With incredible technique and a clean style, bassist Daniel Sing is laying a lot of lowdown groove and it’s coming all the way from Down Under. Not only a bassist but he is an educator and musical director based in Sydney, Australia. Whether playing electric, upright or key bass, he keeps a regular schedule working and teaching diverse genres. We virtually sat down with Daniel and he’s what he had to say.
Daniel, what have you been up to?
I’ve been teaching music, practicing a lot and spending time with my family. COVID restrictions are easing here in Sydney. It’s been amazing to get together with old musical friends and colleagues again, as well as meet new ones, too! For all the challenges the year has presented us, it has pushed me and many around me to innovate and create new things.
Where were you born and raised and how did you end up in Sydney, Australia?
I was born and raised in Southwest Sydney and proud of it! I’m privileged to have grown up and live in a city rich in diversity and opportunities.
What makes the bass so special to you and how did you gravitate toward it?
Bass represents the perfect marriage of rhythm and harmony and I continue to learn and understand this more profoundly with every musical experience I have.
The reason I originally gravitated to the bass is probably different to why I still love and play it. I picked up the instrument relatively late, at 15 years old, after seeing a school friend play it in music class. I wasn’t a musician at all and I remember feeling awe inspired when I heard it. I naively thought to myself, “It only has 4 strings? One note at time? How hard could it be?” The rest is history.
How did you learn to play?
It took a while to convince my parents that bass was not just a fad for me. With some persistence, I was fortunate enough to get lessons from some bass teachers through high school who helped me find my voice on the instrument. Like all of us, I’m forever a student of music. Every musical experience teaches us something, even if we can’t always quantify it.
Are there any other instruments you play?
I double on upright bass and keyboard bass, which I really enjoy. I’ve also had formal lessons on guitar and I’m currently learning the trombone too.
How has your playing evolved over the years and have you made changes?
As I’ve learned to really listen more on stage and in the studio, I find myself playing less, but with more intention and conviction. Anytime I pick up the bass, my aim is to play parts with a compositional mindset from start to finish even if it’s just driving eighth notes!
More specifically, in the last few years I’ve focused on further developing my harmonic vocabulary as well as control over note lengths in my articulation.
Describe your playing style(s), tone, strengths and/or areas that can be improved on the bass.
At risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, I think I’d describe my style and sound as soulful and melodically funky.
Nowadays, I’m ok with knowing my strengths (and weaknesses) as a musician.
Where do you see the instrument 5, 10, or even 20 years from now?
As I scroll through my socials, I see the next generation of super young bassists playing at such a high level, which is both scary and exciting at the same time! I think it’s an interesting time to learn music, there are really no limits anymore to finding musical inspiration.
It’s also amazing to see companies like Bergantino continue to innovate and push the envelope for what is possible musically.
What four bass players are your influencers?
In terms of bass players, in no order I’d say, Sharay Reed, Anthony Jackson, Marcus Miller and James Jamerson.
What are you currently working on?
I’m co-writing some instrumental music set to be released early 2021 and I am recording bass for a Christmas album. Rehearsals are about to begin for a conference I’m directing in January. I’m also in the early stages of a new side project but can’t mention much yet.
How did you find Bergantino and can you share your thoughts on our bass gear?
I’m thankful to have a Bergantino dealer thirty minutes from where I live. Even before hearing them, I’ve always thought the design of Bergantino amps and cabs are beautiful. I’ve spent over a decade messing around with various rig changes and finally, Bergantino feels like home. I’m constantly impressed by how full range the sound is. My Bergantino rig reproduces details in my playing like no other amp I’ve ever played.
Tell us about your favorite bass or basses.
My number one is definitely my custom F Bass BN5. I also have a super nice Fender Custom Shop 1960 P strung with flats that I love.
What else do you like to do besides playing bass?
I love spending time with my wife and our 18-month old daughter. I’m a part of my local church community, where I am the musical director.
I also enjoy collecting LP records, automatic watches, trying new whiskies and wearing sneakers!
What have you had more time to work on or explore during the COVID pandemic?
In the past few months I’ve been trying to up my video and lighting chops and I’m realizing what a rabbit hole it is. I’m definitely enjoying the process, though.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I want to say a big thank you to the team at Bergantino Audio Systems for welcoming me into your artist family and also to Bass Gear Direct here in Sydney for all the support they’ve shown me. I’m excited to be representing Bergantino here in Australia.
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