Watch a 9-year-old play Geddy Lee's Tom Sawyer bass part to perfection

While she's only been playing bass guitar since April 2020, nine-year-old Ellen Alaverdyan has an aptitude for the instrument comparable with players far her senior.

The young musical prodigy has built a considerable following in that short period of time, too: her YouTube channel – named EllenPlaysBass (opens in new tab) – currently boasts almost 2,000 subscribers, while her Facebook page (opens in new tab) has nearly 40,000 followers. Oh, and she's even received an endorsement from Prince drummer Sheila E.

In her latest YouTube video – to thank Tech 21 for sending her a Geddy Lee signature Geddy Lee Signature SansAmp YYZ pedal – the up-and-coming star plays through Rush classic Tom Sawyer in its entirety, showcasing her slick four-string chops on her Sterling by Music Man StingRay bass.

The clip follows a string of covers on her Facebook page, including renditions of Deep Purple's Perfect Strangers, The Beatles' Penny Lane, Jimi Hendrix's Hey Joe and tons more.

“I've been listening to music my whole life," Ellen told Bass Musician (opens in new tab) back 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 questioned regarding the gear she uses, Alaverdyan responds, rather adorably, that she's “playing a bass, obviously”. 

Alaverdyan attributes her rapidly attained bass guitar skills to Yousician, an online platform for learning guitar, bass and other instruments. She also says she learns from her father, Hovak Alaverdyan, who plays guitar in Octavision, a supergroup which also features Sons Of Apollo members Jeff Scott Soto and Billy Sheehan.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).