Where are you from?
I’m from Hokkaido, Japan.
Ayumu, you have so many things going on as a creative artist, can you share with us what you have been working on?
I am an instructor and provide clinics, I work on producing videos for Instagram and FaceBook for my social media channels, and I also write columns in Japanese bass magazines.
What makes the bass so special to you particularly, and how did you gravitate to it?
I hated music class in school when I was a kid. I was really bad at the instruments we were supposed to learn, so I received nothing but failing grades. But when I was 13, a friend invited me to play in a school talent show and I tried the bass with a more playful attitude. I didn’t know that music could actually be fun up until that point, so when I managed to learn a song on the bass, it was exhilarating. We started a proper band after that, and I just got more and more into the instrument.
Describe your playing style(s)?
I want people to be able to tell that it’s me just from listening, so I play in a very unique style.
Have you taken any lessons?
I went to a music college for two years and learned the theory.
The videos you produce are stunning. Can you share your inspiration here on how your goals as an artist and objectives are established here?
Thank you. I just play whatever I want to play. In terms of style, I’ve never had a specific person who I aspired to imitate, so I just enjoy myself while searching for the style that feels most like my own.
Can you also share the amount of time and work it takes to put a video together: preproduction, filming and editing.
It takes a long time! Transcription and performance are the easy parts for me, but I don’t know much about video editing, so that delays my process. I want to surprise people, so I’m meticulous about my performance and about the videos. I sometimes wonder if I’m the first person to shoot a bass video with a drone.
Because I’m aiming for very particular productions, the costs of photo studio space and human resources add up as well. These videos aren’t necessarily funded by the companies whose products I endorse, so I lose money on most of them.
How do you see the role of a bass player in a band?
These days 7and 8-string guitars are becoming more common, and there are some bands now that just don’t have a bass at all. So I think we bass players have to start rethinking our position. If the guitarists can cover the lower registers, then maybe bassists can switch it up as well.
What else do you like to do besides playing bass?
I used to swim before I started playing the bass, so sometimes I’ll go swimming at the gym to clear my head. I also like soccer and often go to watch games.
What are you looking for in sound and quality from your amp and how does the Bergantino B|Amp live up to that expectation?
My ideal amp is one that brings out my style. Since I’ve started using the Bergantino B|Amp, my sound has become very clean.
What is it you like about the B|Amp in terms of sound, tone, etc?
The high resolution audio means I can hear each individual note clearly. Even when I play chords, which tend to sound muddy on the bass, they ring out very clear. I like the fact that you can fine tune the EQ settings and easily create presets. The Bluetooth foot switch is nice since it gets rid of the stress of cables.
What do you feel will change or would like to see happen with bass amplification in the next 5 years?
I think amps will change as bass performance styles become more varied. I’m sure many players with new styles will emerge in the next five years, so I imagine amps will evolve together with those trends.
What basses do you currently play and do you play any other instruments?
I’m using a custom model from Dingwall Guitars and do not play other instruments.
Let us know what you’re currently working on (studio, band, side projects, etc.)
Various productions have stopped due to the coronavirus. I have some videos and recordings already taken, but I don’t know when they will be announced.
What is your best advice to aspiring musicians trying to make their way in the music business?
There’s no right or wrong in music, so don’t worry about what other people think. Explore what you like with everything you’ve got.
Thank you Ayumu for taking the time to answer these questions for us.
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