Smokie Norful's "I've Been Delivered" has never sounded so lively.
We were completely unprepared for the extreme level of talent at the fingertips of 9-year-old Aron Hodek, also known as Aron the Bassist. Although he is not yet a teen, or even a tween for that matter, this little musician plays the bass as if it were as natural to him as breathing.
In his most recent YouTube video, released in early October, Aron takes on a challenging bass line in Smokie Norful’s classic Gospel tune, “I’ve Been Delivered.” This is a difficult song for anyone to play along with, as the bouncing speed takes the players through some quick and jazzy chord changes, but Aron stuck with it flawlessly the whole way through.
It’s hard to pin down the most impressive part of this video. Aron’s bass walks are smooth and seemingly effortless, but his breakdowns around 2:30 and again at 4:50 were absolutely inspired. Through the whole 6-minute track, Aron entertains with his prodigious skills, but also with the faces he makes as he really gets into the groove. We were hooked in the first 30 seconds, and the rest was just a treat.
Although Aron is so young, he has a seasoned approach to the bass, which suggests a natural affinity for music, as well as a devoted practice schedule. We can’t imagine how thick the calluses on his fingers must be, which also show off a sizable reach for hands so small when he plays on a full-sized instrument.
One of the most impressive parts of Aron’s skills is that he is not just limited to technical mastery of his instrument. Many child musicians can learn to play music from a page, but few can display competent skill in improvisation. In another video, from 2019, Aron jammed with renowned bassist Richard Bona, and he held his own really well. Bona had barely started playing a line when Aron picked it up with no problem, and when it came time for the little guy to solo, he didn’t miss a beat.