Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Draft 3: Tom and his bass fingers

I know as much as some of us might not want to admit it, we were all forced into an electric bastarting off, whether it was taking Suzuki violin, private lessons, or just starting off through the school - not many kids wanted to be the "band geek". I grew up in a very non-musical family. My father was the jock/prep in high school/college, and my mom was the farm girl that didn’t go to college. They both were very regretful that they never had learned an instrument, and more or less forced piano lessons on all three of their sons.
I always hated practicing, and would always argue with my mom about it. All I wanted to do was go outside and play with Scott and Kyle, because it was always such a great day out. My mom kept me going though - a half hour per day before I could do anything else. Eventually, I got into fifth grade and had to choose a band instrument. I chose to play the bass line on the keyboard, because I didn’t want to pick up another instrument, and that would just mean I would have to practice more. I was a pretty decent piano play for that age, and when my parents saw the first school concert it sickened them that I was wasting years of practice playing simple bass lines with one hand on a keyboard.
One day, when I was 12, I came home and there was an upright bass in the middle of the floor.

My mom said that it was my new band instrument. This thing was so big! And it looked so cool! Who wouldn’t want to play it? I started going through books and got a private teacher eventually. After a year or two, my mom finally allowed me to buy an electric bass, which in her mind was the “devil's instrument”. I started getting into a few rock bands and that, but still definitely did not give up the upright.

I finally quit piano lessons sophomore year. I took a few years of orchestra, and then junior year joined a college jazz band, which I enjoyed much more than orchestra. I have been in six or seven different jazz groups and have played gigs anywhere from farmer Joe’s market to riverboats and business meetings on Michigan Ave. I have been to All-State both for Orchestra and Jazz. I have won the Illinois State Fair Talent Competition and the "Best Teen Performer in Springfield" this past year, and played a solo electric bass rendition of "Pomp and Circumstance" at my high school graduation. I played tuba in my high school marching band, and play acoustic guitar and sing for church services now and then.

When I say I was forced into music, it may seem somewhat silly and unbelievable, but until that bass showed up in my living room, I really had no passion for music. Don’t misinterpret me though, I do really enjoy playing music now, and am always up for learning new instruments, ideas, and anything music.
My mom always said I would thank her someday. I hate to say she’s right.

my first blog -


At 10/01/2006 6:34 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Good work.I like the pictures.

At 10/01/2006 6:37 PM, Blogger Nat said...

I think we all might hate admitting our parents are right. But you know, we all would have probably dropped music if it hadn't been for them in some way.

At 10/01/2006 8:27 PM, Blogger Emily Rose said...

I love your pictures...especially the first one. I agree with Nat too, I hate admitting my parents are right, but they are the love supporting my ambition.

At 10/01/2006 11:26 PM, Blogger Becca said...

Aww, wittle Tommy and his bass! The pictures are a nice touch.

At 10/01/2006 11:36 PM, Blogger Vera Lynn Waters said...

tommy i love your pictures! i had no idea you used to be so chubby. i know you told me, but i didnt' believe you, skinny boy. i do believe that that picture of you and your bass is the best picture i've ever seen. the pictures add a more personal touch to your autobiography.

At 10/01/2006 11:58 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

I think they whole pomp and circumstance thing would have been really neat.

At 10/02/2006 12:04 AM, Blogger Dennis Fuller said...

that first picture is probably the best thing ever.


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