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Here’s something I read this morning about research correlating bass guitar players and golfers. Theologian Tom Beaudoin, another bass guitarist, posted it on one of my favorite blogs, Rock and Theology.

It turns out that bassists are among the “dullest” musicians, personality-wise – at least from the outside. I’m a bassist from way back, and I’m thankful that I also play electric guitar, and keyboard – instruments that, by analogy, must pull other personality characteristics out of me on a regular basis. But the bassist in me is, to be honest, kind of foundational, (pun intended), and explains a lot.

I’m not a golfer, but the article infers that bass playing and golfing are roughly parallel, in terms of crowd-pleasing behavior. Here’s the most telling quote: ‘The golfers just did a few practice swings and lots of pretend looking into the distance after their imaginary ball and the bass players just swayed ever so slightly, did a lot of out-of-tune humming, and asked for a pie. God it was dull.’

This explains much of what I see when I review video tapes of my teaching. (I think the preaching tapes are more influenced by my rock guitarist alter ego) With this in mind, I appeal to my students, past and present, to be forgiving, and to recognize that, when teaching, I may appear a slight bit dull, but I’m really living the rock and roll dream. Just re-imagine me with my (heavy) bass guitar slung over my shoulder, on stage at the Royal Albert Hall, and this should energize the entire experience.

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