Saturday, 23 September, 2017

Because it's all about the bass

Because it’s all about the bass

Story: CHR | ST | 23rd August 2017, 11:22 Hrs

When Felicia D'Souza was around 12 years old, her father decided to teach her the piano. " As I was left handed, learning other common instruments was a little tough," she recalls. While she learnt and improved her skills over the next four years, Felicia wasn't very happy just playing the piano. "I decided to try something new and chose the bass guitar. To me, the bass guitar was just groovy and I loved the feel of it. Also, while the drums is the heartbeat of a band, I truly believe that the bass guitar is the backbone. Without bass, a band is incomplete." she states.
Of course, owing to being left handed, there were a few initial teething problems in terms of getting the grip of the instrument right, but she quickly overcame this and began playing the bass guitar right handed.
And while she plays the bass guitar pretty confidently now, the LRSL exam was altogether a new challenge. "There is no fixed syllabus given out. In fact you have to create your own. You have to choose pieces and then completely improvise on them. The tunes also have to be approved from the UK," she shares.
" I was completely lost. The whole thing required a high level of skills and band knowledge and demanded complete attention and cutting down of other activities which wasn't possible for me," says D'Souza, who is the daughter of San Antonio D'Mello, founder of Taught to Teach School, and has also been teaching music in the school herself since she was 15. " I was sending 14 students of my own for exams plus I had music concerts of the school to focus on," she says. Apart from this, she had also chosen a syllabus that focused on jazz music, which was new to her. " My dad has always loved jazz and was always after us to get into it as well so I took it up as a challenge. I had a whole lot of help from Rocky Lazarus too," she discloses. The exam went on for about 40 minutes which included performance and interview. D'Souza was accompanied by her two sisters Anastasia (on the drums) and Eustacia ( on the keyboard).
To learn that she had not only passed the exam with distinction but also become the first in Goa and in India to clear it, was exciting news for her, she admits. " Usually guys tend to take up bass guitar more and it's still not very common among girls," says D'Souza, who received her certification just recently.
Apart from piano and bass guitar, D'Souza now also plays the drums, classical guitar, electric guitar,
a little bit of saxophone and violin. "I want to get into vocals now. While I have sung in school and in choirs, I have never done it professionally and I would like to give it a try," says D'Souza who is into a lot of Gospel music. In fact, at the age of 19, she came out with her very own tune titled I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me. D' Souza is hopeful that she will be able to come out with more of her own tunes soon.

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