Tomasz Ziobro, one of our F&B Supervisors, tells his story of a passion that escalated into a home-run business.
I first started learning the bass guitar relatively late, about 10 years ago. Since I remember, music was always present in our house when I was growing up. I guess this is because my Dad is a musician so I had contact with a guitar from early years. However, at some point when I was teenager our parents decided to sell all our instruments because they did not want us (myself and my brother) to be musicians. Ironically, the surrounding group we grew up in and possibly the genes meant that we bought instruments anyway (my brother Kamil plays drums) and began to practice and play every day.
First few years of my bass playing I was purely self-taught gaining knowledge from the internet, mainly YouTube, but then I realised that with a little guidance I could accomplish more in the shorter time so I began to take private lessons and that really helped me a lot.
As I was learning more about bass playing I realised that I can pass the information I learned myself onto my friends in a way that was easier to understand than from other sources. The feedback I was getting encouraged me to create a website where I would teach a method of playing jazz on bass called “walking bass”. I launched www.walkingbasslessons.com in 2013 and gradually I was uploading video tutorials to the course I created. Half way through I decided to get myself qualified, so I got Diploma in Bass Guitar Teaching from The University of West London and became a member of Registry of Guitar Tutors. I now teach people from all around the world one to one and via Skype.
We have a little project with Kamil called Double Trouble and we recently had a gig on Saturday 18 February in The Blue Moon pub, Cambridge. We rehearse quite intensively in the Music Centre (which is part of Study Centre building) getting ready for gigs. We also meet with other musicians for free improvisation sessions. This is the total opposite of what I teach on my website. As opposed to jazz which is very organised and all about the harmony and playing through the chord changes; free improvisation is a pure expression through the instrument with absolutely no rules, it is all about the interaction with other musicians. I believe that it is good to have a balance between theory, harmony and the rhythm found in contemporary music and being able to approach instruments without predetermined assumptions of what is right or wrong.