The Low Down with Derek Frank


What do Gwen Stefani and Shania Twain have in Common? Well for one they both have vegas residencies but more importantly on the bottom and they have Derek Frank Holden down the base. That's right Derek. Frank is on tour with both gwen engine in addition to doing their vegas residencies. Also if you live in the Los Angeles area you can check out Derek. Frank at soundcheck live. And he's in the resident band there. At lucky strike in Hollywood additionally Derek has played with Shakira. Paulina Rubio Daniel Powder. Air Supply Mindy a bear in the bone-shakers and you guessed it the list goes on checkout Derek Frank. Bass player extraordinaire right here on the career musician. Podcast Derek Frank. Welcome to nomads place. Hey man good to be here. Thank you so much for coming to my pleasure. Right down the street. Yes yeah we were just talking about how we never were neighbors. Yeah Yeah Burbank. Yep GotTa Love Burbank. Indeed man now Your House. You have a studio as well right Yup Yup got a garage we That was kind of the main selling point of the houses that we'd a three car garage that we could build a studio in awesome. Yeah I mean I wonder how many people in Burbank actually musicians right probably half composed. Who's play yeah? It seems like every you know every couple of months I get invited to some session and it's like down the street somewhere in someone's garage. I'm like Oh my God. I didn't even know there was a studio here. That's all it seems. Like half half the houses in Burbank. Have some SORTA studio you know right right. But he's in the industry exactly and then not to mention writers and actors and producers directors. Sure we're definitely in the entertainment district. Here hub yeah cool all right so bro. The career musician it is what it is right. A lot of people say. What does that mean? Well we've made a living out of playing music so I kinda dub does as career music. Yes somehow we've made it work exactly. Yeah against all odds so look I. I WanNa talk about a brief history. Okay I think you went to the University of Miami is I did. What got into music? What was the impetus that said you know what? I'm going to be a musician but I'm going to be a bass player as well. Well that was early on I mean just as a Kid. I think a lot of us that end up doing this. You know we discover music when we're really young and we just like it. We don't know anything about it. We don't play an instrument yet but we're just into it and that was me. I I listen to a lot of stuff. I was really into it when MTV came out. I just could not stop watching it. I just saw people playing on. Mtv knows like man. I want to do that so then when the time came I I gotta get started taking lessons for just a few months and then I was in a music store once waiting for my lesson in there was based on the wall and I was like. What's that and the guys who get the Bass Guitar and I? I had no idea what that was. It was like I wanNA check that out so as I'm waiting for my guitar lesson I start playing this basin it immediately just like wow like this instrument. This is what I WANNA play. Wow that's who's who's kind of like that. Yeah what what was it? Because there was only four strings would they because they were thicker the vibrations the lower frequency? I can't explain it. It's just like I started playing it and just really dug it. I was like wow. This thing's really cool like and then I kind of learned what it is and what its function isn't a band and Yeah just started taking lessons on one of those i. I was a caddy at the time. Saved up some money caddying at the golf course and bought a Kramer Bass Kramer Duke Bass Guitar. Oh Yeah that was in Norwalk Connecticut. You probably know where that is your from. Long Island right absolutely now not too far away. Yeah all right. So then what brought you down to Miami and eventually over here. Well I've you know pretty soon got pretty serious about it like I had my high school garage band jam on. Know Van. Halen led Zeppelin stuff like that. Then my family moved to Cleveland. Ohio and I was kind of thrust into all the all the groups in the school. Like in the music program like the Renault Bass players so I got thrust into jazz band concert band marching band. Because they didn't have Tubas so I played in marching band with a wireless and then look would do play in the pit orchestra for the musicals. They'd have it high school so I was just kind of thrust into all these situations that that made me a better musician you know I had to. I had to learn to read ahead to to play jazz. I had to learn. You know all all that kind of stuff you know. Kinda made me get serious about music and then started auditioning for other stuff around Cleveland. I played in this like all state jazz band called Ohio Jazz Orchestra for Youth and got my ass kicked in that really like you know. Made Me Kinda step up and shed a lot and that's a trip. How about half of the right? Yeah Yeah so. How did you learn how to read and and play changes and whatnot and jazz because you're going from rock and Roll Jazz? That's a transition. Oh yeah totally. I was a metal head before I did that. Likud I moved to Cleveland. I was like into thrash metal and stuff like that and like you know I started taking theory in the in the high school band director was was like. Oh you know we need to play jazz. Been and all this stuff and I'd never played any of that stuff before I had never read anything so I was just thrust into it and I had to learn and I got Got A teacher in Cleveland and helped me start reading and I got some reading books and practised reading. You know it was just like trial by fire. Sink or swim. You know if there's something that I couldn't figure out how to like take it home and figure it out you know and this is the days before the Internet Youtube to just look it up. Oh no I just had to kind of learn from books and learn from a teacher and just learn about putting the hours in just by you know Kinda practicing reading rhythms and reading notes and the more I did that in the more reading situations I got put into Just kind of the better I got at it and it was a very valuable skill that I was fortunate enough to learn on right. Incredible did you ever use the clap out? The rhythms before is doesn't that table. I remember I would just sit in bed with my book and like a flashlight and a pencil and I would just kind of like nod my head to the quarter note just tap out. The rhythms can only do that for a half hour before bed. You know things like that or if I if I had time where I didn't have my base with me and I couldn't like actually practice do that. Yeah just tap out the rhythms just to Kinda learn how to read rhythms. I talk about that all the time to this day. I'll be sitting on the airplane writing a chart totally an IPAD and you can just tap it out and you can count through it and slow it down right. Yeah I do that all the time just like on planes. Because that's like you know downtime. You have a lot of times in between gigs or whatever and you're like okay. We'll I can use. I can use this three hour flight to chart out tunes for the next GIG. That's right and that's all the time. Yeah Yeah we're GONNA come back to that actually so then you go to. Um so which is kind of good because you start in Jazz Ban. You get your feet wet. Yeah I got more serious a- more serious with jazz as time went on like I said I I was in that Ohio Jazz Orchestra for youth with a lot of real great players from local high schools. I did that and then I went to a interlocken center for the arts for two summer programs and then ended up staying for my senior year of High School Eight of Boarding School. It's just an arts boarding school where everybody's there to get just better at their craft. That's along we. There was there for years senior year so I did two summers and then stayed around for my senior year of high school. Then I went to University of Miami. That's immersive though that. That's Oh man. It was great idea. Yeah it really was because I was with a lot of like minded people all the time you know aside from our on. Sambas that we were in our classes. We jam constantly. You know late at night early in the morning like you're with a bunch of people that just want to play and that just really head start you know just putting in that many hours playing those very fortunate to have been able to do that okay. So that got you prepped for. Yeah then I went to Miami. Miami was the only school I auditioned for. I You know I was. I was an electric bass player. Never really got into the upright thing. A lot of other schools that have jazz programs. Were a little bit more traditional big bandy. You know to where like I couldn't really just be an electric bass player and you go there. Really my options were Miami Berkeley or am I and Miami just seemed to be the right program at the time but you didn't even apply to the others. I didn't I just. I applied auditioned addition to Miami. Got Accepted and that was it. Bam So my choice easy. That's awesome just went yet just went for one school. Yeah what was that like? It's great you've completed your yeah. I did for years. I did take a year off after freshman year. I just kind of wanted like takes time off and process everything because I I've been going pretty intensely for a while with with You know the the the summer jazz program I was in and then interlocken for a year and then after that I did a cruise ship for for the summer. Then I went to Miami for freshman year and It was just a ton of intense shedding for years. And I really just kinda needed to take time away from that just process it so I took a year off after Freshman Year. I did a cruise ship Gig for six on states. Saved up some money practice my ass off but also you know partied quite a bit simple. Do on. Cruise ships brilliant. Yeah just kind of wanted just. I just needed a year to Kinda like SORTA CATCH UP PROCESS. Right relaxed a little bit as well. I feel just like a lot of information intel. It was really practicing a lot back then. To right Yeah so took that year off and then went back and finished and it was great. It was a great program a lot of great players. I played in a lot of bands and just took in a lot of information and it was. It was

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