From the Crowd to the Stage: A Musician Profile of Bassist, Shane Hunt-Dusse
Through the simple pluck of a string, the beat of a drum, or the hum of a tune, a multitude of feelings can be expressed and full stories can be told through music. For many, this gift is hard to grasp, but for some, music comes easy. In high school, music is a key part of determining a person’s future. Music can either take over their lives or fade into oblivion.
Shane Hunt-Dusse, a sophomore at Woodside High School, is one of those fortunate few who has been engulfed into the world of music. In the blistering summer of 2009, he was able to pick up the basic techniques of the bass guitar. Now, he has flourished into an accomplished bassist, playing covers of wild, but expressive rock songs and even songs of his own.
As a child, Hunt-Dusse spent most of his days engrossed in the more technical world of computer gaming rather than the expressive and artful world of music. “I wasn’t really into music as much. I just listened to the radio and such, enjoying your traditional rock an’ roll music,” he explained.
Up until his freshman year of high school, he had been “forced” by his mother to play piano, but, he “never really enjoyed it too much.” Instead, he copied his little sister and tried his hand at guitar. When he still did not catch on to it, his teacher suggested that he try bass. “I was instantly obsessed,” he reminisced. “I wasted that summer away playing bass and have ever since.”
When freshman year rolled around, Hunt-Dusse was introduced to the Woodside Jazz band. Every weekday morning, he has to wake up extra early to attend a 7:00 am class, covering a variety of rythmic jazz songs from “Aftershock” by Larry Barton to “Pacific Attitude” by Vince Gossi. By attending these early morning classes, he has improved his skills by sevenfold and has developed a theory about Jazz music and the bass guitar. “If you can play a jazz version of the instrument, you can play anything,” he explained. “Not only is jazz bass difficult because of the walking bass lines, but it also requires the musician to solo. After working on both of these for a year in Jazz band, as well as being surrounded by better musicians, it just kinda wears off on you.”
Recently, Hunt-Dusse has moved from playing punk-rock music to the hardcore world of metal. “As of late, I have been listening to a lot more metal, music with a more active bass line, and I have been playing that more.” What appealed to him about this wild music is the energy that flows out of it. “[I love] the feeling that makes you want to get up and jump. It makes me feel like running around. It appeases my ADHD.” Kaylynn Crawford, Hunt-Dusse’s girlfriend, described the type of music he likes now to be “very unique and unlike most of what else is out there. He generally prefers music that is very strong and interesting instrumentally, as opposed to lyrically.”
As a sophomore, he continues to play and improve his bass playing. Through watching the more experienced members of the Jazz band and through his own freestyle jamming at home, he has developed many new sounds and techniques to play the bass and has discovered an enhanced love of music.
His unique style consists of the slap, finger, 3-finger, and pick techniques to create new sounds. The most common method of the bunch, the finger method is played with the index and middle fingers. The 3-finger method is “a lot harder to master, but very fun and useful.” Similar to the regular finger method, the musician plucks the strings with three fingers instead of two. In the slap method the bassist uses his thumb to “slap and bounce your thumb off of the string while you use other fingers to pop the higher strings.” Like in guitar, the pick method uses a pick to pluck the strings instead of the fingers. “Each one yields a different sound,” he justified. “In addition to that, the tone can be different. How much treble, bass, and mids [middle notes] you have at one time makes each sound different. Even more, each bass has its own sound.”
With his rapid progress in learning the bass, he believes that he is ready to form a band. “I have been in a bit of a cover band on and off throughout this year, but never anything to serious.” Hunt-Dusse and his band cover songs like “Decode” by Paramore and “Welcome Home” by Coheed and Cambria with his bandmates Bella Mallow, singer, Prudencio Capulong, guitarist, Devin Wright, drummer and Ethan Anderson, guitarist. “Its not my preferred cup of tea, so to speak, but I enjoy playing in an organized group.”
He went on to clarify that he would “love to be in a [real] band,” but due to his “unforeseen increase in homework”, he no longer has time to devote his attention to it. But, he is always open to new talent and new band members. “I’m looking for skilled players,” he stated. “I’ll take anyone, but I prefer skilled musicians. A singer is optional.”
For now, he is focusing on school work. With the always ominous testing and finals coming up at the end of this quarter, he will try to play bass as much as possible. When summer comes around, he will play all through the night and maybe even have time to form a band. “Unfortunately for the rest of this school year, I won’t have time to do anything with AP’s coming up. But, this should be a very fun summer.”
Over the past few years, music has become much more than a hobby to Hunt-Dusse. His love of hearing melodies streaming from his headphones and amplifier have become more of a way of life. This influence has allowed him to experience a much happier and exciting life full of powerful melodies and complicated tunes and cause the heart to flutter in admiration. “Besides the fact that it’s something he loves to do, it helps him calm down and de-stress. It gives him something to do in his free time,” says Crawford. With just a quick glance at Hunt-Dusse strumming his bass, his dream of a future heavily involved with music seems surprisingly realistic.
Other stories in Music
- Woodside's Next Rolling Stones:The Feedback - March 8, 2013
- Epic Performances at Music's Biggest Night - March 6, 2013
- An Afternoon in the Quad: Woodside Art Boom - January 20, 2013
- The Rhythm of Your Heart in a Melodic Art - January 15, 2013
- One Direction: The New Faces of Pop Music - October 10, 2012
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- Woodside Band Foreign Soil Provides Hope for All-Ages Music - October 19, 2010
- Woodside Artist Profile: Kitty Calonje, Photographer - October 17, 2010
- Woodside Artist Profile: Nicole De Biasi, Manga Artist - October 8, 2010
- Woodside Artist Profile: Risa Jensen, Musician/Dancer - October 8, 2010