Bergantino Audio Systems is excited to welcome the extremely talented George Baldwin. Composer, multi-instrumentalist and all-around great person, George hails from Brighton, England and we couldn’t be happier with his addition to our artist roster.
First, please tell us what you have been up to currently, musically or otherwise?
I am in the middle of finishing some recordings that will go towards a solo album. When the release date is confirmed, it will be available on all major streaming platforms. I am also currently busy creating loops for various sample libraries as well as starting to gig live again finally. My website will be updated with gig slots soon, so keep an eye out.
What is your family background? Where you were born and raised?
I was born and raised in London and East Sussex. Everyone in my family is either artistic or musical in some form. My mum is a talented artist, pianist and drama teacher and actor who has performed in the West End, and my dad has had a career as a session guitar player who has played with many artists including Tina Turner, Phil Collins and Marvin Gaye. My brother is also a music producer currently living and working in Berlin. It was never a quiet household, to say the least!
What makes the bass so special to you particularly and how did you gravitate to it?
I originally gravitated towards the bass guitar because all the cool kids at school were in bands, and everyone seemed to be gravitating towards singing, drumming or playing guitar as the school had equipment readily available for those activities. However, this proved to be a bit of an opportunity to be in loads of bands at school, as by choosing the bass, I got to play more! My wonderful parents bought me a Fender jazz bass when I was 10 years old. I played trumpet and piano before that (and still play piano when composing).
How did you learn to play?
My dad is a professional musician, so mostly through him and having great teachers in college and throughout the years. I always make sure I’m learning and have someone teaching me new things.
Are there any other instruments you play?
Chapman Stick and a bit of guitar and piano. I also sing when I have to!
George playing his Dingwall and Chapman stick in this fantastic video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nar4gn8N6gA
How has your playing evolved over the years, and have you made changes from your start until now? Can you describe the changes?
I used to be very much into prog rock at the beginning and started off learning a lot of Rush and TOTO bass lines. I progressively got more into jazz fusion, learning lines from my heroes Jimmy Johnson and Anthony Jackson to expand my knowledge of the fretboard and how to support a tune in the most tasteful way possible. I look up to them as players in so many ways.
Describe your playing style(s), tone, strengths and/or areas that can be improved on the bass.
I tend use the Matt Garrison technique a lot due to comfort and economy reasons (mixture of thumb and three fingers). I’m progressively getting better at the double-thumbing technique when I get the time to practice it.
Who would you say out of four players that would make the cut as your influencer and why?
Probably Jimmy Johnson. His playing style works in any style of music he applies his playing to, and his sound cuts through without leaving the song behind. He can say so much with what he is playing without overplaying. I cannot get enough of listening to him.
How’d you find Bergantino, and can you share your thoughts on our bass gear?
I was recommended to try a B amp out and was floored by its transparency and flexibility. The built-in compression is a big part of my sound now, in and out of the studio. I cannot wait to gig it more!
How have you been setting the controls on the B|Amp so far, and what changes to those setting might you make as you plug in some of your other individual instruments? Maybe some examples if any?
Mostly flat EQ with the bright switch enabled, and parallel comp set to around 8 or 9. It is so versatile, and the highs are so clean for chords and plucking without being harsh. It’s fantastic with the Chapman Stick too, with the comp set a little higher to around 10. Not much tweaking is needed for a fantastic sound.
Tell us about your favorite bass or basses.
I love Dingwall, Status Graphite and S. Martyn. As luthiers, they are bringing something unique to the bass world and have a distinctive sound. They are all also super nice people and very talented!
What else do you like to do when not doing music?
I love building software and websites, walking my dogs in nature and listening to other artists.
What have you had more time to work on or explore since COVID?
I have been working a lot in software engineering, as well as recording more original material which will be out this year on most popular streaming platforms.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Thank you to Holly and Jim at Bergantino for believing in me and creating some of the best bass gear I’ve ever used. What a pleasure it’s been so far! Long may it continue…
George’s latest release: https://artists.landr.com/692531478733