Jime van Booven, the US
1. For the first question we want to know when did you start to play the bass guitar? Was it easy for you to learn bass?
I began on guitar first, when I was about 12 years old. Started a band with my brother and our bass player moved. So at 14, I switched to bass.
2. Playing on the bass for you is… Hobby? Job? Lifestyle?
At this time, playing bass is more of a life style. I’m currently playing in a band and sometimes I get called to play for others. I don’t think of it as a job, more like a hobby where I sometimes make money.
3. Who is your musical inspiration among bassists?
There are many, but the one who got me interested in the bass is Paul McCartney.
4. Do you play any other musical instruments? If you start to learn another one which would you like?
Guitar, as I mentioned before. I also play a little keyboard, have played the ukelele and also am working on the mandolin. I have some harmonicas, but have not yet put that much time into learning how to play them. At this time, I don’t think I should try anything else, until I can play what I have now.
5. Musical instrument with which you can be associated with is…
The Hofner Violin Beatle Bass. That is my main bass at the moment.
6. Tell us about the projects in which you participate?
I play bass and sing with John Zipperer & Friends. I started playing at the Veterans Hospital in the San Fernando Valley playing Jazz Standards for the vets. I sat in for John Cartwright for a couple of weeks. When he returned, I began playing guitar. I am also working a my songs, but I try to do them when I have some down time.
7. What do you feel on live performances? How friendly and open are you with your fans?
I feel great every time I perform. It’s hard to play for a small (5-10) crowd, but I try to give my all. Large crowds are also great, but you must try to included them in your performance. Make them a part, let them know it’s ok to sing, clap, yell, whistle and most importantly, to have fun. I am very friendly, accessible and open with the fans.
8. What do you like except music? Can you imagine yourself in other areas of life?
I like to fish, camp, drive through the mountains and take pictures. There are many amazing things mother nature has to offer. It’s down time, from the rat race and a good way to recharge the batteries. I can’t imagine myself in any other life style. For me, and most other musicians, it’s a calling. That’s why, I didn’t have a different career. I’ve worked on and built computers and did inventory control. But I was always playing as much and as often as I could.
9. Maybe other bass players or those who start to learn bass are reading this article now. Let’s talk about technical stuff. Which brand do you prefer? Does quality of music depend on the guitar’s brand or of the skill of the bass player?
The basses I had in the past, were an EBO short scale bass by Gibson. Then I began using the Fender long scale P-Bass. Now I use a Hofner Violin Bass, which is my current preference. The quality of music, in my opinion, may or may not depend on the brand (name) of the instrument. There have been some less expensive basses I used, that sounded and felt better, than a more expensive bass and vice versa. Skill lever is important, but you also have to feel (play) and hear the instrument as well. Each musician has a tone they are searching for and part of the tone, comes from the instrument. I believe that which ever model, size, cost of the instrument you pick. It must feel good in your hands, it must play smoothly, it must have a good tone off the shelf and you should be comfortable playing it. Then you can work on finding the tone, you hear in your head. Others may have a different approach or take on this subject, but this is my way and it’s been working for me so far. Try, hear, feel before you purchase. At the moment, my set up is The Hofner connected to a SansAmp (EQ’d and dialed in), then connected to an Acoustic B260 mini amp (also EQ’d and dialed in).
10. And the last question is about your musical dreams and plans. What are you planning for the future? What are you dreaming about? What should we wish for you?
I lived most of my musical dreams and I plan to continue playing for as long as I can. Since I don’t consider this a job and more of a hobby, I don’t think I will ever stop. I’m working to complete my solo project and hope that the music will help others, dealing with grief and letting them know, they are not alone. Wish me continued peace and happiness and pass it on the everyone.