Mojo's Music Academy: Videos
Interview with Doug Johns
(Mojo's Music Academy)
Paul Rogalski here from Mojo's Music Academy in Longmont Colorado.
I have the priveledge to host an interview with super funky bassist Doug Johns.
Doug is coming to Mojo's on November 12,13,14 for some teaching,a clinic and couple live performances.
We're going to get the info straight from Doug Himself.
P: Hi Doug thanks for taking the time to answer some questions about your visit to Mojo's.
People are getting excited here to get some upclose and interactive time with you.
We've seen your videos on youtube but live and in person is the way to go.
So looks like you'll be teaching some private lessons,what is your teaching style?
Do you offer text book knowledge,techniques, improv,how do you approach the student?
Doug: I've always played by ear and feel, Paul, and that's what I strive to share with my students. It's probably one of the the hardest things to teach, yet in some ways it's
the easiest thing to teach.
My teaching style? I think sometimes more can be accomplished in a lesson by going on a hike, or just hanging out in general, before even picking up an instrument - just tuning in to the rhythm of life, ya know what I mean?
But, specific things I like to touch on in a lesson are cultivating the all-important sense of inner time (which everyone has), visualizing shapes on the fretboard to improve one's "talking" skills, and especially defining how listening is everything! And I never fail to stress the importance of just allowing the music to flow out of you. Obviously, a spiritual approach.
Oh, and definitely the importance of the Blues!!!!
P; There is a Bass and Drum clinic scheduled for friday the 13th from 7-8pm.
Can you tell us a bit about the clinic and what people can expect?
Doug:Friday the 13th, eh?
My drummer, Chris Ceja, and I just love the clinic setting. It's one of the truest opportunities for interaction between the "audience" and ourselves. We purposely need and maintain that interactive vibe.
We just have fun playing, encourage lots of question and answer (about anything), and all things rhythm. People can expect to hear some music and have their every curiosity answered! No questions are off-limits.
P: There are also 2 shows scheduled and you're booked as a duo,
how do you make this work for a show? This doesn't seem normal.
Doug: Well, Paul, I've been told numerous times now that I'm not normal:)
The duo format with myself and Chris Ceja on drums came out of necessity. Of course, I would love to take a full band, i.e.. hammond, horns, guitar on the road, but these days it's just not financially feasible. So, Chris and I adopted the do-it-yourself approach and haven't looked back. It's been great for us as we've really learned to grow musically with just bass and drums on the stage. We don't want to be yet another rhythm section playing a million notes. It's got to be musical above all, or it just won't fly!
How do we make this work for a show? Technology certainly helps - Chris has a crazy ability to be not only the drummer but also our horn section, our keyboardist, and once in a while, our second bassist. But above all (and I hate to sound like a broken record), we focus on being musical first: and that's what makes it work.
P: Do you have any inspiring thoughts for the young bassists growing up in the internet world?
Doug: Find YOUR voice, and don't get too distracted by the internet.
While I believe the internet can open up our minds to sounds we probably never would have heard before, it can also clutter our thoughts and keep us from finding our own groove. Aside from that, I firmly believe every bassist should also learn to play the drums; after all, bassists spend 90% of their time interacting with a drummer. Less internet, more drumming!
P:Well thanks for you time Doug we'll be seeing you very soon,safe travels my friend.
Doug:Man, I can't wait to play again in Longmont, Paul. I love the energy of the people!!