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Watch nine-year-old girl play Geddy Lee's Tom Sawyer bass part flawlessly

Ellen Alaverdyan
(Image credit: EllenPlaysBass/YouTube)

Nine year old Ellen Alaverdyan only started playing bass in April 2020, but she's already developed something of a fanbase, with nearly 40,000 followers on Facebook and an endorsement from Prince drummer Sheila E.

Now she's released a video in which she plays the bass part to Rush's 1981 classic Tom Sawyer. And she nails it, the performance only enhanced by a series of delighted grins to camera. The clip joins bass covers of Deep Purple's Perfect Strangers, The Beatles' Penny Lane, Jimi Hendrix's Hey Joe, and many more, in Ellen's video library.

"I've been listening to music my whole life," Ellen told Bass Musician in May. "At the beginning I didn't understand a thing, but I liked it. I went on to the ukulele, then singing, then drums, then piano, then guitar, then finally bass."

When asked about her gear and set-up, Ellen reported that she's "playing a bass, obviously", with the kind of refreshing candour that's unusual in such a young musician.

Ellen learned bass using the Yousician app, described by the manufacturers as "the world’s #1 music learning platform", with an estimated 20 million monthly users. The young prodigy also learns from her father, Hovak Alaverdyan, guitarist with prog metal supergroup Octavision, who also feature Sons Of Apollo singer Jeff Scott Soto and bassist Billy Sheehan

We look forward to her first concept album.  

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor of Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 35 years in music industry, online for 22. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović. Likes cats.