I have over twenty years of experience composing, recording, and performing music in New York and Seattle. I enjoy sharing my knowledge teaching bass lessons in Seattle.
From the time I began playing music, I was almost entirely self-taught. I stayed that way for most of 15 years as I battled through performances and songwriting and communicating with other musicians. When it got to a point where I could really feel the limits of my knowledge, really feel the strain it put on what I wanted to do as a musician, I humbly accepted theory into my life and haven’t looked back since.
As a teacher I have a responsibility to give you a theoretical background, but the self-taught, DIY musician in me also wants you to get your hands on the instrument and start making interesting sounds as quickly as possible. One thing that holds some musicians back–indeed held me back–from learning proper theory, is the fear of being exposed for what we don’t know. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: we don’t bother to learn and then we really don’t know.
As a beginning musician, you need the freedom (and courage) to make mistakes. You need to be able to trust your ear first. You need to learn your favorite songs! Find the joy and the mystery in your favorite music first. We’ll use theory to solve those mysteries and bring that joy to your own playing. Theory lights our way out of the dark when we get lost (and we all get lost from time to time).
Let’s talk honestly about what you want as a musician and how we can get you there. When we’re starting out in any endeavor we need cheerleaders and guides, and I welcome the chance to be both for you.
Blake Madden has twenty years of experience composing, recording, and performing music in New York and Seattle. He is the bass player and musical director for the Prince tribute band Purple Mane, and the bassist, lead singer, and principal composer for his own noir pop group, Hotels. Blake has performed live on KEXP, studied music theory and composition through the Pacific Northwest Film scoring program, and studied electric bass with Todd Kovell at Seattle School of Strings.