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Rockstar Rhythms: School of Rock's Young Musician Spotlight

Updated: Mar 20

Gabe Eldridge -16 years old

Wellington, CO

What made you want to become a musician?

My brother inspired me to become a musician. He showed me how I can speak through my music, getting out emotions that I find difficult to get out in other ways.

Which instruments do you play?

Bass, Guitar, Piano, Vocals

What accomplishments do you see yourself achieving in the next 5 to 10 years?

l hope to go to the Berkley College of Music to study jazz theory and songwriting. After graduating I want to become a professional touring musician as I love doing gigs.

What strengths do you have that you believe make you a great musician?

I'll pay close attention to what other members of the band are playing and focus to make sure what I am playing on the bass really fits the groove and vibe of the song.

Which instrument is your favorite to play and why?

The bass is definitely my favorite. It has become my "voice". It's really become who I am in many ways. When I play it I feel both connected and free.

What is it about music that makes you feel passionate?

Again, it has become It my voice. Or you could say it's how I access my soul. I find it a more primal way for me to speak and express my emotions.

Describe your favorite and least favorite part about being a musician.

Playing gigs is without a doubt by favorite part of being a musician! I find that there is no better feeling than seeing the crowd vibe with what you are playing. I also really love hanging out with the great friends I've made at School of Rock before, during and after a show. I guess my least favorite part is lugging around my gear and setting it up before a show. I look forward to the day when I can have a crew do that for me!

Are there any musicians who inspire you? What qualities do you admire about them?

Thundercat is by far my his biggest musical inspiration. His funky 6-string bass playing is mesmerizing - and he's really opened up the way the bass is used as an instrument.

Tell me about your favorite performance in your career.

When School of Rock performed at Red Rocks. Looking out from the stage and seeing over 10,000 cheering and vibing to the music still gives me chills when I think about it! I guess it's fair to say that gig was a big turning point for me as a musician.

Which skills have you gained from School of Rock that help you perform effectively as a musician?

I've learned so much at School of Rock it's hard to choose! I guess really learning the importance of taking the time to nail down my parts and do my best to make sure they are a perfect fit within the song. That said, I've also learned that it's OK to make mistakes! I used to be hard on myself when I did, but I've learned to keep going with the flow - which has really made me an overall better player and performer.

Do you follow a process or ritual before a performance to get rid of nerves or performance anxiety?

Yeah I do! I find that doing some meditation and breathing exercises helps me to relax before I go on stage - and when I'm relaxed I always play better. I also do warm-up exercises on bass that help with my confidence and gets me pumped and ready and rock.

Hanging out with friends and having fun before a gig is also an important part of the ritual.

Are there any instructors you look up to at School of Rock? What qualities do they have that you admire?

If I had to pick one, I really admire JJ Maestas. I like to see him perform live with his band as often as I possibly can. Not only is he a great player and songwriter, I am always inspired by how he interacts with the audience and has so much fun on stage. I think that's amazing.

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