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