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ERB Legend Jean Baudin – Bass Musician Magazine, December 2016 Issue




ERB Legend Jean Baudin

Jean is well known for his famous interpretation of the Super Mario Theme on the 11-String bass. In 10 years it has reached more than 13 million visits on YouTube, and still counting.

Beyond that anecdote Jean is in fact considered the first 11-string ERB player. Let’s get to know more about him…

Please tell us about your musical background and that crucial moment when you decided to move into the ERB field.

When I first got into music, I originally wanted to play guitar. Inspired by Yngwie Malmsteen, I wanted to shred those neoclassical licks and arpeggios.  But I had broken my ring finger, and didn’t go to the doctor right away. By the time my mom took me to the doctor, my finger had set with a twist in it.   When I tried to play the guitar, I couldn’t make basic chords because my finger was pointing the wrong way.

A friend had suggested I take up bass because I could get by without playing chords, so for Christmas that year, I got a Fender Precision bass. Within a few months, I learned all the Iron Maiden, Rush, and basically anything I could hear the bass with, but I felt stifled.

A year later, I met a guy who made custom instruments (Philip Ralf) and persuaded him to make me a 5-string bass, which at the time were pretty rare.  We strung it with a high C-string and used the neck width of my p-bass to fit the five strings, resulting in a 15mm string spacing, which I’ve used for all my future custom basses.  I used that instrument for about 10 years before I destroyed the headstock with a miscalculated backflip while on tour with Nuclear Rabbit. Since I never had a backup, we went to a Guitar Center in Hollywood and I picked up a six-string Alembic bass, as it was the closest thing to my instrument and played it that night.

A year later I was still playing the Alembic 6-string, and a guy at a show was talking shop with me and told me about Conklin guitars. The next day I called Bill Conklin and asked him what’s the most strings he was willing to build and he said he had made one 9-string bass before for Bill Dickens and was reluctant to build a second one. After a couple more conversations, I was able to convince him, and 3 months later I had the second Conklin 9- string.

What would you say to all those ERB haters around?

I think when regular bassists see someone with an instrument like this, they want to be amazed, and if they aren’t, the ERB player will be ridiculed. After all, there are some amazing 4 and 5-string bass players who can do everything they could ever want to do on their instruments. “You have all these strings, but you are playing something someone can play on a 4-string!!!”  I totally understand. They want all those extra strings to be justified. Then on the other side, a lot of ERB players will tend to overplay and can come across as “wanking”.  Either way you look at it, the hate makes sense.

But there is a third option, just play good music.

My goal is to make music I like and music that moves people.  Sometimes that requires playing the whole instrument, but depending on the music, I may just play the high strings or low strings. I’m not going to play every fret/note/string on any given ‘two minutes’ someone might see on YouTube.

In your opinion, what are the benefits and downsides of playing with an ERB?

Benefits would be a larger palette of sounds and techniques to work with. Downsides would be lack of control (without many hours of practice), option anxiety, a larger/ heavier instrument, specialized equipment (amps that can handle super low and high frequencies, custom strings, etc.) and dealing with unwanted noise, since you have to mute any unplayed strings. But I believe once a person figures how to deal with the negatives, the positives far outweigh them.

How do you take care of the string-muting and string-spacing issues?

I don’t have problems with either of those things as I’ve always played with tight spacing (15mm). Many of my solo pieces involve open strings, so I don’t do the hair-tie/mute to deaden un-used strings.  ots of practice and hard work has taught me how to mute the strings I’m not using.

Please tell us how your extended range bass has evolved through the years.

I moved from 4 to 5 to 6 to 9 to 11 to 12, though my main instrument is 11.  I got my first 9-string in 1999 from Conklin Guitars. A couple of years later I ordered an 11-string from Ken Lawrence instruments and that has been my main instrument for solo music.


Please tell us about the evolution your ERB playing technique has experienced through the years.

When I was still in high school, I took lessons from guitarists Jason Becker and Marty Friedman; I was sweeping arpeggios on bass long before it was cool. I got into tapping around the same time, and that has always been something I worked on.  In Nuclear Rabbit, the focus was just writing bizarre music in any style with a great deal of energy and insanity mixed in, so the focus was never on chops. In Element of Surprise, the tapping definitely came out more.

With my solo pieces I try to write music that has depth and emotion, and I’m not concerned with chops or trying to impress anybody… I’m just trying to make music that moves people by evoking feelings or moods.

Over the years, my solo music has been changing a lot. The first album had just a touch of reverb and delay on certain songs.  My second solo album had more effects, and themes were a bit more clear. Both of those albums had solo pieces played with no edits or overdubbing, just as if I was playing in front of you. I’m working on a third solo album right now, which is really experimental, and it’s a lot different then the first two.

What do you think is the turning point in your career as a bassist and what do you consider your main contributions to the bass scene? In other words what do you consider your legacy?

I played the Mario Theme!  (Just kidding)Seriously, a question like ‘what is my legacy’ is probably better for somebody else to answer. I’m still working on getting better and I’m not sure I’m finished yet to answer that.

What would you say to those young musicians who’re considering at this moment going into the ERB world but are still not quite sure about doing so?

I get this question a lot in email and it’s a delicate question to answer.  Because of the nature of 7+ string instruments, often to even just try one, requires a leap of faith and a large financial investment. I had to go through a lot of instruments to find out exactly what woods, pickups, fret spacing, etc., to find the right combination that worked for me. So, the biggest problem is the simple fact that they can’t just go try one at a store or from a friend, and see if it’s something they would like.  But, I think when someone has in their mind that they’d like to play one, they’ll find a way to do so.

Please let us know about the specific elements of your gear.

My main instrument is an 11-string Ken Lawrence ChamberBrase I, nicknamed “Joust”, from the mother-of-pearl inlay on the fretboard. Along with that I have a JP Basses Naia 12-string bass (C#-Ab) and the Hideous Claw, an 11-string bass made by several ex-

Alembic employees. I’ve also had several custom Conklin Instruments (9 & 11-string), and Bee Basses.  In addition, I have two more Ken Lawrence basses in the works, a fretless 11 and and a fretted 11 with an alternate higher tuning.

Because of my emphasis on playing solo pieces without a band, I have a large double pedalboard with a lot of effects to vary my sound from song to song.    Reverb, Ring Modulation, Delay, Fuzz, Pitchshifters, Bitcrushers, etc. The board changes a lot, and right now there are 34 pedals on it.  Some of my favorites are from Iron Ether, Strymon, Hexe and Earthquaker Devices.

For amplification I use Phil Jones Bass products.   I run stereo so I have several pairs of different cabinets from 2x Roadcases (BG-300) for band gigs and 2x Briefcases for busking on  street  corners.  For  solo  performances,  I  typically use  2x Super Flightcases (BG-300) and if I need a little bit more “oomph”, I’ll add 2x PB-300s.

Finally, what do you see as the possible evolution of our instrument?

I don’t see this as an evolution, I see it more like a splintered genetic anomaly.; a path very few should or dare to go.  But if popular music is any indication of the evolution of music, I would say that basses and guitars are going the way of the Saxophone – LOL.

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Bass Videos

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More – February 2024



Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More, January 2024

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More…

This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

I have always been a huge Styx fan. Their music kept me awake during countless nights studying and gave my imagination a place to escape when I had a moment to take a break. 

I had the immense opportunity to chat with STYX bassist Ricky Phillips for our August Cover in 2017 and follow his projects as time passed. Now, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to catch up with Ricky as he has been super-busy over the past six years. 

Join me as we take a deep dive into the band’s most recent album “Crash the Crown” and EP “The Same Stardust”. Ricky shares some insights into the herculean team effort behind the scenes and the musical process that keeps them ever so busy and how he has updated his sound. 

Without further ado… Here is Ricky Phillips!

Photo: Jason Powell

“Crash of the Crown” lyric video

“Reveries” lyric video

“Save Us From Ourselves” lyric video

“Sound the Alarm” lyric video

“Too Much Time On My Hands” Zoom video 2020

Visit online:
FB & IG @styxtheband

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Bass Videos

Jeff Pilson, Foreigner Low End – January 2024



Jeff Pilson - Bass Musician Magazine - January 2024

Jeff Pilson, Foreigner Low End – January 2024…

Those of us who were around back in the 70’s remember how certain songs on the radio resonated with us. It turns out that many of these iconic melodies came from Foreigner and they were part of our personal soundtracks! 

After all these years, the band is going as strong as ever with Jeff Pilson firing away on bass midstream into a 2-year farewell tour. 

I am excited to be able to bring you all the details about Jeff’s musical Journey, the farewell tour in progress, how he gets his sound and his plans for the future.

Cover Photo: Krishta Abruzziini / Video Photos: Krishta Abruzzini, Karsten Staiger, Gina Hyams

For more news on FOREIGNER and upcoming Farewell Tour dates, fans can visit:
Also on FB @officialjeffpilson

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Bass Videos

Rodney O’Quinn, Rockin’ Hard Through the Years – December 2023



Rodney O'Quinn, Rockin’ Hard Through the Years – December 2023

Interview With Foghat Bassist Rodney O’Quinn…

Rodney O'Quinn - Bass Musician Magazine - December 2023-v2

Many rock fans have enjoyed music by Foghat, who originally formed in London back in 1971.

Over the many decades of playing, the band members have changed, leaving behind only Roger Earl as the only original member. Bassist Rodney O’Quinn left the Pat Travers Band and joined the group in 2015 and has been laying down the low end for this iconic quartet keeping the Foghat legacy alive. With a new album titled “Sonic Mojo” which dropped on November 10th, the band is as busy as ever and there is lots of very tasty music to come.

Join me as we learn of Rodney O’Quinn’s musical journey, how he gets his sound, and his plans for the future.

Jake Coughlin
Video Thumbnail, Tom Apathy
Photos used in the video: Kerry Quinn, Chuck Lanza, Kim Granger, Kenneth Strohm, Jake Coughlin, Jay Jylika

1st Single from Sonic Mojo – Official “Drivin’ On” 

2nd Single from Sonic Mojo – “She’s a Little Bit of Everything Official Video

 “Road Fever”- California Mid State Fair – Paso Robles, CA – 7-27-22

“Stone Blue” – Rodney O’Quinn Bass/Lead Vocals – Don Odell’s Legends – Woonsocket, R.I – 10/15/22 – The Stadium Theater

The Earl’s Court – Season 2, Episode 7: Funny Guys 

“I Just Want to Make Love to You” – CasinoRama – 6-9-23 

FOGHAT “Somebody’s Been Sleepin’ in My Bed” – Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT – 1/28/22

“I Just Want to Make Love to You” – California Mid State Fair – Paso Robles, CA – 7-27-22

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Bass Videos

Suzi Quatro, Eternal Powerhouse – November 2023



Suzi Quatro, Eternal Powerhouse – November 2023

Interview With Bassist Suzi Quatro…


It is always exciting to have the opportunity to talk to an artist who has been prolific for decades.

Suzi Quatro has been rocking our world since the sixties and has been super-creative as a bassist, musician, actress, singer, songwriter, author, radio show host and so much more. Most recently, Suzi released a new album titled “Face to Face” where she joined forces with KT Tunstall and together they are a force of nature. (See our video with Suzi about the album release)

Join me as we hear about Suzi’s musical journey, her many projects, how she gets her sound and her plans for the future.

Here is Suzi Quatro…

Suzi Quatro & KT Tunstall – “Truth As My Weapon” (Official Music Video)

“Shine A Light” music video (from the upcoming album)

“Bad Moon Rising” music video (from 2022):

Bass-Solo / Live in Prah? 1979

Glyserine Queen / Bass solo – Tampere Finland

Follow Online:
IG @suziquatroreal
FB @Suziquatrorocks
TW @Suzi_Quatro

Video – Andrew Whitton
Cover and Header Photo – Courtesy of Suzi Quatro

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Bass Videos

Zach Fowler, Not Just Laying Down the Low End – October 2023



Zach Fowler, Not Just Laying Down the Low End - October 2023

Zach Fowler, Not Just Laying Down the Low End – October 2023

I have been hearing about Zach Fowler’s bass playing since he was in New Mexico. Now, based out of Nashville, Zach is very busy laying down the low end, acting as musical director, writing songs and producing music. He has been very active doing studio work as well as touring with LoCash.

Join me as we hear about Zach’s journey, how he gets his sound, all the details about his new Lakland bass and his plans for the future.

Here is Zach Fowler!

Photos Credits  – Cover, Allee Visuals / In Video –  Matthew Allen, Max Muehlhausen

Typical, run-of-the-mill, slap happy bass solo taken during LOCASH’s performance at the Suwannee River Jam in Live Oak, Florida on May 4, 2018.  Video was shot by David Lehr.

This was part of a series of acoustic performances filmed at the famous Blackbird Studios in Nashville.

LOCASH performs a song from “The Fighters” album called “Shipwrecked.”  This was filmed not long after I joined LOCASH, and I’m using a Carvin PB5 plugged straight into the board via a Countryman DI.

LOCASH performs “One Big Country Song” at the Grand Ole Opry in May 2022.  

We performed the song along with Opry House Band, and the performance was in conjunction with The Beach Boys’ first performance at the Opry (which explains why we’re wearing leis around our necks). I used one of my two PRS Grainger 5-strings plugged directly into the Opry’s house rig, which is made by Aguilar.

One of only two times that I’ve recorded myself playing bass.  

I arranged John Legend’s “Ordinary People” for solo bass, and used my PRS Gary Grainger 5-string plugged into a Gallien-Krueger PLEX preamp.  I added a little reverb in Logic to give it a little ambience.  I recorded this right after the COVID shutdown happened.  I’m not too big on recording myself playing bass, so this was somewhat of a rarity, but considering my job had shut down, it felt like a good outlet to keep my name on the radar.  There’s a little gratuitous slapping in there, but mostly because I didn’t have an arrangement for the bridge section that I liked, so I just let loose.

During my time in Albuquerque, I was blessed to perform on two albums by a progressive rock trio by the name of Illustrated Man.  

This song is off of their second album, “Zebra Hotel,” and is coincidentally called “Zebra.”  I recorded this song using a Fender 5-string Precision Bass plugged into an Avalon U5 direct box.

I was with a band called The James Douglas Show for eleven years.  

We put out four studio albums, and this track is off the final album we put out called “9.”  The track, called “Can’t Stop,” was written by our guitar player, Jesse Martinez, and produced by Mike Cee.  As is typical with a lot of R&B tracks, I overdubbed a bass track over an already-existing synth bass line.  I used a Carvin JB5 run into an Avalon U5 direct box.

“Kissing a Girl” is a track off of LOCASH’s album, “Brothers.”  

We recorded a live version of the song at a venue in Minnesota during soundcheck.  The video was shot by David Lehr, and the sound was edited and mixed by our production manager at the time, Evan (“Turbo”) Owen.  It was negative 12 degrees outside in February, which explains why most of the people in the band are wearing beanies on their heads.  I used my main road bass on this track, my white PRS Gary Grainger 5-string, plugged into my Gallien-Krueger PLEX preamp, then into a Radial FireFly direct box.  I used a little bit of compression from my Origin Effects Cali76 compressor pedal, as well as a little bit of added chorus effect from an EBS UniChorus pedal to give it a little bit of a fretless sound.

Follow Online:
IG @zachfowlerbass
FB @ groovemaster82

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