Hi Friends, I hope you’re doing marvellously well!
We’re very blessed to have one of the most sought after bass players in the R&B, Soul and Jazz with us today:
Kevin Brandon, aka. “Brandino” was Aretha Franklin’s bassist for over 20 years and has worked with a-list artists across the board: From Mary J Blige and Justin Timberlake, to Outcast, Will.i.am, Joss Stone and many more.
Playing Warwick Electric Bass and an Eastman 5-String Upright Bass, Brandino seems to have found a sound of his own that lots of modern artists appreciate.
Brandino’s musical journey started at an early age: Surrounded by a musical family, he started out playing the flute and wanted to become a drummer, but eventually decided to pick up bass to join the family band. He reminisces about the first basses he owned and being so eager to learn that his bass teacher had trouble keeping up with the pace!
We discuss the differences between playing electric bass vs. upright bass and Brandino shares his favourite training books, finger exercises and tips he picked up from various mentors.
Due to his classical education Brandino was able to read sheet music, which allowed him to get his foot in the door early on and fill in for various players around town when they couldn’t perform at a gig. This ability was also of the main factors he eventually got to play for Aretha Franklin.
Brandino discusses his new album “The Many Faces Of Brandino 2“, and working with various talented artists and musicians throughout his career.
At the end, Brandino takes some time to answer questions of our members at Produce Like A Pro Academy and walks us out with a little jam session:
- Favourite Bass Amps and basses to use in different genres
- Recording signal chain and EQing on the way in
- Tips for locking in the bass and the drums, finding a “pocket”
- Bass arrangement tips
Discussed in this video:
- Bass Training Books:
– F Simandl: New Method for the double bass (Book 1)
– Tony Oppenheim: Slap It
I hope you enjoyed this interview! Please leave a bunch of questions and comments below.