Phish Bassist Mike Gordon Appears On Nick Forster’s ‘Teach Me One Thing’

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eTown host and longtime Hot Rize member Nick Forster launched a new series entitled Teach Me One Thing with help from Phish bassist Mike Gordon. Each episode will find Forster calling one of his friends and asking them to teach him something. Mike served as the first guest.

Nick and Mike began by talking about life during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Gordon is sequestered at home with a big group and feels the silver lining is that everyone is more focused on their projects, including Mike on his “musical stuff.” The bassist then goes on to teach Forster the “non-varying dial.”

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Gordon discussed a lesson that he learned from Bob Weir about focusing on one chord or pattern instead of varying or noodling. He compared it to meditation as the musician focuses so much on the one chord or pattern that it opens up a world of options. “By forcing yourself not to vary, there’s almost a reverence that comes … it’s a surrender, I don’t get to control this,” Mike said. He explained that even though you’d think playing the same pattern or chord over and over would be boring, the reverse happens.

The bassist went on to give a few examples of the “non-varying dial” and talked about the spectrum from playing the same pattern over and over to “going for it.” Watch Mike Gordon’s appearance on Nick Forster’s Teach Me One Thing below:

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