Local Rocks Out

ST. MARYS — A local Memorial High School student was selected to be a part of an online special that is set to air later this summer.

Ariel Dodson, 17, will be a senior at Memorial High School this year, and she has been putting up videos on YouTube of her playing bass guitar. She was discovered by VEVO, a music video website. Representatives from VEVO recently flew in to her St. Marys home for its program “You Play Like a Girl.”

When representatives from VEVO visited Dodson on Friday, they brought along female drummer Samantha Maloney, who has played with bands such as Hole and Motley Crüe, to interview her for the program and to play drums with Dodson on bass.

“I’ve been putting up videos on YouTube,” Dodson told The Evening Leader while she was waiting for the crew to arrive. “I put up bass videos and tutorials — things I’ve recorded on bass.”

It was there that VEVO found her — her channel, which is Excetera66, has already nabbed 30,000 hits — and contacted her in mid-May.

“They just sent me this trailer, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!,’” she said. “That was an awesome day. I jumped around like everywhere.”

Dodson said she had heard of VEVO and she knew of Maloney because she had seen her drum with Motley Crüe.

“I had no idea they were making this series or anything,” she said.

Dodson said she tries to incorporate different aspects with her bass than just normal playing.

“I try to do it all,” she said. “I try to add little parts of my own that make it sound different or make it sound filled in.”

Dodson originally started by playing guitar in a band with her twin sister Priscilla, who was the bass player in the band. The two switched, with Dodson picking up the bass at 15.

“At first I picked it up and I thought I really wanted to look into it more, so I went to the teacher later on,” Dodson said, noting she has gone to see a bass teacher in Lima. “I like doing things other people don’t normally do on bass, like soloing and stuff.”

Not long after she picked up the bass, Dodson started putting up her videos on YouTube.

“I was kind of bored, and I was at my friend’s house and she was telling me she knew how to do it, so I just did it,” Dodson said.

“That was my sophomore year, about a year and a half ago. It was a couple months after I started playing.”

Maloney complimented Dodson’s talent on her instrument.

“I think she’s really talented for such a young age,” Maloney said.  “The fact that she’s only been doing this for a couple years, she’s really showing she’s dedicated and passionate about playing the bass and moving on to bigger and better opportunities beyond where she is right now.”

For being selected for “You Play Like a Girl,” Dodson also received a gift certificate for a plane ticket to go to Los Angeles.

“That’s a way of helping her to pursue her music career,” Maloney said.

The VEVO crew said “You Play Like a Girl” will air at the end of summer. They selected five girls to feature — three guitarists, a drummer and Dodson as the only bassist.

Dodson is currently in Arizona, where Scott “Machine Gun” Smith invited her to play with his band for two weeks. She is a daughter of Tony and Cathy Dodson.