07 Jun Inside the Music Mind of Bassist Child Prodigy: Aron Hodek
The Music Industry is full of creative people. From the musicians on stage playing music to the artists that make the posters that the promoters use to get people to the music venues. All the different people involved in making the music industry work have skill sets to be celebrated.
For the 11 year old bass guitar prodigy Aron Hodek, music is more than a feature of life, it is life itself. Aron just upgraded from a 4string to a 5string bass. Growing up in a family of musicians, artists and music lovers, Aron has been surrounded and enamored with music since the day he was born. For some people, being surrounded by music will turn you into someone that loves music but doesn’t mean you will definitely have the drive to become a musician. For Aron, not only did he want to become a musician, but his love for music has pushed him to become one of the best musicians in the world and at 11 years of age, that is quite the statement.
While some young musicians get lifted up just because they are young, for Aron, there is an uncanny ability to play the bass guitar with the feel and expression of a musician that has been playing for decades. Hodek is known for playing electric bass rather than acoustic bass.
Typically when interviewing a musician as young as Aron, we would consider simplifying the questions. I mean come on, how much life experience and insight can someone have at 11 years old?!! With Aron, you will see that not only his music, but his overall personality are developed well beyond their years. To any other children inspired by Aron and that like acoustic guitars, a child-friendly guitar with great tone is featured in our Martin LXM review.
We are thankful that Aron took the time to sit down with us at Music Minds…
MM: SO WHAT WAS IT THAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A MUSICIAN?
AH: Both my brother and my grandpa are musicians. My mom is a dance teacher and my dad used to collect records so basically when I was born, music was all around the house.
MM: IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF A GREAT MUSICIAN?
AH: First of all I think the groove is my number one priority I’m seeking in other players. The feel is just as important and they are closely connected. Technique is also very important to be able to play what you hear in your head. I also think the ability to musically hear well is very imporant, just as having good choices of what to play and what not to play, I guest that’s taste. All of the above doesn’t mean much without being a good person, that people like to work with.
MM: WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INSPIRATIONS OF ALL TIME AND WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST OF THEIR DISCOGRAPHIES FOR PEOPLE THAT ARE BEING INTRODUCED TO THEM?
AH: I would say Jaco Pastorius is one of my very first and main inspirations as a bassist. I would suggest listening to his first album called Jaco Pastorius and also the Weather Report album called Heavy Weather. Chris Daddy Dave is also a big inspiration for me, since I got to hear him live and even join him on stage for a song. He has a very unique sound that inspires my music a lot. I both like his own projects and the ones where he’s a sideman for instance with D’angelo, Robert Glasper, Erykah Badu.. I really enjoy listening to jazz as well, John Coltrane is one of my favorites to listen to. I don’t have a favorite album but currently my favorite tune is Love Thy Neighbor on the Stardust album. I have so many other inspirations, the list would never stop.
MM: IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF A GREAT SONG?
AH: It depends on the genre a lot, but every song needs a good melody and a groove that make you feel something. Good music production plays a big role as well. If it’s a song where you have a singer or a rapper the lyrics and delivery is very important.
MM: IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF A GREAT ALBUM?
AH: Good music, musicianship with good production is key. The artworks and all the extras play a role as well but good music is the most important element of a great album.
MM: WHAT WAS THE FIRST ALBUM THAT REALLY GRABBED YOU? WHAT WERE THE SPECIFIC THINGS ABOUT THE ALBUM THAT MADE IT SPECIAL FOR YOU?
AH: The very first album I could remember that I knew of was D’angelo’s Voodoo. I think I was 4 years old when I fell in love with it. I don’t remember exactly what it was that grabbed me but all the songs were so groovy. I thought It was so cool and it made me want to grab my brother’s bass to act like I was playing along to it.
MM: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE THE PEAK EXPERIENCES OF YOUR CAREER? ANY FUN STORIES YOU CAN SHARE?!
AH: I had so many amazing experiences playing with my idols but one time Robert Glasper called me on stage to play with him, Chris Dave and Isaiah Sharkey joined on guitar. One of my idols Derrick Hodge was playing bass and he handed me his huge 5 string bass. I was so shocked that I even forgot that I couldn’t play 5 strings back then so I just started playing whatever I felt was right. It was epic. I remember DJ Quick and Lalah Hathaway were also in the club that night.
MM: WHERE DO YOU SEE THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IN THE 30 YEARS?
AH: I honestly don’t know but I just hope we are going to be heading towards more musical ways of expressing what we feel. For instance I mean harmonically the chord progressions today became so simple compared to the days of the Stevie’s, Earth Wind and Fire’s and so on, that there is no room to be more simple anymore so I think it’s going to change in that direction. In 30 years we might play gigs on Mars haha.
MM: FOR THE SERIOUS MUSICIANS OF THE WORLD, IS THERE A REAL PRO TIP YOU ARE WILLING TO SHARE, BE IT AN EXERCISE, A LICK, A PRACTICE HABIT, LIFE ADVICE, ETC.?
AH: Always listen to fresh music even if you don’t like it at first. Don’t get satisfied by being great at something. Learn something that you’re not good at or just keep changing your style.
MM: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNG MUSICIAN THAT WANTS TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN?
AH: Listening to better players than you are. Always try to keep pushing yourself to be better. There is no cheat code or shortcut I think. Always being around music, when you play a video game, or do something else. Mainly just HAVE FUN with it.
MM: WHAT GEAR ARE YOU USING THESE DAYS? FEEL FREE TO SHOUT OUT SPONSORS, DISCUSS NEW ADDITIONS OR FAVORITE OLD GEAR. CAN BE YOUR MAIN INSTRUMENT, ACCESSORIES ETC.
AH: So I’m currently playing a 4 string Fender Squier from the 80’s but I’m getting my signature 5 string Elegee Custom bass next week so I’m very excited. Also playing a Markbass JP series 4 string bass. I use Markbass amps, maily my 102-500 Ninja Combo. I play several different DR Strings. I enjoy experimenting so I always change between different models. I also work on my pedal board where I got my secret sauce including the Whammy guitar pedal by Digitech, the Flashback Delay by TC Electonics, the Raw series Octave pedal by Markbass and a Freeze pedal by Electro-Harmonix. I carry my basses in GruvGear cases and I also use their fretwraps for extra swag. I really love all my custom LK straps since they are very comfortable and fit my size and style. Last but not least I use a Lyngdorf set of speakers and an amp for mixing and listening purposes. I highly recommend to check out their products. My dad is a huge audio fan and he found out about this company. We connected, and ever since we tested their set I love their sound and clarity. Other than that I just love rocking Jordan sneakers haha.
MM: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE VENUES TO PLAY IN THE WORLD? FEEL FREE TO SHARE AN EXPERIENCE THAT MADE IT SPECIAL
AH: Since I haven’t played in that many venues I can’t choose a favorite place but wherever there is good atmosphere, musicians and good vibes, that’s where I like to play.
MM: IN ALL YOUR TRAVELS, WHAT IS THE BEST MEAL YOU EVER HAD?
AH: I just love In’n’Out burgers in Los Angeles.
MM: HAVE YOU DISCOVERED AN AWESOME RESTAURANTS WHILE ON TOUR THAT YOU WANT TO SHOUT OUT! WHAT MAKES THEM SPECIAL?
AH: I can’t think of one. I honestly eat to survive but I like any places where they got good pancakes. I like sweets!
MM: HAVE YOU DISCOVERED AN AWESOME HOTELS WHILE ON TOUR THAT YOU WANT TO SHOUT OUT! WHAT MAKES THEM SPECIAL?
AH: This is even a harder question. I really don’t remember any hotel names. Wherever they have nice rooms.
MM: COFFEE, TEA OR JUICE?
ABOUT ARON HODEK:
The 11 year old bass player phenom Áron Hodek from Slovakia, better known as AronTheBassist, is one of the most talented bass players the world has ever seen. Growing up in a music driven family gave him a great opportunity to develop his passion early on. His DIY YouTube videos, TikTok, and Instagram directed at his 500k Instagram followers are his platforms to inspire and encourage people to never give up on their dreams. The legendary producer Quincy Jones acknowledged his amazing talent, but also musicians like Common, Timbaland, DJ Battlecat, Larrance Dopson, Robert Glasper, D’angelo among other industry icons now follow his talent. From Zara to GAP Aron has collaborated with several top brands and music industry leaders to showcase his talent to the world. Since 2018 he’s been also producing music under the nickname of AronTheProducer.
- Featured in The Steve Harvey Show, Zara Kids, The Ellen Show, The American National Public Radio
- Featured in all the major Slovak and Czech press as well as most popular local TV channels.
- Nominated in two categories at the iLead Escape Sound Revolution Awards.
- Received the Mayor’s award of his hometown, in Komárno as the youngest citizen to ever receive this award.
- Endorsing MarkBass Amps, DR Strings, Gruvgear, Elegee Custom Guitars, LK straps where he has his own strap model