Life Journey Freedom and Bass

Life Journey Freedom and Bass - pic 1

Why I love the Bass

It mostly starts like to have fun, after all they call it playing. My Life is also a succession of events just like yours.

After travelling, playing, recording Bass, for more than twenty seven years with various Artists and Bands, being part of many Projects, Film Songs, just living out of music I can say Bass Guitar, my primary instrument has become my viewfinder to the world as I see, I live. As the lowest fundamental sound, I am bottom, on top of me everything else is built.

Bass playing takes a lot more of a work ethic to do well, because we don’t get the spotlight unless our music style allows it as the masters of the game and some of them chosen ones.

Life Journey Freedom and Bass - pic 2

We are relegated to a supportive role in most music. But that being said, a good solid bass player, laying down the strong foundation to music, can definitely do for a song than just about anything. But again I don’t see Bass playing a supportive role. As a relegation, like in symphony, ensemble music every instrumentalist should be mutually supportive. Bass requires a different mind set. You are not playing the melody but providing the foundation for everything the band does. You also work closely with the drummer in establishing the groove.

The beginning

In my journey, it all started with having a musical environment at home from childhood, so grateful to my parents ! No they were not Musicians or Artists. But they used to love music to the core. Having few musical instruments at home, a radio, a record player. Later a cassette player all those were love n passion for music I believe..

Here I am stating about time, those good old, simple days of childhood. We had so little exposure to the outside world or influences. As there were very less mediums of information and knowledge. We were really happy to explore with whatever music, musical instruments we got exposed too..

Life Journey Freedom and Bass - pic 3

Then only the sound, the sound of Bass really attracted me. I was so curious to the sound of Bass, not knowing what, how those sounds were created. Unlike today’s time, there were no Musical Instruments shops around the town to visit. To check an Instrument like a Bass Guitar or a Drum Kit for example.

As far as I remember, those few shops used to have Indian instruments like Harmonium, Tabla, Flutes Tanpura etc. Though I tried all of the instruments, I could lay my hands on. Somehow Bass guitar stayed with me. It felt so good, just holding the instrument, no matter what. I used to walk 5 kms just to meet someone, who knew how to read or write music. My Bass is waiting for me at home next to my bed, that feeling itself was too good. I will never forget those flashbacks. You know, it takes you in and once you’re in, you’re in forever.

Ways of learning

You start meeting some amazing musicians, mentors through out. That’s kind of a blessing to every seeker as if nature conspires. I am so humbled and respectful to them for their unconditional support and love to me. They shared their valuable knowledge and experience, otherwise it would never be possible… we are not complete just by ourselves.

Life Journey Freedom and Bass - pic 4

Some of my neighbors from those early days says, we knew you will do well in music. We used to hear you practice everyday, so hard etc… But somehow I really don’t remember and consider myself a very disciplined, daily practice routine kind of a person. I sincerely don’t remember myself practice very hard(whiplash kind of a space) on my instrument. I was just playing the instrument. It was just fun, happiness without any clue- what to practice, how to practice, completely blind to music theory. Mostly I try to figure out a Bassline of a song or a groove of a song only by listening to it again and again. Till I could figure out something close to what I was trying to figure out, because all I knew was that.

They pronounce this kind of musicians as “Kaan Sen”. Who can figure out musical notes, phrases, tone etc. only by ears. This way of learning, like a song or a groove or something stayed with me for a very long time. In fact I was already playing in local shows, college festivals etc. Without knowing anything much about how harmony functions, how music works with these different instruments all together. Though I could hold a groove well, play safe around root, third, fifth n seventh types, mostly pentatonic space. I had no big plans with Bass. Show up on time, stay in the pocket, hit the roots, follow the kick and don’t overplay. I was just sailing with it. Playing was just for fun and inner pleasure that I can play this song, that piece of music.


But You have to really believe. Music has it’s own way of giving you enough fuel to carry on. Learning, gigging, recoding with different Artists, bands, projects. As if learning to fly, smelling the sense freedom. You can see a glimpse of an alternative way of sustaining your livelihood, O yeah ! This can be a way to live. A lifestyle, path to freedom, rather going with the flow or as they will program you.

Freedom… no I was not free. That lack of true understanding of how Music works was somehow bugging me within. I was not equipped enough to sort my Bass study myself.

In Todays scenario with all the information and study materials, you can get almost everything needed. From Instruments, music lessons, books, videos to help you learn and play music. Make a career out of it. We started far off from anything above. It was just cheer urge to play music, hang out with musicians, jamming. That was our drive and confidence with madness.


An endless journey

As years passed by, during that phase of my life, time came when you feel everything is dragging. Just passing by, same repetitive space and talks, no growth in any aspect. Getting deeper in to the dark hole of intoxication n monotony. Some of my dear loving folks, literally pushed me out from my comfort zone to the The city of dreams and success. The mother city, as she never lets anyone down, for me to try to get in to the bigger picture. See what’s there for me to learn. At least try to make something out of what I have valued the most for all these years or regret later. And She took me in too. What a great feeling to get dissolved in to the maximum city like a grain of sugar In a cup of tea.

And here I have realised that, that sense of freedom is not for free. You have to keep up with it, give a lot too. To craft yourself to be ready for this stage, you need preparation, a steady state of mind. And you better study, practice, connect people, like they say you got to practice what you preach. That’s exactly was the situation for me. As you realise there is many more aspects to it than just playing the Instrument.

This is life you I have to practice life well to play Bass well. For example when someone at home is unwell, you can’t be totally well on stage that night. Life is life full of life but ohh life. At that time I really had to push myself take things to the basics and Study Music in details. Of cause it’s a never ending process, still though you feel good within as the picture get clearer.. That smell of freedom, Be prepared to adopt to the unexpected. Provide tasty and don’t get lost. You learn to crawl before you learn to run as you take it day by day.

With Farhan Akhtar - pic 7

It just keeps flowing like a river, someday you’re right there, someday you can’t no matter how hard you try. That’s the way to life I guess, you fall so many times and you get up every time. That’s lust for life.

A few last words

As your hair starts greying, get closer to the Image you have been building for all these years, you start feeling less excited and more relaxed about the whole exercise. Now I look in to life more diverse than before. As you start loosing your close ones, as the destinations starts fading out and you realise Life is a journey not a destination. Now it is more of an inward journey for me.

With Farhan Akhtar - pic 8

I experiment with bio sounds and vibrations sampling fusing with my other instruments like Didgeridoos, Electronic Music, my beloved Modular Synth System which I am building for last two years. I feel detached and see the passing show as a passing show, while you stick to things and move along. Things happen without cause and reasons, why attach, give importance to opinions even of my own.

Believe and keeping going, to find your true self, to know yourself, who you are. There is an ancient saying – “Know thyself !”

Know More about Manas

Serpents of Pakhangba

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