A five year veteran of the Rock On workshop and a professional bassist for over 20 years, Dan Broad has performed in nearly every state in the U.S. and many European Countries. Well versed in many musical genres, he has performed and recorded with ensembles that range from Rock, Blues and Jazz to Classical, Bluegrass and beyond. Splitting his time between Electric bass and Upright, Dan maintains a busy schedule of gigs as well as private students. He holds a BA in Music from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he studied under Salvatore Macchia and Mark Dresser.
Rock On: You studied music at the University of Massachusetts Amherst under professors Salvatore Macchia and Mark Dresser. What methods of instruction did you pick up from these two figures (as well as earlier instructors of yours) do you hope to pass on and utilize with your students at the Rock On Workshop?
Dan Broad: Both of those guys were amazing to study with and gave me copious amounts of their time and expertise. Two of the most important things I learned while in music school were what to practice and, more importantly, how to practice. A structured practice routine is like going to the gym; you use a variety of specific exercises to make you stronger. I teach my students that having a firm grasp on the fundamentals of music (theory, harmony, reading, rhythm, etc.) is what makes us better musicians. Technique and knowledge of repertoire will only take a young musician so far if they don’t understand the larger musical picture.
RO: According to your bio you split your professional time between playing gigs and teaching private lessons. With what act(s) do you perform live? Do you have a preference towards either instructing or performing live? For how long have you done both?
DB: I have been performing for 24 years and teaching for 12. I do prefer performing to teaching, but I enjoy teaching students of all of ages. Currently, my youngest student is ten and my oldest is 75. Some of the acts I am working with currently include The Rev Tor Band, The Jeff King Band, The Cover Up, Poke In the Eye, The Bill Chapman Group, Prentice Pilot and Bernice Lewis.
RO: You seem to be fluent in many various genres of music. Do you have a particular favorite you like to perform? A favorite you like to instruct? A favorite you prefer to listen to?
DB: My musical tastes are all over the map: I am big fan of Joseph Haydn, John Coltrane, Bob Wills and Led Zeppelin. I enjoy playing anything that challenges me. As far as instruction, I am always willing to allow my students to choose what material they want to learn. There is musical value in just about everything I have ever heard. I also encourage my students to broaden their musical horizons by exposing them to music they may not otherwise get to hear.
RO: This year will mark your sixth year spent working at the Rock On camp. How did you first get involved with Rock On? What keeps you coming back?
DB: I first got involved in Rock On when I was teaching Mary’s son Dan to play the bass guitar. At that time, Rock On was just an idea and it was exciting to see it become a reality. I keep coming back because I am very invested in the success of my students. I enjoy helping young musicians grow and helping them to learn skills for making music a permanent part of their lives.