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He provides the consistent musical pulse. If you love Portland's local music scene, you've probably heard Tim Acott on bass. He's been a live music main-stay for the past 20 years keeping the rhythm from genre to genre for local rocks stars like Billy Kennedy, Pete Krebs, Lynn Conover, Little Sue, Jimmy Boyer, Reggie Houston, etc. Something you'd never know standing behind him in line at your bank. Your local community bank, of course.
Tim Acott is a working professional bass player and music teacher. He's perfected his art on-stage for several decades "playing music for the audience," which is his favorite part of his job. When you can stop staring at his fingers while he's playing, you'll also notice the wisdom in his eyes and sparkle in his smile.
He's not the front stage rock star, but the more subtle presence maintaining the rhythm and harmony in the background. Although some convincingly argue that the bass is the most critical instrument in a music group, to Tim, "playing bass is a more supportive role and isn't as glamorous as other instruments. It better suits my personality." But if you were to ask the numerous bands that he supports, they'll tell you that Tim is one of the best bass players in the city.
At age 5, Tim got one and found his early passion through playing guitar and piano. After teaching himself the electric bass, he played in a rock-n-roll band through junior high and high school. Already serious about music, Tim took up the upright bass and studied classical music in the classroom and jazz on his own while at Colorado State University. Some of his first gigs were playing frat houses, and he'll tell you, "any gig seemed good after that!" (Photo - Tim Acott and Billy Kennedy, Sunday Skool, Laurelthirst Pub, Sundays, 9pm - midnight)
Tim also wanted to be a father. He quit his day job as a waiter and bartender when his son was born so that he could be there for him, and do things like join his Taekwondo class and eventually earn his own black belt. Supporting yourself as a full-time musician is also a job - where you're rarely able to call in sick, or find a replacement. But being able to do what you love and spend time with those you love was most important to him.
"Teach in small chunks. Give lots of praise." These are a few of the teaching methods that Tim learned from his 8 years studying martial arts. " 'Teaching' bass is different than 'playing' bass," he differentiated. "It's a whole art in itself." With about a dozen students, Tim equally enjoys the opportunity to share music with his students. "It's both exciting and rewarding to share music with people, whether in an audience, as a teacher, or as a life-long student," he expressed.
"Portland is a great town to be a musician in," stated Tim. "There are lots of venues and people who enjoy live music. It's a rare city." Likewise, when it comes to banking, Tim also understands the difference between a local community bank and a larger bank. I bank locally at Albina for two reasons Tim stated, "I like the small size of the bank and the fact that the people there know who I am. It's personal, neighborly. The other is that the money stays local and helps out the community where I live."
For information on lessons or booking, visit www.timacott.com.
(Photos by Carl Godfrey Photography ©)