If there was a team of the X-Men consisting of all bass players, Doug Wimbish would be Professor X.
A visionary musician who gets inside the mind of whatever musical situation he is in, Wimbish both elevates it and adapts to it, flawlessly. His playing is timeless, and he can fit into any musical-genre with ease. With a resume that most musician could only dream of, (Living Colour, DMD, The Vibes, Tackhead, Sugarhill Gang), Doug Wimbish is moving the bass into the future. I am lucky enough to have him as my featured guest in this month’s BASS2BASS, and honored to call him a friend. I hope you enjoy.
You have been asked to be a director on a movie about the bass guitar. Describe your movie and what’s the theme song?
The movie sets out to tell a tale on how we as bass players, are influenced by those who paved the sonic roads before we started our own individual sonic journeys. We bass players listened, watched, practiced and respected the techniques, skills, groove and lanes of the legends, which helped each of us to create our own unique sound.
The movie would begin with an aerial shot of a forest somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.
The camera zooms in to a tree being felled by loggers.
The story follows the wood from the tree as it eventually makes its way into the hands of Leo Fender, who crafts the wood into the first Fender Precision Bass.
The camera moves to a recording session at the Snake Pit in Detroit’s Hitsville USA – home of the Motown label. The camera zooms in to capture the hands of James Jamerson masterfully playing his Fender P-bass while recording with the Temptations.
Scene Three –
It’s now 1975 and inspired by the genius of James Jamerson, a very young bassist, Doug Wimbish, is seen recording the song “Funkanova” with his ’72 Fender Jazz bass at All Platinum Studios with the band Wood, Brass & Steel.
The Theme Song of the Movie is Wood, Brass & Steel’s 1976 classic,
“Funkanova” listen here.
I know you use a lot of pedals, but there is always room for more! What pedal would you like to see created and what would it do?
- Imagine a device somewhere between the size of the Eventide H9 and Pigtronix Infinity Looper pedal (BTW, two of my favorite pedals!)
- The pedal would have knobs that light up, each knob would have a display.
- Ideally the pedal would have stereo inputs and outputs, expression pedal input, headphone jack, USB input, Bluetooth and connectivity to a cloud server.
- Zero Latency is important.
- The server would have an array of effects to choose from and enough storage space for your selected effects settings.
- Depending on the effects, certain knobs will light up and the display will give you access for tweeking the pedal.
- The pedal would also be iPhone, android & tablet compatible for editing. The pedal would have a modular design, with the ability to be connected to each other.
- The name of the pedal? The WimBash Sound System!
If you were to create a band made up of all bass players, who would be in it and what instrument would they play knowing their style / skill-set? And – what’s the name of the band?!
“Hand Shake” – that’s what I’d call this All-Star band!
Here’s the line-up for this bass orchestra:
- James Jamerson as the driving force. Larry Graham and Bootsy Collins providing the
- Funk and vocals. Bootsy on Drums!
- Jaco Pastorius on fretless, drums and keyboards.
- Billy Sheehan and John Entwistle providing their stadium sonic frequencies.
- The Vic’s and the Bailey’s – Victor Bailey, Victor Wooten and Steve Bailey keeping all melodies and sonics in check.
- Mohini Dey and Mono Neon – the next bass generation is here with their amazing style and groove.
- I would be the tech – all the music, players, instruments, pedals I get to be around – yeah!
What is your favorite bassline (sampled or original) used in a hip-hop song?
My favorite Hip Hop Bass Line is Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5’s “White Lines” — A classic, driving, groovy, funky and hypnotic bass line.
What superhero would make the best bassist?
Thor would be my choice for Super Hero Bassist.
His low end is thunderous.
He has lightning speed.
His style is from another world .
I believe he uses steel round wound strings.
His hammer on technique slams!
Visit online at dougwimbish.com