Bass Guitar Brought Me Halfway Around the World!
Hello and welcome, I’m Dave Leggett. When I was 17 in my native London, I spied a no name P-Bass copy in a music store window. It was love at first sight!
Even though it was right-handed and I’m a lefty, I bought it. I swapped the strings around and learned to play upside down.
But the need to make a living intervened. I sold my gear and concentrated on my career, but all the time I kept thinking about the bass.
At age 24, I received a lefty Aria Pro II XRB as a birthday present. That’s when things took off. I took bass lessons, practiced earnestly, and joined several bands, playing originals and covers in a variety of styles. I also enrolled in music and bass courses part-time, and eventually earned a Music GCSE.
From 1992 until 2004, I gigged with several local bands, mainly on the pub and club circuit around London. I also had a promising career at British Airways, but all I wanted to do was study and play music.
From London to Los Angeles and Musicians Institute
When I was 36, that dream finally came true. I got the opportunity to study full-time at Musicians Institute (MI) in Los Angeles. It meant giving up my job, leaving family and friends behind, and moving to a country where I didn’t know a soul!
In September 2004, I started my 18-month Bass Institute of Technology program at MI.
Every single lesson challenged me and I practically lived at MI from the time I started until my graduation in 2006. I only returned to my apartment to sleep, eat, and shower before returning to MI. I was doing this just for me and figured I’d only get one shot at it. I wanted to give it everything I had, because no matter what else, I would have achieved this personal goal of graduating from MI’s Bass program.
Sometimes, I gave myself the odd bit of time off from studies to recharge the batteries. On one such day, I met my future wife Debra when she moved into my apartment building in 2005!
In 2006, I graduated from MI with an AA degree in Bass Performance and received the Outstanding Bass Student Award.
Both my parents (who flew over from England) and Debra were there for my graduation. It’s honestly one of the proudest moments of my life. I was so glad they could be there to share it with me!
After graduation, I played with local bands and picked up temporary work at TV studios. In 2007, I was offered full-time employment at Musicians Institute, where I’ve worked since.
I still play gigs with local bands and practice my instrument every day.
Recently I’ve begun to realize that music is a lifelong journey and to not rush anything, to recognize that it’s a very large part of my life but to not exclude people, and to enjoy the musical journey as a part of life, of which each day is precious!