Connect with us

For the Love of Bass

Jason Wilson, For the Love of Bass Guitar

Published

on

For the Love of Bass With Jason Wilson

For the Love of Bass Guitar: Jason Wilson…

Like so many, I started playing bass in high school and, like so many, I worked my way through several failed bands before finding my way into some more serious projects.  I spent my 20s chasing my Rock-Star dreams but eventually stumbled into a career as a gun-for-hire, primarily working in orchestra pits for musical theater productions.

I’m based just outside of Washington, DC in Maryland and it turns out that DC is the third largest theater town in the country (behind New York and Chicago) when it comes to locally produced, professional theater.  Also, it’s not uncommon for a show to do a run in DC prior to going to Broadway to work out the kinks.  Couple all of that with the fact that there are always a ton of happenings and events in DC and I’m always able to find work.

I play an extremely green Yamaha RBX series bass that I found on clearance at a local music store years ago. 

It’s not the highest-end instrument, but it’s been with me from my club days in Baltimore to the Kennedy Center Honors to gigs all over the country and never failed me. 

During the pandemic, I bought a five-string version of the same bass (same color and all) from a dealer in Ukraine.  I wonder sometimes if he’s OK.  I have two main amps that I use.  A Mark Bass CMD combo with two 10″ speakers and a Peavy BA-112 with a single 12″.  Both give me a very clean sound and are easy to haul around.

That last part is important. 

Like a lot of rockers, I used to have a couple of bass cabinets that I would stack and that sounded really good but weighed a ton.  Nowadays, I’m all about being able to make it from my car to the venue in one trip and without a great amount of physical exertion.  It took me some time to find all of the right gear but I’ve figured it out.  It’s nice not arriving in a sweaty mess.

I use light gauge Blue Steel bass strings and keep my action fairly high which gives my bass kind of a growl and a very percussive tone that I love but not everyone enjoys.   I’ve had a couple of sound designers in various theaters grumble about my tone but I’ve gotten really good at turning the knobs on my bass and amp to give folks what they need and everyone always is satisfied.  I’ll admit my ego used to have an issue with others commenting on my tone, but I eventually got over myself and reminded myself that a gig for hire is not about my bass tone…it’s about what the gig needs.  I’ve also learned a few EQ tricks along the way and about what different gear is capable of doing.  You also don’t want folks thinking about your tone, you want them to be paying attention to what you’re playing.

The only time it was an issue for me was when I was recording some tracks for a friend’s album and the engineer asked for me to play his bass.  It was a beautiful Precision Bass but had a very different feel than mine.  It was uncomfortable and I expressed that I wanted to use mine but after hearing me play for about ten seconds, he insisted on the P-Bass.  I began recording the track and he told me that my hand placement on the bass needed to change and it was at this point that I realized that this was an exercise in dealing with disrespect.  I told him my hands were where I always have them and finished the tracks.  I listen to the album now and it sounds great; it just doesn’t sound like me which is a bummer.

There’s a thin line there.  Who has the final say when it comes to tone and how things should sound?  At what point does the personality of the musician give way to the overall creation?

I have a solo project called Resolution Alley.  Fans of Progressive Rock and Art Rock tend to enjoy it.  Those albums are mine and the bass sounds the way I want it to.

Catch me online at www.jasonwilsonroxx.com

View more “Love of Bass” stories

Submit Your “For the Love of Bass” Story

For the Love of Bass

Lawrence Haber, For The Love of Bass Guitar

Published

on

Lawrence Haber, For The Love of Bass Guitar

For The Love of Bass Guitar: Lawrence Haber…

Lawrence Haber Shares… I started playing bass when my friends in High School moved from playing collectible-card games to playing music. I was DJ-ing at parties with my father at the time, and loved rhythm and making people dance and sing. I didn’t realize it yet, but I had fallen in love with the bass lines of Will Lee, Anthony Jackson, Marcus Miller, and Louis Johnson.

I decided I would play bass with my friends, and lessons with legendary New Jersey instructor Joe Macaro soon followed. This started me down a more serious path pursuing music, eventually studying with Gerald Veasley, John JD DeServio, and Evan Marien. Once in college, I started playing professionally on both Electric and Upright Bass and have never looked back.

For over 20 years I have gigged primarily around the New York Metropolitan area and on the Jersey Shore playing between 100-150 shows annually.

I am grateful to have performed with many renowned bands and original artists throughout my career including Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee David Bryan (Bon Jovi), Bob Steeler (Hot Tuna), JSOUL (NBC’s The Voice), vocalist Brent Carter (Average White Band, Tower Of Power), prominent music educator Dr. Nina Kraus (Ph.D. Northwestern University), and Grammy Nominee James Hunter. I also record extensively for the award-winning international children’s music program Music Together, where I also work as a Licensing Manager. I am a Bartolini Emerging Artist and a GHS Strings Endorsing Artist.

I have come to find my sound in Jazz Basses with Bartolini pickups and electronics as well as GHS Strings. This combination has given me the warmth, clarity, and versatility required for a large variety of musical situations. I’ve been lucky to play basses with this setup from builders like Pedulla, Roscoe, and most recently a beautiful Bass Mods K534 sporting Bartolini Deep Tone Pickups and GHS Super Steels. I was always taught to have a sensitive ear and a wide dynamic range with just the touch of my hands, and a great Jazz Bass with Bartolinis and GHS Strings always gets me where I want to be instantly!

After experimenting with different amplifiers and cabinets, I have played Aguilar for the better part of 5 years. Their gear is road-worthy and works great for Electric and Upright Bass.

My primary gigs are with Music Together as well as the bands Skinny Amigo, and Funk Point 5. I also have an exciting bass and drums duo project called Collaboratory with the incredible drummer/percussionist Anthony Freda. In the near future, I intend to release music with the amazing musician Karttikeya Arul, who plays a variety of hand pan instruments. I also have a follow up to my 2015 solo album Anxiety Log in the works.  

I look forward to growing as a musician every day!

Visit me online at lawrencehabermusic.com

View more “Love of Bass” stories like Lawrence Haber’s

Submit Your “For the Love of Bass” Story

Continue Reading

Bass Videos

Matt Barnes, For The Love of Bass Guitar

Published

on

For The Love of Bass Guitar with Matt Barnes, Bassist for You Me At Six…

Photographer, Jordan Curtis Hughes

I started playing bass when I was 14 years old when my Dad got me a 3/4 size Aria for my first axe and I fell in love with it.

My Dad is a bass player and has played in countless bands over the years, and I would always go to his gigs and wanted a piece of rock and roll. My first ever live performance was playing The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” with my Dad and my Godfather. Other bassists who have influenced me over the years are Mark Hoppus (blink-182), Tim Commerford (Rage Against The Machine) and Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) – who all have really different styles that I have taken inspiration from.

You Me At Six just put out our new album, VI, which we recorded in England with producer Dan Austin who is a bass player, so I knew I was in good hands.

We would route in an Ampeg SVT-3PRO going to an amp 4×10.

We also used a few pedals, the Darkglass B7K and Darkglass Vintage microtubes. And to add some synth sounds we used an Electro-Harmonix Bass Micro Synth Pedal routed through a separate DI so we could play with the tone in Pro Tools. I used a Fender Precision Bass Deluxe to record every track on the record and I think I only had to tune it when I turned up on Day One, as it is an absolute workhorse and I take it to every session and gig we play.

“Back Again”

I’m very much looking forward to coming back to tour the States and I will be bringing my Kemper with me.

I know some people think this is controversial but the amount of tone you can get out of this rack-mounted bad boy is crazy. I could never fly with my heads so when I fly with this, I know that it will have a consistent tone straight out of the box. I profiled my Darkglass B7K and the set 3 in the studio and it sounds so good.

“3AM”

About Chart-topping UK rock band You Me At Six 

Comprised of vocalist Josh Franceschi, guitarists Max Helyer and Chris Miller, bassist Matt Barnes, and drummer Dan Flint – released their triumphant sixth studio album called VI, and will be touring the U.S. in support of it in early 2019.

Tickets available at youmeatsix.lnk.to/live

You Me At Six Online:

Opening Photo, Jon Stone

Continue Reading

For the Love of Bass

For the Love of Bass Guitar – Cody Hampton of Shallow Side

Published

on

for-the-love-of-bass-guitar-cody-hampton-of-shallow-side

I’m Cody Hampton and I play bass for the band Shallow Side, out of Cullman, AL.

I never thought that I’d become bass player by profession. Growing up, I was more into outside activities and loved having and working full time jobs. Creating music didn’t hit me until after high school. I had a group of friends at the time that always picked up acoustic guitars at parties. They would play a song and then give the guitar to the next guy and he’d play a song or two. I became so intrigued with the thought of being able to pick around with them that I begged my friend Wes to let me borrow a guitar so I could learn to play Simple Man. I picked up the chords very quickly playing the rhythm to all the songs I loved to listen to.

Eventually I was playing acoustic guitar in church bands (Remember I’m from Alabama, everybody has to go to church in the “Bible Belt”). That quickly escalated to starting a band that played bars and venues. I set down the acoustic bass for an electric and eventually ran into the guys that would soon become the band Shallow Side. The guys quickly shoved a bass in my hands and from that point on it was hard to set it down.

You can grab the attention of the crowd with sweet guitar riffs but with bass you can literally blow the damn doors off a venue. Not only can you hear the rhythms but you can feel that shit vibrating your soul. I love a good 4-string bass, I love going completely ape-shit on stage.

for-the-love-of-bass-guitar-cody-hampton-of-shallow-side-2

With two EP’s completed and our upcoming debut album ‘’ONE”, I look back and I’m very grateful that I now have the chance to tour nationally and write, play, and record music as a profession rather than the hobby and obsession it once was.

Current Rig – PRS SE Kingfisher, 4-string Hohner, Ampeg SVT 450 , 2 – Peavey 8×10, Tech 21 SansAmp 3 Channel Bass Driver

Visit online at facebook.com/ShallowSideBand

 

Continue Reading

For the Love of Bass

For the Love of Bass Guitar – Dan Maines of CLUTCH

Published

on

For the Love of Bass Guitar – Dan Mains of CLUTCH

My path to bass guitar started with a pair of drumsticks.  I would beat them on my parents furniture along to my older brother’s Led Zeppelin records while I saved up for a drum kit.

The drums never materialized, but by high school I became friends with an accomplished guitar player.  I ended up buying one of his old electrics and taking a guitar class in school.

By this point I was getting into punk bands like Washington D.C.’s Minor Threat and Bad Brains.  The raw energy produced by these otherwise laid back looking foursomes led me to accept the role of bass player for a high school band three other friends of mine were putting together without ever having touched a bass guitar before.  Along with the Brains’ Darryl Jenifer, another bassist by the name of Rob Wright of No Means No became a big influence on my early playing, and both were using picks for their aggressive attack, so I stuck with a pick as well.

Eventually this high school band of ours evolved into Clutch.

A little while later, it was players like Jack Bruce, Geezer Butler, and George Porter Jr. who inspired me to lose the pick for a more rounded tone by playing with my fingers.

I’ve owned a number of basses over the years, mostly Fender and Gibson, but my favorite bass to use at the moment is a Rickenbacker 4003 with the Ric-O-Sound stereo jack.  It splits the treble and bass pickups into two separate signal paths.  The combination of an 8×10 cab with a good amount of gain mixed with a 1×15 cab delivering clean lows really lets me hear a full bass tone on stage along with the rest of the band, and if I really want to stand out I’ll step on the wah pedal á la Bootsy Collins!

Visit online:

Continue Reading

For the Love of Bass

For the Love of Bass Guitar – Tom Susala

Published

on

Photo, Terry Murphy

Photo, Terry Murphy

For the Love of Bass Guitar –  Tom Susala…

I’ve always wanted to play the bass since I first heard “Green Onions” on the radio! At that same time I used to watch a talk show hosted by comedian, Joey Bishop – in Joey’s band was guitarist, Herb Ellis AND BASSIST Ray Brown. In one rare moment on that show, Ray Brown backed up a singer on a Fender Bass. The sound from “Green Onions,” that intrigued me, but the accompaniment provided by Ray Brown nailed me to the wall! and from then on I was in awe of the sound of the bass.

Tom Susala - Photo Credit - Shelley Meine 2015

Photo Shelley Meine

But my parents, however, in their wisdom, explained that if I take up guitar, I can learn chords then I can accompany myself and won’t always need someone else to play along with me to enjoy the instrument. So, I took up guitar and learned chords and eventually learned how chords were built relative to their scales – then, I learned to read music. Now I had the tools that told me why the bass was such an important factor in music.

In 1980 I was offered a gig as a bass player with a band of friends who ran a bar around the corner from where I lived. I took this as a “Sign,” so I bought a used P-Bass and a bass amp and never looked back.

In subsequent years I’ve worked throughout the Chicago Area, Midwest and Internationally in various Rock & Roll, Jazz and Blues bands (Musical Resume available upon request)

Tom Susala and Duck Dunn - Photo  June Dunn 1996

Tom Susala and Duck Dunn – Photo June Dunn 1996

Duck Dunn was always my gold standard as far as bass sound even though I learned years later that Duck didn’t play bass on “Green Onions.”

I now play a Fender Vintage 62 P-Bass Reissue and use bass rigs of various brands. I use D’Adarrio EXL170 strings and have for at least 30 years.

I try to make myself a part of the mix, locking in with the drummer’s kick.

I have just recently re-located to Wisconsin Rapids and am privileged to participate in many musical projects in the area.

I plan on playing bass for many years. It’s what I feel I was put on earth to do. Playing Bass puts me in a place that is timeless, stress-free and as close to the spiritual center of the universe than I could otherwise imagine.

Your friend “From The Left of Middle C”

Tom Susala

Visit online at www.facebook.com/tom.susala

 

Continue Reading

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Facebook

Trending