Reader Spotlight: Mina Burnside

Mina BurnsideMeet Mina Burnside, a 14 year old bassist from Nashville, TN and our player in the spotlight for May 3, 2011. We first featured Mina and her impressive take on Jaco Pastorius’s “Portrait of Tracy” a couple of months ago.


I picked up my first bass on June 16, 2007, and performed in the Freedom Middle School Jazz Band (played middle school while in 6th grade), Kids on Stage Summer Academy.

2008: Kids On Stage Summer Academy, The Jam Summer Music Camp, Freedom Middle School Jazz Band, Kids On Stage grand opening, John Pavlovsky’s Rock and Roll Express House Band, Shuff’s Music 30th Birthday Show, Kimbro’s Café

2009: Kids on Stage Summer Academy, The Jam Summer Music Camp, John Pavlovsky’s Rock and Roll Express House Band, Little KISS Band at the KISS House, Freedom Middle School Jazz Band, Played for Steve Bailey at Belmont, The People’s Church Youth Group, Kimbro’s Café

2010: Lisa Pursell’s Student Gig (House Band), Williamson County Poolapalooza, Kids on Stage Summer Academy, The Jam Summer Music Camp, Puckett’s Restaurant, Kimbro’s Café, The Red House, Freedom Middle School Talent Show, Independence High School Rugby Game, Leiper’s Fork Recreational Center Cancer Benefit, Invited to open for Larry Carlton and Robben Ford.


Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Day gig:

I am currently a high school freshman at the Nashville School of the Arts and plan to continue performing in a range of musical styles and settings, in hopes of attending the Berklee College of Music after graduation.

Years experience:

I have only been playing the bass for 3 1/2 years, but I practice very diligently!

Bands & Gigs:

I play out with my band “I’ll Protect the Ladies” in Franklin, Tennessee. I also perform with Nashville-area musicians and teachers. I am also the “go-to” bassist for Kids on Stage and The JAM, two highly respected summer arts academies. In 2010, my brother and I were invited to open for guitar legends Larry Carlton and Robben Ford.


  • Ansir Music’s “The Doctor” built especially for me! (Ansir Music’s Bravura Fusion has such an amazing feel and tone I nicknamed it “The Doctor” because “It makes me feel good just thinking about it.”)
  • Hartke Kickback

Why I play the bass:

I grew up hearing my father play jazz guitar and developed a deep passion for music. We moved to Nashville when I was 9 years old. The summer I turned 11, I volunteered to help clean up and put away instruments at a summer music camp. I picked up a bass guitar, plucked the strings, and felt an unbelievably strong connection to the bass and also to a side of myself that I had never known.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I am only 14 so I’m not sure I have a claim to fame “YET”. What I can say is the deep appreciation I have for the bass and the amazing talents that influence me. What I hope my claim to fame will be is: That I may someday be a role model to others. OK I have one claim to fame… I was playing a bass at booth during the summer NAMM show in Tennessee and the owner of Ansir Music enjoyed my playing so much that he gave me the bass that I am currently playing.

My influences

Tal Wilkenfeld, Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten, James Genus, Paul McCartney (and the other Beatles members), Billy Sheehan, Roy Vogt, Jody Michael, Steve Bailey

More on the web:

I am just starting to build a portfolio of music and video’s the best place to keep up with me is my Facebook page.

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Share your thoughts

  1. Brandon

    Very good to see younger musicians today, considering the heavy influence of mainstream music. As a 16 year old bassist myself, I find this story very inspiring!

  2. What I find more impressive than her playing skills is her deep appreciation of music. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Mina as I am sure it will be great!!