Reader Spotlight: Jordan Hepburn
Meet Jordan Hepburn, a bassist from Scotland, who originally started on guitar before making the switch to bass. Later, he took a break from music but returned with a bang, recording solo bass pieces, traditional Scottish music, and more.
Jordan is this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight. Here’s his story…
I’m a self-taught bass guitarist from Edinburgh, Scotland. I recently launched my online presence with my debut “Solo Bass” single release of “Game of Thrones, – Main Title” Theme. My work also features traditional Scottish music, as well as my own original works. I’m heavily inspired by Victor Wooten, and I utilize a range of techniques in my playing including double-thumbing, tapping, harmonics, arpeggio, and conventional techniques to articulate rhythm and melody. I am passionate about the versatility and beauty of the bass guitar as a tool for musical communication and self-expression. I hope to form new connections and collaborate with other artists to explore musical opportunities and continue to develop my Bass playing.
I started playing the bass when I was around thirteen-years-old, having played the guitar since I was seven. However, I took a long break from playing due to wider life commitments over the past ten years and began playing again in 2019 with the view of learning techniques and changing my playing style in order to perform my own original music and best-loved cover songs as “stand-alone” solo bass pieces.
Why I play the bass:
At the beginning, it was to join a band with my friends who needed a bass player, but once I listened to Blood Sugar Sex Magic by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (on cassette) and Flea, I was hooked.
Following my long break from playing, it was Victor Wooten who made me want to play again – I wanted to see if I could learn his style and techniques and knew that if I could grasp even the basics that this would unlock new levels of creativity and pleasure in my bass playing. I also went to see Victor Wooten and The Wooten Brothers at Ronnie Scott’s in London back in November 2019 – it was unbelievable. Experiencing their musical mastery and getting the opportunity to watch my main inspirator only made me more motivated to play again.
I have always played my Dad’s 1980’s Fender Precision “Lite” Series Active Bass – he gifted it to me as a teenager and I haven’t owned or bought another bass since! It has been with me throughout my musical journey and I love its feel, familiarity, and tone – as its name implies it is also extremely light! I mainly play through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio-Interface these days for convenience and as I mainly play in the evenings. I have also used it for all my recording to-date and single releases.
My dad Jerry Hepburn was my first and most important musical inspiration – he played in a number of bands, but I remember the Tartan Amoebas best who he played bass for. They were invited to play at the Movie Premiere of Braveheart at Stirling Castle when it was released and released a number of albums. Growing up listening to their music, watching them perform, and seeing what being in a band was all about really inspired me to pursue music from an early age. In terms of bass players, my main influences when I started playing were the Flea, Jaco Pastorius, and Marcus Miller, but in more recent years have included Charles Berthoud and of course, Victor Wooten.
My bass superpower/claim to fame:
I am the first Artist from Scotland to release a “Solo Bass” Single, including our National Anthem “Flower of Scotland” by Roy Williamson.
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