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For Lillian

Foreword
What is it that motivates bass players? It's pretty easy to see why someone chooses to take up say,
guitar, piano or voice. Why not play an instrument everyone loves? There's the chance to be the centre of attention, maybe the possibility of standing in front of throngs of adoring fans, maybe even the chance to get rich in the process. And there's no denying drums have a certain primal appeal. Certainly anyone with anger management issues would jump at the chance to beat on things for fun and/or profit, and of course there's all that shiny hardware! But why would anyone choose an instrument that's almost certain to relegate them to the back of the stage with little chance for the glory paid to their counterparts? Why pay for and carry around lots of heavy gear, and suffer through multiple rounds of blisters for an arcane art form only a handful of folks seem to appreciate? This book is perhaps the definitive answer to that question. Of course, as you will see in these pages there are many answers, but common threads emerge. There's the unique excitement from the rumble of low frequencies in your belly; the delight of creating rich, low sounds; the satisfaction of feeling of those big strings vibrating under your fingers and the sly knowledge that, although you're not likely to get the same kind of attention as your band mates, you know they really couldn't do without you. The appeal of the bass is subtle and sometimes takes time to develop and bloom. Many bassists come to the instrument after trying something else first, but once they get a feel for the "bass thing" they become devotees. There's a special power and mystery to the bass that causes deep, interesting people to be drawn to it -- the kind of people who don't always need to be the centre of attention, or the kind of people who like to be supportive or who can appreciate hidden joys in life. In reading through these stories you might start to discover some hidden joys yourself. If you're a bass player you might find some familiar, yet inspiring words here. But whether you're a bass player or not, the next time you listen to a group where the bassist is really on, you might just tune into what's going on underneath the more obvious aspects of the music and smile. Michael Manring

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Front Cover Collages Foreword Dedication Page Photographs of some of the bassists this book is dedicated to Why I Play Bass One Liners Re-visited Section One Liners Photo Gallery Photographic Acknowledgements The Why I Play Bass Photo Gallery Why I Play Bass Comments Front Cover Quiz Back Cover Quiz Message Boards Autographs The CD Package Out-takes Pages Sympsonic Creations Back Cover Collages Alphabetical Index Why I Build Basses Notes Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 146 Page 147

Dedicated To The Memories of:Domenico Dragonetti (10-04-1763 - 16-04-1846) Franz Simandl (01-08-1840 15-12-1912) Willie Dixon (01-07-1915 - 29-01-1992) Jimmy Blanton (05-10-1918 - 30-07-1942) Scott LaFaro (03-04-1936 - 04-07-1961) Jaco Pastorius (01-12-1951 - 21-09-1987) Leo Fender (10-08-1909 - 21-03-1991) John Alec Entwistle (09-10-1944 - 27-06-2002) Gito Baloi (30-09-1964 -04-04-2004) Sipho Gumede (1957 26-07-2004) Fred Hayward (19-08-1967 - 28-06-2009)

Jaco Pastorius

John Alec Entwistle

Gito Baloi

Sipho Gumede

Fred Hayward

On Monday the twenty fifth of October 2004, a few bass players


went along to the monthly South African Bass Players Collectives Bass evening that was being held at The School for the Performing Arts in Kensington (JHB). The events of that evening inspired me to write this piece, which started out as an article but over the years, has grown into the size of a small book. As usual, the attendance at this particular venue wasnt that encouraging but never the less, we got down to business and Jason Green presented us with a workshop on playing different styles. Hed brought a drummer along called Marcio and together, the two of them went through a few routines, covering Rock, Blues, Funk and Pop. Concord was asked to play something for the half dozen or so attendees and he went through a reggae routine with Marcio, which then moved into a Jazz routine. Young Nick Cook volunteered to get up with his fretless bass and went through a kind of rock / blues type of routine. All three bassists had given us something in completely different styles and it was very interesting to see the contrasts between them. Jason is a schooled musician that reads very well and is the bass teacher at the School. His playing is extremely solid and he can play quite comfortably in a number of styles. Like me, he isnt shy to point out which styles he hasnt really mastered. Concord is also a schooled musician and has worked at being more than competent in just about all musical styles, as he doesnt want to restrict himself to working in one genre. In contrast to these two guys, Nick isnt a professional bassist. Although a competent bassist with pretty good intonation, his playing is a little rough around the edges here and there which is probably due to the fact that he isnt able to spend as much time playing his instrument each week as Jason and Concord. Nick plays bass in a band called Miseriecord and although they play Heavy rock / Metal type material, Nick prefers fretless to fretted a very curious decision. Having watched these three guys in action I asked myself, where did bass playing fit in my life? Why do I play bass and why do my bass playing friends actually play bass? So I sent out e-mails asking them this question and received over five hundred replies! In 2007, The Limit bassist, Todd Grosberg commented on what he thought of the article thanks Todd!!! This inspired me to contact other bassists and ask them for a comment. Id also like to thank Trish Bailey, Vuyani Wakaba, Barry Irwin, Judy Foxcroft, Joseph Patrick Moore, Andrew Warneke, Richard Sims, Gareth Sherwood, Jason Marsh, Mark Egan, Jim Stinnett, Damian Erskine, Michael Manring, Bryan Beller, Marten Andersson, Richard Bodkin, Leon Bosch, Chris Badynee, Dave Meros, Kirwan Brown, Dereck Walstra, Alan Goldstein, Mary-Anne Ray, Graham Jacobs, Edo Castro, Bob Skeat, Phil Peters, Bruce Gertz, Adam Nitti, Steve Doner, Joseph Milstein, Schalk Joubert, Virgilio Venditti, Martin Motnik, Anthony Scelba, Gary Jibilian & Tony Senatore for their comments towards the end of the book. In 2010, with some help from Yvette Nash, I learned how to insert photos into the book and this took things to a whole new level but also posed a few problems especially with the people that had supplied

one liners their photos would be tiny!! I got around this by creating the One Liners Re-Visited section this gave me the opportunity to insert decent sized photos. A big thank you to Marco Schoots, Vuyani Wakaba & Steve Doner who supplied me with a number of photos. I added a Photographic Acknowledgements section towards the back and noticed that a number of the photos had actually been taken either by the bassists Spouses or another relative (father, sister etc) and there were a few photos that had been taken by other musicians notably, the photos of Brian Lawrence, Tom Kennedy, Jiggs Downing and Denson Angulo, whos photos were taken by other musos that were on the gig with them. Some bassists made self portraits notably Al Garcia, Peter Tambroni, Delton Daniels, Ed Poole, Byron Santo, Dan Hestand, Dan Rubel, Austin Underhill, Errol Strachan, Ivan Bodley & Cladio Juliano. Some bassists had their photo taken by another bassist notably, Brittany Frompovich who photographed Michael Dimin, Dave Askes, who photographed his son Miles, Julian Mayer, who photographed Mary Anne Ray, Jimi Glenister and Trish Bailey who took the posed photographs of each other, Myself, who photographed William Slimmerts, Grant Stinnett, who photographed Rob Gourlay, Graeme Currie who photographed Marius Liebenberg, Gary van Zyl who photographed Kai Horsthemke, Dylan Harbour who photographed Ronald Pillay and Michael Brown who photographed Dave Askes presenting a 2008 SABPC Bass workshop, Trevor Muller at a 2007 Denis Lalouette SABPC Bass workshop and the photos of Brad Davies (2005), Garth de Meillon and myself (2007) on stage. Most of the people that responded to my inquiries were bass guitarists, and why this was, isnt very clear, but Id like to thank Double / Contra bassists, Fred Charlton, John Goldsby, Rob Perl, Taylor, Peter Tambroni (and his students), Leon Bosch, Hilton Vermaas, Benoit Grigaut, Dr. Donovan Stokes, Mark Neuenschwander, Anthony Scelba and Nico Kruger for their involvement. It must be said that without the Internet and websites like MySpace, Facebook, The Cape Town Bass Centre, Linked In and the Bass Musician Magazines Bass Community website, a book of this size just wouldnt have been possible. I was genuinely moved by many bassists humility a great number of these bassists are from South Africa and I know them (and their playing) personally people like Bert Askes, whos an incredible bassist, spoke as though they themselves werent really that proficient. This was what I was told. Randy Kertz : I play bass because I am drawn to it. I have played on and off over the years and been through a ridiculous amount of gear according to how I feel my chops are at the moment, good chops, more gear, not so hot, liquidate. At this point in my life I am happiest with my playing- I am playing better but often playing less note wise. I am supporting rather than stepping on the rest of the band. I am playing bass. It took long enough to learn this, but the timing is right. I have just started playing upright, and I really feel the pulse, the bass, the factor that makes us bass players vibrate through my body. I have been able to translate this new understanding; this feeling to my electric playing and it is thoroughly satisfying. This is what I have been looking for. This is why I play bass. Barry Sherman : I play bass because nothing can make a song rock like a steady eighth-note groove.. Denis Lalouette : I started off on guitar at age 8. I went onto drums at age 13. When I was 16, a guy at school came to me and said: "You play drums, right?' I said yes. He said: "Good. We need a bass player; will you come and play with us?" I said: "I told you I play drums". He said: "If you can play drums, you can play bass, so will you come and play?" I thought about it for a few seconds and said:"Ok." I have never looked back since...

Adam Nitti : "At the beginning, my decision to become a bass player was purely experimental, at best... The garage band I was playing keyboards in at the time lost its bass player. I thought it might be a challenge to try and double on both instruments, so I started to pluck around on a borrowed bass. I still remember the very first bass line I learned: "Carry On My Wayward Son", by Kansas. Once I developed a little bit of facility on the instrument, I instantly fell in love with it and never turned back. My affinity for the bass eventually would influence me to drop the keyboards completely as a main performance instrument. I love the fact that the bass can simultaneously convey harmony, rhythm, and melody, and I love the fact that my bass can make the walls shake. At this point in my life, my bass has become my primary tool for sharing my life and experiences with others. It's the gift that I want to give back, and that's my primary reason for playing". Quintin Berry : I started playing the bass at the young age of 12 because I didn't understand or know the difference between bass and guitar, so I chose bass. I am glad that I did because it helped me understand music in a way that I never thought I could. Plus its the coolest instrument you could ever play. Even though it has brought me to learn about different types of music and made me go back and forth from the old school of playing to listen to the new school because you have to keep up with the times if you want to stick around in the music business. My real reason for playing bass is I love the sound of the instrument, it takes me to another place no matter what type of music it is. I think its very cool. Andy Gonzalez : During the mid 50s, I went to an excellent elementary school in the Bronx that had a good music programme. In the third grade, I passed a musical aptitude test and started playing violin. Two years later, one of the two bassists in our orchestra, moved away; I was the tallest violinist, so they asked me if I wanted to try bass. I liked it and I took to it very seriously. My dad got me an Ampeg baby bass and I started playing in Latin and Jazz groups with my older brother (trumpeter / conga drummer) Jerry. By junior high I was already playing Latin gigs and studying with Steve Swallow, who helped me gain entrance to the High School of Music & Art.

While there I joined Monguito Santamarias band and did my first recording at age 16. (Taken from Bass Player Magazine April 1998) Lee Barker : It took years to fully appreciate the good fortune offered me when a Tuba was thrust into my hands in the 6th grade. I never forgot the feeling in the soles of my feet when I heard those low, rumbling notes. When, similarly, a Fender Precision Bass was handed me at age 21, that feeling came back and I've been plugged in since. Life, like music, has lots of changes: from playing regularly to suffering wrist pain that prevented me playing to developing a new instrument, the Barker Bass, which now I play with great joy. Dean Barbour : I play the bass, because theres just something about bass that allows such freedom, even though youre the one keeping the groove! The way you play isnt limited. Its one of those instruments where youre constantly discovering new things to play and try Luv it man Steve Bailey : Growing up in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, I played piano and then trombone in my junior high school band. One day when I was 12, some kid came up to me in school and said, You know how to play trombone how about playing bass in our rock band? I went to his house that day and played All Along The Watchtower with one finger of my right hand and one finger of my left. I came home with two blisters and a blistering desire to play rock & roll. My early influences were Jack Bruce and Noel Redding and the bands Jethro Tull, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin and Yes. Later on someone gave me a copy of Chic Coreas Light as a Feather (Polydor), with Stanley Clarke on bass and I plunged headlong into Jazz. (Taken from Bass Player Magazine January 1996) Bryan Beller : I started playing bass - upright - at age 10 because it was the most obnoxious instrument in the orchestra, I started electric bass at age 13 because my hands hurt from playing upright. I continued through music school because it was the easiest instrument for me to get around on, and bassists were in higher demand than other instrumentalists. But over the years, as my petulant youth burned out into a mellower middle age, I came to appreciate why I really play bass - to serve as the natural and unique bridge between the rhythm and the harmony in a modern rhythm section, and to serve the music as wholly and unselfishly as possible. Bass allows me to do that...so I play bass.

William Teags : Over the past few years, the question of why do I play bass? has become easier to answer, than when I first pondered the matter some years ago. Since beginning this journey that has spanned some 40-years I have managed to find myself employed in myriad musical genre from smokey blues, to funk, rock, and even piano trio! Along the way, I have been blessed to meet such luminaries as the likes of Stan Kenton, Muddy Waters, and Maynard Ferguson! It has been a thrilling ride, and maybe that answers the question in itself. So why is the question easier to answer now, than in times past? It may have something to do with my decision some years ago to work in the corporate world while raising my family. Having made that choice, I feel that I made a mistake. Though, I dont completely regret my choice especially as my family is, and has always been, wonderfully supportive of my musical efforts! During those years away from pursuing music as either vocation or hobby, I felt a great deal of loss that manifested in feelings of jealousy and depression and a desire to be the one on the stage, instead of watching from the audience. That feeling eventually led me to avoid attending live shows for several years. In time, I relocated my family to an area that proved to be culturally and artistically wealthier than where we had been living. Because of the vibrant music-scene in my area, I was presented with opportunities to play, and those opportunities have grown to the point that Im playing nearly every night! Playing energizes me, and I feel more alive now than Ive felt in many years! The need to express oneself through music never goes away. At least, it refuses to do so in my case. Though I can play several musical instruments, I really love the challenge and responsibility of holding the musical foundation. When the bass suddenly stops everyone takes notice! For my tastes, no other musical instrument has the magic the bass possesses! It is my voice of choice, ever since I spent my entire life savings, at 13 (and against my parents wishes) to buy a Gibson Kalamazoo and Sears Silvertone amplifier. I play bass, because bass is the foundation and that fact goes beyond the clich! Steve Crozet : There is no other modern instrument that resonates with me as much as a bass, whether it is acoustic or electric so I have naturally gravitated towards playing it. For me, a well played bass sets up the rest of the music and is totally responsible for the sound of the music that I enjoy. Victor Bailey : It happened strictly by chance. I had been a drummer since I was ten years old and I was doing gigs and sessions by the time I was twelve. In December 1975, when I was fifteen, I was rehearsing in the basement with a band my brother and I had. In the middle of rehearsal, our bass player said I dont want to be in a band anymore. I said, Okay, Ill play bass. May I use your bass and amp? One of my best friends, Johnny Harrison got behind the drums and I took the bass. It was immediately evident that this was what I should be doing with my life. Though I had never played bass before, I could play all the songs and improvise; I instantly understood the whole neck, from first fret to the last! My father, who never came downstairs when I played with my friends, came running down the steps yelling,

Who is that playing bass? When he saw it was me, he said You should be a bass player. I said, I know! (Taken from Bass Player Magazine: January 1997) Jeff Plant : I was the youngest of six children, everyone playing an instrument or two. I started on violin at an extremely young age. I played violin throughout my whole school career, including college. I added piano lessons, starting when I was about eight or so. At the same time, I started playing Baritone in the elementary school band. Then I started guitar in the fifth or sixth grade. After realizing how horribly agonizing it was to play the baritone in a marching band, I started learning rhythm rudiments and finally made snare position in the drum line. It wasn't actually until high school that I started playing bass. I first started playing bass when a few friends were writing some weird music for the yearly talent show, but we had no bass player. I figured, "how hard can THAT be?" ;) So we all pitched in a few bucks and I purchased a fire-damaged Hondo bass guitar with pickups that looked ceramic! Wow, it sounded weird! Anyway, I picked it up fairly quickly and then one of my friend's mothers (who happened to be Leon Russell's sister) gave me some records to check out. She gave me Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Alphonso Johnson, and Back Door (with Colin Hodgkinson on bass). I was never the same. I had no IDEA bass could do all of those things... Then, shortly after, I heard Bela Fleck's first group album and caught "Sinister Minister". That was it. I was dedicated to BASS from then on. It filled every nich I needed filled as a musician. I never looked back. Pino Palladino : I began playing guitar after seeing a priest play one at a folk mass and I worked my way up to a local rock band. One day, when I was about 16, I strapped on our bass players Rickenbacker, just to mess about and I felt at home immediately. So I got my dad to buy me a Fender Precision and made the switch to bass. (Taken from Bass Player Magazine: November 1996) Matthew Moss : As a young player I feel honoured to even have an entry here. For me I feel I didnt have a choice and that the bass guitar found me. No one in my family played anything. I mean what a jump to make something happen, but once I randomly picked one up, my knowledge and hunger for music grew rapidly. Everything I learned melodically and rhythmically, I wanted to play on my bass. As I grew with my instrument so did the reasons why I play. I agree with the few above that said it is a new and exciting instrument that has already seen so many changes, yet so many more to come! Graham Jacobs : Why bass? Because bass is the glue in the mix. Because playing bass helps me to listen better I refer to what the band is producing, rather than just what Im playing. I have played a number of instruments starting with piano, and then moving to drums while still at school. I picked up my first bass before I could play a chord on a guitar, and it was love at first sight. This was despite the instrument being home-made and sounding horrible. I went on to play guitar and a number of other stringed and wind instruments in bands during the next few years, but always found myself gravitating back to bass. I guess thats because I enjoy being at the juncture of the rhythm and harmony. I also like the fact that of all band instruments, the bass is the one most bands can least afford to be without. Think about it actually Im sure you have. Steve Rodby : I had a very early almost pre-verbal affinity for the bass: It remains, like the bass itself, an enduring mystery to me. I remember seeing a bass player on TV, when I was very young and falling in love with the sound and look. My father, whose a great music educator, picked up on that quickly and kept reminding me of it until I was old enough to start lessons. He always told me Everybody needs a bass player and bass players always work. I hope hes right. I started out playing classical acoustic bass

but quickly made the transition to pop music and jazz on electric and amplified acoustic. I always felt bass was the one instrument that felt right to me. It was so much fun from the very beginning. In a way, the bass itself inspired me. I love those low notes. (Taken from Bass Player Magazine September 1996) Kevin Brandon : When I was 4 I started playing my sisters Piano then went to my brother s saxophone. When I was 9, my father told me it was my turn to have my own instrument. I wanted to play drums but because of my handicap, he told me to pick an instrument that was less physical on my legs so I wouldnt get discouraged down the line. He brought back home, that Christmas, a St George bass from the swap meet. The rest was history; my Career started at that point playing bass in my family band. Matthew Bairstow : Its the glue that holds all music together, the skeleton I cant live without, Nothing comes close to that feeling of a deep bass tone running from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, melting any internal organs you had left. I love the way that when Im playing, nothing else matters, every worry I had before I picked up my bass is gone, I find it a sort of meditation, a release and even a cleansing, Thats why I play bass. Billy Sheehan : When I was very young (around 10 or 11), there was a "teen explosion" of music & bands. I had an older brother & sisters who were of course, caught up in it. As the youngest of four, I tried to get into things that were meant for the older kids. Hearing The Everly Brothers, The Beach Boys & a zillion other early 60's bands and music was exciting and inspiring. Around the corner from my house lived my friend Joe Hesse who actually had a band, and they rehearsed in the basement. At that time there were bands everywhere. On summer nights you could hear rehearsals and jams all over town. As you walked down the street, and the sounds faded, another band further down would come to your ears. Joe was a bass player & one of the coolest guys around. I wanted to be like him. He let me pick up his bass one time--it was huge & heavy. The strings were giant and thick. Just a few plucks and I was blistered, but I knew that was the thing for me. Soon after, a band called "The Beatles" played on Ed Sullivan. I saw all the girls screaming, and instantly knew that was the job I wanted. I used to sit in my room with my bass and listen to the hit radio stations, and learn how to figure out by ear, every song that I heard. To me, bass is the coolest instrument. It links rhythm and melody, holding together the sound of the band. It gives the time a pitch. Very early on I learned it was unlimited in scope. No less than a grand piano. From the simplest groove to the most complicated nonsense. After over 40 years, I'm still learning every single day. Ed Poole : I was always attracted to the sound of the bass on first hearing Andy Fraser with FREE and Jack Bruce with CREAM. It wasn't until I bought my first 6 string electric guitar, joined a band and realised I was only playing all low single notes, that I thought I should really be playing the bass. I bought my first at age 14, a 'jazz'

copy. Later in life I discovered Larry Graham and others, then Jaco. I feel very lucky that I still love my job. Sting : The bass feels strange in your hands when you've been used to the smaller instrument with its narrow strings and short neck. The bass has a weight and a heft to it that feels like a weapon, yet there is a quiet beauty to it as well. This instrument is the root of all harmony, the bedrock at the bottom of the stave upon which music is constructed. When I accompanied Ken, I realized that whatever he played was harmonically defined by the notes on the bass. If he were to play the upper partials of a C chord on the guitar, it would only be a C chord if I played C in the bass. So I began to form in my mind what I can only describe as a strategy. A vague one, but nonetheless a strategy that the bass, while being far from flashy, would suit the covert side of my personality much better than the guitar. It would be a quieter heroism I would seek, stoic and grounded like my father's. My ambitions would become concrete from the ground up, hidden yet effective. I would suppress my desire to shine spectacularly in favour of digging deep and marking time in what I somehow knew would become a long campaign. Excerpt from "Broken Music" David Hughes : I started to develop a more serious interest in music when I discovered the Beatles. McCartney's wonderful basslines, that are melodic yet supportive and often serve as a sort of counterpoint to the melody drew me to the bass. I loved the sound of some of the Swedish studio bass players in the 80's (e.g. Rutger Gunnarson, Christian Weltman), growly, compressed and up-front in the mix. It is also an instrument that gives you a lot of control of the music, but being a somewhat shy person, it lets me hide behind the frontman of the band. Without a great deal of natural affinity for the instrument, I probably wouldn't have stuck with it for this long. Stuart Hamm: Im from a very musical family. My father is a musicologist, my mother is a voice teacher and my two brothers are musicians that led me to try the piano, the flute and the violin early on. One day when I was about 13, there was a rock band playing at a park in my hometown of Champaign, Illinois. I went to listen and the bass player had a white curly cord going from his Fender to his Orange Sunn amplifier. I thought it was the coolest thing Id ever seen in my life! In addition, I was a big fan of the Partridge familys bassist Danny Bonaduce he was a role model for chubby, red haired geeks. Soon after, I began playing electric and upright with the goal of getting into the Champaign Central High School jazz band, which had national-caliber status. I was in the band for one year and we won the state championship before my family left Illinois to move to Vermont. (Taken from Bass Player Magazine July 1997)

Greg Olwell : Why I play bass is both a simple and difficult question to answer. The short answer is that its endlessly fun and gratifying. To me, the resulting emotional response is the most important part; the why of the response is the difficult part to answer. Upright and electric bass are powerful, elemental instruments that can shake buildings and hips. Of course, there are plenty of talented musicians working the bass as a solo instrument, but I feel that it works best with other instruments and in the process, fosters a sense of community and support, whether its a duo or an orchestra. Doing that, requires a sense of selflessness that forces me to place myself in the overall picture of the music. By playing such foundational notes, I can exert so much power on the music. And, have fun. Stanley Clarke : Violin was the first instrument that I started playing in school. I sort of liked the idea of playing violin, but it was really tiny. Man, I was tall at 12. It was like seeing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar playing a piccolo trumpet it just didnt fit. I had a great teacher named Mr. Birch, who was really good. He was so good that when I said, Look, man, this violin stuff is really not good for me, he said Well, well go one more up. So he gave me a cello. That wasnt happening, either, and then after about two months with that I went to the acoustic bass. I loved the sound of the cello, but the one that I had in school was simply too small. String bass was the perfect size for me tall so I got it. I remember my first remark about it was, Well, the sound is a little rough, but what the hell, I guess Ill be able to work with it. I was always a melody-minded person, but I just had to find the instrument that fit best with the size of my body. Excerpt from Bass Heroes Mark Egan : My first instrument was guitar at age 10 then at 11; I started playing trumpet, which was my main instrument from junior high school into college at The U. of Miami in Florida. Even though I was a trumpet player I was always attracted to the bass. The popular music in my teenage years was rock, soul and R&B and the bass was usually prominent in the mix. Bands like Jimi Hendrix, Cream, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Motown sound was blasting through my car radio speakers. I can remember visiting the local music store in Brockton Mass. every Saturday and looking in the display case at a fender jazz bass. For some reason I tuned into the bass. At 15 I bought my first bass, a Delray, and studied with a guitar teacher named Mike Lalli. He taught me scales, arpeggios and ways to play through chord progressions that made musical sense of which I still apply today. While at the U. of Miami I became completely involved with bass to the extent that it became my major instrument rather than trumpet. The reason why I play bass is that I love to be in the moment of the constant flow of rhythm and harmony. Im drawn melodically to the cello like sound of the bass and I can never get enough of playing in a groove with inspired musicians.

Rufus Reid : I played trumpet in junior high and high school, and later in the air force band. In high school, I was drawn just to touch the bass, to fool with it in some manner; while I was in the military, I began to teach myself and very quickly found that the bass satisfied something in me the trumpet never could. Listening to live performances and such records as Miles Daviss Walkin (Prestige) with Percy Heath, Oscar Petersons albums with Ray Brown, and ones by the Dwight Mitchell/Willie Ruff Duo, I was convinced the bass was for me. (Taken from Bass Player Magazine July 1996) David Houghton : I joined the police band after school I was employed as a tuba player. When one of the bass players was getting close to retirement, I changed over to bass guitar playing bass guitar seemed a far more attractive option than standing on parade with a tuba. Since I already had a fair understanding of the guitar, and I was a good reader from the tuba, the transition was pretty smooth. Glenn Letsch : The bass speaks to me like no other instrument I intuitively gravitate to bass first when listening to music Always have, and always will I can try and intellectualize why I play bass but I just love playing bass It is the nucleus and the one instrument that can singlehandedly make a song "dance" Playing bass is my way of dancing, I suppose. Chris Garner : It just feels great. Victor L. Wooten : I am the youngest of five brothers who all play music. My four brothers have been playing pretty much since I was born. Regi plays guitar, Roy plays drums, Rudy plays Sax, and Joseph plays keyboards. My oldest brother, Regi, realized that if there were a bass player in the family, we would have a complete band. That ended up being me. So, I became a bass player because of them. I like the bass because its main role is a supportive one. Its job is to make the other instruments sound good. I like that. U must be a good listener to play the bass properly. There are many other reasons why I enjoy playing the bass. Here are a few: First of all, I really enjoy it. The instrument as well as the music that comes through it makes me happy. It can also make me sad or any other emotion. That is a wonderful thing. These emotions can be transferred to the listener so that they feel and experience it too. That can be very powerful.

The instrument is still very young and changing fast. It feels very good to be a part of the growth of the instrument. We are still in an age where some of the first people to play the electric bass are still around. That's very cool. I can only imagine where the instrument will be in a few years. The bass is an instrument that people are still surprised to hear played well. We are used to hearing a piano or guitar player perform a complete song on their instruments. It is still rare to hear that from a bass player so, when it is done, it is responded to in a big way. that works in our favor. The bass is my way of expressing music. I thank the bass for providing me with such a wonderful doorway into this beautiful world. I don't know how I would enter into music without it. I could keep going but I will conclude with this thought. In their own way, all people are musical, but not all people have an instrument to express it through. An electric bass allows others to hear my musicality. Without it, my music might be locked inside forever. So, in a sense, the bass is my musical saviour. I am thankful for that. Peace, Jean-Bertrand Carbou : I had my first bass after my dad made me listen to the Stanley Clarke Album School Days. I was amazed and I switched from drums to bass at age 15. Bass is the foundation of music and bass is in every style of music. Plus, its a rhythmic, harmonic and melodic instrument. It has everything! Thats why I like it, its the versatility Derek Oliver : It was Paul McCartney and John Paul Jones that gave me the bass bug. Although I loved music and bands from the moment I became aware of it, as a toddler, I was always most impressed by the (usually bearded) guy at the back next to the drummer. The one with the far off look in his eyes. The bass is the defining instrument in any band. It bridges the gap between the drums and guitars etc. When well played it makes a band sound hot, without even being visible. I love the feeling you get when your bass causes the rest of the band to rock and the beautiful melodic sound when playing a solo line. Adrian Davison : I started playing at age 16....I played bass because our band needed a bass player. We were 2 guitarists with a drummer and singer,...and we didn't need 2 guitarists.........it was unanimous ........ The other guitarist knew all the songs and was a better player, so I went out and bought a bass.... a blonde Rickenbacker 1977/ 4001 ..........I think I played my first gig a few days later!!!!!!!! Also, later on I added Hipshot d tuners and an ABM bridge as well as waxing and re-wiring the pick-ups...I probably played about 3000 gigs with that bass!!! Jay Terrien : "Because Bassists RULE!!!" Concord Nkabinde : do I play bass? Oh! I guess I dont see myself primarily as a bass player but a musician. I could have been a pianist, a drummer or a dancer for that matter. However, I believe the BASS chose me. Circumstances and fate may have been instrumental in that process. I have no regrets for having been chosen to play bass, as it gives me an opportunity to be highly effective whilst I am in the background. Affording me the power to influence without being too upfront. Bass has helped me develop a strong sense of harmony and rhythm.

Ben Jones : The story my mother tells is that one year, for Christmas, when it was still bigger than I was, my dad brought home a guitar for me. She asked him what are you doing with that?, and his response was Im going to teach him to play it! I actually started my music career as a drummer and thought I would do that forever. I attempted a number of different instruments in school band programs and was listening to a guitarist on a Stanley Clarke record (Ray Gomez) trying to cop licks and the bass sound just called to me. I have been doing that ever since! Michael Manring : I just love the sound of this instrument. To me, it seems full of passion, beauty and limitless possibility. There's something about the message the instrument has to convey that I find very compelling. I often dream about the sound of the bass and even after all the years I've been playing, I still wake up every day just itching to play. Scott Pazera : I began playing bass because there were too many guitar players in my junior high and my friends needed a bass player. So for my 12th birthday I bought a bass. I continue to play bass because I love the ability to control a groove as well as manipulating harmony to create spontaneous energy. Bass players also make great leaders in that we have to be so aware of everything that is going on that if we miss something, everything could fall apart. With advances in modern technology and the quality of instruments being made today, I cant think if there has ever been a better time to be a bass player. I can walk into a gig with a 4 pound amplifier, 20 pound speaker cabinet and my bass on my back and blow the doors off of most gigs. I love playing bass. Dave Segall : I play bass for the chics, man!! Bass is just so mysterious, and Im a mysterious guy! Jeff Berlin : I suppose I started playing the bass out of sheer laziness. When I was 14 years old, I was into my eighth year of intense violin studies and frankly, I was tired of working so hard to make myself play this instrument. I figured that the electric bass would be an easy instrument to play, which it really was. The hard part came when I later began to seek out different music that was unusual for a bass player to pursue. Exercises, transcriptions, and compositions that mostly belonged on other instruments became the concept that I lived by as a bass player for nearly 40 years. There's nothing mystical about my initial attraction to the bass. It was convenient to play, and I didn't have to work hard to make it sound good. Tim Seisser : I play bass because it is my voice. It is my tool to express myself musically. It is truth for me. It is all I know and it is all I want to do in life. I play bass because it allows me to connect with other people on a level that cannot be matched by any other experience. Shaun Moseley : Why do I play bass? Well, I thought about becoming a drummer but having to carry those drums & symbol stands around everywhere changed my mind very quickly. I enjoy hearing stupid jokes from guitarists as well, what's that very "funny" one I have heard literally about a million times? Oh yes, bass players can only count up to four. That's funny but do you know what is really funny? It's when that bass stops playing, you can literally feel the soul & the heart beat being ripped right out of that song. I am proud to be a bass player! I am proud to be the soul & heart beat of the band! That is why I love playing bass.

Phil Raath : I started playing because the band I auditioned for as a guitarist decided they rather wanted someone else on the guitar but they did have a bass position open and couldnt find anybody that was interested. I took the job on condition that they show me what they wanted and Ill play it that way. Unfortunately, that took away the basics of playing the instrument and to this day I still dont know what bass is actually all about I think if that light one day starts coming on it will be a major revelation in my life. Still love playing bass though probably just because of the way the low frequencies tingle through your whole body : Ross Pickford : It all began with the usual story: I wanted to be the cool guitar guy but was too average on that instrument. Our band needed a bassist and I knew someone who had one lying around. So being the nice guy, I volunteered to give it a go, knowing all of 3 chords at the time. That was 14 years ago, the rest is history I guess. I love the emotion and feeling you can bring to a song with a bass. It really can be the heart and soul of a song, or the driving force. The longer I play, the less I try to play, and rather let the bass fill the gaps between guitars, vocals and the drummer. If you let that be the guide, a whole world of space is opened for you. I still only know about 3 chords... Winton Palmer : If Music is the ephemeral, temporal and infinite expression of the Divine in the material reality, then the bass is the expression of the thoughtless, all pervading and powerful dark matter that moves between each particle in the universe. Brian Ogawa : As I said in Bass Player Magazine, I started when I saw a bass player at Disneyland; play the song, "Do I Do" by Stevie Wonder. When I heard the bass player play the unison line with the horn players and I realized you could play rhythm and melody at the same time I said that is the instrument for me. I started on Trumpet and played that from age 8 to 17. At about 15 it became more bass and less trumpet. For me, Bass and Drums are the foundation on which all the great music that I love is built upon. Incidentally, Jeff Berlin was one of my teachers. Quinn Hawley : Music has helped me to understand the world better and through music, I discovered bass. I began playing bass at my grandfathers urging when I was sixteen. Ive been playing ever since. Its like an addiction and my ultimate satisfaction. I love being a bass player on stage its taught me to hide my needs and show my skill. When youre a bass player, groove is something you live every day. Time is our most valuable asset, yet we tend to waste it, kill it, but playing bass is my way of investing in it. Thats Why I Play Bass!!! Francois Marais : I got my license to resonate from a friend of a friend who needed a bassist. So I too, was Chosen and I never listened to a song in the same old way again. A bassist feels what to play, understands the mood of the song and glues the melody and rhythm into one. That, and the feel of thick, elastic coils at my fingertips are the root notes to my fetish...Oh Whatever! Next time people move at your command, youll know what I mean. Ray Riendeau : I play bass because it is my other voice for expressing myself. It can convey feelings and statements that mere words cannot express. Music IS the universal language and my "voice" is the bass.

Tony Senatore : I never wanted to play music professionally. I was a straight A student, in all the honours classes throughout my high school years. I planned on being a writer. My father was a professional musician, a trumpet player. He was always away when I was a kid, and I never wanted a life like that for myself. My Dad found me the finest teacher around (the late Mr Al Faraldi). Dad drove me to all my lessons, paid for them, but discouraged me to embark on a life as a pro musician. You think after 50 years in the music business he knew something that I didn't? Paul McCartney was certainly my first influence. Hearing him made me want to play the bass. Mars Cowling blew me away when I heard him on Go For What You Know, Pat Travers Live. Stanley Clarke just shocked me when I heard him play on Romantic Warrior. It opened my eyes to just what could be done with the bass guitar, but hearing Jaco Pastorius on Heavy Weather changed my life - in particular, his playing on A Remark You Made. Nothing has ever impacted me as much as that, even to this day. I learned from this that I wanted my music to move people in a deep, emotional way, not a "Gee, he plays so fast" kind of way... Nick Bellinger : I play bass primarily because I wanted to hide at the back but now I do it because its so darn funky!! Oh and theres only 4 strings to worry about too!! Llewellyn Buzz Bethwaite : The fist time I knew I wanted to play bass was hearing Cliff Burtons playing on Metallicas For Whom the Bell tollsthats when I knew I wanted to be a bass player! NO other instrument has the presence and quiet power of the bass on stage. It fits my personality as someone that likes to be in control, but at the same time, I can stand back and let someone else take the lead. I love the simplicity and power that comes from a thundering bassline and that growl of a well-fed dinosaur as it dominates the low end. WE DONT NEED NO TREBLE! Andre van Zyl : Bass is Ace! Sending Vibrations down your spine - something no other instrument is capable of doing. The quiet tone of firm strong rhythm! Its drums without the bang. A guitar without the twang. The lead singer by merely the slap of a finger! Theres just no doubt that I have to shout that: Bass is King. John Goldsby : I started out playing just about everything else before I finally found the bass: piano, clarinet, trumpet, and guitar. It wasn't until I started playing guitar in rock bands in about the 7th grade that I even considered the function of the bass at all. There we were, the typical garage band with three guitars, drums, lead singer, and no bass. I met an old trucker who was passing through our neighborhood and had a Goya bass guitar for sale - which became my first instrument, and which completed the instrumentation for our garage band. The Goya was stolen shortly thereafter (anybody seen it?!?) and I picked up a '65 Fender Jazz bass, which I still like to play today. After the rock and fusion phase, I found the proverbial "upright bass in the corner" of the school band room. That really changed everything - I found the sound that I was hearing in my head. My life as a bass player was signed and sealed at that point and I've never looked back since. Andrew Pfaff : I started playing piano at about six or so, and later took up some other instruments, but in my later teens I began playing bass and quickly realized two important things: a), that I enjoyed the influence I could have over the sound of an ensemble as a bass player, and b), if you can play a bass even a little, lots of people will want you to play in their bands. This meant that I could enjoy a position of power and influence in the music I played, AND be more employable than players of almost any other instrument. I quickly became aware that good bass players are more rare and coveted than good guitarists.

As a bass player, I enjoy a position of incredible power over the rhythmic and harmonic dimensions of the music. With bass, one note can change everything. Eelke van der Hak : After running a jazz cafe for seven years (near Amsterdam - Holland) I was so inspired by all the musicians who played at my place, that I wanted to play an instrument for myself. The first jazz hero of mine is Miles Davis and I was thinking about playing trumpet but after every gig in my cafe, I was always talking about the bassplayer, so my wife said; why don't you start playing the bass? and so I did and I am very happy to now play the bass in a gipsy band called; Peu de Feu and can't imagine a life without playing the bass, with special thanks to people around me for their support Pat Wilkins : I started playing bass at the age of 12. I had been playing guitar in a rock and roll band for about a year. There was a band down the street that had this amazing guitar player in it. He could sing and play every Beatles and Stones song and he knew all the Cream and Grand Funk Railroad songs too. The only instrument that they couldnt keep around was the bass player so I bought a $65 Crown bass and a Silvertone bass amp and joined the band. Ive never looked back. I love to play bass. I listen to the bass when I listen to music. I hum bass lines when Im daydreaming. Its in my DNA. I cant imagine my life not being a bass player. Al Turner : I started playing bass when I was 12 years old. I wanted to play drums but my parents didnt want to hear the noise in the house. My older brother plays guitar and he suggested that I play bass. I began learning the bass lines from the many Motown artists that I heard on the radio. James Jamerson was a huge inspiration for me. I love the way that the bass moves a song along. It's all about the bass. Where would the world be without Bass? Adam Engela : Because its cooler than guitar. Chuck Bianchi : It is hard to recall what drew me to the bass guitar. In the beginning it may have been the personalities of the bassists in my favorite bands as much as it was the sound of the instrument. Of course my reasons for playing the bass when I was 14 are different than my reasons today, but it was always the melodic aspect of the instrument that attracted and intrigued me, and that is still true today. It is no secret that the bass is the foundation of nearly any ensemble, any genre, but I believe that the full melodic potential of the bass is just beginning to be realized. And it is the idea of unlocking the puzzles and discovering the mysteries that lie within the fretboard that motivates me to compose, perform and teach today. Danny Fox : I started playing bass in 1995 at age 15, as my dad had when he was younger. I was heavily into the rock and metal at the time and began teaching myself. I took to the instrument pretty quickly and looked for someone who could expand my knowledge. I studied with Billy Evans a great LA bass player, for 6 weeks, he introduced me to funk, jazz and the blues, which set me on the path I'm currently on. After struggling with illness for a lot of my adult life, music has been the most beneficial thing for my wellbeing more than anything else. I live to play, and love learning and teaching every day. I feel very lucky.

Yves Carbonne : Bass guitar is the best way to express myself through music. It has the good physical proportions for me. Its a young instrument, so its evolution is not finished and I play an active role in its development with my sub-basses. As I was a kid, I used to sing in my head, the bass parts of all the music I had the chance to hear I love to assume the bassists role in music, and I love also singing with my bass or playing chords Rob 'Acebass' Perl : When I heard the bass line on 'Don't Be Cruel' by Elvis,, I knew that was what I wanted to play - tried to make a bass out of a cigar box and rubber bands! My family tried to have me playing other instruments, but I didn't stick with any of them though. Luckily - I ended up in the Junior High Orchestra Viola Section, talking too much to all the girls there, and got moved to the Bass Section. Once I picked up the bass, it was just like hearing that Elvis song! I've been playing bass (and that song) ever since. Clement (Mr Crazy fingerz) Georges : I really didnt have a choice in the matter. I had two friends that both played guitar and they asked me if I could play bass- my answer to their question was no I cant, so they showed me the fundamentals of playing bass, which in their way was playing root notes. I found this very disturbing and boring, so I evolved it to my way of playing and by that, started really enjoying playing bass because there was just so much space to play in. So after five years of playing bass, I still enjoy playing and I've come across so many good bass players with such diverse playing styles and ideas and by that, I never felt left out as a bass player with a weird sense of approaching the bass. Dino Fiorenza : I play the bass. Its my very reason to live. Bernhard Lackner : When I started listening to bands like Toto and Simply Red....at the age of 13 or 14 I was really fascinated by the fact that, that single note which the bass played could make a song sound so full and powerful. There and then, I knew that that was the role I wanted to play in a band. Of course, later on in my development I also was fascinated by the fact that you can do so many things on the bass (comping, soloing, solobass...). Tammy Wilson : My mom is a music teacher and I have fiddled around with instruments my whole life, guitar, piano and cello but never really got hooked until I heard John Paul Jones on the bass. He made me realize that the bass could be used to keep a groove down while being creative at the same time. The different dynamics and dimensions of music have always blown me away and I feel that the bass is the key instrument holding everything together even if it isnt up front in the mix. Also playing bass is more of a "team sport", you cant just go on your own mission, you have to consider where the drummer is going. I am always more impressed by tight rhythm sections rather than flash bassists for example John Paul Jones and John Bonham (Led Zepellin) and Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk ( Rage Against The Machine). Adrian Lay : To meet chicks and make money!................Why am I still single and penniless? uuuhh. I dunno,. (thinks, with think bubble) yes, why am I still single and penniless?

. (sudden self realization moment) Oh no!! AAAAARRRGGG! Im a failure,a miserable (sob) useless failure! (groan)forget me, forget all of this,.damn you, you cool funky bassists of the Bass Collective and your stupid dumb secret handshakes!.....Damn yoooooooouuuuu!!! Victor Masondo : Bass is the only instrument that has the last word. You see, if you are a bass player you have so much that you command. Other instruments are really there to hang with the bass, you know? - so they can be recognised!! On a serious note, I fell in love with this instrument when my brother who was a bass player decided not to go on stage because he had a couple of problems then. Opportunity was not knocking it was shouting loud at me. So yeah, right now I could not have any other instrument as my main one more that the bass. It is the essence of rhythmif played right of course!! Fedis Gray : I play bass because I have no choice, I am possessed by bass, and love it .. An exorcism could not remove my love and passion for all things bass, from its majestic nature, its aura, to the feel of its strings, the feel of its neck and body .. All of its curves and angles/balance, a joy to embrace .. Its infinite colour and tonal and harmonous possibilities .. Its melodious sweet song to its rumble, thunder and boom!!! .. Its overtones, chime, squeaks, farts, whistle and feedback .. Music's backbone and all, music is life .. For me bass is an ultimate voice .. "The Om" ... Joseph Patrick Moore : When I was a freshman in high school, I decided to quit the saxophone partly out of my frustration of trying to sound good with braces. I decided to switch to the bass drum because I thought that the drummers we're the coolest people in the marching band:) During this time, I realized that it wasn't just the drums that interested me, it was the low frequencies and tones of the big bass drum that turned me on. During my sophomore year, I started having reoccurring dreams of holding an electric bass guitar although I had no concept of what that meant. I'd never had dreams like this before or since and I know it sounds corny, but I decided to sell that dusty saxophone for a bass at the local music store. That was it; I was hooked on the low rumble and thunder of the bass. While I continued playing drums throughout the marching band and beyond, it was the bass that made me want to become a musician. Soon, I knew that I had found my home. Tony Vaughn : Music is spiritual, healing, mystical, forgiving and a conduit for compassion and goodwill. Music is the untainted ambassador of trust and honesty to the universe. I play Bass because it allows for a great deal of fun and maximum creativity, it can also help to create an environment of hope and healing in the worst of times. Alexander Kalinovski (State Orchestra of Belarus) : I like the low sound of a bass. I played guitar during my childhood but not chords I played bass lines, having inclined a head to the body of an acoustic guitar and played on the low strings. I prefer the lower sound of a bass to that of the violin, which I studied at Musical School. Harald Weinkum : I sort of have to blame Paul McCartney: becoming a die-hard Beatles fan in my high-school years, I realised that playing piano and guitar is not enough, if I want to go McCartney all the way. By the time I realised that that practicing bass was also the worst economic investment in my life, I already enjoyed it way too much. Still, getting paid to make people listen or even dance is not the worst occupation in the world, so I am grateful that it worked out for me, and the experience of putting together the bass bolero (featuring 14 of todays most gifted bassists) was a once in a lifetime treat! Jonathan Dimond : I was first attracted to the recorded sound of the electric bass on radio - hearing

recordings of Jaco Pastorius and the likes during Junior High School. As a trombone player and composer I was really attracted to the sound and function of the instrument. I feel ever-inspired about the ability of the bass to solo, direct chord progressions and of course groove with the percussion instruments. Chris Badynee : I play bass because no one else played bass in my Detroit neighbourhood back 1974. We didnt play sports because the Catholic schools in my neighbourhood didnt have sports programs. We were children of low-income artists. We had banjos, guitars, violins, accordions, drums, ukuleles, paints, paper and pencils everywhere. We were child poets and storytellers (creative liars). I was frustrated as a guitarist because I could actually hear the bass lines that I wanted to hear as I played guitar. I decided to become the bassist that Ive always wanted in a bass player. Its been 32 years since I made that decision, and I can remember the feeling I got when I hit that first G note on the A string. It was more of a successful discovery than it was a choice. And it filled my spirit with joy. Jade Abbott : Besides the fact that there are large numbers of bands lacking decent bassists its a long story involving the fact my dad and sister were guitarists, my cousins were guitarists and drummers but no bassist in sight! I struggled to perform with them with only the cunning use of classical piano training, so I suppose my original reason was just so I could play with them! Bass felt right! I could FEEL it more than any other instrumentit seems to hit me in my lungs and heart. When I feel upset, my bass is upset with me, when I am flying over the moon, the notes sing through the air along side me. I dont play bass, I play WITH my bass. Graeme Currie : Because I can!!!!! Franc OShea : I play the bass because as a composer it gives you an amazing power to shape the way an entire composition sounds. You can create dynamics, invert chords, play basslines that are laid back or pushed, busy and driving or floating and spacey. Play counterpoint melodies, add chords, lock with the drummer, and punctuate someones solo. The list is as endless as your imagination. You can turn a song inside out, upside down, left, right, centre. You have a creative power that can take compositions to higher levels. You are the link between all the instruments and you can also sometimes play the role of each instrument. I also like the way the bass hits my third eye and soul simultaneously, the link between the earth and the skies and with my fretless I can channel the heart of the universe. Philipp Rehm : Its the power of the instrument, the tons of sound I move. When I play a tone, its that place down there in the belly, where you feel the instrument. Its the universality of the bass - the variety

of music styles that use this instrument. No matter, if you hear juicy fat funk, African dance, pop or Russian folklore - the bass is always the gravitational center of the music. Its the variety of sounds that you can create with fingering, slapping, tapping and picking - and of course, I like the understatement, a bassist makes. He has the big hidden power in the band, that not everybody recognizes - but everybody feels it. Wayne Fox : I dont play bass, my bass plays me. When I have my bass plugged in I am a different person. Im lucky I play bass, coz most other instruments couldnt survive the suffering my bass makes me inflict upon it. But seriously, bass is what holds the music together, it makes what the drums are doing fit with what the guitar is doing. Initially I started playing bass for two reasons : coz I liked playing low notes, and no-one ever notices a bass player, which is just how I wanted it to be. But now I play bass coz the thought of playing anything else just seems wrong. Joris Teepe : I grew up with classical music and studied classical piano since I was 6 years old, which was not much fun for me as a kid, so I gave up at 12 and didn't go back to music until I was 17 to join the school band as a bassist. From this moment, I knew this was my future. I had always been the guy who forgets lyrics, but never the bass lines. I've been playing for 31 years and (now that technical problems are not an issue anymore) playing is just my favourite way to express myself. It's easier than talking. Composing is my second favourite way. Joe Penn : Stuart Zender, Return of The Space Cowboy is all that I can say. Since then I have discovered a million and one amazing players that keep me inspired to pick the damn thing up, but it was Stuart Zenders fluid melodic lines on the 2nd Jamiroquai album that kicked my hiney off the white picket fence and forced me to buy my first bass, a cherry red Fender Squire P-Bass warped neck, terrible action and busted pick-ups; but it rocked. Zuzo Moussawer : Before playing bass I played a bit of drums and guitar. When I was a young teen, a band I played drums in, needed a bassist so I tried it. Naturally, I loved the bass sound even though I had no idea about the tuning I played just by ear and played some tunes with crazy tunings just because I didn't know how to tune up. After that, I liked the idea of being in the background. Since 1994 I have hade a solo career but I still like to groove in the background, conversing with drummers and percussionists. Nik Felbab : Bass is the instrument with the most groove, and it really is the most versatile instrument. Can you slap and pop on a guitar? I think not! Bass is the keystone in a band it provides melody and rhythm. You've heard of drum and bass bands... Ever heard of drum and guitar bands? (And no, not the White Stripes, because Meg White's drumming is too crap to count!). And anyway, it seems that circumstance forced me to play bass, so I guess it was just meant to be, right? Stefan Henrico : Why do I play bass? Well, how long is a piece of string? I cant tell you why I play bass, I just do. Darren Michaels : Electric bass is too young to have a solidified tradition. It resists definitions and transcends boundaries we have spent centuries creating. For electric bass, there is no dogma. No one can validly say that I am playing wrong. Playing the electric bass is like exploring an unspoiled land without checkpoints or borders. Bass gives me a bigger world. I speak a voice with my bass that approaches a universal tongue. My listener understands. Between us, we mouth a wordless language that whispers what it is to be alive and human. I am compelled to continue along this path of playing

bass because it enriches my life with wonder, humility, passion, humor, challenge, and healing. It is not about how I change my playing, but how it changes me. Alfred Kallfass : I never learned anything else, so I have to. Christoph Victor Kaiser : After playing the classical piano and violoncello in my childhood the bass just felt more natural to me it was the instrument that gave me the possibility to find the perfect spot in the music for me. The bass primarily supports other players and connects the rhythm with the harmony it is the musical melting point in the band and you have a lot of possibilities to sculpt the music with the way you play. Other than that. I love low notes ;-) Lige Grant Curry : Bass tones were always going on in my head from the time I started Listening to the radio as a child at home. The whole rhythm section was my first draw to a song, then the lyrics later. The Bass guitar was very clear to me since I grew up in the Midwest. Motown was the music to listen to at the time they had the hit records. Motown then had a special way they would mix the Bass Guitar up louder than a lot of other records, And for me that was great because it brought out the fullness of the song. James Jamerson & Bob Babbitt The Bass Gods at that time were able to benefit from this as they started with the stand up and then later the electric Bass. Bringing those Basses out on those recordings changed the way we listened to the Bass guitar and the overall song. At lease for me, it did. I then fell in love with the Bass at that time and still play as much as I can. Currently touring with George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic P-funk All-stars. Keep that Bass in yo Face Sucker, or your nose will grow. lol! Tom Genovese : I've been a musician most of my life. I began formal music training on an accordion. I was a kid back then in an Italian household, so what else was there? As the seventies approached, my friends were buying guitars, drums, and basses and began forming bands. Unfortunately, there was no room for an accordionist in rock and roll. My dad came to my rescue and bought me a Vox Jaguar compact organ and from there I have had Hammond organs and Fender Rhodes pianos. In those days we played loud and my hearing began to fail. Music was getting increasingly more difficult to enjoy. My ability to distinguish notes on higher octaves began to disintegrate. I finally stopped playing all together. The only instrument I had left was my old Titano Accordion. but, as musicians know, making music is as much a part of you as your body. Then it hit me. My hearing loss was in the area of higher frequencies, so why not an instrument that gets down low? I determined that I would make the transition from keys to strings. That's when I bought a bass. The bass has an incredible effect on music yet, in most cases, is not in the limelight - that appeals to me. I had the opportunity of communication with John Mayall's bassist, Hank Van Sickle, a few years back. I was impressed by his subtlety in the way he played. He laid down a nice groove, but made the guitar and keys stand out. That's what a bassist does and I like that. Cobus Keyser : I developed an affinity for the bass, its sound and the role it plays in the band setup. I moved away from bass after a year (I moved to Botswana) and decided to focus my energy on guitar playing for a while, since there was no band to play for. In that time, I always had the wish to play the bass again, but persisted with guitar. Bass still amazed me during that dry spell. It was only when I played my first audition after I moved to Cape Town where I auditioned for a guitar-playing spot when the guy told me that they also have a spot open on the bass and asked me if I would be interested. I jumped at the chance to play the bass again. Being in the background and yet playing such a vital role in the sound of the band, is one of the thrills I enjoy from playing the bass. The understated importance of a bass player is a thought I really enjoy.

Sometimes you find that there are tiny movements in certain songs that sound so cool, you get chills down your spine. Personally, a lot of these moments have been created by a bassist doing something out of the ordinary. I also like the idea that a bassist can commute between musical genres. OK, all other instrumentalists can also do it, but it seems that we, as bassists like to expose ourselves to as many styles as possible. With the one band, you are a rocker and with the next one, you play groovy jazz bass lines. So, there you have it. Thats why I play bass. Jose Aponte : I dont know the exact reason why or how, but as far as I recall, when I was watching music videos and concerts, I was always paying more attention to the bass player. Geddy Lee, Steve Harris, Billy Sheehan, Gene Simmons, and most of the 80s Glam Rock bands bass players just caught my attention. I remember the first time I ever saw a live group, was two blocks from my house, a drummer, a guitar player, and a bass player, they were jamming. And I was stunned when I saw the bass player performing, with a white precision electric bass. The bass player was a great friend of mine, and he let me use his white bass for a talent show, we used to go to talent shows to imitate rock bands, but not actually play live. I do remember how excited I was to have that bass in my room, it was like, I just stared at the bass for minutes, and I did not even know how to tune it. Today, playing bass is the way I can communicate through music, its my tool to speak the universal language. When I play, it doesnt matter what I play, I just enjoy it so much, to contribute to that groove or musical piece, to communicate through music with the drummer, or the piano player, and the audience, its a great feeling. That passion for the electric bass is what still drives me, and it's why I love playing it so much. Lee Smith : I began with the typical beginners route of classical guitar. I cut my teeth and developed a taste for blues. It wasnt long before I decided that the low end was where I belong. Edo Castro : I started playing bass because it only had 4 strings on and I didn't have to deal with chording. (Boy was I in for a big surprise). Piano and Guitar was very lovely but I didn't have the chops to be in a band as a guitarist or pianist. It seemed easy at first, you know, 4 strings and all. But as you all know, the bass, its part in the band and its function are gravely overlooked. Not to mention quite challenging. (Plus no one paid much attention to the bass anyway). The real attraction was really how it felt against my body, the big strings under my fingers and the big Baddah boom you got when you played. I think it's a great time to be a bassist. With all the new building techniques, improvements on Amplification, electronics, Midi and Multiple strings, the modern bassist can explore timbres that were only known on the Guitar and Piano. When the 7 String bass came onto the scene, I immediately took to it. (Prior to that I had been playing 5 & 6 string bass, including the Chapman Stick.) From that point on the 7 string bass became my voice and more importantly an instrument from which to compose from. I play 7 string bass because of its tonal range and harmonic possibilities, yet at the same time I can still fulfil the role of the traditional bassist. I've tried 9 strings but a 7-string neck is about as wide a neck that I am willing to deal with! I also sold my Chapman Stick because I was able to do the same thing on my 7 String basses without reinventing my technique. (it's not fair to compare the Stick to Electric bass. So I'd say I can tap upper registers of the 7-string to give me another timbre to work with and at the same time tap with the left hand to emulate the Chapman Stick sound. I would say Emmet Chapman gave us the tapping sound, but Billy Sheehan and Stu Hamm made it ubiquitous to the bass community)

I've recently returned to playing 4 string Electric upright because of the gorgeous sound you get with a longer scale/string length. The most difficult part was to find one that was suitable for my playing needs, yet at the same time, gives you that "other worldly" sound of the Electric Upright bass. Besides that you have the advantages of bowing that you can't do on Electric Bass Guitar. Vernon Hodgetts aka Hodge: When I was younger I started my musical journey on piano, then guitar & then drums, but when I was about 14 I saw a friend of mine playing bass & was immediately drawn to it. I got my first bass when I was 15. It was an el cheapo with the highest action ever, but I loved it & never looked back. I have been playing for 19 years now & I love it more than ever. In any ensemble you have melodic & rhythmic instruments, but to me bass has a unique musical duty. It compliments the rhythmic elements of the drums while enhancing the melodic nature of the other instruments through the harmonic nuances that it is capable of. I consider myself a feel player. I listen intently to what is happening around me musically & try to convey that through my playing, whether it be sensitivity or intensity. When I am playing, it is very important to me that I put my heart & soul into every note I play. This might sound a little weird, but for me, my bass is the conduit to my soul. I want to make sure that every time I hit my strings that I give the person listening an authentic experience of the music I am playing so that they can feel the true emotion of a song. If at the end of a show I have not left my heart lying on the stage I feel like I have done the listening audience an injustice. Players that have influenced & inspired me are: Tony Levin, Nathan East. Cass Lewis (Skunk Anansie) Patrick Dahlheimer (Live), Chris Chaney (Jane's Addiction, Alanis Morissette, The Panic Channel, etc) Pete Turner (Elbow), Graeme Currie, Concord Nkabinde, Victor Masondo, Denholm Harding (Just Jinjer) YoYo Buys : I started playing bass cos I thought a certain bass player looked cool Ive realized since that Ill never look as cool, so now hopefully its all about the music. I suppose the real reason is that, Ive always been drawn to the lowend of the spectrum, and low frequencies have a soothing effect on me theres a certain tactile sense to the sound of a bass whereby one can almost physically grab a big juicy note out of the air. I love being able to combine that with other instruments to make it all sound complete. Jose A. Valentin Caro : I love to play the bass because it goes with my personality very well. I don't like to show off and be in the spotlight all the time, and the bass is the perfect instrument for support and foundation in music. I have no problem holding the groove and keeping it all together for the band all night! Rob Gourlay : I began playing bass for a simple reason, a gig! I was a guitar player and my brothers band needed a bass player for their big upcoming gig and I was more than happy to give it a try. I thought I was only going to play the one gig, but I loved it so much and had a lot of opportunities to play so it was an easy decision to continue with bass. Its been such an amazing instrument to play and there is always so much more to learn. The ability to constantly learn and grow with the instrument is what keeps me playing. God has blessed me with so many great opportunities and with a very supportive wife and family and after many years of playing I feel like Im just getting started! Wan Abdullah Wan Salleh : Bass is a unique instrument its the best instrument ever created. The sound of the bass is so deep and soulful, it should be played with your heart and must be felt not heard its all about vibration. The big bottom sound will fill the room with its groove. When I'm on stage, nothing gives me more satisfaction than to play the groove and create the vibe, without over-playing, of course. Groove is everything in the music world. I LOVE BASS - It makes me happy, having fun on stage or playing alone at home.

Richard Sims : I can't say with traditional certainty why I am a bassist. I didn't choose the instrument out of necessity (a garage band needed a bassist) and I had no particular penchant for bass players (or their supposed role in a band) as a whole, never been very interested in learning someone's parts, any of that... Even today, my relationship with the bass is always in a state of flux. I believe in the presence of divinity when this instrument (or its variations) is in my hands. I have come to think of the music cosmogenously. Have rid myself of the need to posess it - to compare it - to think I must be a master of any one particular style, let alone many choosing rather to accept its presence as a musical indication of my progress in life. I do know intrinsically that it is the instrument I was meant to use for the conveyance of the sounds and vibrations I hear and feel. Trevor Muller : I started playing bass in 1977. I was already 25 years old. My interest developed after I heard groups such as Weather Report and Brand X, musicians such as Stanley Clarke, Jeff Berlin, Bunny Brunel and our local band Theta, who had Denis Lalouette, playing with them. Listening to them was very inspirational. There was also a lot of Jazz happening at a venue called Sinatras. All of this was the catalyst that sparked my interest in getting started on bass. I was basically into the pop thing throughout the 60s and 70s. As I got older (into my teens) my interest in Jazz developed. I listened a lot to Dave Brubeck, Stan Getz and Herbie Mann. I listened to a friend of mines band rehearse and I found myself listening more to the bass than any other instrument. My interest in Jazz-fusion grew as I got older and then of course, along comes Jaco Pastorius. Local bass players who were making their mark at the time were Denis Lalouette, Nippy Cripwell, Ashley Kelly, Les Goode, Trevor Gordon etc. They were the players you wanted to listen to. Ive done some studio recording but not too much. Im not a great reader. Most of my studio recording was done with Didi Kriel and Snakeshed. Mark Meadows (a.k.a. The Bass cowboy) : I started playing bass for the same reasons most guys did....1)....GIRLS, GIRLS, and more GIRLS!!! Any guy (sorry girls...this isn't about you) who says otherwise is either not telling the truth or is in denial! 2) Because everybody else wanted to play guitar.... playing bass made me different...which meant...MORE GIRLS (see reason #1)! I was already singing bass in church and school choir so I knew the awesome power of the low end. I also knew that I could be as good as I wanted to be on any instrument, so.... why not use "the force" to get more chicks! Of course I later grew into the fun of mastering the instrument and all that came with it, but...the question was "why did I start playing bass?"...right? Let's be real here shall we! My low-end groove makes the girl's low-end groove, which keeps the world a happier place. :) I feel I can "hold my own" in any bass situation, but.... I also prefer to be called a bass player as opposed to a bassist, 'cause there are more important things in life than bass..... sometimes that is. :)

Gonzo : The Bass Guitar is my first weapon of choice. What instrument is more responsible for makin' the necks work and the butts shake, truly defines the 'funk' in funky, the 'groove' in groovy, can add both a 'smooth' and 'cool' swing to jazz, puts the 'walking' in walkin' blues and brings the true meaning of POWER to the term power chord? What instrument can you pick up by its E string? Able to take a solid punch or a throw to the floor, but is just the right size and shape to gently put your arms around. Mighty enough to move sound reinforcement equipment and amplifiers from an 18" speaker down to a tweeter. Possessing dynamics as subtle as a whisper, while still capable of being as rude and belligerent as an airhorn on Sunday morning, and also covers everywhere in between. As effective at mimicking the piano and the guitar as it is at coloring the drums in its role as a member of the 'rhythm section'. Sublimely competent at holding the band together like glue when it's needed, but independently it can keep 'em dancing through an unaccompanied solo. Dressed up pretty in gold hardware and a little chorus or with one foot in the gutter in stickers and distortion. Fretless and round-toned with flatwounds or popping high and compressed with roundwound lights. As simple as root-five and pounding eighth notes, however qualified for something as complex as Bach or Beethoven. And let's not forget - also available in piccolo, acoustic, semi-acoustic, solid acoustic, hollow body, semi-hollow body, electric upright, baby upright and the awesome traditional upright...with ARCO!!! HipShots, E-Bows, Subwoofers, Biamps, Optical pickups, blendable Piezo pickups, active, passive, coated strings, wrapped strings, nickel, steel, nylon strings, flatwound, roundwound, half-round and even double-ball-end-headless strings! Oh, and while we're on strings: How about 2 or 3? 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10? 12?!!! Low, lower, lowest to high, higher highest!!! Bomp! P-Kank! Humm. Pling! Ba-doom-doom-doom-doom. Woooosh. Chug-chug-chug! Dunta-dunta-dunta. Mwah. Chang-a-lang-a-lang. Rrt! Nah-nah-nah. Mmm. Screech! Booga-da-bop! K-chunk! Wah-wah! Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun. Brang!!! Ooo... It's all there. It can't be the hours or the pay... Jeff Schmidt : The practical reason I play bass is because it's the instrument my friends needed covered in order to join their band when I was 13. Over the years I've come to love it's sound and the way it feels in certain forms of music. Much of what I'm dong currently travels very far away from "standard" bass playing - but I still enjoy the foundational nature of an inspired bass part. Daniel Gray : I had been messing around on a battered, borrowed acoustic guitar when I started high school and when my musical interest developed, I had always liked the sound of the bass and wanted to try out the instrument. Then something very interesting happened. My school friend Gina Mombelli invited me to one of her Dads gigs. Little did I know, after seeing a German band Triosphere I would see the great Carlo Mombelli play with his band, The Prisoners of Strange. It sounds cheesy, but my life has never been the same ever since. Something happened to my head that night, (and at the tender age if 14) I think Carlo took us all to another planet. I will never

view music in the same way, and I fell in love with the bass. My parents would not give in to me begging for a bass and an amp.Tthey couldn't understand why I couldn't just play guitar. I eventually managed to earn money by selling honey to anyone who would buy it and getting about R6.00 commission for every bottle. After about 8 months of selling honey and tuning my guitar strings as low they would go I could eventually afford a Cort Action bass and a little Ashdown practice amp. I haven't looked back since. Im finishing high school now, ready to see what the world of music can offer me, or what I can offer to the world of music. I love how bass tone can be so crisp and clean, yet so full and warm. I love how sometimes when its really cranked up, you feel the sound thump in your chest - it feels like the sound is inside you, coming out of you and surrounding you. I love how fat the strings feel under my fingers. I love how a walking bass line can paint a picture in your head. I love how some slap can wake something inside you. Cause involuntary movement. I love how much fun it is to jam. I love how impossible it is to get sick of. I love hearing other bassists. I love th... I could go on forever....... If you have played bass you know what I mean. I cant place my finger on it, but theres just something about it that only bassists would get. Pete Ball aka Bones : While doing keys and rhythm guitar in Germany a thousand years ago, I fancied the 4 stringed instrument, mainly because our bass player wasn't too hot, and I fancied I could do better, so I jumped in when we did a comedy skit, did the Hammond thing for a while with brothers Denny, (ex Baldry Band, now in Oz,) and Dave, (ex Procul Harum, now in NZ) Got asked to play bass in a cabaret band out of Manchester, which was fun, but I was heavily policed by the boss man, like, no fingers, use a plec!! Came to South Africa in '74 and got the freedom to play with a great 6 piece band, Copperfield, and yes, used my fingers!! Long story short, during my semi pro years doing all sorts, ended up on the Jewish wedding scene on keys, (again) till Dave Abbott (Abbott & Crabb) and Dave Dale (ex Copperfield) formed Double Dave & Bones, and I was back on my favourite instrument, and 3 years later, having more fun than ever, doing our 2 nights per week, doing stuff we like, and our regular punters like too. It's a win-win. They say the guitar is for the head, the keys are for the heart, but the bass is for the ba--s. I agree. David Heyes : Why do I play bass? What else could I do? I started playing the double bass at the age of 14 and the passion for it has continued to grow and now the instrument 'won't let me go'. From the time I wake to the time I go to sleep I am a double bassist - whether as a soloist, teacher, publisher, commissioner of new music, or organiser of workshops and concerts - and I love every minute of it. My wife and I celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this year, having met 31 years ago at the Royal College of Music in London and have been together since 1981. Sarah is a professional singer but has been more supportive of me and my bass life than anyone deserves and without her none of this would have happened. Kevin Charles McGinnis : I started playing trumpet and marching in the high school band when I was in the 4th grade. I ended up playing almost all of the brass instruments over my school years and even played in the drum-line. At the age of 13, I picked up an electric bass in a local music store and soon after bought my first P-Bass and a Kustom 100 amp. Even though I was a trumpet player, I had always

been attracted to the bass. The music that got me started was rock, R&B and soul/funk. Bands like Cream, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Chicago, Tower of Power, Chase and the classic Motown sounds. I have truly been blessed to have played with 5 great guys for 11 years in a fun, show band from 1974-1985, playing all around the Midwest. I continue to be blessed today and play out several times a month with some of my best buddies and brothers in the world. The bass is really the center of my life I look forward with anticipation all week to the Friday or Saturday night gig or jam session. I am 51 years young and when I am playing the bass, I feel like I am 16 again. There is no better feeling in your bones and medicine for your soul, than when you are locked into the pocket of a great groove and your bass becomes an extension of you. That is why I play the bass, or the bass plays me? Cesare Cassarino : My initial attraction to the bass was that I found it to be the easiest way to string a sequence of notes together that made musical sense. So I suppose it was the instant gratification. After years of paying the bills with adventures into the land of guitar, voice, synth bass, upright bass and computers, the bass guitar still feels good to me... like it did in the beginning. Jan Olof Strandberg : I always did love the strong sound from a bass. One of my favourite records were/is Abbey Road by the Beatles! That record has some amazing bass playing, strong melodic bass lines and great music! Abbey Road was actually the first LP record I ever owned, and to this day I think it's the best POP record ever made. Soon after, I got into Led Zeppelin and what a great bass player that band had as well! I knew Bass was my instrument and bought my first bass guitar. I did study upright bass as well as a suggestion of my teacher in the -70`s. I did love that instrument too and discovered how melodic an instrument, the bass could be. Many of the great classical bass concertos and chamber music pieces had nice bass lines. Then things started to happen in the Jazz/Rock world and people like Steve Swallow, Larry Graham, Stanley Clarke, Louis Johnson, and Jaco Pastorius did put the bass in a different light. Not changing the role of the instrument but opened new doors and gave the bass more respect! Bass is definitely my instrument I just love the bass and the whole bass community, great people all over the world dedicated to bass! Delton Daniels : Being the underdog! This is the character most preferred by most human beings but yet when faced with the opportunity of getting into the limelight they go for it thus discarding the underdog character like a used condom. Bass players are the ultimate underdogs they keep the band together, they introduce and compliment the chords, they create the beat for the drummer and not visa versa and suddenly the limelight has grabbed all bassists around the world and urgently required them to play solos

longer than 15 seconds, yes my friend the ultimate underdog has come to the front and yet remains in the back. This is something that only bass players understand and the ultimate reason why I play bass. Scott Kungha Drengsen : I'm sure you will get as many answers as there are bass players -and, this is how it should be. My simplest answer is my most complete and the most true; I love fretless bass (especially my 12 string)... On some fundamental level, it completes my voice. It fits my body, my emotions, my sensuality and my spirit. I created what I could not find. Other instruments feel like afterthoughts, or toys. It's easy to get impressive results on guitar, keyboards or oud. It's just not as physically satisfying as playing the bass! But your question also reminds me of having to "explain myself" as a bass player. It saddens me that almost 30 years after Jaco, bassist's can still almost assume being a unique artist or an assertive soloist, is a bad career move in most areas of popular music. I feel obligated to explain on my CD's that most or all the sounds were done on a bass, because I see bass as a complete instrument that can do anything.. Hilton Vermaas : Started because of a show I wanted to be a part of that didnt have a bass player and ended up discovering a whole new world of music. The bass has me in the engine-room - driving; playing solo-like without having to compete; constantly listening and adapting to the sound and the soul of the music. The instruments are big, so comfortable for my size, the range is down the bottom end - thats where all the good shit happens. Playing/working with a good drummer is a whole trip in itself, playing with a good guitarist/pianist/horn-player/etc and feeding off each other likewise. Playing bass gives me the opportunity to be off out of the spotlight having a groove laying down a base but still being part of the whole. The bass is a wondrously primal instrument requiring sound theoretical skills what a combination! Ben Allison : I grew up in New Haven, CT. The instrument that first caught my ear was the guitar. I have recordings that I made myself at a very early age, basically banging on a nylon string guitar. I have fond memories of those early years. I had no technique of any kind. It was all about the joy of making noise. By high school I had become more serious about music, playing mostly hand drums and studying West African drumming traditions, but I was also working out tunes on the piano and playing guitar. I discovered the acoustic bass in my senior year (while I was at the Educational Center for the Arts) and quickly immersed myself in a thorough study of its history and mechanics. To my mind, the acoustic bass is the love-child of the guitar and the drum. It has the harmonic and melodic capabilities of the guitar but also the percussive qualities of a drum (at least the way I like to play it). Charles Mingus,

Dave Holland, Scott LaFaro, Charlie Haden, George Duvivier, Oscar Pettiford, Milt Hinton, Wilbur Ware and a host of others, all had a huge impact on me. I was especially attracted to the bass players who were also band leaders and composers. I think they have a unique perspective on how to build a band sound and how musicians interact while playing. The bass has tremendous power to set the harmony and rhythmic direction of a piece of music. . Im proud to be a part of the world-wide community of bassists. Jitka Brzek : To me, playing the bass is about having a passion for music, the love of performing, the love of that connection you have between your band members and the audience when you're on stage, the freedom of expressing yourself. Of all instruments the bass is the one that allows me to do the above things in the most suitable way, I have never picked up any other instrument and felt as comfortable and confident. In a band, the bass is the only instrument that forms such a fundamental role in such a subtle way. Vusi Mahlasela: "between the bass and the drums there is a silence that forms a part of the music". Seamus Doyle : I started playing the double bass out of ignorance. My school brass band conductor also led the local orchestra and as I could already do bum-bum on the tuba he thought I could give it a go on the double bass. I didnt know what a double bass was so I said ok - only discovering afterwards the awful truth!! However 30 years later I am still playing and making a living from it too. To me there is nothing more satisfying than playing a great piece of music well, and the knowledge that if there's a big C major chord there I'll be rooted there on that wonderful tonic - especially if I can use my low C extension! For many years I thought I was a humble orchestra member, but now I know I am the most important person in that band, and I am in the driving seat as regards the rhythm. Chris Chard : I find the connection between rhythm and melody/harmony completely fascinating. I began playing the bass and it took some time to really connect and find a comfortable place bridging those two worlds. Once that connection was made and I was off to the races! Playing the bass has been the longest and most gratifying relationship I've ever been in. Bert Askes : Well, from the moment I understood what bass was I knew this was the instrument for me. I seem to have the necessary attributes to be a bass player, a good ear, am disciplined & have reasonable rhythm (in my head only, cant dance to save my life!). I dont get bored playing the same things over & over as long as I can keep the groove & help make the band sound tight, Im happy, which is really where its at, isnt it? Im not much of a musician though, cant read & dont endlessly practice scales & stuff, that would mean taking this too seriously! I do regret not doing these things now, suppose its never too late to learn, just too lazy, anyway I always just wanted to play for fun. For me, one of the greatest things about playing bass is that you are able to feel your way around the music & can often stand back & listen to the band as a whole, which, as we all know, most guitarists seem unable to do! The feeling of being the driving force behind a band is just too good to describe, thats what keeps me going, been playing bass for 30 years now & love it more than ever!

Dave Askes : Because its easy I guess was the original reason. In the 70s, I played a bit of guitar and enjoyed playing in bands, however there were so many guitarists around and very few bassists and I did not have a great chord knowledge at the time so I decided to give bass a try. I mean, what could be easier than playing the root and fifth (I didnt even know that is what it was called at the time). I started this when my brother (Bert), a fellow bassist that had been playing for a few years, had to go for his 2 year military service, so I took his place in one of the bands he played in. I slowly learned more and more and enjoyed it more, I even tried giving it up at one stage but I almost died with the craving to play, so fortunately started again. I am so impressed with the vast styles, tones and dynamics of the bass, to me it has more than any other instrument. At least now I know a lot more musically now (I can play more chords on the bass than some guitarists I know) and will take this passion of mine to the grave. Miles Askes : The reason I play bass would be, well Im not really sure, it just happened, when I was still growing up I used to switch a lot between bass and guitar, but then I found that my ego was most probably too small to be a guitarist, so I became a bass player But I guess my main influence would be because my dad is a bass player and I got to use his equipment, so I had a choice of using a not so good guitar or to play a kinda proper bass, but also I can say I dont actually play bass, I say that because I am not very good, I keep it fun and just learn what I can, Maybe one day I will be able to say I can play bass, then when that day comes, I will be able to answer the question why do I play bass?. Jeroen Paul Thesseling : "Playing fretless bass gives me a tremendous amount of musical freedom". Simone Vignola : I started playing guitar when I was a child, then I moved to the bass just So that I could play in a band. I was really lucky! The first thing I found incredible with the bass (as well as the fact that I was really having fun with it) is the part it has in a band: When the bass is working, nobody hears it but when the bass is not working, everybody says "where is the bass?". The bass, from its sound, to the way its played, can be the main factor in what kind of music you're playing, too. I also realise that the bass guitar is a very young instrument and its best has yet to come! When Im writing songs and singing, its the bass thats the instrument that best suits my voice. I'll never move away from it!

Rudy Sarzo : Im one of those musicians who believes that the instrument picks you, not the other way around. Having said that, the reason why I play rock bass is because I was born in Cuba, a country that has been under communist rule for nearly 50 years. When my family arrived in the US during the early 60s, I quickly got hooked on rock with its rebellious and liberating lyrics and rhythms. Since then the bass has become the instrument with which I have continued to exercise and celebrate my God given right to be free and to Rock!! Julian Mayer : I used to play folk guitar in restaurants bored out of my mind. One fine day, a friend, a classical pianist, told me he'd been asked to form a band to play on a three-week cruise to Mauritius. He'd already pinned down an excellent drummer and female vocalist and needed a bass player to complete the combo. Did I play bass, he asked. Of course, said I, lying shamelessly. Warp 3 down to Darters Music to take an Ibanez Beatle Bass (R50:00 new) out on appro and Mel Bay's "How to Play Bass". Practiced the whole weekend to the album "Super Sessions" to the tunes of Al Cooper, Mike Bloomfield and Steve Stills. Auditioned on Monday, stank, but managed to whinge my way into the band. We played on the ship Europa, mainly to a great group of pensioners who were travelling steerage. We cooked. The first class passengers sneaked into our lounge because the Italian band, up in first class, were stodgy. This was 1972, I was an eager young stripling and it was the start of a long and happy bass-playing career. Nowadays I see no reason to return to folk guitar. Errol Bong Strachan : The frequency range that is produced by either upright or electric bass gives my soul peace and harmony. The rhythm that bass implies in the context of a song and the role it plays within that song, is a direct parallel to every breath that I take, the very relationship between life and breathing. How can I deny this feeling? Lloyd Wilke : I play bass for the enjoyment of the instrument as well as a way to relax and because of great guys and teachers like Graeme Currie who are such an inspiration to listen too, and who show that nothing is impossible. Lars Lehmann : That is a funny story! A friend of my father owned an electric guitar and a bass. When we came to see him, I would be totally fascinated by the electric guitars tremolosystem and the sound you would get out of it. 15-year-old Lars decided he had to become a guitar player a.s.a.p.! I told my friends at school about my plans. They were really cool cats because they were playing in our school big band at that time already. Since the band was still in need of a bass player, they convinced me I had to learn bass, not guitar. So far, I think this was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life the bass has led me to a great number of foreign countries, countless cities and stages. At times I think I have experienced more things in say one month than other people do in one year! After playing for so many years now, I still discover new things on the instrument almost every day. The great thing is that through my playing I can also see how I, as a person, have changed over the years. Im really looking forward to whatever will be happening to me and this beloved instrument in the future!

Phil Kloppers : To say it short and sweet, playing bass is like riding a Harley Chopper. Not the quickest way to move - its loud and bulky, but once you get her moving, youre the bad kid on the block. Totally offbeat and free to move where you like. Alvin Hendicks : I was born into music, since I can remember, it's all I wanted to do - started playing drums at age 13 but the low end frequencies were always pulling on me until I picked up the bass at age 18 a decision I'm ever grateful for, even though I started late in life, the bass guitar has taken me farther, deeper and higher than I ever thought I'd go in life, I couldnt imagine doing anything else, I feel extremely blessed by God to do what I love and earn a living from it. Barry Irwin : I play the bass because it always represents a huge emotional involvement, excitement and a challenge to me. I really love the instrument. Its been a lot to me, and with me for so long, I just cant see life without it. Of course my first love is the music, but how better to serve music than through the bass. Being a bass player gives one an opportunity to play so many kinds of music and with so many kinds of musicians. For me thats very enriching. Also probably because it keeps me sane. Its the place to go. The closest to the womb actually, for me anyway. It feels safe and it inspires the gift of life. No one can give you that. Barry Sparks : I originally started playing bass because, well, I wanted to be just like Gene Simmons of Kiss! When I was ten years old, Kiss were like super heroes to me, but it didn't take long for me to fall in love with being a musician, for the sake of playing music as best as I could and I think music is the ultimate way for me to express myself. To this day I put my heart and soul into every note I play and if I fall short of my expectations, it really bums me out, it sounds kind of silly, but playing well and always struggling to become a better player is what motivates me and keeps it interesting, I guess always having a goal keeps the drive of being a musician alive inside of me, besides, what is better than playing bass with drummers like Tommy Aldridge? Its pure inspiration! Kai Horsthemke : Am shy, have long fingers is the commonplace reason offered for taking up the bass. But as with all clichs, there is more than a kernel of truth in this: playing bass suits both my temperament and my physique. With regard to the former, I rather like fulfilling a musical function that is at the same time just out of the limelight and indispensable. Only a few people actually listen to the bass but everyone knows somethings missing when there is no bass. Yet, Im not into the merely functional aspect of bass-playing either: I love the sound of wood, I love melody which explains my lasting infatuation with fretless basses, both vertical and horizontal. But my main reason for playing bass must be that this enables me to hang out with drummers. Some of my best friends are drummers and thats not a joke. William Slimmerts : There was no one else at Church to do the job!!! Darren McGregor : Reading through all the comments by all the different bassists it looks like we all started playing bass for the same reasons. I was "pushed" into playing bass in '97. Birdhouse had just started, they had their first gig coming up in a few days and they had no bass player. I said, "Ill give it a bash." Standing there on stage, trying to keep up and playing with one finger on the frets, I thought "Woooo, this is hard..." It was love at first note. Never quit since and now use two fingers. It just gets better.

Roald Nel : I believe that music is a channel that is meant to reach the inner psyche of its listeners and create meaning and importance. The reason I play bass is simply that it is and has always has been the instrument I can accurately and effectively use to convey these messages on a satisfactory level. It is also the most rewarding experience on a physical level since it is one of few instruments that you can actually feel the sound emitted from it. My bass signifies my passion for music. Kristin Korb : I spent the summer before my 7th grade year playing the bottom 4 strings of my guitar. My guitar teacher found me a bunch of building walking bass line books, but she never hipped me to any recordings. She did the best she could for a classical guitarist, but I wish I could have had some listening references at that point. Reggie Washington : There were a few factors working @ or around the time I started playing. (11 yrs. old) (1) I met Reggie Workman when I was 5-6 yrs. old. I saw him play & my father used to play jazz & other genres of music in the house via a huge record collection. (33, 45 & 78's) This was ALL DAY!! (2) My father also ran the Staten Island (New York) Music Workshop in the early 70's. Instruments were left @ my house & I would plunder inside & mess with them. One of them was a 1969 Fender Precision Bass. I was in the school orchestra & city youth orchestras playing cello. I was a gifted cellist playing the front of the section & I was maybe 12 yrs old. (3) Conductor Anthony Diaz asked me to switch from cello to bass to help out the sad ass bass section until they auditioned more students. I never went back to the cello section. (4) During the mid-late 70's, 16 yr old Marcus Miller use to come to my house over the weekend with my brother Kenny to learn & listen to jazz. I would mess with his Sunburst Jazz Bass & watch and listen to them talk music. All of these things together made me settle into bass! I also have a thing for control!! The bass controls so many aspects of the music. I love to support the music with my sound... from the bottom! Keep the Bottom. Marius Liebenberg : I have been playing the guitar since the age of 12 and still enjoy the guitar but something about the bass always grabbed me. I guess it is in your blood, or not. I always find myself turning the low end up. It speaks to our innermost being. I went through a dry spell, not playing music at all, when a guy I worked with before on a two-piece, invited me to come to a gig. I think he wanted me to get a taste again, for the stage I mean. Well the next week I got invited to play the bass in that outfit. I had never played the bass before, but being hungry to play, I went to Juries and got a second hand Fender Precision Jazz Bass and a 400watt PV bass amp. I never looked back from there. The band was called True Blue and we worked the circuit extensively at the time. The thrill to culminate the harmonies with the rhythm section is just too much. The drums, lead and keys are like the skeleton of the body and the bass is the flesh.

Scott Hubbell : I chose to play bass because I want to be the one controlling the music. Bass is a complete instrument. Rhythm? Check! Harmony? Check! Melody? Check! How cool is it that the bass covers all those things? Very cool. Take for instance Country music. Country folk love to 2-step. Without bass, there is no 2-step. Funk? Cmon! Bass IS funk! Bass IS music! Andy Pietropaolo : The reason why I started is as simple and casual as starting a band in high school. Why I actually still play the bass after 17 years I think has to do with my personality and the way I tend to express my emotions. Musically, I like to support and interact with my band mates. At the same time I'm aware of the extremely powerful role that the bass covers within a band, the power of changing the harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic direction of the music like no other instrument, in my opinion. When I play, I feel that power and the responsibility that goes with it. Jacques Steyn (aka Stoomtrein Steyn) : I can play guitar, keys, drums and some brass instruments I would not mention in the company of bassists, but why I prefer bass?: Sometimes the right note at the right time makes absolutely ALL the difference in a song. Places where the keys player uses chords/effects, the guitarist chords/licks, the drummer uses fills, and you can use only one note to make it happen!! One note! And I guess its the thrill of pulling it off (interesting coincidence) that keeps me clinging to my bass! I love laying the foundation for others to build on. My rhythm section partner, drummer Iwan Kemp, and I have a saying whenever we session for different artists: Lets make these guys sound good! Bill Parish : Bass is the most subtle of instruments in the band, whilst it contributes so much. The deep resonance is felt as much as it is heard without any loud banging and crashing or screaming feedback. Bass sets the pace. A uniquely, versatile instrument that can produce a range of different sounds as diverse and numerous as the skills of the performing artist. Bass is at home in all genres of music, and would be conspicuous by its absence from any assembly of instruments engaged in the production music. Most people wanting to play an instrument, at least a stringed instrument, will head straight for a guitar, wanting to emulate their musical heroes. another Hendrix or Clapton, Alvin Lee or Stevie Ray Vaughn.

No matter where you go in the world, there will always be a glut of guitarists, ranging from barely able to strum; to magnificent, yet the Bassist will always be in demand. Donn Dowlman : Why I Play Bass??? Because if I dont play bass, you might as well cut off my oxygen supply! I have to play bass, its that simple. I fell in love with the bass and the sound of jazz when I was about 18 or 19. The passion to learn the instrument took over and I eventually came to study under Marc Duby at PTA Tech in 1997. The reason I have stuck to the bass is because of the immense satisfaction I get from holding down a solid groove with the drummer, the way the bass is the glue that keeps a band together and the sheer utter funkiness of the instrument. On a more serious note I believe music is a gift from God and is given for our enjoyment. Playing bass allows my soul to express itself where words dont suffice.Thats why I play bass. Willem Perold : The reason I play bass is: We could never find a bassist. But now I wouldnt trade playing bass for guitar or drums. Bass is the thing that gets the people going at live shows. Guitar just gives the band colour! But bass and drums make or break a band! Short and sweet! Playing music is not a hobby its a lifestyle! That is what bass means to me! Paul Bass-Ace Martin : Its not so much about what you hear; its what you feel When youre playing that exquisite creation in wood, your inner being thrills to the timbre. When you can feel the music inside of you before your ears hear it, thats when you are truly alive! As that magic moment unfolds, your fellow musicians and your audience will know, I assure you. Whatever the future may hold, life and music will always remain bland without the essential sounds of the bass. Peace Sue Condie Stephenson : - My first Bass Experience was sitting in my fathers car listening to Fleetwood Macs The Chain in very loud stereo. That was a long time ago and I was in the process of becoming a very proficient acoustic guitarist. I never thought about actually playing bass myself, that was always left to someone else in the various bands I played in. I was playing in a three piece in 1998-a drummer Steve, Gene on bass and lead and myself on rhythm and vocals. One night at practice we had a problem because Gene wanted to do lead on Black Magic Woman but it sounded bare with no bass so he told me to play it. He put his very heavy Gibson bass onto my lap and showed me how to do the riff. And that was me! Sold! The very next day I purchased a Samic 5 string electric bass that I virtually slept with for the next few years. In line with the type of music I play, I swapped my 5 string for a fretless acoustic, which I play until I have blisters and holes on my fingers! I love the full vibrations and the resonance that this instrument grants me. (It doesnt feel the same playing an electric bass.) I can FEEL the acoustic with my whole body when I play it. It truly moves me. Another thing I love about bass is, it can be as simple or as difficult as you want it to be, anytime.. Bass is about rhythm with your fingers like tap dancing is rhythm with your feet. I love my bass Mark Roberts : Bass, in particular, an extended-range bass, to me, is like an artists palette with my fingers as brushes. Vivid colors as sound from sub-contra to piccolo bass to be stroked upon a waiting canvas from an instrument that easily communicates an artist's touch. I play the instrument because I

enjoy communicating the textures and passion it can bring to music. I enjoy the challenge of the instrument knowing that I will never be done learning with it. Abel Stoltz : The sound of a bass guitar just touches everything in my feeling for music. The look of the fat strings and size of the amps is just amazing. When I heard my first live band doing some numbers of the "Shadows" I immediately knew that the guitar with the 4 strings is the instrument I wanted to play. Also, most bass guitarists are backstage boys, well, I am one of them. I love to be part of the backbone of a band (drums and bass). The tighter the drums and bass play together, the better the band. The sound and feel of a bass guitar is, to me, far beyond any other instrument. Calvin Jones : I started playing when my mom got me a bass and amp for Christmas when I was 12. I was drawn to the sound when I was 10 and I heard Sly's "If You Want Me To Stay". I didn't look for the instrument to bring attention to myself by playing with a band. It translated the voice that I heard in my head. As a young kid I never seemed to learn the lyrics to songs. Instead, I would try to sing one of the instrumental parts like Fred Wesley's trombone solo on "Funky Good Time". It was later in my musical development that the instrument became a way for me to express my appreciation to God and the steadfastness of the ancestors. Glenn Topping : I started playing pots and pans at the age of about 3. I made a broomstick-bass at the age of 4, and thats when the music bug bit my bum properly. At age 10 I started playing guitar, and that was my main instrument until the age of 19 when I started messing around with percussion instruments, which I loved. I picked up our bass players guitar at band practice one day, and felt that percussive, melodic, beautiful groove that we all love. I was sold! The zip on my guitars gig bag was heard less frequently as my new mistress ruled my life: Bass Guitar! It was as if I had been born with a missing limb, and Doctor Bass was the perfect prosthesis. Bass is so versatile, with its boundless techniques and constantly evolving sound that it holds me tightly in its grip. I truly love my big bottomed mistress, Bass guitar! Joe Smith : Nothing intricate about my answer. I love the power! Since I started playing bass (when I was about 15) and got hooked, I've never once gotten bored with it the musical possibilities of bass are just endless. I've gone from rock to punk to metal, and every genre requires a different style of playing, making the instrument so much fun and so interesting. I also like the fact that we are a very rare breed of people, and therefore it seems quite original to be a bassist. But yeah, it's such a big part of my life now... Jo Janssen : In 1966 I heard baby baby balla balla (a Scorpions the British, not the German - song), which blew me away. After that I learned about Chuck Berry and I noticed it was mostly groove, which inspired me. A few years later I learned that it was not the drums I was listening to, but mostly - the bass. At the age of 14 I got my first bass (a Framus Nashville) and started to listen to Alphonso Johnson and Chuck Rainey, who are still my heroes. I think Ive played in over 30 bands since then, Ive lost count.

Lots of great moments, one of them: meeting Lemmy Kilmister in a studio in Hamburg, quite a character (and bassplayer). Andra (Fuzz) Reitz : My good friend Nathan Ro (Lonehill estate) started his first rock band in high school and I thought it was such a silly fantasy. I mean how clich, everyone was starting a band and I wanted nothing to do with it. Then one day I visited him after school during one of his rehearsals. His bass player didn't pitch up and he begged me to help him out, so he gave me his beat up old ELK bass guitar and taught me how to pluck away to the tune of the Zombie by the Cranberries. I have never put the damn thing down since. I play bass because it is such an expressive instrument, it can tell a story in a way that no other instrument can. I have dabbled with other instruments as my musical interest grew over the years but nothing makes me feel more in control of the songs feel then when I get behind my old 4 string. Suzi Quatro said it best "Guitar is for the head, drums are for the chest, but bass gets you in the groin" Its the glue of any good song and sadly most people wouldn't know that until you pull the bass level down. I feel like I'm a ninja in the musical empire, kicking ass in secret. Johann Kruger (1) : Its all in the groove, man, all in the groovebut seriously, isnt the bass really THE instrument that drives a song/band along? A good bass & drum combination can make virtually ANYBODY sound good. Theres something physical and emotional in the groove when it happens. A g****r player without bass is just fiddling around. A keyboard player without bass is just showing off. A singer without bass is just floating by. A drum without bass is just noise. Bass brings it all together. Johann Kruger (2) : Passion! I was a (not very accomplished) guitar player for many, many years. Most of the time, I played with my intellect and not my heart. Then there came a time the onset of which is rather vague that when I listened to music I heard the bass and drum interaction, and not the guitars wailing in the background. Then, to clinch matters, I developed a nerve problem in my right hand which made it difficult to hold the plectrum. Since my perception was that a bassist does not do the intricate right-hand stuff that guitarists do, I started switching to bass guitar. Man, was I ever wrong. Then, as I grew into my bass playing, I discovered something new: playing with a natural passion for the music! Currently, I think Ive developed a substance dependency called drum-and-basssynergy. With a good, grooving drummer I can play for hours, I can even endure so-so singers/guitarists/violinists/whatever. But the energy that comes from the low frequencies locking with a kick and a snare thats something rather special. Hey, Mr Soundman, can I please have some more kick in my monitor Chris S. Harris : Although Id love to say that a watery damsel thrust a gilded bass at me from the depths of a mighty lake, while the heavens opened and a choir of angels heralded the occasion, the real

reason is not quite so spectacular. At the age of ten I was a contented guitarist with my own band of similarly aged musicians. Unfortunately my days as a guitar hero wannabe were numbered when an eleven year old guitarist came on the scene and started jamming with us. He had worked out Dire Straits Sultans of swing note perfect. He was asked to join the band and I was demoted to bass. I accepted my fate and dutifully removed two of the strings on my acoustic guitar. I thought then that having only four strings on your axe made you a bassist. After watching a lot of bands and paying attention to what the bass player was doing, the roll of the bassist became apparent to me. Fortunately it wasnt too long before I was given my first electric bass. We have the honour of linking the melodic with the rhythmic elements of a band. I have never looked back at that day of my demotion with anything other than joy and pride. Great guitarists are pretty plentiful but a great bass player is a rare beast indeed. Happily I have returned to six strings but these strings are quite a bit thicker now and theyre attached to a beautiful hand made bass. Jaime David Vazquez : I play bass because I love the low frequencies in music. The bass is still a young instrument with lots of possibilities that have not been explored enough. You can hear the bass in all styles of music. Playing bass for me is a lifestyle, a religion, a passion, etc. The bass is a very versatile instrument - as a soloist or accompanist. I love it! Ed Friedland : My reason for playing bass has changed over the years. Originally, it was because the strings were the same as the bottom 4 on a guitar, which I already knew how to play. It was also because my mother, in her infinite wisdom decided she couldn't bear to listen to me learning how to play violin. At some point I played it because it was a source of income, and a way to define myself in the world. Saying "I'm a bass player" gave me a sense of identity. Now, I play mostly because it's fun. Playing the bass is the most fun you can have without smiling. There are more profound reasons too, but describing them tends to take on a ponderous, selfindulgent tone, which I'd like to avoid. Brent Lovell : When I started high school I joined the Scottish pipe band, playing the snare. An instrument that I think may not have been for someone with as little co-ordination as me. I ended up quitting about six months later. But the droning sound of bagpipes has never left me, thanks in part to the fact that my stepfathers family is Scottish. At the age of about fifteen, I picked up a second hand guitar and amp. After many hours of giving the neighbourhood a headache I realised that I wanted to play an instrument with a bit more power and passion. So I bought myself a bass. That was about 4 or 5 years ago. And the rest as they say, is history. Lex Futshane : Well, Bass was the only instrument I could lay my hand oops! Sorry, fingers on without risking giving my parents heart attacks by asking them to buy me a musical instrument let alone disclosing to them that I wanted to be a musician. I don't regret the encounter, as Bass is the pillar of all music, whether it is there or not, one cannot escape its ghostly presence in the music. Its like driving a car from the back seat. Its the easiest instrument to play "wrong" so every time I touch it, the challenge is to play it "right".

Michelle Ohlhoff : Bass kinda found me - and I decided to keep it! Standing in front of the bass amp makes me feel like I'm in the arms of something bigger. It's an exceptionally satisfying instrument to play, because I'm really into harmony and by merely changing/sustaining the bass, the entire flavour of the progression changes. It's a thinking instrument (although you can get away with not thinking). There's always an opportunity to do something clever (fancy yet discreet)! There's also a mysterious synergy between the drums and bass I love. But frankly? I enjoy the attention (and the opportunity to surprise). Marten Andersson : I switched from guitar to bass when I saw Gene Simmons in a kiss video as a kid, I had no idea how to play the bass at that point but I knew that was instrument for me. People kept telling me how restricted I would be but I saw Chris Glen (bass player from MSG) do his bass solo in "Into the Arena" and I went, "yeah that sounds so cool". The weight and proportions on a bass are so powerful, hell compare that to some dinky guitar, its truly like you run the show with those bass frequencies, it's like you have the AK47 of musical instruments. Don't screw with me when I have my big gun around my neck. It definitely takes a special personality to handle the bass; did you get the (bass) clearance? No, I didn't think so.. Ernie Leblanc : At age 3, I listened to everything for hours. The sound I remember the most is the bass (which could be increased with the turn of a knob), especially from the LP and title track 'A Taste of Honey' by Herb Alpert. The wildness of the other instruments, and those hypnotic horns, really grabbed this toddler's ears. But, I knew intuitively that the bass made it all work. Eleven years later, I got my first bass. I actually wanted to play electric guitar, but my first band said, "BASS!" Things got on and in a very short time my reputation grew. Many players to this day pay me complements such as 'your the reason I play bass.' I was never satisfied with any of the bass books on the market all inadequate! I turned to trombone music by chance and found that these players spoke my language. When I was seventeen, my jazz piano teacher heard me play bass one night and remarked, 'You remind me of Jaco.' Jaco? What's that?, I asked. After fourteen years of playing, I quit. Fourteen years later, I missed my bass. It's good to be back. These days I've stayed with only two of the instruments I taught myself to play. I compose songs primarily on a sixstring acoustic guitar but keep the compositions simple so that my bass can have a big back yard to play in. Why Do I Play Bass? Because it is a GREAT AND EXCITING QUEST OF EXPRESSING THROUGH MUSIC MY LOVE OF LIFE AND PEOPLE!

Bass is the Voice of My Imagination Dancing on Strings! But, as was the case many years ago, the voice is restless with curiosity and amazed by the incidental occurrences that spring to life when I ponder upon the Bass-ics with only the intention being to refresh my memory. The experiments I was creating in secret back in 1978 (secret because if you didnt groove, the money didnt move) were abandoned when I heard Dance the Night Away by Van Halen. He was playing his guitar the way I was developing my bass playing - Go Figure! Well, whos gonna believe me now? There goes developing a first. Imagination dreams, performance dances, but, individual Feel delivers the real deal by bridging and bonding the abstract with the arpeggios regardless of how we chose to execute them. Alright Now written by the great Paul Rogers and recorded by a band call Free back in 1970 is one of my favorite songs both on my play list and on stage. The techniques are so basic but the results are brilliant! Lots of space and a groove with nothing to lose derived from the pentatonic place with very little waste! Many musicians have said, and subsequently asked, Ive never heard anyone play like that. Howd you learn to play and sing like that? My reply, Thats Gods Love! I Exclaim! Which is usually followed by my favorite prayer, "I Know You Love Me Lord, but Please Save Some for the Rest. I Love Everything About Bass: The Spirit, The Music, The Dancing, The Playing, "MAKING PEOPLE HAPPY!" with Sounds and Other Unexplainable Sonic Mysteries and look forward to many more moments of possibilities and beyond! But, the techniques, be they Bass-ic or Discombassulating! feel restricting to me if they interfere with my stage show. I dont want to blaze the neck with tapping if it takes away from my singing and change the feeling I get when I play a song my way with my friends for my fans. My greatest dislike is learning other people's songs: Very boring! Why copy what's already been done? Challenge yourself and your infinite creativity to create something that's at least different, be it in the context of orchestral music or solo-bass That and being compared to someone else when I've been playing like me all my life causes me to ask, "Why should someone else take my bow and credit for my hard work?" The less I study the works of others, the more I learn from the music itself and the more unique my style remains. As for being accused of being a "solo-bassist" it reduces down to this: Think of your favorite solo?...Now, think of your favorite song! The Song Remains in the Brain! The solo and the soloist are soon forgotten. And the band played on! Lorenzo Feliciati : It's easy,: my brother was singing and playing guitar and a friend of ours was playing some sort of drum kit that he crafted from some pieces of wood (but for us, it was the best drum kit in the history of rock'n roll...) so all we needed was some bass notes...but I think the reason is, I discovered that playing the Bass means that you have to glue together the harmonic and rhythmic elements in Music, a very big responsibility but also a very big chance to drive the band. When I'm playing my music with my band, I can change the dynamics of all the musicians very fast by just modifying my approach and my volume.... It will be a Cmajor, only if I play a C and if I play an A, you will immediately hear an A minor.... isnt it great? And of course, seeing Weather Report with Jaco when I was in my early years of playing, changed my life....... forever. Celste Reyneke : During my high school years, a bunch of my (girl) friends and I, decided to start an all-girl band, and because none of us really played music, we just assigned ourselves to instruments. I got bass and it stuck.(Side note: I always liked bassy sounds, but back then I didn't even know the difference between a guitar and a bass guitar, let alone what a bass player is supposed to do). I must say I love it as an instrument - it adds so much soul to music and. well, a girl with a bass guitar just works! Yet, the

one thing I've learned (in the words of a wise friend), bass might be the easiest instrument to initially pick up, but its the most difficult to master! Todd Johnson : I've always been attracted to the "bottom" of the chord for some reason. I also remember my mom calling me into the house because Ray Brown was going to do a solo piece on "The Merv Griffin Show". I don't remember exactly what piece he played, but I do remember that it was the coolest thing I'd ever heard up to that point. It had a profound effect on me. After that, it was all over.........except for all the practicing! Emil Nysschens : Basses were on sale, the day I went to the music store. Alex Davison : I always wanted to play something, so I started off on guitar, then trumpet, then bagpipes. But I found that whenever I thought about a song, I thought about the bass-line. So I got a bass and became a bass player. I suppose I could philosophise about how a bass players perspective is more holistic, or how bass is the thing that makes music groove, or any one of a number of birds-eye-view reasons for being attracted to bass, but Id be misleading you. Im really a bass player because its more fun than any other instrument Ive tried. Lisa Jonker : I Play bass because for me, electric bass playing is a total mind-body-feel-experience! Its an overall elements experience of movements, grooves, feeling whole which spontaneously arise when I play in a band. A bass guitar is a mixture of harmony and beat and therefore I can musically understand and feel all the other instruments. To feel the low frequencies in my stomach when I play on stage can only be understood by other bass players. Playing bass is the way to stay connected to the things which matter on this earth: harmony, melody, beat, making a difference between dull music and interesting exciting music, the only instrument which is the connection between al the others, not being able to stay and sit on the chair but live and feel the energy of this great instrument! Theo Klassen : I know its been said before, but the bass really chose me. I always loved music and I knew that one day I will be a muso. So, at the age of 12, I started playing the guitar and at age 16, I had to stand in for the bassist one night and never looked back since. It has been an amazing 23 years. There is an indescribable feeling I get when I touch the bass, listen to it and when someone else plays it really well. Patrick Paco Mller : I was 15 years old. I had played guitar and drums for years in different bands since I was 10 but we always had the same problem; we had no bass-player. Not just someone who was good enough to play with us there was nobody in our town who played this unattractive instrument! Then one day my best buddy, the lead-guitarist of my band, had the brilliant idea of me playing bass! It was so clear; because I wasnt as good a guitarist as him. I had to play the bass it was logical. I borrowed a black Fender Precision bass from my former guitar-teacher. At the first rehearsal with my band, I danced with this black beauty through the cellar room where we practised and it was so great to experience how much power I had in the band. I was sure Id made the right decision and Ive never regretted it!! Far from it; the Bass was responsible for my decision to become a professional musician!! By the way, for me the Bass is the perfect combination of Guitar & Drums - harmony & rhythm! In hindsight this experience was very helpful in every way for my work as a professional bass-player! Nicola Lori : I started playing with my brother Elio, at a classic guitar studio but found my real passion was for the bass. I found that I could form an entity with the drums of Daniele Iacono, Angelo Strizzi and Gavin Harrison. Playing bass, I have a more rhythmic vision than when I play acoustic or electric guitar, thanks to having the freedom of expression of having the use of a fretless instrument.

Cladio Juliano : Music in general is something that I always loved and listened to growing up. When I first heard this instrument by its self, I was 14 and I didn't hear it in its traditional form I heard it being played with the slap style and I could not believe what I was hearing. I've never heard anything like this before. Guitar licks always caught my ear but it was nothing like this. From that point on I knew this was the instrument I was searching for. I grew up around many musical players and without them I would have never been blessed on hearing the capabilities of this instrument. From the 4th grade to 9th I played the alto sax. In a way it felt forced it just didnt seem to have the passion that I have when playing the bass. For me, music is the ultimate form of self-expression and the bass is my way of showing it. It's a musical instrument that anyone can be drawn to and it's gotten me where only in dreams I thought I would be. This is my 6th year of playing and I've been featured in the 2005 Hartke catalogue and it blows my mind to know that my love of bass has already gotten me this far. Playing in a band and solo has given me so many ideas for music and has showed me the greatest musical power, which I think, is an open mind and I think that's something all bass players can relate to.. Haha and it's gotten my rhythm so good I can almost dance now. The instrument is still young and so am I and together we have a great quest to accomplish. Pierre Schnehage : I play bass because it expresses a part of me that cant be expressed in words. I play guitar for the same reason. I suppose it all started with the need to be recognised and accepted. It developed into much more than that. I describe bass as my soul instrument and guitar as my heart. I cry, shout and laugh with guitar. I sing, meditate and fly with the bass. Music is a language of that which is unutterable. Without it I would be a cripple. I also know that humans function metaphysically as their bodies are constructed. Together, in healthy group energy, creativity always allows a result that is joyful and unexpected. If we, as humans and part of one universal body, could emulate the way music happens, I believe the human race could heal. At the moment all the notes are sounding at once. Harmony is a mystery. Martin Engelien : Why do I play Bass? Is there another reason to live? Bob Skeat : I started on piano as a kid, went on to guitar when I was a young teenager wanting to be a 'pop star', but it wasn't long before I realised that it was the bass lines on records that were turning me on, then my uncle (jazz bassist Len Skeat) gave me an electric bass and I've never looked back!! Gareth Sherwood : The reason I started on bass was a simple supply & demand, as a guitarist in the UK I needed work and bassists are rarer than guitarists. The reason it's my main instrument of choice is: We get along well, nobody really bothers me unless they've really thought about the bass line, this gives both me and the song a LOT of freedom, mostly "below" the radar where it's most effective :) It leads me to listen to the other instruments in order to hear what's missing. Lastly it's just that rhythm groove thang, when it's right you know it, and it's better than any kinda drugs.

Michael Brown : I have not been playing bass for long and cannot really say that I am much more than a serial one-note bassist looking for a good mentor. It has however taught me a lot about the structure and rhythm of music and to feel the groove rather than anticipate it (which never works). Every time I have to play bass at church (which is not that often - I usually play rhythm guitar and mandolin) I have a slight dread beforehand (of my own incompetence) and by the end of the set I don't want to put it down - It is so cool because it immerses you in the music rather than just adding to it (a bit like swimming in a beautiful place versus standing on the edge of a dam and throwing some crumbs in to the ducks). I also like the bass because the people I have met that play bass are so nice! I have had the privilege of meeting and being "allowed" to talk to (so many other musos are too aloof or too intimidating) some great bassists in the last few months and have been struck by their general lack of ego. They are good, solid people content to work in the background and move the universe (musically) whilst everyone else wonders what happened and who did it! My type of people... Nikolai Neronski : I was introduced to music at the age of 16. I learned three chords on a guitar, and a year later began a professional career, playing bass because the band needed a bassist. I had been switching from bass to guitar for the next 15 years, until I finally decided that playing bass is my life. Four years ago I took up bass in earnest, got into a jazz band and that changed me completely. I had been playing funk before that and knew little about jazz. In Belarus it is hard for a musician to express himself, there are no specialized colleges or knowledgeable instructors. I had to discover everything myself. Fused in me now, are jazz, funk and soul, and my technique has largely been affected by my guitar playing. I am happy to have chosen bass as I consider it to be a most important instrument in music. It is the basis for all other parts. And the drums, of course, if the drums and the bass play it right, success is 80% guaranteed. Every arrangement I make, I begin with the drum part. I now have enough power under my belt to play with the world's best musicians. I don't know how to do this but I feel God will assist me somehow. Greg Cavanaugh : What a great question! I started my life as a guitar player. Oddly enough I should have known better! I grew up listening to the music of my fathers Big Band. I was always mesmerized as a child by how he played the bass with his feet(he was not a circus act, but a organ player). I actually started life as a drummer and quickly decided that was not for me. I then played guitar for 8 years, it wasnt until college when I realized everyone was a guitar player!! I always found myself listening to bass lines anyways, so I went out and bought a bass. I am still playing that bass today, although I have pretty much outgrown it. I became really inspired when I first saw Victor Wooten in concert, he blew me away and I knew I had made the right choice. My favorite part about playing bass is the way the bass drives and shapes music. If I want to turn a blues tune into country, all I have to do is change the bassline! Besides the drums I dont think any other instrument has that power. I also love the tone down low and the power that it has. What a marvelous instrument, it can go

from the very bottom of the frequency range and way up too. The sounds from this instrument are tremendous, from fingerstyle to slap, to tapping, fretlessit just keeps going! A.L. "Artie" Terry : I play the bass mainly for two reasons: 1. It's a big contribution to my church and 2. I LOVE sittin' in the pocket and holdin' down the groove, Baby! THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! After having given up music entirely for over 20 years its so refreshing to discover this instrument. No matter what kind of music you play, there's always another level to explore on the low end! It's an instrument of much more possibility than people realize. I can't tell you how much I love to play and the feeling I get when I do! Peter Tambroni : Because my students make me! Just kidding. I began playing the double bass at the age of 16 (after playing the clarinet since elementary school) when the director of my high school jazz ensemble asked if anyone would be interested in playing bass. After playing electric bass it was suggested that I learn the string bass. When my teacher introduced the bow to me, I completely fell in love with the bass and have been spreading my bass addiction ever since! These are some of the comments from my students. Henry (13) : For the fun of it! I like jazz and classical and I like listening to different kinds of music. David (13) : My dad plays the bass (and owns a Pollmann!!). It's a beautiful instrument. Alex (11) : I love the notes and how the strings sound. Eric (9) : Because it's big and fun to play. Joey (12) : It teaches great discipline and I like being yelled at. Mattheus (10) : It's big and low. Grace (8) : I like to play the bass because I don't have to carry it around. Mitch (11) : I like the low sounds. Valery Bashkov : Why I play bass? I started, as a guitarist. In 1983, I heard fusion for the first time - Brand X "Product". Magnificent, fantastic music. Beautiful, original bass lines and a sound I fell in love with. Ive now fallen in love with this instrument. A low sound, so powerful! On this instrument its possible to play silently and loudly. Its possible to play with your fingers or with a plectrum. Its possible to play slap, tapping, mute and fretless bass! This sound bewitches. I dont go anywhere without a bass guitar.

Jos Vera jvera: Ever since I was a kid I was drawn to music and some of my relatives were musicians. When I turned 12, my mother decided I should take sol-fa and piano lessons and signed me up at the local conservatory, but back then, that didn't feel hardcore enough for me, it was the early 80's after all, so I took up some guitar and started a band that consisted of my cousin, a common friend and I, all three of us guitar players. Given that I was the youngest member of the band, it was easy for the other two to decide which of us should play the bass. Best forced decision ever: I immediately felt the magic lying on its frets and switched to double bass at the conservatory at the first chance I got. Bass playing, and how it shapes both rhythm and harmonics, fulfils me as a musician, there's no way I would trade it for any other instrument. Nowadays I'm blessed with a professional career as a bass player that allows me to enjoy my life's passion... what else could anyone ask for? Reggie Worthy : Bass is one of the most natural and easiest of the string instruments to play as a beginner because it has only 4 strings and has got mainly a single note, often-repetitive melodic approach. Thats what many of us and I, thought when we first started playing and in many ways its true. But that also brings us to the challenge. Somewhere down the road it got boring for the bassman to have to play the root and the fifth. And in his search to fulfill his creative musical desires, totally transformed the instrument. Today, the sky is the limit for what you can do with the bass. I mean, melodically, we can play the same stuff that Coltrane and Bird played on the saxophone, thanks to Stanley and Jaco for leading the way. Rhythmically, we can beat the bass like a drum, thanks to Larry Graham for that awakening. And with chords, harmonics, tapping, and 5 string, 6 string, 7 string, 8 string, 12 string basses, and all the effects and pedals, theres just so much one can do. Thats the dual nature of the bass, its the easy way and at the same time its an amazing creative challenge. Thats why I love it. Ricardo Rodriguez : Growing up in a musical family, playing an instrument was inevitable. I initially started playing guitar but in my early teens I quickly learned guitarists were a dime a dozen. I figured if I switched to bass everyone would need me. Boy was I right! Years later, this still holds true. The initial reason I started playing bass was to become famous and tour the world but that type of thinking has evolved. The reason I play my bass today is because there is nothing else I would rather be doing. I love being a part of the creative process and performing with several projects helps keep things always new and interesting. Its beyond passion, its my therapy! Bruce Gertz : I play bass because it is a fun way to experience spiritual growth. For me it is always a work in progress, evolving. Each day is a chance to learn and enjoy new grooves and melodies on a beautiful sounding instrument. What a gift! I also love the bass community and teaching. What drew me to the bass at age 14 was the feeling of vibration in my gut when I heard a good bass groove. That can set your whole being in motion. Anton Marshall : I guess the bass as a part, a role or an instrument has come the closest to connecting with my "intuitive" nature. I actually started learning the bass and its mechanics on a double bass, and picked up the techniques of country and rockabilly first. Soon thereafter, I bought my first electric bass and hooked up with a progressive metal/rock outfit. Huge learning curve! But useful to push yourself,

playing somewhat advanced runs and progressions with musos who were far more proficient on their instruments than you were on yours. Anyway, the rockabilly and country roots didn't rot, and soon I was back into that with minor excursions into improvisational and freestyle. At present the music my band produces allows me to dabble in country, rockabilly and blues variations, which all suit my preferred style well. Mark Neuenschwander : I took music store guitar lessons until I was told I couldn't learn anymore unless I bought an electric guitar & amp. A couple of years later my 6th grade music aptitude test pronounced me a clarinet (rather than trumpet) player. The next fall I was told to go to the music store and rent a clarinet. Reluctant to deal with a music store again, I asked what the school would provide (oboe, bassoon, french horn, tuba.) Thus began a very serious French horn career, which I pursued into college. My band director was a very hip jazz trombonist, who did many studio dates in Memphis with Isaac Hayes, Booker T et al., and started a school jazz band. I was immediately looking for a way to participate in the jazz band (did I mention how much I despised marching band?), beyond the couple of Kenton charts with French horn parts. The tuba player playing bass in the jazz band graduated and there was no replacement. I immediately began to teach myself to play the school upright and soon purchased a Hagstrom electric for the obligatory garage bands. Luckily, one of my clueless (I liked those fancy CTI covers) early jazz record purchases was Freddie Hubbard's "Red Clay." When I heard Ron Carter's opening bass line on 'Intrepid Fox' the die was cast..... I was a double bass player......and I now know why my band director said "if you want to be a bass player, learn every tune ever written!! " Vuyani Wakaba : All my life I have been drawn to songs by their bass lines. Even as a non-bassist, the bass line was the sweetest part of the song, even though I couldn't define it. Once I discovered the bass, I felt like I had finally found my voice and I could finally speak after years of silence. The next epiphany was in discovering the power of the bass, as part of a rhythm section, and how it can move people. This discovery deepened my respect for the instrument and I learned the high responsibility that comes with playing it. Although I've been fortunate enough to make money as a bassist over the years, my playing the bass never was, never is, and it never will be about money. It is just about the love and I feel blessed enough to have been directed to the instrument. Wilbert van Niekerk : Music is my life, life is bass, bass is one note at a time... the way I live my life one day at a time. I started playing bass when I was 15 years old with a 5cent coin on a nylon string guitar. Curiosity was the spark of this love for melody. With no training or musical background, a journey of exploring sound began. My friends and I started a grunge garage band. We didn't care about anything and loved making lots of noise! Once I taught myself how to play, it was my main priority. I remember

how my parents would punish me by taking my amp and guitar away for the holiday. At an early age I already realized how much playing bass meant to me, it became my sanctuary and escape, now 12 years later and it still feels the same... I grew up in a small town about 3 hours drive from Cape Town. When I had the opportunity to play in a hard-core band, it seemed I was destined to make music for the rest of my life. I was still in high school, and would catch a lift every weekend to play a show. All the nagging of my parents and effort was worth all the memories and friends I have made. Connections I still have today. My bass has been my best friend, my travelling partner and definitely my escape from reality! Bass is my adventure of finding the perfect note and melody. I can't imagine a life without music and my life without a bass guitar. It's such a privilege to create sound it has no judgment and cleanses my soul. Justin Maree : I think lets start with the main reason. I love it and of course, bass keeps us alive or loved (you know what I mean). When youre down and out, bass is all you need! Secondly, I found that I could make an acceptable living out of it. Thirdly, I think you just get to meet some of the greatest people on planet Earth. Theres a whole lot more but Im supposed to fit all this into only 100 words. Lastly I can say that Ive dedicated my whole life to music so I dont know what its like doing anything else really. Im not very good at being a housewife Roy Melville : Because I love it. John Lester : I was 14 years old and playing trumpet in my high school concert band. Two friends of mine, a guitarist and a drummer, were starting a rock band. The drummer was also in the high school jazz band and knew that they needed a bass player. He said to me, "if you join the jazz band, you can get the school bass (a Fender copy) and join our rock group". I said, "sure, why not?" I went on to be a professional bassist playing both rock and jazz, and a solo singer-songwriter-bassist! First song I ever learned? Smoke on the Water, of course...it was 1974! Al Garcia : My first instrument was the flute, but that didn't last very long. Shortly after, a friend of mine got the bright idea to put a band together. Since he had already started to learn guitar, I became the bass player by default, a fate familiar to many bassists, I suppose. My very first 'bass' was a plastic toy guitar. I removed the high E and B strings to simulate the feel of a real bass. That and a Mel Bay method book got me started. I developed an unusually strong melodic sensibility for a bass player right from the start, which is why I developed an interest in the guitar. I dabbled but didn't take it seriously until years later when I saw Allan Holdsworth play with I.O.U. I was so blown away by his guitar playing that I couldn't sleep that night. I kept thinking, "It's impossible, it's impossible..." I believe that my bass playing informs my guitar playing and vice versa. Being a bass player makes me more aware of rhythm and feel when I play guitar. Being a guitar player makes me more aware of melody, harmony, and the importance of using a wide range of techniques when I play bass. Each instrument allows me to express myself in different, yet complementary ways. Anastasia Ferrara : Ive always loved the way bass and drums compliment each other and how a low bass tone makes any song. As a drummer Id have to be a part of that rhythm as well. It was a challenge to sing lead vocals and play bass at the same time for my band ANEVA but it has become second nature to me now. I've been playing bass guitar for twelve years now and I will never stop" Music is my life!" Brian Bromberg: I started out as a drummer and I was playing professionally in jazz clubs in Tucson, Arizona by the time I was 13. I also played cello in elementary school but I wasnt very good. So when I got to junior high, the orchestra director said to me We have a whole bunch of cellists but no string

bassists which, I think, was his polite way of saying hed rather have one bad bass player than no bass player and another bad cellist. Making the switch to bass was a blessing in disguise: It enabled me to combine my rhythmic background from my drums with my melodic sense from the cello. I took to the instrument right away and began practicing like crazy. By age 15 I was playing bass in the same Tucson jazz clubs where Id previously played drums. (Taken from Bass Player Magazine December 1997) Herbert Smith : My mom, a singer from Bermuda, bought me a guitar for my 10th birthday. As I listened to the radio, in Chicago, Illinois, to the music of the day, Temptations, James Brown, Beatles, Miracles, Brenton Wood, Archie Bell and the Drells, the bass lines instead of guitar riffs reached out and grabbed my ear. My brother, Darrell, went to the local pawnshop and for $39.00, bought a huge Kingston Bass. The instrument had terrible action but it was my first. By the way, my friend from the next block, Steven Palmore and I, traded instruments. Steve is now a bassist living in New York and an alumnus of the Ellington Orchestra. I didnt develop a love for the acoustic bass until high school, when I saw the bass in the band room. As I look Back, the bass and its traditional role in a band fit my personality perfect. Not necessarily the one out front, but a strong ingredient w/ good people skills. Rufus Reid, Steve Rodby, Reggie Willis and Bob Stoltenberg all gave me encouragement and guidance. This comradery was also very special to me. Its too bad I had to wait till I got to California, to study privately with Carol Kaye on electric bass and Fred Tinsley on acoustic bass. With Carol, I got to hear how bass lines worked with chord changes, as she teaches with the guitar as well as the bass. She rescued me from being a scale player. Im forever grateful. Fred took me through the tradition classically trained bass repertoire. He taught me to not fear the instrument. Take it slow and repetiously you will get through the difficult passages. Im also forever grateful. In my current band, Rumba Menco, the role of the bass is different from its role in traditional music. There I mark the route of the chords and its changes. Im not a time keeper. The guitars create the tempo. Its a very special sound. We have five Nationalities in our band: Iraq, Iran, Mexico, Puerto Rico and United States. I play acoustic, upright electric, Fender Precision and Jazz bass with the band. Its great!!!! Brian Lawrence : The power is in the low end!!! I see the bass as the leading instrument in a band, bringing rhythm and harmony together, even though the conventional bassist is never on the foreground. One phrase to describe a good bassist is: Follow me, Im right behind you!!! I also dont like to be the centre of attraction, so playing bass really fits my personality. The fact that you can let your creativity rip, without the normal listener even noticing what you did is also kinda cool. I have tried a couple of other instruments

but none can compare with the feeling of playing bass. Its like coming home!!! Nico Kruger : I truly get a kick out of it. I have been playing since I was thirteen years old. (I am 42 now). I just love being at the "bottom" end of the orchestra. I also love the instruments. I can sit and stare at a beautiful double bass. Bass players also stick together. My very favourite thing is to play a Brahms symphony in the orchestra. Al Caldwell : I play the bass because it brings me joy. Ive always loved the power thats associated with the bottom. Barry Whites voice thrills most women. The God like tone of a bass is commanding. I love playing my 11-string Benavente/Caldwell bass model. It allows me to play lower and higher than I ever thought possible. In a musical conversation, Im allowed many voices with this midi instrument. Im on a quest to find my voice. I have the right tool, but the content of your conversation is what you are judged by. The Bass teaches me about Life! The Foundation of everything starts with the root. Daniel Burger (aka Unholy Terror) : Why I play bass has never had an easy answer for me. Is it the power, the groove, the growl deep down below, or the steam-train thump? Was it the godly Geezer Butler, the brilliant Steve Harris, or the sleazy Nikki Sixx? Is the answer clichd, like its an extension of me? Or is it merely that any other instrument just does not feel right? I have not played actively for some time, especially since assuming the role of front man over a year ago. But it never takes much to remember why I strapped on my bass the first time. So, then, why do I play bass? Simple: because I am a bass guitarist. Kerry Blewett : I changed from playing guitar to playing bass a an early stage of my playing career. I think my natural feel for rhythm and a good sense of timing led me in this direction. Over the years Ive become excited by the dynamic interaction between bass and the other instruments in a (mainly) rock band. I thrive on being able to drive the band and set the mood of the music provided of course that the other musos are good at listening to whats happening around them. I relate especially well to drummers and I believe that I feel the music from a drummers point of view, which can make for some tight rhythm section playing. In short I find the sound of the bass, especially electric bass, incredibly exciting. Sander Huiberts : I played the piano at first. When you walk away from a double bass, it falls down and breaks. The piano just stands there. The feeling that the bass needs me to hold it combined with the low vibrations appeal to me so much that I take the heavy instrument and amplifier into the bargain... Byron Santo : Why do I play bass? If I were asked that question 10 years ago my answer would have been different then from today. It would have been something like this. I started on trumpet in the 8th grade, switched to french horn in the 10th grade, learned guitar because playing Zeppelin wasnt cool on french horn and later switched to bass when I was 18 years old because the band I was in needed a bassist. I decided to stick with bass because at the time bassists where in demand. Today I have a totally different view on music in general. I view all music as a spiritual experience in that it can affect a persons emotions, personality, etc. Granted, I do play 7-string guitar and keyboards but only when Im composing and recording. For live performances, the bass guitar is my primary instrument. I love how the bass guitar can glue all other instruments together to create that spiritual experience for the listener. It is the foundation on which all the other instruments build upon!

Albey Balgochian : Bass is the voice of the Great Mystery. It is the rhythm that connects the heartbeat of the drums to the song being sung on top. I've always loved every aspect of the bass, the way they look...cool, warm, sexy; the sound...so organic; the feel...and what that feel can do to the psyche. There is no greater feeling than coming to a musical environment fully prepared so that the spirits may flow through you...out your bass...and into the hearts of your listeners. Peace Rob Dakiniewich : When I was about 13 my older brother rented a bass from a music store. When he wasn't playing it, I picked it up to try it out. It turned out he didn't have much interest in it and let me play with it for the month. I instantly felt a connection with the bass. After the month was up, I convinced my parents to rent me the bass again. After that, I found an old bass and practice amp a friend of mine wanted to sell. I purchased that bass and amp for $80 and never turned back. Brogan Thompson : Why I play bass, the question should be why not! Because bass is such a versatile instrument every genre uses bass and that is just such an appealing point, the minute I layed my finger on a PHAT e-string I was in love.. its just so low and has the balls that a guitar will never have! As a bassist I have opened my doors to all genres of music, I could be a jazz bassist a metal bassist a punk bassist a double bassist, that is why I play bass, because I want to play every genre on one guitar.. The Bass guitar! Alliston Europa : What's a band without a bass? If there's no groove there's no soul. What a GREAT feeling to know that youre the most important person in the band. It's a kinda cool feeling to know that everybody is following you while the band is playing. Imagine a band without the LOW FREQUENCY hey? Bass helped me develop a strong sense for harmony and rhythm.... Bass brings it all together so ya...Keep Groovin... Frederick Charlton : When in able hands, the double bass is the most beautiful, sonorous sounding of all the bowed string instruments. However, that is not the reason that I finally decided to choose the (possibly) most difficult instrument in an orchestra. By the time I was in the sixth grade, I had already been playing the piano for many years. I had had a sixmonth stint with the violin in the third grade (why anyone would want to put such a high pitched, shrill instrument that close to ones ear is beyond me). But finally at the age of twelve, I found myself tall enough to play my Fathers double bass. One day after Id only been playing a few months, I was carrying the bass from the orchestra room to the auditorium when a very cute girl saw me. She stopped right in her tracks and said, Wow! Thats a really big instrument you got there! Wellthat did it for me. I knew from that moment on that the double bass was my destiny. And by the way, all these years later I still enjoy impressing the girls.

John Flitcraft : I started playing bass because I loved the power of the low end (and I still do). As I progressed, it was the attraction of playing grooves for other people to solo over. Then I got into soloing myself. Now I love it because of the interaction with other players, creating grooves, improvising and just having fun. Roy C. Vogt : Like a lot of bassists, I started when I was 14 years old. I was too shy and a terrible dancer, but I thought that if I could be in a band with my friend who played guitar both problems would be solved. Ironically, we didn't ever play together except for a few "one off" gigs in high school. I started with a mother-of-particle-board Kalamazoo EBO copy (I worked on the loading dock of my father's plumbing supply to get that bass) and wanted to be Jack Bruce and Harvey Brooks on the Super Session record. From there it was lessons, gigs, better basses, Chris Squire, Greg Lake, Stanley Clarke, Jaco, Jeff Berlin and the long slow descent into music school and a career in the Biz. Duncan Bell (LIBIDO) : I started my musical journey at the age of 5 on piano, but got bored pretty quickly, through all the instruments I have tried, bass just seemed to grab my by the bollocks and held on like a pit bull!! Being responsible for the bottom end of a hard rock band has enabled me to take my playing to a new level and the bass just seems to look at me and say So where to next? Pat Cullen : Because manwhen it comes down to it, bass is the essence of Funk. And all music comes back to funk its the groove. For example, is there anything better than playing slap bassseriously? Okay I can think of one thing BUT THAT DOESNT COUNT! Bass is all about funkability how u can get into a groove the way no guitarist or drummer can, thats why I play bass. And besides all that. its really cool! Moses Andrew Rixi Roman : If you listen to two people, one with a deep voice and the other just normal, usually the deeper voice just commands you to listen to it. Well the bass has got four strings only, but what you can achieve with it both rhythmically and Harmonically is just so amazing. I suppose that is the most appealing thing to me about the bass...Take the least and make the most from it. Today I feel blessed to make a living doing what I love. A bad day of playing music is still better than a good day of doing any other job some 35 years later! Stefan Held : I started on piano when I was 5.It still is a great foundation to me so Im glad it happened,. but piano never felt quite right to me. When I was 13, I started to play drums. I liked it a lot and it still helps me to this day, but it also didn't feel a 100% right. When I finally picked up a bass 20 years ago, it immediately felt perfect (even though it was a piece of @%$& bass). I guess it really is the glue/connection of the melodic/harmonic side of things (piano) and rhythmic aspect (drums) that makes this instrument so special to me. Adrian Maruszczyk : It seems to me, that the idea of becoming a musician caught me, when our local band was looking for a bassplayer. It was a huge challenge for me, because as a 15 year old guy, I had become completely independent and responsible for the work I had to do. For the first time in my life, I had experienced this magic thrill and the joy of making yourself better, working on your own weaknesses. For about 30 Years now, it still hasnt changed. I feel the same thrill everyday.

Arlyn Culwick : I play bass because its the instrument that most naturally lends itself to the expression of what I consider the ideal of music, where every part in a piece has been brought to its fullest, illimitable identity, complete in itself, not inhibiting any other part, and yet deeply dependent on every other part for its meaning. Bass exists at a unique confluence of rhythm, melody, and harmony; it is neither saddled with the burden of leading a song (as a vocal part would), nor does it subordinate other parts for the sake of its agenda. The converse is also important: bass is never its true self as mere backing, and whenever music contains a prescriptive part that requires all other parts to follow it, then the music cripples itself by its own internal dynamic. Bass, better than any other instrument, facilitates the pursuit of such a full interdependent selfhood. Lead instruments, in contrast, do not have to pay such close attention to the rest of the music, but are free to break off and depart (or just widdle away inanely). Rhythm guitar is too often a brute imperialist that eliminates space and freedom for expression, and must be followed at all costs. Drums embody rhythm too singly, at the neglect of other elements of music. Keyboards have great potential, but in their massive versatility there is not the scarcity necessary to push one to distil a single unique part; they are too easily watered down. Bass, on the other hand, holds the potential to revolutionise musical consciousness, to raise awareness of the possibility that music can embody such deep freedom and such deep interrelation (without conflict), and to suggest the daring possibility of cultural forms that emulate such a structure, freed of the oppression and rigidity of life as we know it. Norm Stockton : My older brother (a guitar player) used to tell me that good guitarists are dime-a-dozen, while good bassists will always have work. Years later, I had become an absolute Beatles nut, and wanted to get deeper into their music. At least from the tunes I was listening to at the time, Paul McCartneys lines seemed sing-able and fairly simple. With my brothers words still echoing in my head, I promptly removed a few strings from an old classical guitar, and learned the bass lines to I Should Have Known Better and Cant Buy Me Love within the first few days. I was hooked from that point on. I still absolutely love it, although my motivation for playing has completely changed since those early days. Ive come to believe that music is an enormous gift, and I play today to simply offer everything that I am (musical and otherwise) back to God with my gratitude. Anthea Buys : Why do I play bass? Hmm this is one of those questions to which one is certain one knows the answer until, a nicely articulated answer is actually required. I have only been playing bass for about two (and-a-little-bit) years, and prior to that I had played guitar for about eight years out of my fledgling, twenty-something year life. I became intrigued by the somewhat exclusively bassist notion of groove while going through a huge Sting phase in 2002. I later heard Gito Baloi play, realised I was at the tip of a very large ice-burg, hijacked an ex-boyfriends bass, and I have not been much of a guitarist since. What I love most about the bass is its ability to define a piece of music harmonically, rhythmically and atmospherically and yet remain discreet (some people dont notice what youre playing until you botch it up horribly). I feel it is a powerful instrument to play because it is the musical intersection of pure

rhythm and pure melody. I am now a firm believer that once the groove finds its way into your hands and head, there is no turning back! Craig Bissell : To be totally totally honest, I grew up always wanting to be a guitarist. Yes, I loved the powering guitar riffs, the gut wrenching solos, the amazing array of sounds and the way you could manipulate them on the Electric guitar. Jimi Hendrix, Slash and Billy Corgans guitaring immortality are probably the main reasons why music is the main influence of my life. But before every single bassist here snaps my vertebrae in 187 pieces, I have to say, this obsession was immediately displaced after I picked up a Bass Guitar and started grooving out a few Bob Marley tunes. DOES IT-GET-ANY-BETTER-THANTHIS-HUH??? No is still the answer Bass is melody, groove, lust and feel; its the hip in hip-hop. Its that one instrument that hasnt quiet reached its full potential and is probably the reason Im so in love with its sound and power. Oh, and chicks dig it Donovan Tose : I started playing drums at the age of thirteen. For high school, I went to a boarding school and this made it impossible to continue drumming. Due to my love for percussion and rhythm I picked up an old Ibanez bass with a bent neck for R850.00 at a second hand store. I used a capo to bring the strings closer to the neck and well.. I've loved the instrument ever since and have advanced to a five string and own a number of basses and amps now. Still enjoying the groove.. Johann Eicher : I started playing guitar when I was about 11 and couldn't seem to make it work for me. My hands just would NOT obey! Only after picking up a bass guitar at the age of 14, music started making sense to me. I appreciate all instruments but bass seems to have a richness, a smoothness that no other instrument can capture. A single bass note can sometimes exude so much more than a guitar. Bass for me is all about versatility and dynamic: the versatility to write songs including sounds with the instrument that it wasn't actually designed for and the dynamic of being able to play the same song 10 different ways and thus create 10 different fundamental moods. But besides all of that, I guess the most important reasons are still simply that I can play bass (and enjoy it) and of course all the wonderful people I get to jam with. Ryan Norton : I started playing bass in 2002. I have always been one for being different and liking the not-so-ordinary things in life. Playing a bass guitar is about as raw as it gets. I only play with fingers and it is this closeness with the instrument that made me want to learn more. The thunderous song that my bass sings when I play is what keeps me going, playing harder and faster. I have a Thumb because its my favourite bass of all time. I love naturally finished basses and guitars. I am a huge fan of Warwick basses and also have a 5-string corvette $$.

Jess Handley : Bass..hmmwe live in a society of rules and regulations (without them it would fall apart) But bass gives you the freedom to just live! There are no limits. Thats what makes it so appealing. But just the deep sound that makes it so mysterious and dark other instruments can be figured out easily, bass is a complex instrument with many levels Robbie Sanna : I play bass because I was forced into switching from lead guitar to bass by a strange situation - 4 of my friends and I decided to start a band in 1982 but 2 of them didn't get on with the other 2, so we decide to make 2 bands, however we only had 1 drummer, so he had to play drums for both bands. Because the rest of us were all guitarists, 2 of us had to switch to bass for the respective bands. So the one band featured Jimmy Gomez on lead, Mike (I can't remember the surname) on bass and Wayne Edgerton on drums, the other band (EXP) featured Tony O Dwire on lead, myself on bass and Wayne on drums. Needless to say, the schedule got too heavy for Wayne so he had to drop out of Jimmy's band and concentrate on EXP. We played our final gig at Plum Crazy about 2 years later and smashed up a 63 Strat on stage. What a bunch of idiots!! The bands I played for after that, all had better, more established guitarists than myself so I have continued playing bass until the present. Eric Owens : I have a simple approach to playing the bass that has worked for me and has allowed me to grow in my playing and in my life. Have fun with it. Move things around change styles absorb all the knowledge you can from every source possible. I approach the bass like a child approaches life. Constantly absorbing information from everything around them. Ask questions, experiment and let your imagination and creativity be you guide. In every language on earth, there are slang words that have different interpretations. That is a great example of having fun with music. Remember to listen, learn and most importantly, groove. Max Theron : As a child, my dad played bass for a while and later guitar. I grew up knowing the difference between the two. For some reason still unknown to me, I was always drawn to the low frequency notes of the bass. Later on in my childhood I "drifted" away from music for a while, but despite hearing blistering guitar solos and distortion guitars on radio which were great, it was always the songs with creative and innovative basslines, that caught my attention most and these basslines REALLY caught my attention and stuck with me, despite the fact that I did not fully understand what these musicians were doing at the time. Then there were also bass riffs' like the break in "You can call me Al" from Paul Simon. I had no clue what Bakhithi Kumalo was doing (I didnt know the difference between slapbass and finger style), but it really caught my attention! When I eventually decided to take up a musical instrument (back in 1991) there was just one instrument for me - the bass. I didnt even give the guitar a second thought, and I've never looked back. I've always been a more rhythmic orientated musician and therefore I feel most comfortable holding down the bassline and keeping a consistant groove going. Tony Saunders : I only played piano until I was 13. Then my Dad Merl Saunders and Tom Fogerty who were playing together decided to produce a gospel group Walter Hawkins and Selah, which was a secular

record. The bass player Anthony Davis played so great I was hooked. He played everywhere on the bass and you felt it. So melodic but still the bass holding down the bottom. This followed up a few days later when I sang a song for my Dad on a 45 and the bass player Lee Miles who was playing with Miles Davis at the time played bass on the session. I was in love with the sound of his bass and continue to Romance The Bass ever since. It was the melodic James Jamerson like bass line that got me hooked. Chuck Rainey, John Kahn and Jack Cassidy then guided me. It was the solid sound that guided me to love the bass and the way these players controlled the songs. They made the vocals have hooks and there bass lines were copied to this day. Exciting things happened when these players took the bottom somewhere else other than just the basic root. Up from the bottom and reaching for the top is what I felt from these great players. Bill Clements : My initial reasons for playing bass when I was a kid, had to do with what I was hearing in the music around me. All the riffs that captivated me had strong bass. When I finally got hold of my first P bass copy, it felt like the right tool for the job... That job was giving my musical ideas a voice. I was in love with the sound, the feel and the curvaceous female form of the instrument from the git-go. I had to play all the time. The act of practice became a path to spiritual and intellectual growth - as well as bringing a command of the fret-board. All still works in progress..... Eight years later an industrial accident waits to take my right arm. I had my resolve tested by that horrible moment and many times thereafter, the whims of the music business and the problems that we all face, love, its loss, alienation, pain, conflict, etc. All of lifes demons would have overtaken me long ago, if not for the bass guitar. Its gifts continue to sustain me. Monk Montgomery : I was a firm family man, a hard worker, and had held my foundry job for years. It wasnt enough. One night when I was hanging out at a local jazz joint where Wes had a group, I heard his bass player work and suddenly just simply said to myself, I can do better. I beat it down to Fidds Fiddle Shop in Indianapolis, bought an old $75 Czech upright and began practicing That was the beautiful beginning and its something Im still saying to myself. Life is constant growth, man. Excerpt from Bass Heroes Leon Bosch : It wasnt really so much a question of me choosing to play the double bass; it was more a case of the double bass capturing me. At the age of 16, I entered the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town as a cellist and my dear cello teacher, Edna Elphick, suggested that I should give some consideration to the idea of learning the double bass as a second study. The very suggestion seemed preposterous to me of course, but that was probably Ednas sophisticated way of telling me that my chances of earning a living as a cellist were somewhat slim. Early one morning, in the University coffee shop, she introduced me to Zoltan Kovats, who was then principal double bassist of The Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, in what was clearly a pre-arranged ambush. Zoltan, an imposing figure of a man, asked me a few seemingly innocuous questions, and after taking a cursory look at my left hand, announced, sternly, that my studies with him would begin the following morning.. I appeared not to have any choice in the matter and for whatever reason I didnt protest. but instead meekly turned up for my first bass lesson the next day. Within a few months of commencing double bass lessons however, Zoltans exceptional teaching revealed that I did have some musical talent after all. Thus began my love affair with the double bass, a love affair which quickly turned into an all-consuming passion, which endures to this day.

David Geschke : Well, my ORIGINAL reason for picking bass might not be as honourable as some. When I was younger - like 13 years old - I told people I played bass. In reality I had never even SEEN one! Then, one day the call came - our bass player quit, you want the gig? (it's THAT easy to get a gig when you're 13... Actually by then I was 14)... So I bought a $20 Kingston bass, the guitar player came over and showed me how to play the 5 songs they knew and I became a bass player. That was 31 years ago! I fell in love with bass right away, though - started practicing 2 hours a day, learning by ear playing along with records. By the time I was 17 I was in bands playing clubs. I love playing bass; to me it's always been the coolest instrument in rock and roll. When I listen back to my favourite songs of the 60s almost all of them have killer bass lines, I think I was predestined to play bass! I love it! Martin D Fowler: I have always loved being the glue of the musical language. We play music to connect ourselves to each other, and I find no greater joy than placing myself on the front of each of those connections, rhythmically, harmonically, and melodically. I couldn't imagine doing anything else! Prof. Marc Duby : My earliest influences were the great rock bass players of the sixties like Jack Bruce, John Paul Jones and many others. Later on I discovered jazz and really listened hard to such great musicians as Jimmy Garrison (with Coltrane), Charles Mingus, Dave Holland, and Eberhard Weber. Most of these players also were active as composers and their different ways of seeing or hearing music have been a lasting influence on my activities as a musician and composer. Sergio Groove : I play the bass because the low end has such possibilities for making many different sounds. It makes me feel happy. Colin Brown : I used to, and still do, play the guitar, but it was only when I heard Denis Lallouette play bass at the Branch Office, in Jeppe Street, Jhb in 1979 with a group called Theta, that I sat up and took notice. The kind of things he was doing on the bass, I had never heard before. This was the kind of stuff that was either going to make you quit because, you'll never be that good or it'll inspire you. Obviously, in my case, the latter applied and although I don't think I'll ever be as good as Denis, it doesn't matter, I love playing bass. The bassist, together with the drummer get to set the feel / groove / ambience / mood or whatever you want to call it and can evoke all sorts of emotions, from funky to sad, even though people are not always aware of it until its missing. I see myself firstly as a musician, but primarily as a bassist, even though I also play the bagpipes, guitar and am currently experimenting with the sax. Gregory Moonsammy : My very first conscious acknowledgement of the bass was checking Paul McCartney in the Beatles movies; HELP and HARD DAYS NIGHT. I was 12 years old at the time and just learning to play guitar. I come from a family where music is a big deal, so there was always new records coming into our home. The next great bass thing was Mel Schacher of Grand Funk Railroad. Although at the time it was just an interest as I had started my first band and played guitar. I then joined my second band as a rhythm guitarist, I had just received an electric guitar as my 16th birthday present and it was just cool to be in a band. I was then asked to play Bass as the current bassist figured he was more of a guitar player and we duly swapped places in the band. But ultimately my life changed forever musically when I went to watch a performance of the band Spirits Rejoice who had the late great Sipho Gumede on the Bass. Had I any doubts about playing the Bass, they

were forever banished by the way Sipho Gumede played his Bass that night. SoWhy do I play the Bass? The simple answer is Sipho Gumede. Michael Auer : I like to think the bass chose me, possibly for my large hands. I started and still play guitar and drums and dabble with various other instruments, but the bass has always stuck with me as the instrument of choice. Not many kids my age played bass growing up , and I seemed to fill the gap in bands looking for members . I've played in Metal bands to alternative to acoustic jams to my 'at present' ska, reggae, rock band 7th Son. My preference in music has expanded over the years and draw from a wide range of musical influences, and find that 7th Son gives me a wide area to explore these inspirations as the bass is quite prominent in the overall sound . There is nothing in the world that can beat the feeling and not many ways to describe those moments where you are totally in sync with your band, when the music takes you deep in the moment and out of it at the same time . Moments like that are what I live for and why I play music and why I play the bass . Mlungisi Gegana : The first time I touched the bass; I fell in love with it immediately. After I tried various other instruments like drums, guitar and piano, I realised I liked the deep sound and the freedom you get when you improvise. For me, as an artist, I also make a bass a lead instrument as sometimes I play melodies and solos. Julian Fairall : I had been playing drums for 16 years when I first really picked up a bass. The worship team at church was suddenly without a bass player and as I could play guitar, I figured that I could play bass. Boy was I ever wrong, but the journey to that discovery, and the knowledge that I have as a result has been incredible. Bass players have always been the other guy in the band, but without bass, music is lifeless and lacks any of the passion that makes people nod their heads. In short, bass is the power behind music. That and a really good triangle player! Sue Both Fourie : Since I was very small I have always had a good appreciation for the bass in any music. I used to listen to the male voices in choirs and I heard the melody there. I am a qualified piano teacher but somehow I have never felt at ease playing the piano - it was always a sort of distant instrument. At school I used to sing with the male bass voices in the choir in order to help them keep the note - I have always had a very good ear - very beneficial if you play a threadless instrument. After school I established myself as a jazz vocalist and played with various bands including the late Gerry Bosman and his big band. As a vocalist I also, always depended on the bass section of a band in order to keep the melody. Later I moved to Bloem and was one of the founding members of the B-Flat Jazz Band. The band sometimes did some instrumental tracks and I became bored with doing bits and pieces of percussion in between. I wanted to play a more substantial musical role. Then I got the opportunity to actually rent a double bass and I jumped at it. In no time, I managed to grasp the basic principles and fingering and I was on my way. I feel very comfortable playing the double bass. It becomes an extension of the self - such a huge instrument has to! Also from a stage point of view, it works very well. The chick with the short dress and high heels playing the double bass is something unique and it draws a lot of attention - I wouldn't say that I don't like the attention either. I just love those deep vibrations of the double bass - also the fact that its a threadless instrument opens up more musical opportunities. We have also used the bow with the jazz and it gives, yet again, another sound and dimension.

What can I say Im hooked! Richard Bodkin : Bass players were short to come by in high school. Any man and his dog wanted to be a singer or a lead guitarist. Even drummers were relatively easy to come by. Although, years later, I have found that good drummers are exceedingly rare (as are good singers). The laws of supply and demand persuaded me to pursue bass playing. As soon as word was out that I was playing bass, school bands were asking me to join them, even though my first bass was only acquired months after my saying that I was playing bass. Disillusioned by one shocking school band after another I chose to equip myself with as much skill to become a better bass player. The rest, rock 'n roll history... not quite! Arran McSporran : At 15 my Uncle showed me his bass guitar which he'd bought in the 80's, but hadn't really played since then, which I immediately fell in love with. He showed me a video of Billy Sheehan playing and I was instantly hooked by the instrument, but I'm not sure what it was specifically that initially drew me to it, apart from a deep desire to play the instrument, even though I had no real musical history. Once I really started to explore the instrument, different genres and other bass players, I realised that because the instrument was so young there were still so many things that could be done with it, and there was so much untapped potential there, that maybe there would be room for my voice too. Llewellyn John : My mom always tells everyone this story. When I was in the womb my mom went to watch my dad and his band play the battle of the bands. As the first note of his bass guitar and kick drum started the show I kicked my mom really hard. Throughout the show I was kicking along with the rhythms. Music has never left my passionate soul. I love expressing myself through the bass guitar. Daniel Sher : It all started in a dusty garage, I was jamming on a guitar along with another guitarist/singer and a drummer. After making a terrible amount of noise on our instruments we realised that something was missing, so as a band, we made an outing to a local club in Namibia to see a small band playing. The first person I saw was a tall woman holding a massive guitar with four, thick strings. As her fingers plucked at these strings I heard a wonderful sound, a deep, thunderous vibration which ran through the ground, up my legs and straight into my chest making it vibrate. Suddenly I realised what was missing from my band, shortly afterwards I started learning to play the bass. I bought a cheap bass guitar second hand and every night I would plug into my brothers little P.A system and enjoy the deep tone that would course through my body and which caused my fingers to become calloused and blistered. Today every time I look through the classifieds and see WANTED: bassist to join established band repeated again and again I appreciate the fact that I play the bass guitar!

I have now grown to love this instrument, the way it completes the sound of a band, the way it sounds when my bass is in time with the drummers bass drum, and the way my scales pass over the guitarists chords adding melodious stability and a great beat to the bands sound! William Maxwell : Bass is the ultimate unifier and perhaps the most flexible of all instruments. It blends seamlessly into about every conceivable genre, into just about every conceivable ensemble, and effortlessly blends with just about every conceivable sound. It can be as rhythmic and powerful as drums and as mellow and melodic as the French horn. It functions well in an ensemble and as a solo instrument. It doesn't require the spotlight, but can happily play the role of featured instrument. Its tone is a unique combination of power and beauty. In short, its the ultimate instrument! Shaun Dutton : Just because I love it, I suppose is my best answer, but I think as for most bassists its a passion/love that grows as ones talent grows. And I think for me and for many other bassists (again) playing bass started as a coincidence or mistake. Being a bassist is great its the one position in the band where your involvement is so critical yet not noticed by the average listener, its an instrument that binds the rhythm and melody together so perfectly. Its like and engine in a car, so many people take it for granted, but when its gone youll notice, and only mechanics (musicians) notice and appreciate the difference and quality. Bassically (ha, I said Bass!) its an instrument that holds such power and we the players control it. Exciting! Jake Kot : Well, I wish I had the story of playing since 3 years old, but the truth is I was 21, never played a note, and someone gave me a bass and an amp. I figured what the hell, I'll try it. After a few years of just enjoying being a musician, I had 3 musical experiences that changed my life musically, as well as my appreciation for the bass. First was hearing a duo record by Bill Evans and Eddie Gomez. Gomezs playing on that record was brilliant and I saw the bass in a whole new light. Then I heard the Mahavishnu Orchestra--unbelievable musicianship, all anchored with incredible harmonic integrity by Rick Laird on bass. Then Jaco came out with his debut record and I haven't put the bass down for more than one day since then, which has now evolved into the solo career I now embrace as a bassist. Prakash John : Two main things amongst others: 1. As a teenager I heard the great bass singer J.D.Sumner, of a white southern gospel vocal group called The Stamps Quartet, sing at an evening service at The Peoples Church in Toronto where my parents attended. Although I didn't realize it at the time..... how hip was that? The sound of that true bass voice literally shook me up and I was hooked to that sensation for life. J.D.Sumner sang for Elvis and Johnny

Cash and countless others - JD, Jimmy Jones of The Harmonizing Four (50's black gospel quartet) and Ray Davis of The Parliament/Funkadelick (who I was fortunate enough to tour and record with) are the greatest bass voices of ALL time. Listen to Jimmy Jones sing 'Father Alone', JD with the original Stamps and Ray Davis "Tear The Roof of The Mother Sucker' and tell me I'm wrong. 2. When I arrived in Toronto from India in 1960, I was blessed to have accidentally stumbled onto a black community radio station called WUFO in Buffalo (NY) - one notch removed from this lily white station which we in Toronto were cursed with. In fact, #1 on the Chum Hit Parade was........and wait for it...... " I'm like a rubber ball, I come bouncing back to you....ooh ooh ooooh." ..... and you thought I was being mean when I said "cursed"! Thankfully, WUFO played only the hip, 'original', authentic R& B for their constituents (the AfricanAmerican audience) from sunrise to sunset. That's when I heard the masters - James Jamerson, Duck Dunn, Chuck Rainey, Jerry Jamott, Phil Upchuch, ....and other anonymous icons of electric bass playing.......of course a few years later - Larry Graham from Sly. After hearing all that - I had to follow suit...how could you not! God is good, Stewart McKinsey : Music has been a part of my life since before I can remember and I tried several instruments as a boy, but none of them felt right. It wasn't until I was 14 or so that I really wanted to play. At that point 2 things happened. First, I saw a friend of mine's brother playing bass in a punk band. Second and at about the same time, I realized that the way I learned songs I heard on the radio was through the bass line. I talked my father into renting me a bass and he agreed as long as I took some lessons. I was gigging almost as soon as I picked up the instrument and have only fallen deeper in love with the bass since then. To my way of thinking there is no more expressive instrument and nothing that resonates with me physically, emotionally, and psychically than the electric bass. I realize this more and more each day and have no desire to stray elsewhere musically! Kerry Hiles : Hmmm. It's by default, really, that I started. But something about being the bridge between melody and beat just appealed to me. I'm also a fan of the underdog, and who could be more "underdog" than the bass player? That understated (often unnoticed by the audience) musician has - in my bottom-end opinion - one of the most important parts to play in any piece of music: expressing the groove. The drummer can beat away for days, the soloists can play their fingers to the bone, but few feet tap until the bass glues it all together. Djordje Stijepovic : From the day I started listening to music, I liked "the bottom end". When I was 12 I got hooked on the slapping sound of the first Elvis Presley Sun records and the Stray Cats. From that time I started enjoying and loving different music styles from all around the world. I realized that solid bass plays an elemental role in its construction. That foundation is very important in almost any genre.

Julian Spruce : It all started for me with bands like The Police, some Sabbath here and there, Led Zep, Queen, pretty much, a lot of the legends... I decided I wanted to be a bassist after hearing Steve Harris from Iron Maiden, it was then and there that I decided this was my instrument... I didn't want to be a guitarist, I didn't want to sing... I wanted to be a bassist... Tommie Rademeyer : Playing bass isnt something you do or dont , its who you are Only a bassist can truly tell you how those low frequencies makes him/her smile from the inside out, makes him/her get up 5 oclock in the mornings to practice and keep us willing to play and play and play. Thats why I play bass. Not because it looks cool, not because it sounds great, not because I give substance and colour to the song Im playing, but because its the best thing there is to do, and its who I am. Ashley John Long : The bass for me is just a way of telling stories through sound. The instrument has so many sonorities and inflections available to it that makes it so versatile that it can be used in most contexts. Im just really attracted to the overall sound more than anything! Evan Marien : Be creative. That is what I strive to do every time I pick up the bass. Bass has the ability to do what most instruments can't or have a hard time doing, it can carry both the melody and the bass notes at the same time. I can't think of an instrument that I love more than the bass. Whenever I pick up my fender jazz, it just feels right ya know, like it belongs with my hands. With all the slapping, tapping and thumb technique stuff around today, the bass can be a complete solo instrument for me. Plus it is a nice feeling when you get up in front of a crowd of people and you can hear them muttering "He's doing that on BASS??" Colin Deacon : - Cos I love it when my Nuts rattle on stage Alistair Andrews : I started out at on violin at the age of five. Violin then was regarded as a girly instrument so I soon took up guitar. I grew up in a jazz family and playing walking bass-lines on guitar was not uncommon. During my first year at university, two guitarist friends and myself started a band, one of us had to play bass. I made the switch and never looked backed. Ilze Fourie : I guess I started playing bass in 2001 by just being at the right place at the right time... Derron Ferreira : I could just go on about how magnificent the bass is, for pages and pages, however due the fact that a lot of great players in this article have already covered a great deal of it in fine words I shall try to keep this succinct. As a child I was listening to the Jimi Hendrix Experience and suddenly a lightning bolt of understanding struck me- I was hearing Jimi play an awesome solo but then suddenly I heard what the bass was doing underneath him and how the totally different counterpoint of the bass made what he was playing sound a lot hipper. This was when I started hearing music differently: I started hearing the various parts. My ears never tire of the sound of the bass; those frequencies are just pleasing to my ears and body. If I listen to fast, shrill violins or incessant high piano tinkling or screeching shred guitar I soon tire and start becoming annoyed (I respect and enjoy those instruments and styles in moderation). Not the bass, I can listen to sub-sonic rumbles all day long! The bass has a unique quality to me- if it is played in a solid, deep, looping groove it has the ability to become extremely hypnotic and trance inducing. Just watch what a killer bass line does to people the eyes close, the heads start bobbing and the bodies start moving. If drums are the rhythm of the waves on the ocean and all other instruments are plankton, debris, floating plants etc. on the surface of the water then the bass is a colossal sea monster lurking just below the surface moving smoothly with grace and power. Thats why I play the damn bass!

Llewellyn Alberts : When I lay me down to groove (fire in the blood) I die for the song dance. I am the cause of the hole, dig, dig, dig. Irresistible drive into the core, dig, dig, dig. Dying to live, love; This bass is my death and you can dance on my grave. Dig? Shaun Scott : I play bass because my schoolmates were starting a band and needed a bass player. 4 strings sounded easier than 6 so I decided to give it a go. (I'm sure I'm not the only one who started like this). In retrospect, my dad played drums and helped me build a solid rhythm foundation - bass also fits to my personality better. I gave up playing for around 20 years and started again when the same guys approached me to restart the band. It wasn't too difficult starting again because I found that I'd been listening to the bass lines in my music and I could remember the theory. It took some time for the fingers to loosen up and gain strength. Things have changed dramatically in 20 years and a whole new bass world has opened up to me. Not only is there a massive amount of info and services on the Internet, but also training techniques and disciplines have changed. I no longer cram practice before band practice and find myself working on a daily basis on techniques I pick up from web training courses, videos, DVD and clinics. My love for bass is growing. Its not the easy 4-string, just follow the chords, instrument I used to know. Its my enjoyment, my escape, and my challenge. Chris Tarry : I started playing bass in about 1987 while I was in high school. I had been playing saxophone in the stage band and wanted to start playing some of the rock music I was listening to at the time. I bought a guitar and joined a band with a bunch of friends called Molotov Cocktail. When I showed up to the first rehearsal, there were about 10 guitar players all with shiny, brand new guitars and no bass player so I decided if I was going to make this band and meet girls by being in that band, I better trade the guitar in for a bass. I took up the bass chair and was hooked right away; I never did meet any of the girls. Grant Stinnett : I started playing the bass when I was about 14 years old. My father (Jim Stinnett) had been teaching music lessons in the house for as long as I could remember but for some reason I never got into music. I had owned two CDs in all of my life. A few years before I started playing, my father began putting on these things called Bass Workouts. At the Bass Workout anywhere from five to fifteen people would show up at my house and hang out and learn how to play bass from my dad for a three-day weekend. They turned out to be like small bass boot camps. These would happen every few months and I was always on the sidelines. I brought the coffee and brownies. Everybody at the Bass Workouts always seemed to be having so much fun that I felt left out. One day my dad said, Why dont you learn how to play so you can join in? So I did. My first bass workout was incredibly fun. I couldnt do everything because I had only been playing for a few months at that time but that didnt matter. It was such a fun experience that when it was over I couldnt wait for the next one in a few months. My father in his infinite wisdom said why dont you learn some of those things we worked on over the weekend so you can sound better next time? Ever since then the Bass Workout has been one of the only reasons I keep playing bass. This next Workout will be my twenty-third and I am still trying to learn new things for it. Nick Cook : Its hard to put into suitable words why I feel drawn to the bass guitar above any other instrument. In some ways its like that old mountaineering clich - "because its there". I climb it because

its there, because its a means to reach the summit. Stumbling, falling, and losing my breath sometimes.... and yet I climb Sometimes I look around and see other mountains and hills that look easier to climb and wonder perhaps they have a better view. But even though there are others there are none like this... I take a moment to catch my breath, look at the beautiful scenery, look back up to the summit -determined. Aware that I am not alone, with the help of my fellow mountaineers, begin to climb again. Jamie Canivet : I wasn't always a bass player. I started off playing piano because the Beatles didn't have a piano player and in my 8 year-old mind that was the way to get their attention. The fact that they were in England and I was in Canada made no difference, I was 8. I also wanted to be a singer and as everyone was playing guitar or was a lead singer, I thought keyboard might be a good alternative. Then came rhythm guitar as well as keys. Sometime north of my 40th birthday there came what I must call divine intervention. The worship team at my new church need a substitute bass player. I told her that I wasn't a bass player but Janice said "that's okay. My brother, the drummer, has a bass you can use." I said "Okay but I'm not a bass player About a week later a drummer friend of mine called and asked if I might come over and jam some keyboard bass with this guy who was putting together an ELP tribute. Well my answer was no, I'm not a bass player, especially not with the keyboard. Kevin, my friend wouldn't take no for an answer so I borrowed the bass that the church worship team had and the rest is now history. After one jam with Steve and Kevin I became the new bass player, singer and acoustic guitarist for Seven Virgins and a Mule, Canada's only ELP tribute act. Three years later we are starting to gig and Im having a blast playing some very technical bass!! Check us out at www.sevenvirgins.com. I'm also heard world-wide on the internet and on short wave every Sunday playing bass for Good Friends Fellowship church out of Orangeville Ontario Canada. Carlos del Pino : My first inspiration came from my father Rafael del Pino who was also an excellent bass player. He showed me the first steps and with him I learned the discipline and the passion for the instrument. I have been playing bass for almost 35 years and still I am studying and finding new techniques. My dream is to be known all over the world to show my new sound and my new way of playing pizzicato and to contribute to the development of the Double Bass. I want everybody to enjoy my music. Corn Dannhauser : I guess the bottom line is divine intervention. I was on my own plug, studying B.Sc when I saw an advertisement for a bass player. For no apparent reason I answered the call, got a bass and amp and started playing. It was love at first sight!! My first performance with the band was at Hoskool Garsfontein. I was still looking at my hands the whole time, but at some stage I looked up and saw all the kids on their chairs partying away. That was it. Ive been hooked on playing ever since and started studying music the next year. Its not just cool. Somewhere deep in my soul I really believe this is part of what I should be doing. I also get to hang out with amazing people and it even pay my bills. What more do you need? Keri Moore : I cant even remember what possessed me to wanna start bass, Ive

just always been obsessed with that awesome sound that grabs you from the inside. Im still learning all about my bass and the more I learn, the more I love it! Siyabonga Ngubane : When I wanted to learn an instrument I was seriously considering the lead guitar, until Ron Kenoly & Don Moen (with Abe Laboriel on bass) came to Durban. I was blown away, from that moment; I decided I was going to play bass. Then another challenge was to find a teacher. I met Concord (at varsity). I begged him to take me on as a bass student; eventually I ended up with a friend (who's been trying to shake me off lately, with no success). Over time, during my playing, listening and observing, I've realised that my imagination is more rhythmic than melodic, so being on the bass gives me that sense of security. Another nice thing about the bass is to be at the back of a song and still drive it, only being noticed when you choose to, commanding the feel and the direction of the song, that's awesome. What I enjoy lately is playing songs only on bass, that takes my imagination to another level. William Japhta : I play bass for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons is that I am fairly good at it. Playing bass gives you the opportunity to create something. Although you are using keys that already exist you can combine them in very unique ways. In a lot of musical pieces the bass forms a foundation where upon the other instruments can build and maneuver around. When I play guitar sometimes, I realise how important a bass is. With the bass, the standard of the music being played is raised immediately. Music and bass playing is an art and there always seems to be something that you havent played or discovered yet. You develop your musical talent in general when you play in a band. Playing the bass does exactly that. Ive met a lot of people just because Im a bass player. You are also in the limelight a lot. Youngsters and sometimes-even grown-ups look up to you. Playing bass can be a fulltime commitment and it can pay your salary. This is an option that a player has. Bass skills are in demand and it travels well. James Sunney : Well I started playing guitar in high school nothing serious (a camp fire guitarist - for want of a better description). One day, I walked into my local music store to replace my 6 month old guitar strings and there she was. If I remember correctly, it was a Tobias - the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. So I started playing bass with the dream of one day owning her. A couple of months down the line I happened to hear a self-titled album by a character called Jaco Pastorius. That was that!! I was hooked, have been ever since and will be forever! Gotta love the crunch!

P.S. I still dont own the Tobias!!! Tony Scelba : Why do I play double bass? That is a very big question whose answer could run on indefinitely. I would rather state it, Why am I a double bassist? because being a bassist is the central identifying attribute of my life. It affects my family, my career, my very identity. My father is a pianist with whom I used to perform. I married a violinist whose sister was a pianist and with whom we formed the Yardarm Trio. My profession has always been that of a double bassist whether I had orchestra or college faculty positions. Ultimately, the best answer to why I play the double bass is because I can. Although music has always been my passion and Ive always considered myself a musician (I began composing, arranging, and improvising at the keyboard very young), I didnt take up an instrument seriously until I was in my mid teens. The double bass is an instrument that will accommodate late acquaintance and still permit a career in the classical field. Once I became a conservatory student and recognized the versatility of the instrument and the possibility of my making a significant contribution to its repertoire, I was hooked. As I look back on my life, the opportunities given me for being a double bassist were magnificent. I have been able to make a good living at a most interesting and demanding profession that has brought me around the world and has allowed me to interact regularly with great artists performing musical masterpieces. Why wouldnt I play the double bass? It is a privilege to do so. Paul DeLano : It is the first instrument I was able to pick out in a song and still the first instrument I hear when I listen to a song. Vaughan Ross : A fascination borne of Ignorance is how I got my start in the art of bass: I considered myself an avid and concerted vocalist/lyricist for many years though never made it to Pro; then later realising (at 33yrs) that this small factor in itself, did not constitute a musician or even embody the broader celestial spectrum of musicianship. Though Id tried and attempted to seek the deeper meaning of classical guitar with various patient tutors, I didnt grasp the sense of it all. Maybe it was too dainty an instrument; or my insufferable musical intellect? I needed to experience something that suited my temperament: Something that could be tapped, plucked, hammered & even stroked. I chose to seek the sense in senselessness, as my biggest quest was to resolve this burning question: What is the true purpose of this instrument? Some of you may spit or even hurl abuse at what Im tentative to share here, but of all the musicians of any of the bands Ive played with; this was the least desirable instrument to me! Yet my intrigue has grown along with my willingness to learn and practice a new art form and warm a new passion, and grow in my extended love for music within the realms of the bass. In understanding; I have found appreciation. I am discovering new keys to the secret understanding of songs or instrumentals.

My mentors, are 2 fascinating yet vastly different players, and have sown many deep hours of intrigue and insight into the amazing wonder of this instruments world. Ive also found Wooten astounding; rediscovered the funkiness of Flea; the genius of Carbonne and the awe of Pastorius music. The bass: Sometimes illusive; sometimes sullen; sometimes brazen; and many a time less than none: being that low steamy-tone that drives the locomotive out of the station and gets it flying and merging with the surrounding sounds.. To its destination.. The inner seat of the soul. Sometimes humble and sometimes upfrontly arrogant (especially when in the hands of an xlnt vocalist)! Though subliminal, the tone that drives and brings each song to life is that which I am now am able to dissect in my comprehension for certain types of music, in each song that has made its presence known both past and present: Ive divulged many a pleasurable hour in bands such as The Cure; Zeppelin; Boo; Morphine. Though these are artist that grabbed my musical intellect, it was rather the older classics played with the bluesy moan of the contra-bass that I remember best. Yes, somewhere in the recesses of my mind; a deeper understanding had already been birthed for, the blessing of the bassist! Christo Groenewald : Many other bass-players have said it before: the reason is that it is immensely gratifying. From playing basic rhythms to intricate pieces, to the "voice" of a well built bass guitar or double bass, to fully understanding the sound of the music and to support other instruments. Bass playing is more than just churning out low frequencies; it's also an integral part of providing the harmony of communicating via music. Just like some individuals will drive conversations by talking non-stop and others only add interesting trivia that stimulates conversation; others create the harmony and sets the mood of a conversation. It is here that I feel I can add valuable input and is where I feel comfortable. Bass playing provides me the opportunity to set moods, drive dynamics and say what I feel. It's my voice. Ronald John Pillay : Well Ive tried many other instruments and they all have their own unique sounds and playability, BUT the bass is the ultimate in musical greatness as it brings all of these instruments togetherAll you have to do is modify your technique a bit and hit the strings and frets differently -Piano/Keyboard: apping/Harmonics -Percussion/Drums: Slap-Pop -Lead and Rhythm Guitar: Fingering, picking and strumming chords And there you have itliving proof the bass is the most awesome instrument in the world PS: CHICKS LOVE US BASS PLAYERS Bernard Myburgh : It always looked cool when someone was playing guitar, so I started playing too. I first started playing guitar for one year, and then in May 2002, I started playing bass and I'm still going. Jerome Robinson : Why do I play bass? Well.., I can kinda feel the essence of the song in the bass, the bass being the foundation along with the drums. I also enjoy the role of supporting the various guitar players Ive come across. Each one has a different approach to their music, which enables me to see each song differently, even when its the same piece of music!

Andrew Warneke : growing up in a very musical family, I was always nervous that if I tried music, I may be the black sheep who was tone-deaf or something. As I grew, I began to appreciate the ability of music to influence the way people felt in a given situation, both for good and bad, and listening to music began to become an important emotional outlet for me. At the age of 14 I found a REALLY old bass in a cupboard (had belonged to my grandfather), and decided to learn to play. I got a lesson on the basics, and taught myself from there. Since then, music has become an all-encompassing part of my life. It is the way in which I am most free to express myself both spiritually and emotionally. I believe that I connect with the function of the bass in its role of groove creation, as the foundation for others to play on top of. It does not stop here though. I desire to play my bass with freedom in all areas of music. I want to play rhythms like a drummer, chords like a pianist, and melodies like a saxophone (as well as grooves like a bass player). The bass enables me to do all these things. I do not play the bass though, I play music. The bass is merely the means for this music to come out. I desire to play music because I have a passion for it, which I believe comes from God. I believe that He chose the bass for me, and I doubt that my music would be the same were I not using the bass, as the tool used to produce art does add its own individual flavour, and lead the artist in his work. John Archer : I was a teenager in the 80's. Big hair. Shoulder-pads. Baggy breakdance-trousers. What a tool! We looked ridiculous, but the music was great! (Well I'm biased, so bite me!) Initially it was wall to wall synthesizers which I couldn't relate to very well, but I was caught by the whiplash in the tail-end of punk and it's various offshoots and permutations: Joe Jackson, The Clash, The Police (early albums) and they were the bomb! They played real instruments (ah, the arrogance of youth!) and I just knew I was destined to play music - you always think you're gonna be a rock-star when youre young. My buddy at school, Matt, he played guitar and convinced me to buy a bass so that we could 'rock and be cool. My first bass stared back at me from a shopwindow in the seriously un-hip town of George one afternoon; it was a cheapo baby blue Westone which I played through an orange and black Specialist Audio bass-amp. I bought the amp from the troglodyte who owned the local music shop (Strangely enough, he and his shop are still there, unchanged, twenty-five years later - shows you that being involved in music is beneficial to your health! Either that or he has a pact with The Dark Dude downstairs!)

That damn Westone sliced my fingers to ribbons until I grew calluses hard enough to withstand carelessly finished frets and cheap round-wound strings, but I persevered. We ruined cassettes by the dozen with constant re-winding, pulling the basslines and guitar solos from the 'band of the moment'. And we did learn to rock. (I don't think we've ever been 'cool' though.) We started a full-on rock band - a goofy keyboard player, guitar, bass and Sukiyaki - the Japanese drum machine. We started getting gigs. We got drunk. We got stoned. Sometimes we even got laid. Ten years passed and we were still doing it, despite minor inconveniences like National Service. We played clubs, restaurants, bars; hell we even played for beer and pizza a few times. Sometimes we'd get paid and sometimes our bar-tabs were higher than our earnings, but we were paying our dues. We found an experienced drummer and canned the drum-machine. We moved to Jo'burg with big dreams. We played in dives, we starved, our equipment broke and our car was stolen. We borrowed another and kept grinding away. We were good, experienced, rock and roll kids but nobody cared. We turned into vampires looking for that edge, taking speed to stay awake all night at the gig and drinking so that we could sleep all day. The band was tight. We shared E.S.P., telepathy; I knew exactly what the drummer was going to do before he knew himself. I made minor adjustments, I knew hed slow down if he partook of the green stuff and I knew he'd speed up if one of his cocaine buddies were around. Matt played guitar like Jimmy Page. We rocked places. Nobody gave a damn. Fifteen years after I bought that dodgy Westone, I walked out, all hopes and dreams shattered by my experiences. Burnt out. Strung out. Out. I had no money, no trade and my wife was pregnant, Time to get a life. I gave it all up for ten years. Went to work, got paid, raised my daughter and hummed nostalgically to all those songs we played on my way to work. But something was very missing in my life. I would wake in the night, in a cold sweat, from a dream where I was back on stage and I swear I could see the imprint of those round-wounds on my now uncalloused fingertips. I bought a bass-rig again. My wife freaked. I calmed her down a week later and explained that it was something I physically needed - it wasn't the booze or the speed or the hangers-on; it was the music. She understands now and smiles sweetly when I trundle my bass-amp out onto the deck for a practicesession. My daughter twangs one of my bass-strings every now and again, smiling indulgently at her crazy old dad - then she plugs her I-Pod into her brain and zones out to the music. Just like her old man used to do all those years ago. I see Matt the guitarist from time to time, he teaches a few kids guitar in the evenings and has a day-job He drinks too much, has a seriously receding hairline and a string of ex-wives and kids. (But maybe that's just a lead-guitarist trait?) Our ex-drummer drives call girls to their clients around Homburg. I play to soothe something inside me now, and I feel whole again. You want to know why I play the Bass? The soundtrack of my life was played on that instrument, the good and the bad and the downright desperate. What more can I say? I wouldn't change a thing. Maxim Starcke : This is just a small window of my musical journey and one of the various instruments I perform on. I am originally a saxophonist but played classical guitar as a second instrument in high school. I was into metal at the time so I joined a thrash metal group and ended up being handed the bass (the other two guys were already hot electric lead guitarists so I thought "Why not...?"). It slowly 'grew on me' and I discovered that I had a natural affinity to groove like a motha%#*$er really well and with that machine-like accuracy that was so important in the death metal genre. I then soon took the lead vocal position as well in the band called Damnatia, those were the days... Around the same time

my father introduced me to the music of Eberhard Weber, Miroslav Vitous and of course Jaco Pastorius with his ECM LP collection (amongst others) and that made me think: "...thats really beautiful, one doesn't have to just play the foundation and groove on bass, it works well as a melodic instrument too - if played in the right way or even both at the same time!". After high school I entered the South African College of Music and studied Classical Guitar. So I was now delving into subtlety, control, almost silence, space, resonance and delicate sounds as opposed to speed-picking and sub-frequency mayhem. Finally I started fusing the detail and control I learnt from the Classical and South American guitar repertoire onto the electric bass and incorporating this where I could in various projects, some still in progress. The tone of the bass reminds me of certain images and feelings...so difficult to put into words...a natural substance or landscape represented in sound, like wood or stone. I love the trance-like groove aspect and the bass's deep resonance as well as the untapped possibilities of its tone (recently explored by Carlo Mombelli) especially when accompanying in a duo or trio. An instrument of high range and the depth of the bass together creates space in between to breathe and imagine. I also love the feeling of the strings under my fingers and the thickness of the neck. I feel solid, supported and content with a bass and holding a great band together with the deep groove of the bass is exhilarating, I am transported. www.myspace.com/maxstarcke Jeremy Howard : I started playing bass at the beginning of 2000 moving across from guitar, when the band I was playing with at the time needed a bassist and there were just none available. I was always told by all the bands that I previously played with that I would make a better bassist than guitarist simply because of my technique and style of playing. Trish Bailey : Musings on Why I play Bass; I play Bass because It's easy to play and yet impossible to master It flows from my soul Its like a direct connection to the Universal muso mind In the traditional role of a Bass, its like a Mother, and the Band is akin to the family ...thus, in the way a mother holds the family together, does the bass bind the band. As she plays the supportive role to husband and children, so supports the bass the other instruments. As she puts the needs of her family first, so the bassist allows the soloists their heads without having the need to do the same. No family is complete without the Mother, nor a band without a bass. Of course that was in the good ole days. Seems these days, few marriages stay together, resulting in those delinquent bassists who wanna be the front men show-offstake up lead guitar, dudes! ;-) Ariel Garcia: I come from a musicians family. My dad had a band and when I was a kid, during practices, I was able to tell when someone made a mistake. I would tell my mom, the piano player made a mistake she wouldnt believe me and right after that, they would stop the music and there I was right. Later on, my uncle was putting together a teenagers band with my cousins and me, but he wanted me to be the singer of the band, but I didnt want to sing. I wanted to play the bass, but his son was going to be the bass player so I had no chance but I insisted, insisted and insisted finally his son wasnt able to learn bass and he gave me the chance to learn. Right after, he taught me a bass line and I learned it really fast - until this day I still remember the bass line. From that day on, I fell in love with the bass..

I discovered that with the bass, you didnt have to play only bass lines, I discovered that you could play chords, harmonics, melodies, that I was able to create a complete song with one instrument, I discovered a new world of music that motivated me to become a bass player until this day Lorne Peakman : I couldn't get a grand piano on the bus ha ha ha. In reality, I didn't care for the widdley diddley "I wanna be Satriani" guitarists, plus I had a habit of breaking the strings with my heavy handedness. Drums - I do not have the right amount of Epilepsy for and I can't sing to save my life Steve Harris was also a big influence I became a Bassist as my fingers seem too fat to play those silly little cheese wire strings that guitars use, I also hated the tinny sound that emitted from guitars, but loved the deep booming sound a bass provides. It's also very hard to play Slap on a guitar ha ha ha Ponkey Reilly : While I was in the army in 1963, I learned how to play guitar. On coming back to Bloemfontein, after my 9 Months army stint, a band approached me to play bass for them and I refused because I was a rhythm guitarist. After many weeks of nagging, I finally decided to try it. It was the BEST change I have made in my life. That day, I used a homemade bass guitar, which I had borrowed from a pal, and the strings were about 2cm from the neck. That first note which came out of that Guitar gave me gooseflesh and I was hooked. We were rehearsing at the tearoom of the newspaper, The Friend where I worked, and this 2-hour practice turned out to be a marathon 8 hrs. I ended up wrapping masking tape around my fingers, which were almost bleeding from the punishment they had received that day, but I couldnt stop. I ended up using that homemade for about 4 Yrs, after buying it for R7.50c (You should have seen my fingers) Why do I play Bass? I play, because of the feeling I get when the low, beautiful, big, warm bass notes vibrate through your body. I play, because of the independence I experience while other musicians have to stick to a script. I play, to have the ability to change the mood, and power of the music, just by what I play. I play, to enjoy that other world I enter, when playing in a really hot Jazz trio, or Rock Band, and blow your mind on the music and nothing else. I could carry on forever, but Martin will throw a thrommy, and ban me from this honorable association. You guys out there, who are thinking of maybe taking up bass, go out, and get into the amazing, beautiful world of bass playing. You wont regret it! Ive been there for 46 years.

Dave DeMarco : I started off as a drummer and keyboardist and later discovered that playing bass allowed me to combine what I loved most about both instruments - the ability to drive the rhythm but also use melodies to influence the harmony. My keyboard sensibilities stayed with me though and early on I was drawn to basses like Alembics and Gibson Thunderbirds, which were capable of lots of different textures. Like most who play multi-string basses, I got my initial exposure from Tom Petersson and later, Doug Pinnick. My 15-string bass, effects and bi-amped rig allow me to create multi-timbral sounds like a keyboardist would without sacrificing the low end. To paraphrase Zappa - having the ability to inflict my will upon those poor, unsuspecting note clusters - that's what keeps me playing. There's much more beautiful damage yet to be done! Dave Meros : I started out on piano when I was 9. Switched to various brass instruments when I hit 7th or 8th grade and that was the cool thing to do, gradually working my way down in pitch. Started with trumpet, moved to French Horn, then trombone, and finally bass trombone and tuba. Played bass trombone throughout my college years. When I was 20 years old a friend asked me to be in his new band. I thought I would be playing a horn, but he said no, it was a rock band. I figured then that it would be keyboards. He said no, they had a keyboard player, and that I would be playing bass! I had taken exactly two guitar lessons in high school, so I was familiar with how the strings were laid out and how the whole thing worked, but that was it. I hated guitar. .. I completely admire a good guitar player but it feels completely foreign and uncomfortable in my hands and still only know those three chords that I learned in high school. Anyway, I told him that would be fantastic, but I didnt know how to play bass. He told me I play all these other instruments so of course I could play bass. I then told him that I didnt have a bass. He said the guitar player had a really nice 62 Fender Jazz Bass that I could use. I told him I didnt have an amp. He said the guitar player also had a bass amp that I could use. I then was out of excuses and became a bass player. To this day I still havent decided if I should thank him or curse him for that. The funny thing is that I have always been a bass player. It just took 20 years and 5 or 6 other instruments to figure that out. As soon as I picked it up I automatically somehow knew how to play it and I had every bass part already imprinted in my brain because that was what I always focused on when I listened to music, even as a kid. This sounds like bullshit, but its absolutely true. The time it took from that first bass encounter to my first gig as a bass player was less than three weeks. Magnus Rosn : My interest in bass playing was born towards the end of the 1970-decade. When everyone in my school class started to play recorder (flute), my biggest wish was to play a recorder bass. The next instrument that caught my attention was the Bass Tuba. An electric guitar was available, but it never did get a hold of me. So came the day when I opened a case with a brand new Electric Bass Guitar in it and I can still remember today, the smell of plastic, gum and wood. This was the magic box that would fill my life with world tours, golden records, Euro awards, Grammy nominations, charity tours, 6 solo albums with great reviews and albums recorded in heavy metal, rock, funk and pop - about 25 albums.

I still play bass after 34 years of playing. Its my life and my love for the instrument is still there every day. I feel more and more connected with the instrument. For my Spirit and soul, the bass playing is something that gets me connected with my feelings of life. My bass playing opens doors - there I can also help poor and vulnerable humans. Ive done many charity solo bass concerts around the world. So bass playing is my toll in life and my pleasure. Vic Bergh : As with many bass players I started off as a guitarist and changed to bass due to the band not being able to find a bassist. Once I understood the function of the bass, in relation to the rhythm section, it became a journey of fun. Bass players are generally humble people and dont express ego when it comes to sharing info on techniques and playing styles. I think it will take a few more years before the other string players understand what its all about. I think the only way to explain how much I enjoy my bass is with the answer I gave my wife. She said I had to choose, her or the bass, to which I replied, babe, Im gonna miss you and take good care of the kids. My wounds are healing well and the doctor said I should be able to use my right hand soon. Find the groove and you will find your bass. Jiggs Downing : Went to the Entertainment Unit in the army as a classical guitarist and was ordered to play bass guitar by the Major for a Nurses Dance, and as they say, the rest is. hysterical! I mean really, rather the bass clef than the trouble clef! The bass IS the soul! Peter Murray : One reason I play bass is that I relate to the role of the instrumentthe way its extremely powerful and yet understated at the same time. Thats a mysterious and seemingly paradoxical role, but I think that bass players tend to revel in it whenever theyre truly musically engaged and interacting with a band. Bass players like having this huge impact on the music, and knowing how indispensable they are, but they derive their sense of self-worth from the knowledge of this fact, as opposed to attention and adulation (although attention and adulation are always welcome perks!). I also love playing bass for physical reasons. I love the vibrations through the floor (and sometimes sit on my amp to enhance this pleasure), and the way the bass feels when it coincides with the bass drum... And I love the fact that it can sound good with the bass drum in so many different and subtle ways ahead, behind, totally locked in Loving those little yet huge things allows you to enjoy any music, no matter how simple. In fact, when youre playing simple music, it becomes more about the little things, which are in fact the hugest things. Simon Cox : I play bass 'cos it fits. On a superficial level that is the answer. The more in depth answer would take more years than I have left, to explain fully ... but I suspect another bass player will instinctively know what I'd say. Stuart Watkins : I really enjoy being in the centre of it all, while not necessarily being the centre of attention. The bass is such a satisfying thing when things are cookin', kick-drum is buried, and you're moving a room full of sweaty people. There's voodoo there. There is also an introspective quality to the

instrument too. That is, we as bassists are constantly mindful of playing the most careful things, constantly simplifying, crafting to make those beside us sound better. It's a good analogy to life! Jauqo III-X. : For me, bass embodies all that is enormously beautiful and sacred about sharing. Bass is definitely a being in and of itself. It has a way of commanding control without being obtrusive and if it is, it shouldn't matter at all because it only gives what it is allowed. For me, bass just has a way of asking, how can it be of help to you and those who care to listen and feel? Bass massages the heart with a pulse that is the life line unto the threshold of the groove. It looks to marry the groove and take the listener onto heights beyond the highest of highs. I first picked up bass because it spoke to me but at the time I had no clue what this entity was called but I liked what it was saying and each time I listened, I always walked away with something. Marc Levine : I saw Paul McCartney on TV when The Beatles hit America for the first time. The bottom end seemed to call my name, and I immediately began to play along to their records on my acoustic guitar. When I bought my first bass, a Hagstrom, and plugged it into my first amp, a Fender Solid State Bassman, I could feel the power of the low notes. All right, I am driving the bus! And now, all these years later, there is still no feeling like the one of getting into a deep groove, locking in with a cool drummer, and feeling the repetitive zen of the bassline. Nothing else seems to matter except that pocket. I hope to die with a bass in my hands. Lucas Senyatso : I started off stealing my mothers strings that she used for curtains when I was still very young. Well, you see, my mom couldn't afford to buy me a guitar, so I had to improvise by making my own. So, when I put the finishing touch to my tin guitar by putting on the strings, the result was a bass sound which I fell in love with immediately. Bass guitar is one beautiful instrument that lays the carpet for the entire rhythm section. The fact that you can strum just one bottom note underneath a particular chord, and automatically give everyone direction as to where they are, that, to me, is the equivalent of the king of the jungle, a LION. What would this world be like without bassists? Groundless... Dan Hawkins : I play bass because my mum signed me up for lessons when I was 11 - against my will! I earn a living from it now and it has given me much pleasure and a fantastic lifestyle. Thanks mum. Dereck Walstra : Why do I play bass? Simple- Ive played rhythm and lead guitar for many years and found there was always some thing missing in my musical career but could never place what it was until one, not so fine day I was attacked by criminals which lead me to being 60 % paralysed. I could no longer play the rhythm guitar my fingers were no longer able to move, I forced myself to continue playing the guitar. Slowly my fingers started coming right but still with difficulty. I was auditioning a bass player, who didnt seem to know much about basses. He asked whether I could tune his bass guitar. From the time I had his bass guitar in my paws and played a few notes I fell in love with the bass, of course not his bass because it was not far from being a bow just short of an arrow to lead him on his way, and it was then that I decided to trade in the guitar and amp for a bass guitar, of course very unwise I had a

choice between a Cort action and a 70s Fender Jazz bass, like the raw idiot I was at the time about bass guitars. I chose the Cort.I eventually discovered that the missing link in my musical career was that I got more enjoyment and played bass better than the old rhythm guitar. What a price a price to pay to discover the missing link in my music career. I have been playing bass now for 12 years.. Trevor Smith : I suppose my earliest recollection of playing a four stringed instrument was beginning ukelele in primary school as part of music education. The melodic lines always stuck out for me above the one-fingered chords and I always wanted to be in the group that played those. From there I moved to the trumpet cause I thought everyone else was doing the sax. I continued with that all the way through to university whereupon wanting to play with a friend of mine who was writing songs I decided to grab an acoustic bass I had seen. (The four strings were back!) I quickly proceeded to learn lines of favourite songs and have never looked back. What an experience to lock down a groove, the thrill of pulsating eighths or the warm floating cushion of a sustained note. Taylor : Double Bass was an arranged marriage for me at the time it was on the endangered instruments list, which meant that the schools were willing to get as many kids as possible playing bass, Tuba, Bassoon etc. I had been playing the violin. Ive grown to love the instrument, but to be honest I didnt give her the respect that she deserves for a long time. Yes, my basses are all female. Theyre named Sandy, Flossy and Macy. I love them all because for years they sat patiently in corners of my room, waiting for the day that I might be able to understand the nature of their beauty. Its not what you love, its who loves you. Mike Campbell : I began playing bass because I thought being in a band would be a good way to meet girls. However, many years subsequent experience proved that while you were busy playing, other guys met the girls and took them home before the gig was over. Also, I loved listening to Jim Fielder who was with Blood Sweat & Tears in the early 70s, and tried to copy what he was doing also the jazz guys like Ray Brown and Ron Carter. Paul Vosloo : When listening to music, I always end up focusing on the bass line of the song. I guess its because the bass is connecting with me. I love to create that same feeling when playing Bass and having control of the song. Its as if the bass is the backbone to all other sounds. Corrado Canonici : 9 years old, already mad about music. 10 years old, I discover prog-rock: Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Genesis, etc etc. I bother my parents to death for an acoustic guitar, my first ever instrument. I bother them again one year later for a bass guitar; including a staggering 30W amplifier, considered in 1972 a pretty loud one I start playing in bands, and double as the lead singer (I know you cannot believe it!). 16 years old: classical music and jazz sink in, I opt for a life in music and enter the Rossini Conservatoire in Pesaro, Italy. I study composition, and then I notice that a pretty famous Italian jazz bassist of that time starts teaching in my

College: Bruno Tommaso (later recording for ECM as the band leader and founder of the Italian Instabile Orchestra). I go to his class, touch the double-bass, and cannot go back anymore. I am hooked. I was born and educated in Italy, and its there where everything started. I then moved to London UK a long time ago, and now London is my city (happily). Lenny Padayachee : I started playing bass when I was 14 years of age, purely because the church I was attending, needed one. A friend who was a guitarist, offered to show me the basics over a weekend; I started with just playing that and was happy doing it until I saw Abraham Laboriel live at Rhema sometime in the 90s! He changed my perspective on bass playing, dont even mention Mark King from Level 42, with the LEDs on the neck of his bass! Since then, my passion for playing bass has never died. Edwin Paanakker : At age 16, I started playing guitar, while a friend of mine started playing bass. We learned and played together. In that time I listened more and more to various bass players and wanted a bass myself. I bought an Ibanez Rickenbacker 4001 copy. It played well, but it didn't sound well. After a while my friend quit playing the bass and sold his bass to me. It was a precision copy of a brand I forgot. But it was a good bass! It had an ash body. I put in a jazz bass pickup and made the bass fretless. Due to Jaco Pastorius and Mick Karn I loved fretless bass most. Those basses I don't have anymore, but fretless is THE ONE for me! I still play guitar and other stringed instruments (... Hey,,, I even make them! :-)), but I love fretless most. Since then I have had tapping basses (10 string), fretted basses, fretless basses, doublenecks etc... I played in many bands and even did a tour through the US and played the SxSW festival in Austin Texas (1993 edition). Nowadays I make instruments with Frans Haarmeijer. Our brand name is Convolution Instruments. Jim Stinnett : I started on guitar, and like many of us, I moved to the bass because someone had to hold down the bottom. As I became a better player, I liked the strength and power of my role as the bassist in a band. Playing the bass just felt right. When I went off to college and heard real jazz, I fell in love with the double bass violin and spent 25 years with the dog-house. Today, I play the bass because it is so much fun working with my students. I now spend far more time teaching than playing professionally. The role of the bass has broadened so that all things are possible and we continually explore new sounds. Lastly, and not the least, I play bass because bass players are easy-going folks. I love how we can get along. I am fortunate to be a part of a large bass community that loves the bass. Charles Adams : Why do I play the bass as opposed to another instrument? Well, if left to my own devices I would probably have been blissfully playing classical guitar right now, but that, it seems, was not my destiny. My brother and I became interested in playing the guitar at about the same time shortly after, out of curiosity, listening to some of my dads old Jimi Hendrix records. He took more to the idea of

making music than I and before long was writing brilliant songs which he then wished to share with other people and for that, of course, he needed a band. The long and short of it is that I was basically coerced into buying a bass guitar and playing in his band (Ive been keeping my nails short ever since). Why do I play the bass? While I dont consider myself a musician and will probably not contribute anything meaningful to the world of music, I cannot help but want to celebrate all the aural beauty and pleasure experienced throughout my life. From the first time hearing Jimi to Jaco, Pat, Ornette and countless others; when I pluck the strings of my Ibanez I imagine that Im experiencing a resonance of what they know about sound and what it means. Jimi Glenister : There are all sorts of reasons why I play bass, some of the very same reasons as other bass players have mentioned, but the essential starting point, the initial impetus that had me pick up an instrument can be the only reason I play. Because no one in their right mind can turn away from a bass once first played successfully. The music world is populated by bass players and frustrated bass players frustrated because they'd rather be playing bass than sax or guitar or whatever. So, that starting point; back in 1970 two friends and I joined the school choir so that we could get out of marching around as cadets. Back then the schools had these cadet parades with everyone dressed up in brown uniforms and boots, marching up and down very military like - not pleasant. Anyway we discovered the choir was easy for us, no real surprise to us though, we could sing in tune and made up the entire bass/baritone section of the choir at the time. As one can expect, we decided to start a band and after much discussion about what to call the band we decided who would play what. The one guy from a very musical family said he'd play lead guitar, flute and backing vocals. The other guy with a reasonable voice wanted to be lead vocal and rhythm guitar. Me, I was tall (back then 6 foot was tall) and skinny with big hands and long fingers there was only one choice - no, not drums. It clinched the deal when the guy I went to for lessons said that with those fingers he's going to have me on TV playing bass. It was only then when I started to focus on the bass part in all my favourite music I started to realise that I was perfectly suited for that musical roll - an accompanist, not a lead/front-man type, an essential element marrying the percussion/drums rhythm with the melodic "chordal" elements of a tune. Also, echoing what several other bassists say, I'd somehow always heard the bass in a mix even way before choosing the instrument. Take the bass away from a line-up and the sound seems to become soulless, the sound loses its definition somehow and I was told that a vocalist in many contexts listens to the bass for their queue. Wow - at last I seemed to be indispensable! Okay, so fair-enough to all of that, but I'm also basically a lazy bloke and although to do the job properly one needs to know the notes on the neck, play the scales and use all the fingers, man, other instruments, all those notes at the same time in a chord and all that melody widdling was just too much work and much too much to remember, as for remembering words to a song - forget it. A sax player I played with once told me that in his experience bass players are some of the few musicians that actually choose their instrument rather than falling into it by accident - well in my case I think the instrument and its idiom chose me! I have just recently developed arthritis in both my hands which causes quite some pain when playing bass, but you know, there is no way I can part with my bass, particularly this one - I first saw one on the cover of Bassist magazine with Jack Bruce's ugly mug resting on the body of a beautiful chocolate brown oil rubbed, smoothed no-sharp-edges ergonomic shape, comfy but business-like - and then I got to play one and, of course, I heard the 'growl' and, as they say, it was love for life - my Warwick Thumb and I. Okay so the Double Bass standing in the corner of the living room also needs attention!

Daniel Rezant : The Bass guitar to me is a very interesting, creative, innovative and versatile instrument I fell in love with the Bass at the age of 11 at that time I only watched the guy that inspired me to play Mr Abraham Laboriel. He was totally, the best for me at that time. I started playing at the age of 14 and when at the age of 15, I did my first major gig, I realised why he has and shows such great stage performance because the Bass is something you feel. When you play it, every little sense of your body shuts down and it gives a great feeling both inside your soul and externally .I absolutely love the sound of the Bass, especially when Ive put on new strings - the sound of fresh strings, bouncing of my fret board when I slap & pop is the best ever, an interesting fact about why I love playing it is that before I could play any chord I could slap & pop why? I dont know? Something else discovered is that when people ask me what instrument I play and I reply, saying bass guitar they say at times (those who dont know) oh nice, a guitar! It really irritates me coz I dont play guitar like they know it - they always think of George Benson. I then have to explain to them thats something that irritates me. A band can go without a guitarist, vocalist or keyboard player but not a Bassist, with the bass you can literally play anything from harmonics to low bass notes to full chords, to leading like a solo guitarist thats wot I love about it. Like the Gangsters say, A BULLET MAY KILL, A FIRE MAY BURN BUT A TRUE BASSIST WILL ALWAYS RETURN!!!!!! Much Love and Respect to the late EDDIE JOOSTE the guy with the Biggest Heart and love for all bassists and musicians all over - especially in CAPE TOWN!!!!!! Pippo Matino : I just started to play the bass because in my first band, at the age of13, there was a drummer, guitar player and piano player, but...there wasnt a bass player! So, I started to play some bass lines on my guitar and then I bought my first bass guitar (it may have been an EKO from Italy based on the Fender Precision bass).But then I found some albums from Mr. Pastorius and Mr Clarke.....and that was the reason...... Rob OBrien : I never set out to play bass actually. I was always going to be the singer. Seemingly someone upstaged me in the vocal stakes and I was awarded the opportunity to play bass. It was never an instrument that I felt limited by, from the onset. I pushed it very far when I was younger (in an almost Jack Bruce sense). I soon began to lean more into the groove of whatever drummer I was playing with and realised the power and command a solid rhythm section could exude. Ive been playing now for over 15 years and have been through many bands and performed with some truly exceptional musicians. Why do I play bass then? Because it commands so many musical colours, it drives, it grooves, its the thinking mans instrument. Because I could never have achieved any of these musical goals without it and still feel the same way about this instrument as I did 15 years ago. Without it there would be nothing. Amen. Stef Neumeyer : The reason why I play bass is that I believe that the instrument keeps the bottom ends together.. nothing nicer than sitting in the pocket with a simple groove or working out a serious lick and

you crack it and all is done with awesome tone...even better when you lock in with a good drummer and I say that with respect :-) because I play by ear I have taken shortcuts and copied all my life and only since getting educated have I really come to know the BASS better, for me thats awesome and I have realised that its what you dont do that counts big time. Its lekka for me to put up a nice tone and get the smiles from the band and the sound engineer asking for more volume because it creates an atmosphere only the bass player can initiate. Another reason is because its so simple yet so complex and you get rewarded for work and time spent exploring the bass. Tom Kennedy : I was next in line behind my Sister and Brother to study Piano, but somehow the instrument just didn't speak to me. My parents told me, many times, that I used to run around the house at 2 or 3 years old, singing bass notes to anything that was being played on the stereo........ my sister's Beatles records, my Mom's musicals, or my Dad's jazz recordings. When I was 8 years old, my brother brought home an upright Bass to practice, as he had decided to play in the school Orchestra. I'll never forget the day I was allowed to try it .........feeling the incredible vibration as I plucked the strings, and hearing that deep resonance. I was hooked! In a matter of just a few minutes, I realized that this was the instrument for me......... almost 40 years later, it's STILL the instrument for me! Judy Foxcroft (GrannyBass) : I have always wanted to play bass guitar since my young days (I only started in my 40s) Hence the nickname Grannybass. After attending a worship team seminar, which exposed me to my first Christian upbeat band, I was so excited that my husband bought me a bass guitar for Christmas. For me, the bass guitar is the most expressive instrument and has awesome impact. You can either make or break the song. Without the bass, there is that emptiness in the music that only a bass guitar can fill. I love the way you get to express your feelings through the instrument and of course, its soooooo cool to be a bass player and when mixing with other bassists, you get to feel so special, whether you are good or not. Bass players are a very special breed of muso. Gareth Langdon : Why did I start to play bass? Honestly?? Well, mainly because I couldn't get my hand around chords, so I just started playing the notes on Electric Guitar. I was about 17 at the time! My friend told me I should try a Bass... I didn't even know it existed! But since then I've never looked back! I've been playing in various Christian Rock outfits now for about 15 years, including Church worship and session bassing, although probably only the past 7 years have been of any real depth!! Although I'm

currently not in any bands, since my arrival in Cape Town, I really feel I've matured as a player! I'm so keen to get back into the scene again! I can't read music as I'm Dyslexic, so everything I play is from the ear via the heart and soul! I just love it! Improvisation rules! Well, most of the time! Everyone I know says I'm the best bassist they know, so I keep telling them, they obviously don't know many bassists! Still its nice to have the encouragement! If you don't already play bass, go for it! you'll be hooked and will never regret it! Benoit Grigaut : Why I play Bass? I have been blessed with the love of music and jazz listening especially through my father from the days when you can't speak yet... The headphones were falling off my head! I then listened to music for many years but without any sense of direction... Direction fell upon me when I was living in Berlin and my best friend was a bass player, I went to his gigs and I will never forget the huge smile on his face on stage with his big fender bass... I never let down the bass since then and would love to play with him one day! I then received the ultimate inspiration boost listening to Bass Players such as Ntsooleng Stetso 'BIGCITI' in Botswana, Concord Nkabinde, Bongani Sokhela, and many more in SA and abroad... I play Bass because Bass is like me : demanding, beautiful, grooving : I ultimately want to contribute into making people happy through music! Music without bass does not touch anyone, I believe. Bill Ellison : I played the violin for 10 years as a kid & I was miserable, all I did was stare at the bass section. It looked so great & my best friend was playing it so I tried it one day, sold my Roth & never looked back! Both the rich sound & function in the orchestra is why I play bass. Not only being a rhythm instrument but being the bottom of the harmony has always felt like such an essential & honored roll in any ensemble. I am SO much happier as a bassist & now I stare at the violins, fondly! Clive Jackson : I enjoy playing bass as it allows me to express myself as a musician. Antonella Mazza : I really dont know why I play bass. I wonder if I chose bass for a special reason or just for a destiny joke! The only thing I know is, its that, bass makes me special, makes me happy, gave me the opportunity to grow up, makes me smile everyday when I wake up! Its like the Aladdins lamp for me. I can realize every desire thanks to it! Im not a real bass player, Im just a musician and I express myself through an instrument in this case, it happens to be bass!! Peace Theo Josias : Well, it started with a few friends of mine who could play guitar and wanted to do pieces in church, I was roped in on the bass (without ever touching the instrument before) and that was it. My view on the bass changed when I realised that I was the instrument and the bass simply an extension of who I am. Today every gig is an opportunity to create my rhythm, my harmony and blend it with those of my fellow musicians. What an awesome connection when it all comes together.. Jimi Curve : It all started in Port Elizabeth, where myself and mates were studying at 1st and 2nd year level at varsity and PE Technikon .We would hang out a lot after a days lectures and catch up to normal mischief making a fire, getting intoxicated and talking about the world around us. One day I picked up my mates acoustic guitar and started strumming, realizing that I had some rhythm and soon there were more guitars, more friends and more intoxication. Within months, it led to a jam spot in the industrial area of PE, and even an electric guitar and drums came into the works. It was great fun and awesomely loud. Wed be at the factory 3 to 4 times a week making music and having parties on the weekend. Within in a month or so, a mate of mine, Ian, bought a Samick bass guitar and amp and when he brought it that night for the first time, I was mesmerized, and just watched him taking this guitar on, but he wasnt too good at it. The next day, I knew I had to try it and that next jam, I asked to have a go. Wow, it felt so natural and sounded so warm and full and filling the jamming with groove. Within a few days I was designated bass

player. It was so exciting. The other interesting thing was realizing that all those years of listening to music which I loved doing, and then picking up the bass, I figured out that the bass guitar, and even bass synths were what made the groove, and me, move with the music and then this experience of finding the bass so comfortable to play. That was it, a natural calling. The next year I enrolled at the music department at university. Hadrien Feraud : I started to have an interest in music at the age of 6 or7. I remember I loved to play drums on the stuff in my mothers Kitchen . My father was always playing guitar at home and at around 10 years old, I used to borrow the guitar from him and tried to make music with it ...He showed me how to use the guitar to start to learn ...We played simple pieces together sometimes . After 2 years I stopped with the guitar ( I lost interest ). I was more attracted to the Drums and bass ... At 13, my father bought me the birthday concert of Jaco Pastorius and made me hear Weather report ...I had the revelation immediately - hearing that "strange sound" of a fretless . I knew that I would be a Bass Player ...I think its the most emotional instrument Ive ever heard. Carl Rohrbeck : The honest answer to why I play bass is that back in the day, when I first started playing, I wanted to play drums, but my folks said no, its too expensive. My cousin had a spare bass guitar and said that I should start to play to get the feel for rhythm. So I started. A month later, my friend wanted to start a band, and needed a bassist and I said why not?... its something to do while I wait for drums. Seven years later I still play bass in the same band, with no regrets, and love every minute of it. Alex Searle : Ive been playing the bass for nearly four years already, and everyday it gets better. I think its important to fall in love with the idea of it being the heart and soul of the band; pumping that low groove driving the funk of the song. Why do I play bass? Because without music, my life would be quite trivial and mundane and bass for some strange primal reason is the easiest way to express that gratification, if you like, for this. Ive always had music flow, and while I range from being reasonably proficient to down right shite with many other instruments, the bass (and more recently, the double bass) seems to strike a chord (if youll pardon the pun) within me. From the moment I heard my hero Geddy Lee of Rush pop away on his Wal bass on their fantastic Power Windows album, or hear the master Mark King slap himself into a daze on his Alembic, I fell in love. And this is the only way to go about music. Bart Tarenskeen : I don't think it was a conscious decision to play bass. When I was young I used to play guitar with 2 of my brothers, and most of the time I ended up playing the bass part. I never even bought a bass until I was 19 and was asked to play in a band. It was an epiphany for me when I was on stage for the first time as a bassist and realised I wasn't nervous but got a real kick out of it. I never had that before playing piano or guitar in public before an audience. The rest is history:) Martin Motnik : My brother brought home a bass when I was 13, and I instantly fell in love with the instrument. I loved the sound and the feel of the big strings, and practiced every day when I was a teenager. Now when I'm on stage, I really enjoy having an instrument that can stand energetic playing. If I were to play guitar, Id probably be breaking strings all the time. Kirwan Brown : I switched to bass from piano at an early age. I think it was mostly a love for low end. I started piano lessons at five and went through a typical classical piano training: much emphasis on learning existing pieces, preparing for recitals, etc., with none of my teachers covering improvisation or jazz or pop piano. Around age 12, I was playing in a garage rock band with a drummer and a guitarist who were around my age, and we couldn't find a bass player. Finally we auditioned a kid who owned a bass and a small amp, but he couldn't play it. It didn't matter; when he plugged that bass in and the open strings were rumbling around and shaking the floor, I was VERY intrigued. Around the same time, my

dad bought bigger speakers for our stereo at home, and for the first time, you could hear the bass parts to all these familiar songs on the radio, like all the Motown stuff. Hearing these "counterpoint" lines -different from the vocal part, simply blew my mind - it was a complete revelation. I started hanging out at the local music store and plunking on the early 70's Fender basses they had, and I managed to figure out the bass line to Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown." My dad finally bought me a cheap bass and away I went. It was a much more personal experience, because there were no bass teachers in our area so I just taught myself. From that experience, I now know how I would relearn piano if I could! Alexander Vankevich : I started out playing the guitar but Paul McCartney became very influential and I switched to bass. Im also left handed but I play right-handed. Other influences were from Gary Thain, Jaco and Marcus Miller. I play in rock bands and Im now a Bass guitar teacher at a music college. I love bass its a remarkable instrument Alan Goldstein : I started playing bass as upright in a class in middle school that was called String Lab or something. Each few weeks, we would switch from violin, cello, upright bass and nylon guitar. After learning nylon classical guitar in school, when I was 14, I got into Heavy Metal more and wanted to be in a covers band with my guitar buddies. I think the real deal that grabbed my attention was the Sweet Child of Mine song and video by Guns n Roses and the Metallica ones video. That was it - I wanted to be a Rockstar guitarist but none of the bands needed guitar! They needed bass, so my dad rented me a bass to make sure I stick with it before buying one fully. I joined a cover band with my rented pink Starforce bass, lol and the rest was history I guess... I'm self taught, more of an ear player as I hated theory and piano lessons when I was a young boy. Eventually on bass, I got into funk jazz and fusion and thats where I learned some cool chops and runs from. Marcus, Patitucci, Clarke, Wooten, Willis, Jaco, Stu, and Manring who were all super influences on me. Also Cliff Burton, Billy Sheehan, Les Claypool, and Geddy Lee changed my life forever... There was just a certain magic about both fretless and fretted alike in the hands of those guys... I love bass, as my main thing obviously, but also enjoy drums / hand percussion and guitar, still, as a hobby. I hope that people enjoy my music and playing, and take care everyone reading this ;) Thank you ! Marcin Suchodolski : First of all, its fun. Great fun. I play in a jazz-funk band, and this kind of music is purely for having fun either whilst playing or listening to. I actually love the physical sensation of playing bass particularly 4-string bass guitar or acoustic upright. I like the feeling of plucking the

strings with my right hand and grabbing the notes with the left one. I like the way the instrument resonates and vibrates against my body. Playing bass is also an intellectual challenge for me - or intellectually-emotional. Its because I have to learn, and work really hard to get all the harmonic and melodic concepts in my ears and fingers, and to know how to show my feelings through learned skill. Really important for me (when soloing) is the fact that a bass guitars range of frequencies is somewhat similar to male vocals which helps me improvise, as I believe that the best melodies are the ones that could be sung. I also love playing bass guitar, cause it has so many different sounds. It can be hard, punchy and strong. It can be deep and groovy, perfectly integrated with the drums, felt rather than heard, moving audiences hips. It can be soft, singing and mellow like in a fretless, with lots of mmmwwwah. It can as well, be zingy and metallic. And the main reason for me playing bass is the responsibility it holds in a band. The bass has a decisive role it gives song a particular groove be it swing, latin, funk or rock. If a song was a living creature, drums and bass would be its heartbeat and breath. It also tells people about harmony a bassist can change a chord completely just by playing, say, a sixth instead of a root note. To make it short being a bass player, I can play some pretty melodies, spacy chords or bang some strong and simple rhythms. And make it all great. Shaun Johannes : I started out as a selftaught pianist from age 12. Later went to learn jazz piano at the Jazz Workshop under Merton Barrow and George Werner respectively. Whilst at the workshop, I started noodling on some of the basses there. It started getting addictive as sometimes Id miss my lesson because I was busy messing around! In 1999 I became a founder member of a township/cape flats music band project called The Little Giants. I started out on keys but like every other band we didnt have a bassist. I was then forced to get one (a 5-string ACADEMY & a VANTAGE amp) and after two months of practicing (one of which was unplugged because I couldnt afford a cable or strap) did my first gig at the Jazzathon Festival in Cape Town. Sadly my fresh blisters from the practicing decided to bleed on that gig and after gaffer taping them good and proper, I had a crash course in intense pain and when that was too unbearable, a crash course in slapping the rest of my gig!!! After that great start I was sold Doug Johns : Looking back, I realize how lucky I am to have grown up at the time, and around the musical influences, that I did. I hear those influences in my playing now, and it feels good. Everything Ive experienced right up to this very moment good and bad will come out in the music when I pick up a bass. It allows me to open a window into my soul, and I love that about this instrument. When I play the bass guitar, I feel free. Whether I play by myself or with an audience it doesnt matter; bass is the tool that allows me to express myself. Im pretty sure the bass found me. I didnt search for it.

Steve Walters : I play the bass because I had a guitar lesson at age 8 with Phil Chen. He was the bass player for Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart at the time. As an 8 year old sitting in his front room full of basses hanging on the wall something clicked. I made a connection not only to the bass but also to the fact that as a bass player you can make a good living and have a cool apartment with loads of guitars and basses and still have time to give an 8 year old boy a lesson. I also play bass because when I'm in the pocket or the zone I feel so at one with music, I feel it from deep within yet I know it comes from just as deep from outside of me. It's not me playing on a good day it's some higher power playing through me, I feel so close to GOD 'or' my experience of him/her when I'm in that place, where time stands still and it all happens in super slow motion, spaces have a gravity and notes have a density or lightness that surpasses technique or musical harmonic structure from a book. It's not until after the experience has passed that I realise from those around me what has actually taken place. I play bass because its where I'm truly at home and comfortable to express myself through my entire 'mind, body and spirit'. It's where I feel connected to all things. Rami Lakkis : I love all instruments, but the reason why I think bass was my choice is because it is the precise medium that is best suited to compliment, or just in general, express what I have to say in a musical context. Its one of the keys for shifting from one mood to the other. Now a little less spiritual and a little more common talk.... it creates the pocket! HAHA!! Hilliard Greene : I started formal music lessons on cello when I was eight years old and switched to bass when I was twelve. In sixth grade another cellist and I were the last stand in the school orchestra. One day he said that he wanted to do something major in life and that was to switch to bass when he got to seventh grade. I thought that was a good idea. Soon after I started playing bass I realized how much I liked being with the bass, studying music, performing music for people, musicians and the music teacher. I told myself I should become a professional bass player because that would be an excellent way to a make living. At the same time I started to train and study the bass I began to conceive a sound. It took me several years to find that sound. When I heard Ron Carter play arco on the piccolo bass I told myself, "That's it! Thats the sound I have been imagining!" Performing unaccompanied recitals on that type of bass (piccolo bass) is my favourite way to perform. Ebinho Cardoso : I began playing acoustic guitar when I was 13 years old. At 15, my parents bought me an electric guitar. My family was very poor and this purchase was a great sacrifice for them. Because I learned to play the guitar relatively well, I was invited by a group of adult musicians to join their band, but they wanted me to play the bass. Not only had I never played the bass, but I did not own a bass. I decided to trade the gift that my parents had given me for a bass. My mother was so upset that she would not let me come into our home until I had retrieved the guitar. I had such a desire to play in this band and share my music with others that I could not bring myself to do as my mother wished. My father returned

from a week of travelling and understood my reasons for trading this special gift. Finally, he convinced my mother that I needed to play in this band and share my love for music. At first I missed playing the guitar. It felt more like my musical voice. The traditional way of playing bass was not attractive to me. I started developing a specific technique on the bass and after a few years it became my identity. I eventually wrote a book about my chord voicings and the style of bass I now play. "Harmony and Chord Dictionary for Electric Bass" was published in Brazil in 2005. Adam Taylor : I started playing bass because they needed someone to play at church. I had only played guitar for a year, and was then asked to play bass in the band context. I wasn't very good at first (obviously); walking the bass was more playing a game of multiple choice with notes. The initial view of the bass was that it was very easy to play, but further down my journey with this instrument I've discovered an infinite depth and intricacy to it, including different tonal approaches (finger techniques, muting, ghost notes etc.), groove and the personal ability to be creative/original. I'm falling more in love with the tone and possibilities almost constantly. I now love bass because of Fender :) Rika Hebrst : Nothing beats the low, Earth-Moving sound of a BASS! Raul Amador : I play for the love of the instrument. Playing Bass goes beyond merely hearing. When you are on you can feel your Voice reach up like it is going right through the roof! There is nothing like it! If you can combine your Voice with that of fellow musicians . Well now you have a conversation in the universal language.. Music! Mark Grandcourt : BASS JUST ROCKS Since Ive been playing bass I would always watch other bass players to see what they are doing but above just watching a good bass player, I would listen and enjoy the sounds that they create. I think its one of the greatest pleasures in life to listen to good bass playing. I just find bass totally amazing. Thats why I play bass. Jorge Pescara : Playing bass makes me reach higher spiritual levels, and while I play the bass the low frequencies produce in me beneficial vibrations all over my body Chris Adams : I first started out on acoustic guitar, then electric, but there was something missing, even though I could play pretty well, it didn't always suit me. It was when I finally figured out that everywhere (Church, school, bands, your grandmother's living room, in the Kitchen sink, etc.) there were too many guitarists, then I realized that hey, here is something new to try - so I got myself my first bass, at age 16, it was a Peavey P bass that I later gave to one of my students. From there, I progressed quite quickly, from a 4 string to a 5 string, from that 5 string to a 6 string, and from that 6 string to a fretless, and now to an upright. I'm currently enrolled at Palo Alto College in the great state of TEXAS! with my band, Years After Jericho (Rock), its been a great run so far and I will be honored to continue playing!

Don Campbell : I started out wanting to be a drummer and banging on things, then moved to the clarinet in grade school at the urging of my dad to learn to read music. Then I got lit up by the guitar in the early 60s (who didnt?). But a local band needed a bass player when I was in junior high, so I borrowed one, learned it a little bit, and never looked back. Bassists are never out of work. Plus, I tend to be a behindthe-scenes guy. Im not a big soloist or a flashy player. Studying all those old B.B. King bass players, Jerry Jemmott, James Jamerson and those guys, I learned what the pocket is and how to stay there. I dig being the musical version of the kick drum. Theres just something powerful about moving that much air. Mel Brown : I play the bass because I love it. I want to play every time I see a Jazz Bass. It looks cool. It sounds cool. It offers an opportunity to unite with, show love, and support my fellow musicians. It offers an opportunity to be featured in the most powerful way. I live the Low Life and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world! Mischa Marcks : I started playing bass at 15 years. But long before that, I was dancing in one of my Mothers expressive dance courses. So I always had this connection of movement to music. I have to admit, that when I listen to new music, at first I listen to the drums, very closely. The drums will tell me how to move. Later on, when I was playing bass for a few years, I found out that the bass actually makes your body move just by its voluminous sound. That was, when I really fell in love with the instrument. You can feel what you play. Its an Instrument, that not only speaks to your ears, but your whole body. Mary-Anne Ray : Why do I play bass? Theres something else?? How else does a girl get to grrrrrrrowwwwl? Bass links drums to music The groove, the patterns, the discipline Bass and drums together Because even when I dont play it stays with me It keeps me out of trouble I saw a piano, I played it. I saw a guitar, I played it I heard the bass I dont know how I played six nights a week for twenty-five yearsit ruined my nails I still hug my bass I dream in bass. I play bass because I dance to the bottom end of the music. At age ten I taught myself to play the piano and to read. I understood the left hand. I heard Jack Bruce in Cream...I felt where he was going At seventeen I bought an accoustic guitar and a book of chords. Songs started writing themselves. Most of them were terrible, but all were bass driven. Stanley Clarke...Return to Forever In 1978 someone needed a girl with a voice and legs to play in a showband. She had to play bass. I had two weeks to move my head from guitar to bass. My heart was already there. Two weeks to learn the repertoire, toughen the hands, strengthen the wrists, develop biceps and attach myself to the bass drum. I bled but was utterly comfortable. I had to work very hard to be accepted as a musician rather than a girl bassist. I played bass professionally in all genres for almost thirty years and loved every minute of it. I retired but yearn ...

Virgilio Venditti : I play the bass because I am a solid man, one that likes to organize concrete things. Things that will last long and that have a logic, somewhere. Logic that will be intimately coupled with creativity and true, genuine emotions. Often, the bass-players through time, develop a better understanding of the overall scenario: they somehow focus better and therefore they become producers or excellent photographers (huge sense of the synthesis) like Milt Hinton, Sting or Rick Laird. Its not a case. Bass players emotions and feelings will translate in either a few appropriate meaningful notes at the right time or in a lot of musical notes melted in a beautiful solo. My basslines will patch the rhythm with the melody and my ultimate goal is to properly address and carry the band, either in a duo/trio or in a bigger context. I will not be scared and will be proud to accept the challenge. I will drive the humour of the moment at anytime in the right place. I play the bass because I know where to go. I am a bass player because I understand something about the meaning of the life, that is, always help the others feel better. Relieve some pain in any way. My reward is unique in knowing myself (others may notice too) that Ive done the right thing at the right moment and therefore things work just fine. Leave the applause and the newspapers to the guitarist or the saxophonist for me it would just be useless noise I play the bass because you would never go anywhere without me. But my goal is NOT to stop or to drag you down! On the contrary: I will spend my soul to set the basis for you to break free in the world of beautiful music!!! I play the bass for the same reason I married my wife: I just cant live without her, and this relationship always requires total dedication and equilibrium on a tight rope. But differently from her, the bass will never a) ask for the credit card and b) pull out the CD from the player to put them anywhere around WITHOUT the case (sacrilege!) My bass provides soft and round notes that hold an awful lot in an understated but satisfactory way, these notes give birth to vibes that are in direct contact with your soul. Nothing that can be compared with the immediate and not always required violence of a sax, the sometimes excessive thunderstorm of a drum kit or the often unnecessary evanescence of the guitar. I did not choose the bass: it chose me!!! Only if you enter in intimacy and exactly tune into the same wavelength of the instrument you will actually play music through it. And its not an easy task to be accomplished, trust me. Every day will be a different challenge and a new fight to find the right sound: for mysterious reasons, yesterdays bass-amp set-up does not work today. A daily and eternal challenge. My bass does not forgive me any mistakes: it wants me always well concentrated while playing and this attitude deeply changed my whole human being attitude. Its never a good instrument but rather a righteous one! A bass player will always be in conditions to make a good set-up and to fix minor problems: this is the index for a real reached intimacy with it.

I play the bass because it is a zen instrument: minimalist but unavoidable, like the snow and the sun, the good or the bad, the health or the illness; strictly related to the books of Brian Weiss!!! In either case, everybody will always be grateful to the bass-player; I would not play anything else. Yes: I will play the bass for you. Jim Guthrie : The reason I play bass is because of my brother who taught me modes, and scales and guitar theory. He was taking me to a pawn shop to get my first guitar when I was about 16 and when we walked in the shop he saw a Violin bass, and a Vox 50 watt bass amp. Because he knew I was going to play it left handed and I looked a lot like McCartney, he thought it would be a hoot to talk me into starting out with that bass. To cut a long story short I can now play bass, so in some ways the joke was on him too. diRASTAMAN : Reading through what everybody wrote quickly, it sort of stopped me in my trax. Its like you find yourself thinking till all the background noise faded, and its just you and your thoughts. So many of us started off playing something else. Maybe because it looked glamorous, and then somehow ended up playing bass. When you think of what you can play, you will very seldom choose to play anything else. Its in your blood.. Marius Goldhammer : I play bass because I just love the rumblin sounds and the feel that it gives me when I groove along with a great band. Its like second nature to me and cant think of anything else to do in my life! Vincenzo Maurogiovanni : Well, why bass?Its a long story, but Ill try to explain it in a few words I started playing drums at 16 with my Cousins in a rock band, then discovered I have more of a rhythmic attitude, and when listening to a bass I thought: this will be my instrument!! I was attracted by the possibilities of making harmony and melody and rhythm together, having a bass backing to create an orchestral sound. I attended a music school for two years, having basic education on technique, harmony, score reading etc, then I continued to study by myself, creating a personal sound based on my four-finger technique. Everyday I apply myself to improve my skills and add a new sound to my playing. I think bass is an expression tool, and this means that by this instrument we can talk about our ideas, we can explain our inner nature, studying tradition for having consciousness of what we play, but being innovative, using the bass in the way we, personally, like to, for example, as a solo, duo, trio or big band player and whatever else we want to use it for. Music is an abstract concept and who likes bass must like at first love music in all of its aspects. I like to play and listen to classical music and jazz, from fusion to movie soundtracks and playing all this summarizing on the bass or playing with other musicians. A friend of mine told me years ago, remember, be a musician first and then a bass player. I remember this advice everyday. Steve Gee : I started on guitar when I was age 10 and have never stopped playing guitar. But at age 15 I realized I was focusing more on rhythm and picking out bass lines. I borrowed a friends bass guitar and in an instant knew I wanted to play bass. I love the bass; in a sense, it's a sort of 'pseudo-covert' instrument in that it sits almost hidden to the unknowing ear, between the thumping crash of the drums and the onslaught of lead guitars, synths, brass and anything else that thinks it can shove the bass into the background. But people sure notice it when it's not there! And when it does take the spotlight - look out. You don't just hear the

bass - you feel it! That, in part, is why I love and play the bass. Damian Erskine : Initially, I started playing bass (at age 6) because my grandfather made me! I discovered drums on my own later (at age 10) and then fell in love with music and musical discovery as a whole. I've always played both, but in college switched my focus to bass and have truly just fallen in love with the ability the instrument affords to interact both rhythmically AND harmonically. There was a time when I was only playing music because it was what I did best, so I figured it made sense to pursue that as a career. Now, however, it is simply interwoven into my fabric and is very much a part of who and what I am. If I won the lottery today and never had to take a gig I didn't necessarily care about again, I would still put as much energy into my music as I do today (maybe with more vacations, tho! ;) I feel like something is missing from my daily experience if I don't get to play at some point throughout the day. It is what I do and who I am and I can't imagine my life without music. Danny Lugo : OK, Why do I play Bass? Rhythm is an important part of music and I've found that musically, the bass has been the best way for me to be both creative and able to keep the music in the pocket. Like the song says, "You can't hold no groove if you ain't got no pocket." Keeping the pocket along with the drummers and percussion is what we do. but it definitely doesn't mean we can't add a little flavour along the way. So grab your weapon of choice and bring in the bottom. Aram Bedrosian : I think in a strange way I have always been a bass player. When I trace back my life, really, the first thing I remember is the image of a Gene Simmons doll in the grocery store. I must have been two years old or so but I remember it clearly. My older brother was way into The Who when I was small so I got exposed to incredible bass playing very early on. When I was five years old I got a copy of Thriller and the grooves on that album killed me. I dressed up like Nikki Sixx for Halloween, years before I played bass. I played saxophone in school for a while but around thirteen I picked up the bass guitar so my group of friends could start a band and Ive never looked back. I still have the same incredible feeling I had the day I started playing and the same fascination I had when I saw that Gene Simmons doll. Music is totally amazing and the sound of the bass gets me every time. Im totally in love with it every day of my life and I feel so thankful to be around it. oh, and the bass totally rocks Florian Friedrich : "My musical "career" started when I was 10 years old. My parents sent me to take classical piano lessons where I unfortunately had to sharpen pencils most of the. time as a kind of detention for not having practiced again. After three years of minuets and Christmas songs, we moved

and the piano lessons stopped. I still liked music very much and at the age of 16 when all my friends were starting to play drums or guitar or saxophone, the only instrument which was missing to have a band was a bass. It was then, when I thought of my brother-in-law who had a bass guitar he didn't play anymore. Then my older brother let me hear a live-record of Level 42 and he said: "Listen to this bass player... this is cool stuff..." And WOW! He was right.. this WAS cool stuff! I've never thought that you could play that kind of thing on a bass! I fell in love immediately! But what I really love the most is just making music, playing in a band, and the bass just happens to be my voice. After all it is just an instrument to express your musicality. But after a while I became so dedicated to it and so "professional" in playing my instrument, I cared so much about the quality of my sound and how to express my emotions and feelings that I will never be able to stop loving the bass. I love the responsibility that I have as a bassplayer in music and it's great being supportive and kind of leading at the same time. A nice groove is the best thing in the world!" Dr. Donovan Stokes : I played piano since before I could walk. I would crawl up on the piano stool and bang away. I started piano lessons at 3 years of age, and my first memory of this life is looking at my hands as they played th th the piano. In middle school, (6 - 8 grade) I played trombone, euphonium, trumpet, guitar and a few other instruments along the way. I continued on trombone until my final year of High School (pre-college). In th my 8 year of school I was playing guitar in a rock band, which I had formed with two friends. We never could find an adequate bass player. At one bass audition, I picked up the would-be bass player's instrument while he was off getting drinks and food. Things clicked better than with any of the people we auditioned. That night I took my money, which I had been saving for a guitar amp, and bought a cheap bass. The next day I played my first gig on bass at our school's talent show. I started playing bass because we couldn't find a decent bass player for our childhood rock band. I played electric bass exclusively, until I was 14 and I began to play upright bass in the school orchestra. I had not found the beauty of the upright at that time, but thought that playing it would make me a better electric player. By my last year of high school (16 years) I had given up the trombone and was strictly an upright and electric bass player. I considered myself a doubler until 2005 when I realized that when I thought bass, even in an amplified context, I only heard the sounds of the upright in my head. At that point I sold my 6 string electric bass. Although I can still work on the electric if need be, I consider myself primarily an upright player. Tiens van Zyl : In 1997, I became a huge fan of a local Rock band. The first thing that caught my eye was the bass player. Not because he did flashy and wild moves or tried to show off, but because he looked like he really enjoyed playing the bass. A year later an old friend of mine moved to the UK and needed a modem for his family to get connected to the internet in order to stay in touch with him using e-mail and IM. He then swapped me my modem for his 4 string bass.

The same day, I got tabs and started teaching myself on how to play. At first it was difficult to hear the bass in songs but soon I could easily hear the bass grooves. I was hooked! For me the bass is an individualists instrument. Mostly bass players from different bands get along very well with each other, they are mostly not flashy or arrogant, just passionate. When you play a live show and the bass moves through your feet and legs and it hits the crowd in the chest, when the drums and bass are in harmonious sync and they carry the band with powered air waves, when you finish your set and everyone bothers the vocalist and guitarists and I can calmly go to the bar and grab a beer, now thats why I love playing bass. Victor Denson Angulo : Ever since I first started playing I was hooked. I couldn't put the bass down. I couldn't stop listening, transcribing, reading music...copying everything I heard. It was like an addiction. Music was my dealer and I needed a fix everyday. I remember one day in high school; I thought to myself, I'm going to do this for the rest of my life... I've stuck to it. It's all I do. I play, teach, record, eat, sleep and breathe the bass. No day job in an office somewhere. I make bass playing work for me and my family. It's hard work but very worth it in the long run. I sometimes sit and imagine what I'll be like in ten, twenty, thirty years... I think, I'll be old and fat...perhaps, but I'll still be playing bass. Without the bass in my life, I would be like a storyteller without stories. My life is bass... Trip Wamsley : The other guys here have made their responses with such eloquence and beauty that moved me deeply for real. I believe the reason I, or anyone, plays, really goes beyond the spoken word. A wordless language as Darren put it. (Well said mate even though you had to use words! :)) So I'll itemize a few things starting with innocent idealism and going on from there: Bass Guitars were bigger than the "other" stringed things. The amps were bigger and the sound really carries through walls and jungles and water and air and into the lower chakras and into the fiber of my very being. It made me resonate. I feel the bass chose me in some ways. I realized it IS a guitar. I immediately had all the guitar techniques available to me from day one. Including some that guitar players didn't use at all. So, solos made sense from day one. As did performing function as well. It was more versatile than the lead guitar, whose proponents usually are caught in one of a few limiting camps. A lot of folks think that the bass is not a real instrument at all. It isn't. Yves Carbonne said that bass is a function not an instrument. (A statement so blatantly obvious that it escaped me! Beautiful Yves!) This function can be performed by Cello, Trombone, Bari Sax and Piano and whatnot. The Bass Guitar is a real instrument. I played it to save my life. Otherwise, I would be dead and/or wasted someplace. It and music came into my life as a friend. A real friend. Which brings me to a point that so many of us face, but never really talk about. Music NEVER does anything to hurt. It's the music biz that will kill the spirit. It's competition in the chops realms that will kill and hurt. It's eating our own that kills us. It's trading art for commercialism that kills. Music and Art is a friend. True and blue!

That's all I can think of saying. Wait! One last thing. To elevate our axe in the eyes of the world we need to learn to be friends, lovers, fathers, mothers, husbands, helpers and builders. The aforementioned things will only help us to strive to make music that is as deep as life. Love to all who read this. Brent-Anthony Johnson : I play bass because I am madly in love with the low-end of musical structure, and I have been ever since I can remember! There is simply nothing more beautiful (to me) than a well-recorded acoustic contrabass, or electric bass guitar. My personal quest for tone has taken me on an incredible journey to ultimately achieve the mysterious sound of a glass cannon firing bowling balls through a tidal wave! The fact that we, as bassists, are utterly in control (harmonically, rhythmically, and structurally) of every musical situation we participate in is merely a bonus feature of the instruments role. Honestly, there is, simply, nothing else Id rather devote myself to than this life-long study of why I love music from bottom-to-top. Mark Williams : I started playing bass at age 18, I had been playing guitar in a very garage band sort of way and a friend suggested I try out his bass. It was an old Precision fretless and it was the first time I'd ever picked a bass up. There was something about the tone and frequencies that it produced that I just immediately connected with. I didn't have much of an idea of how to play it at the time but felt I'd found the instrument I should be playing. That was 30 years ago. The reason I play bass today, like so many other bass players, is, I discovered its importance to music and became totally intoxicated by it. It's the instrument that links melody and rhythm together and underpins how a band sounds. It's the defining element! Locking in with a drummer and playing solid grooves, then watching a crowd feel the bass and react to what you're playing is something I never get tired of. It's like plugging into a shared emotional experience. For me that's a really satisfying and cool thing to do. Gary Jibilian : My first love was the drums, at age five, which I played until I accidentally discovered the bass at age 17. The bass was a cheap, P-Bass knock-off, leaning against an old Fender 12 watt Bassmaster practice amp in my friends bedroom. I asked my friend, Ed, if I could check it out (it belonged to his neighbour), and he said, "Sure. Go for it." I fell in love with it right away, playing what little I could of "The Trooper" by Iron Maiden. After a few minutes, I said to myself, "I know I can play this thing!" I bought the bass and amp from his friend for $50.00, then later sold the bass to a schoolmate for $100.00 and kept the amp. :) What really appealed to me is how the bass is just as physical an instrument to play as drums are. I've always played finger-style, and have an aggressive touch, digging into the instrument, and feeling like it's very much a part of my body. I play/write on bass, thinking like a drummer more than a bassist. I enjoy the role the bass plays in a band, and meshes with the drummer (depends on the drummer, of course) to become a living, breathing, pulse, which drives the music like a locomotive, and gets the crowd shaking their booties! Bass is such an expressive instrument, where each player can influence how the song feels by letting the notes ring out, or by the fraction of a second of silence between the notes created by muffling. Pretty wild how the fingers on each hand are equally responsible for what contribute to a bass players unique "sound." Since 2000, I've also been playing the 8 string NS/Stick tapping guitarbass hybrid, which to me, is the perfect blend between a percussive instrument like the drums, the electric bass, as well as being able to play guitar solos.

Bass in your face! Jean Baptiste Collinet : "Why do I play bass guitar? Are you kidding me? Right now, its to convey my emotions as genuinely, truly, honestly as I can. To reach out and feel what reaches back. Certainly also to "question authority" by my behaviour towards some established musical "dogmas" and "prejudices". The bass guitar is a weapon of choice for that purpose. Having been nicknamed "the 8 million string bassist"(because I dare play on more than four strings) surely drove me totally nuts. Like if I wasn't already a headcase! Well, I became a bit touchy after that...The bass guitar is just a tool, no matter the number of strings. I shouldn't be judged and blamed for experimenting. There's also a way of playing that no one wants to break...I mean that I'm not interested at all by playing "in the pocket" and by using such words to describe what isn't to be dissected but felt. I despise the tyranny of the metronome, too. Such a music-killer!! That's just MY opinion. "Why do I play bass" is a tough question. It's like if I asked myself: "Why do I have grey eyes?" What am I expected to answer to it? I really dislike looking at the past, as I then need to go back to the times when I started, in order to get a clue about this "Why", and I see no point in doing so. Maybe Im mistaken, but once a thing is done, it's done, and a new set of questions arise. I am a "PRESENT-living" man. There is something, though, that may be universal, and I won't be an exception to it. I was discussing (by mail), with Jerzy Drozd, about the perennial conundrum of finding one's very own voice, in a world where everything sounds like its already been said and done. I asked him: "Didn't we all start because we felt...love?" He replied, with some awesome enthusiasm and BIG letters:"EXACTLY!!!!!" (With FIVE exclamation points, yup.) What else could be said about this? I think that it pretty much sums up the whole. Frankly, I don't feel Ive enough maturity to answer such a question. My blurb is messy, outspoken, straightforward, and absolutely not the best thing I have written so far about the bass guitar (so many players/artists/call them what you want/ already wrote it better than I ever will. The only thing I can do is write it my own way). It's just a step-exercise more towards realizing myself. Bass guitar players are the most down-to-earth and non-competitive (but the most frustrated) musicians ever! I studied academics thoroughly and still have much to learn. I played about twelve different instruments, of various kinds. I kicked balls in death-metal bands as a drummer, I played Lute and Cello in Baroque ensembles, and everything in between. I never found peace of mind and true satisfaction in it. It bored me quickly. Nothing compares to bass guitar players. I recall Mark Wright, Mr. Accugroove, writing to me "I'm myself a bass player, so I'm all about other players." Who else than a bass guitar player would have

written THAT? I guess that this unique mindset of the bass community is part of why I play bass, actually. The possibility of meeting inspired and inspiring people (i.e. via Bass Musician Mag) without any effort(or very little, at least) is undoubtedly a huge PLUS. As I 'm writing now, some aspects I wasn't even aware of unfold smoothly. It's exactly the same when I play music. Sometimes, there are "revelations" (if I ever release an album, I guess this may be the title). Please, everyone,, don't think I'm just a pretentious shit stirrer wanting to sound nice. I am a forever beginner, in music as well as in life. My path to self-realization is travelled on, with a bass, that's all." Jimmi Roger Pedersen : At age 10 with a little talent for playing the recorder, my teacher in school asked me to join the Copenhagen brass and woodwind band. My father and I were looking for the clarinet teacher but happened to meet the teacher for tuba. So there we go! and 5 years later my interest for electric bass came up through one of the my older tuba colleagues who used to play a few songs in the school band on this instrument. That sound was pretty hip and I bought one. Later on a friend asked me to buy a "real" bass for his new swing orchestra (Glenn Miller..........). I remember buying an upright bass 2 weeks before the band began, and 2 days before I started to practise. That was really hard to play a new bass directly from the factory. Well I didn't know any better, so I just played on. My father was very fond of piano trios like Oscar Peterson, Gene Harris, Ramsey Lewis and Three Sounds, and my ear got to know the playing of Niels Henning rsted Pedersen (NHP) very well. After high school I went to the music conservatory and met NHP as my teacher. He and other bass players like Charlie Haden and Eddie Gomez have been a great inspiration to my playing. Gavin Langevelt : When I first heard The Brothers Johnson and Stanley Clarke, I was completely blown away by the percussive sound that was produced by a bass guitar.....Mark King (Level 42) and more recently Victor Wooten, have taken the art of bass playing to a completely new level and I am still completely mesmerised. I must honestly say that the bass is very healing .. almost therapeutic to a degree. Jason Marsh : Music was always a part of family life when I was a kid. Neither of my parents were musicians but they were big music fans, my mother was an Elvis Presley fan and my father loved The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Cream, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, 50's rock and roll, the list goes on. As a kid the LP or album covers were so attractive and gatefold / double album covers were the best! You'd get to see the players, the instruments and I wanted to make those sounds, the big sounds. By age 12, I found out those "big sounds" were bass and I just had to find out more about it, bass was my first instrument of choice and to this day it's the only instrument I play, I'm in love with bass and the players who use it with great expression and beauty. Joe Sanchez : I've been fascinated by music since I was very young. There was something about the bass that just reached out to me even when I was too young to understand it. So when I decided to express myself musically, naturally the bass choose me.

Kim Clarke : I am an only child. My Dad loved Jazz - his father played professionally (Vaudeville trombone then bass) as did his maternal uncle (Cotton Club house bassist). Mom always exposed me to arts- ballet school etc I liked the live piano in the dance studio. My first friends in my teen years were musicians and with backyard bands all around, it was exciting if inaccessible. Then one friend sold me a no-name el bass for $15. I learned a James Brown lick and my secret hobby began. I played with records throughout my first year of college (as pre-med major) and eventually did my first gigs then a tour before graduating. After graduation, I started working in clubs. I was told I had a good ear. I worked a great deal learning Jazz on the bandstand and after having met Ron Carter- I received a grant from the NEA National Endowment for the Arts and took 6 lessons with him and other greats at Jazzmobile Workshop. When I can, I attend Barry Harris Jazz improv classes. Im still climbing that (educational) mountain. I always come home to, or keep, a Jazz gig as the tunes have so much great harmony to explore. Jesse Mogale : I would have loved to play trumpet but I never had one and no one in the family had played a trumpet before. There was always a guitar lying around in the house as a result I started learning to play the guitar on my own. In actual fact, it was a fender electric guitar converted into a bass. I must have been 15 at the time. A year or two later my brother, Moses, brought me an Ibanez bass guitar. At this point I occasionally filled my brother Humphreys position as bass guitarist in our brother, Moss Mogales Unit and I was learning a lot from him. Once I laid my hands on the bass I fell deeply in love with it though some years later, I learned to play trumpet as a second instrument. After the tragic death of Tholoane Mahlo the units former bass guitarist, I assumed a full time position as the groups bassist. Everywhere I went I took my bass with me. Through my BSc studies at Wits University the bass was with me and every opportunity I had to do a gig I would take it. I wished Id studied the bass formally, instead of Chemistry. I had the opportunity to jam with the late Bheki Mseleku at my brothers house and he suggested that I got myself a double bass - in his words he said you have it in you and you should be able to play it effortlessly. I acquired a double bass started to learn how to play without any formal training. I bought a double bass book, Jazz Compendium by Sigi Busch. I later joined the International Society of Bassists (ISB) and I was then introduced to a wider community of bass players. I had the opportunity to meet and learn from great bassists like Rufus Reid, Francois Rabbath, Ben Wolfe and Paul Ellison. Meeting these great personalities watching bassists like Ron Carter, Cecil McBee, Richard Davis, John Clayton, Christian McBride, John Patitucci has motivated me to learn more regarding the contrabass and further increased my love for the bass. Don Bryce : Back in the early eighties in East London, I used to strum a bit of guitar at braais, mostly nylon string. A friend of mine bought a double bass for R50 from a church and I thought that would be a great instrument to play. I moved to Windhoek unexpectadly -the boss came into the office and said "Wie soek promosie Windhoek toe?" and I put up my hand. Friday he was there with my ticket and Monday I was in Windhoek! Well, I didn't know anyone in Windhoek, so I started going to the folk club at the Gross Herzog Hotel to meet like-minded people. Because the folk club was on Sunday nights till late, most of the professional musicians in town were off duty and used to go there too. I befriended some of them 'cos their lifestyles fascinated me. They worked late and partied hard and slept late, whereas I had

to work office hours. Nevertheless, I started going to gigs, watching from backstage and helping lug equipment. I met a guy called Vossie van Rooyen, who was excellent on bass. He played in various bands, and I decided I also wanted to play bass. Most bass players were thin and had long hair. I also looked like that, but I still couldn't play bass. It just mystified me. Then I moved to JHB, where I met Rowan (Bunty) Walker. He was great on bass and blues harp. I learned blues harp but THE SKILL still eluded me. I often went to Plumb Crazy and listened to top flight jazz musicians. That impressed me but confused me even more. I moved to Durban, where there were some magnificent bands and bass players. One bassist could lie on his back on the floor and play. That was at Smugglers. I can't remember the name of the band, but I thought lying on your back was a cool stunt. That bass player also used to hang glide. I learned to hang glide and I was comfortable on my back, but I still couldn't play bass. I didn't even own a bass, but I decided that I would one day own at least a double bass. I went back to JHB to meet my wife. I saw this old Hofner fiddle bass at Magnet music shop and fell in love with it, but could not afford it. I hinted, and my wife bought it for me. We wanted kids, so I moved back to East London, where I met my best ever friend in music, Deon de Lange (now moved to Oz). Before we started playing regular gigs we used to frequent all the night spots where there were live bands (circuit musos were still in vogue) Brian and Lynn Peacefull were in town. they were very smooth and sophisticated. Brian had a wonderful melodic bass style. And.......he could sing while playing bass. There were other good bassists in town, one of whom was Les van der Veen. Superb. Oh yes, Out of the Blue were in EL for a 3-month stint, and they, also a Deon, and Gavin, used to swap bass and 6-string, doing a set each. The sound was radically different, depending who had the bass. When Deon was on guitar and vocals, it was rock, rock, rock, When it was Gavin's turn, it was quieter stuff and lots of reggae. That really inspired me, so when my Deon and I started playing as a two piece, we copied the idea. That's when I quickly learned to play bass! I was still using the Hofner, but when we played in a Battle of the Bands Contest, the sound man loudly and insultingly condemned it and told me to go and hang it on the wall in my lounge and get something decent. A long-standing East London band, Midnight Dynamoes, had a good bass player named Steve Ritchie. Steve played this really battered Fender Precision with a brilliant sound. The split coil had been chucked out and two separate Schalers fitted. I told him to sell it to me, which he did. I subsequently bought a second P-Bass, dead original, with a much "gentler" sound. I've since had lots of use out of both of them, and my later acquisition, a Phil acoustic/electric. The Hofner is now hanging on my wall (in a glass case). Next, I met a 94 year old man, George Watson, who played clarinet and sax in the Municipal Orchestra. I noticed he had a double bass standing behind his wardrobe, which he did not appear to use, so I told him to sell it to me. At first he refused, saying he would still learn to play it! I didn't want to rush him and risk being told to go hopping, so I left it for ten minutes and again told him to sell it to me. "Oh, I thought you didn't want it any more" he said. "If you want it, you can have it for R500". "That's inflation I suppose", I thought as I ran gasping to the bank and back. And that is "bass"ically my story!..................

Steve Doner : Like many others, I sort of stumbled into being a bass player but the main reason I stick with it and continue to become a more serious player is that the sound of the instrument stirs my soul in a way I never expected and cant quite put into words. I just never get tired of hearing the sound of a bass guitar. Even playing scales is fun to me. I got started when my son bought his first electric guitar at age 13. A week later I went back to the store and picked up a bass so we could have a shared hobby. I thought the bass would be easier for the old man to learn than guitar. Guitar has turned out to be great for father-son bonding during the teen years when it tends to become increasingly difficult to connect. Beyond that and the love of the sound, there is also a nostalgia element to it. I played trumpet for about 8 years in school but was never really into it that much. However it did teach me music fundamentals and appreciation which have been helpful in picking up bass. In addition, high-end audio was a hobby in my teens and 20s. I spent thousands on equipment and built some of my own gear. That has helped me to learn about and enjoy tinkering with amps, speakers, pickups and the like. Last but not least, as a religious man, music as an art form has given me a greater appreciation for and connection to Gods creation. In summary started by accident, fell in love with the sound and, now Ill never go anywhere without a bass guitar and a headphone amp (thank you Ned Steinberger for giving the world a more portable axe). Garth de Meillon : Everything in life vibrates even the smallest atoms vibrate at some frequency. With a Bass Guitar you get to create and direct these unbelievable vibrations. The Electric Bass Guitar is the youngest of all modern instruments. I mean the 6 string Contrabass was only designed by Anthony Jackson at the end of 80sIts possible to play chords, melody, basslines and deliver solos on an instrument that offers up more tone and creative options than we can ask for (I feel the 6 string Bass has a closer relationship to a Piano than to a Guitar). Compared to most other instruments the Bass Guitar has a relatively short history and a great unwritten futureAlthough its history is short it is rich and compelling...take the tragic but inspirational story of Jacoand the genius of Mingus. Then there are all the leaders of our timethe Wootens, Millers and Pattituccisall of them stoked to be continually learning and discovering on their instrumentcontinually evolving and redefining their voice

Then theres being part of the Rhythm Section (with that Drummer Guy)we are the cats taking care of the groovethe glue between the musos themselvesthe energy between the stage and the audience. On a personal level, I like the challenge of the Bass GuitarThe Techniques (slapping, popping, tapping, harmonics) are like nothing any other instrument requires from its playerthe frets are bigger, the strings are thicker, the neck is wider, the body is heaviergetting blisters!!! Then there is the Bassists Mentalityhe is the Dependable Underdogforever serving the music and the musiciansI dont think we choose to play bassrather, I think we choose to be defined by Bass Glenn Veale : The reasons why some people love to play the bass range far and wide from person to person. Firstly one must love the sound of the instrument, of course, but an important and often forgotten requirement is that the musician enjoys the role of the Bass within the general framework of music. If you're an egotistical, up-front type-A person, chances are the Bass is not your instrument. Consequently, Bass players tend to be more introverted, but philosophical creatures, prone to introspective mental meanderings during the interminably long rambling solos of fellow band mates. In short, besides loving the low growly tones of the instrument, I enjoy playing repetitive figures accurately and with conviction; and this is what separates the career bassist from the mere dabbler. Stuart Krahn : I had dabbled in guitar starting at age 10 but didn't have a lot of motivation. I learned a bit, could play some songs, but I just didn't put my heart into it. At 15, my parents gave me an incentive to do really well in French class at school. "Get an A and we will buy you your cousin's bass." As I am writing, I am realizing the convergence of events! 1) The incentive. 2) For the first time in 6 years of French class, I actually enjoyed it! 3) As a budding Rush fan, I was blown away by Geddy's solo break on the newly released La Villa Strangiato. I got the A and I got the bass, a short-scale Raven Fender knock off. But...I found myself back at the guitar. Took lessons, tried to build up chops - never very good. Then, our new worship pastor at my church came to me one day and said, "Your wife says you play a mean guitar." Bless her heart, she never got the difference. "Well, I don't right now, but I could." So, I went out and bought one and FROM THERE, never turned back! I love the freedom that comes in the worship environment. I hardly ever play the same song the same way, which wouldn't be true on a melodic instrument. I appreciate the bass as a weapon, but enjoy bringing that low-end musicality to life. Cees van der Weele : As a teenager I was having drum lessons at the local music school. One day the teacher brought his bass guitar in and I had to drum along with his bass lines. Intrigued by the instrument, he invited me along to a concert by his band, as their bass player was one of a special kind. This bass player was Theo de Jong. Once Id switched to the bass, my bass teacher told me about Jaco Pastorius and made me listen to him. As my teenage interests were changing and therefore my efforts to study were far below the required level to keep, up I stopped playing. 25 years later (about 2 years ago), I found the bass again and I've never studied so hard to catch up on lost time and the results are there. My current teacher (Harm van Sleen) was a student of Theo de Jong, who even did a Masterclass with Jaco Pastorius. Now I know where his inspiration and beautiful bass lines were coming from! It's never too late to play the bass. (again) Mark Freel : I started in std 6 (grade 8) I think.... I was playing guitar at that stage and some guys heard that I played and asked me to join as a bass player, well with my desire to be in a band and pull chicks I

said yes.... Then one falls in love with the instrument and its all over!! You spend the rest of your life trying to be the best you can be and have a lot of fun doing so.. Joseph Milstein : Playing the bass guitar, and being in a band was a fantasy of mine since I can remember. I spent endless hours as a boy, a teen, and into my 20s playing air-bass-guitar. I even won an air-band contest in college as the fake bassguitarist. And upon seeing Paul Simonon of the Clash and then Flea (my two great influences for style and attitude), my bass obsessions became permanent. But it was all just talk and dreams until a few years ago. My wife, sick of hearing me talk about how "I wish", and I should have etc, found me a bass teacher for before my 40th birthday. 3 years later, and its been all about the bass since then. Outside my wife, my kids and my real job, playing and practicing my bass and playing with my band, Information Overload, is all I think about and what I concentrate on the most. I met 4 other 40-something year old guys with similar stories and we're getting it done! We play small gigs and practice twice a week. Being the bass player in a band keeps me young, healthy, vibrant, calm and quite honestly, more pleasant to be around. Its the ultimate, natural sedative. I call it mental masturbation. No matter what bothers me or what issues I have at home or on the job, if I pick up my axe, or connect to practice with my mates, I drift into a new, happy zone. And I dont care what anyone thinks or says, the bass is the core, and the soul of any band. Clearly, I wish I would have done this 20 years ago but I'm thrilled that I'm doing it at 42 yrs old. At least now I can afford more on equipment. I probably spend too much time on bass forums and in bass stores than I should, but its become my true vice. Phil Peters : I was 15 years old in 1971 and guys I was friends with in high school were starting a band..2 guitar players a drummer and a singer who played harp and attitudebut they had no bass player.We played Johnny Winter, Allman Brothers, Rory Gallagher & J Geils band type material.. We were called the Famous Amos band. Playing bass suited me. I was never the loud obvious guy, I was the quiet logical type who just wanted to keep everything together. It made me feel good. I loved Rick Danko of the Band and Berry Oakley of the Allman Brothers. These guys were melodic but understated, great communicators and the glue that held it all together. Other than the music I love the look of the instruments. I had an Ibanez Jazz bass copy as my first bass. Moved from that to a Gibson EBO and from that to a Fender Jazz bass. I now own way too many basses and amps and try to play at least once a week in Gospel, Blues and Rock bandsfor the same reasons I started playing. It makes me feel good. Simon Goulding : Why do I play the bass?.............thats a great question. Its something Ive asked myself on numerous occasions. The bass is one of those special instruments that cover every part of the music at once. The bass player is responsible for the feel, the groove, the harmony, the melody (sometimes) and the overall musical wellness of the band. I remember as a 9 year old kid thinking I want to be a part of that. For me as a bass player, there is nothing better than the feeling of locking in with the drummer and providing an interesting harmonic base on which all the other instruments can do their thing. It all started

for me as a young kid listening to the radio, LPs and watching bands on TV. I was always intrigued by the person with the big guitar that stood next to the drummer. Whenever I saw or heard this, Id get goose bumps and wondered what was this, why does it make me feel like this? The two at the back were always together, working as a team. Whenever the music was taken up a level these two musicians would seem to make it happen. I became obsessed with the bass and pestered my parents to buy me one. My dad eventually got one for me for 30 from a guy at his work. It was a copy of a Gibson EB3. It was superb. I didnt know that I needed an amp too, but eventually got one. I started to take the bass everywhere. School, friends houses, familys houses carrying it in a bin liner to protect the body and a shopping bag to protect the headstock. It was never out of my hands. As a session musician recording and performing with many artists, the bass is always the instrument the artist and producer look to, to provide excitement, groove, harmonic movement and variety into the track. Ive always been open to all styles of music and the bass, in my opinion, is the best instrument to convey all of them. The bass player is involved in ALL the music. That is why I play the bass. Christian McBride : My initial inspiration was my dad who played electric bass with Mongo Santamaria and on Philly International sessions and my great uncle, a jazz musician who played acoustic bass. When I was about 6, I saw my dad play for the first time with Mongo and I immediately told my mom I wanted to play bass. Two years later she got me my first electric. After a while, she saw I was getting serious, so she sent me to a junior high school with a great music program and I began classical training and private lessons on the acoustic bass. When my uncle found out I was playing upright he was thrilled and turned me on to jazz so I owe my love of jazz to him. (Taken from Bass Player Magazine: February 1998) Schalk Joubert : I just loved the sound of it! Even as I kid I remember loving Bakithi Khumalo's playing on Graceland and being completely hypnotized by listening to the flowing melodic lines of John Paul Jones' sublime playing on Led Zeppelin's second album. I could listen to the 12-bar improvised section in "The Lemon Song" over and over, completely ignoring the vocals or the guitar and being totally transfixed on the power, groove and energy of the rhythm section. We had a Nylon-string guitar in the house and I remember removing the top two strings and clumsily started imitating my favourite bass lines on it. It took some convincing skills before my dad bought me my first bass guitar, a second-hand Precision copy. His concern

was that I would always need to rely on other musicians if the bass were to be my main instrument. So right there I started searching for music where the bass was the seminal ingredient in order to convince him. Even though it is not important at all for me in music now, that early obsession lead to my great love for an enormous variety of music and I realised that you don't need to just play jazz (which I did not learn to love until many years later) in order to be inventive or be able to improvise on the instrument. So since the beginning of my playing days I always tried in my own way to play the bass as creatively as possible. I found that the bass does not tell you what to play, it is just an instrument and as long as it is musical, there really are no limits as to the extent of where you can push the boundaries of it, the limits are only your imagination. Thanks to the many master innovators over the years who pushed our consciousness on the instrument, we have a bottomless well of inspiration to be a creative musician dealing with grooves, melodies, harmony, beauty, power and fundamental ensemble playing on the one instrument that in my books is the most amazing invention ever - the Bass Guitar! Albert Hobson : I got started on bass watching an episode of Sanford and Son on television. Fred Sanford was playing a wash bucket bass (bucket, string, and broom handle). I was about twelve at the time and I thought if he can do it so can I. So I put together one of my own. The next year Larry Graham came out with a song called The Jam. Once I heard that I was hooked. Also during this time Bootsy Collins had a song out called Strechin Out. My dad got tired of watching me play the wash bucket and bought me a bass for Christmas when I was thirteen. Kenny Aaronson : From the age of five I was hearing rock and R&B on the radio, because my older brother played drums. My dad built a monophonic hi-fi system with one huge speaker cabinet that put out tremendous amounts of bass, so every day I would lie on the floor with my face in the speaker, intrigued by rhythm and low end. I started playing drums at age 11, but around the same time, I became attracted to bass after seeing a Fender Precision on the TV show Shindig. There was something powerful about the long neck and the big headstock and tuning keys of an electric bass, so I talked my mum into buying one for me. When I was 14, I was invited to join a neighborhood band: the first time I played with them I broke all my strings because the guitarist was giving me tuning notes and I didnt know how to tune the bass in relation to the guitar! (Taken from Bass Player Magazine: May 1996) Jason Green: In high school we noticed that the two guitar players seemed to be getting all the girls. So, we started a band. Since I was the last guy to arrive at our first rehearsal, I became the bass player. Tim Bogert : I actually started out plying clarinet in the seventh grade. I switched to saxophone in the ninth grade and then began playing in bands. When I was a senior in high school, the band I was in had two guitar players, two saxophonists and a drummer the other sax player doubled on guitar. He was also the lead guitarist. Back then, we were playing a lot of Ventures things. We did one song they recorded , Pipeline, which called for three guitars and bass, so I started playing bass to let the other guys do the guitar parts. I just sort of shifted to it over the next two or three years. I played a Danelectro bass for a short while and then really got into it with a Fender

Jazz Bass with a Precision neck. I started off playing with my thumb and it took me quite a while to learn to play with my other fingers. Currently I use my index, middle and ring fingers and now Im learning again to finger pop with my thumb. So its come full circle for me. (Taken from Bass Heroes) Nick Beggs : I can remember the first time I knew I wanted to become a professional bass player. It was after seeing Aristotle and the Plipple Plopple play live at the Oxford New Theatre in June 1974 during the "Plop Plop and way tour." Ever since that time the name Diesel Weatherhorn has become a beacon in my soul and an avatar for all that is original and qualitative in my life. I even named my first three children after him because of his amazing bass work on "There's a plop in my eye." My children maybe victimized and bullied at school but they can hold their heads high knowing that they are named after the master. I make sure I get the Horn every day, Diesel Weatherhorns the reason why. Markus Setzer : five reasons: first: I wanted to be a part of a band second: I love the deep sound third: I love it when my fingertips are burning ;-) fourth: Its the instrument with the best sound and possibilities. I can play bass-lines, chords, drums and melodies...everything is possible! fifth: I like to make the people move ;-) Sammy Webber : I learned to play electric guitar in matric and also joined a band as one of the guitar players. I was basically an all rounder from the beginning - filling in for the bassist, drummer and keyboard player, what ever was required. Then after about two years, our permanent bass player decided to leave the band and I was left with no choice but to take up the challenge and since then Ive never looked back! Bootsy Collins : What really started me off was listening to my brother Catfish (Phelps Collins), who was playing a guitar all the time. He had a little band that I was always seeing around the house.. Hearing them play really got me into it. As a matter of fact, when I was about nine, I used to play my brothers guitar when he wasnt around. I kept asking my mom about getting me a guitar of my own, so she finally got me one. It was a Silvertone a $29.95 job. It was a greenish blue solid-body electric with a white pickup on it. That guitar was really pretty nice and I turned it into a bass later. I just put four strings on it. Actually, my true ambition was to play guitar in a group with my brother, but he played guitar and was much better than me. So I said I might as well change this thing into a bass. In school we used to have talent shows and I just messed around then. But the first band I really got into, was my brothers. There were three of us in it myself, the drummer Frankie Waddy and Catfish. We called ourselves the Pacemakers. That was around 1967. We were doing things by Lonnie Mack and songs like Peter Gunn and of course we were into James Brown. We did the stuff that was happening. When I was about 15 or 16 at King Studio (in Cincinatti) we started being a studio band and we did that up until about 1969, when we joined up with James Brown and became the JBs. Excerpt from Bass Heroes

Darius Willemse : My girlfriend, whos also a bassist, always says you can spot a bassist a mile off, which is of course very true! What makes us so different then? I think its basically the fact that, unlike the rest of the band, we dont need to show off. In fact, like all bassists know, its when youre NOT playing that everyone hears the difference. Were content just to be a part of the music, without trying to overpower the rest of the band, because we know that without us, theyd just be noise. Therein lies our strength, knowing that youre part of something bigger, laying, along with the drums of course, the foundation for great music. Oh, and of course its just so big and heavy and pretty and! A great bass line makes a song, and I want to be the one playing that line. Brian Lee : It all started as an innocent sibling competition. "if she can do it, so can I?" A few lessons from the primary school music teacher, some chords and a 3/4 classical guitar from my mom and the dream was alive! I continued to teach myself all I could learn from books and friends and eventually joined a church music team where I was inspired by many passionate musicians. In high school, I bought my first bass guitar with money earned delivering newspapers. I had found my passion! Friends started a high school band that continued for 8 years, fortunately high school wasn't that long. Through the years I put together my own recording studio and found further joy creating digital art in the studio. The power that lies within music and the rush I get when on stage with my bass rig behind me and bass in hand is what drives me and inspires me to play bass. I am currently playing bass for Mark Haze, a South African rock band. Michael Dimin : Music filled our house, from my fathers jazz records, my moms show tunes and my older siblings 60s rock music. My father was a tremendous musician and my mother had an innate sense of time that was second to none. She tried to teach me to dance, but to no avail. I have no recollection of wanting to play bass or even why my parents signed me up for lessons. Unlike many here, I had no friends that played guitar that needed a bassist. I actually flunked out of drum class at Howell Road Elementary School (I kept forgetting to bring my sticks to class). I was about 12 when I started bass lessons at the local music studio, with, of course, a guitar teacher, teaching bass. I did the Mel Bay and the Carol Kaye thing (I still have my Carol Kaye books to this day), played classic covers with some friends, wanting, always, to be a marine biologist. That changed in 1976, with the release of Return to Forevers Romantic Warrior and the eponymous Jaco Pastorius. A door had opened, there was light at the end of the hallway. I saw a time where bass could be so much more than it was and even more than many define it today. It was difficult to look at music as more than a hobby. I went off to college to major in Biology with, by then, a half-hearted goal of being a marine biologist. I was involved in every musical opportunity, minored in music and eventually transferred to the Berklee College of Music where I found MY voice. None of this states Why I Play Bass. The bass is a tool to communicate the things that I need to where words cannot suffice. The bass is a place for me to go when chaos and confusion surround me. The bass is a voice so I may thank those who inspire and support me. The bass is my challenge to think better, act better, communicate better and most importantly be better. I am a better person when I am playing my bass. Wesley Chetty : I bought a Kenny G Live DVD and watched with amazement as Vail Johnson rattled off a wicked bass solo, the next day I popped into T.O.M.S and bought a 4-string IBANEZ Sound Gear and a little IBANEZ practice amp, Ive been in love with the instrument ever since. Dont under-estimate the influence of a bass solo, youll never know who in the audience youre gonna inspire.

Randy Coven : My answer is very simple and theres nothing philosophical about it. I started playing bass for two reasons #1 There were no bass players when I was in high school, just drummers and guitar players. I was, of course, one of the drummers. #2. I wanted to stand up and play so I satisfied both of my needs. I got gigs and I could move around the stage. Now, of course, many years later, Im glad I was such a knucklehead back then because bass guitar is such a big part of who I am. Nippy Cripwell : The Pop Group explosion in the early 60s made me want to play in a band. I played violin as a boy, but hearing the Beatles / Byrds / Animals / Stones I just knew I wanted to be part of that. Most groups in my home-town Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), had guitars / drums / singer, but generally no Bass players. So that was my gap. Bought a red vinyl covered, Fender shaped Hofner, second hand and I was off and running! The iconic moment? The opening bars of the Byrds Mr. Tambourine Man when Chris Hillman played that octave gliss from low D up to the high D - helloo!! The Bass guitar cut through on those 60s records, gave the bottom end definition. Suddenly you noticed it. That was the power, the thing that moved me. Thats what I wanted to play. In quick succession I picked up on R&B, Detroit / Memphis Soul, Motown and the riff orientated Rock stuff Cream / Hendrix / Deep Purple. Like so many of us, The Jaco album was hugely influential. I had decided to study Double Bass when I turned professional, so switching to fretless was natural. My Precision Fretless was my axe of choice for many years. I could cut anything on that. Percy Jones (Brand X), Colin Hodgekinson (Back Door) and Misters Chuck Rainey, James Jamerson, Anthony Jackson and Rocco Prestia (Tower of Power) were my Main Men. On Double Bass on the Classical side it was Gary Karr and, more recently, Edgar Meyer who made an impression. In my early days Scott Lafaro with Bill Evans left me dumbstruct. At the time I had no idea what he was doing but it spoke volumes. All Miles Davis Bass players (Paul Chambers, Ron Carter, Dave Holland, Michael Henderson, Marcus Miller) have been influentially wonderful. I could go on and on. Vail Johnson : When I first heard Paul McCartney playing bass (on a recording), the sound literally jumped out at me! Seriously, the bass line just grabbed me by the collar. It seemed so much louder than the rest of the track and had me hooked right there. I started copying the bass lines on an old acoustic guitar that was sitting around the house. My Dad was completely supportive of all the family's musical interests; he bought me a new bass and amp and I never looked back! PJ Phillips : As a 15 year old boy (1979), I was watching a BBC show called 'The Old Grey Whistle Test'. Rickie Lee Jones was on. She was a new artist and was playing her single "Chuck E's In Love" and I thought "PJ P's In Love" with that sound. A Fender bass played by the great Willie Weeks. I bought the album, a bass guitar (very cheap thing) and started 'looking for the notes' on the bass. No training.... No YouTube in those days. In fact nowhere to go to learn electric bass! Next was Deep Purple's 'Come Taste The Band', then 'Made In Europe'... Glenn Hughes has always been a major influence as bass player and singer.

Then I studied (self taught) from books and by ear, listening for hours/days trying to get a bass line. By then I was into Rush, Brand X and 70's Funk. By complete coincidence, I was in a music shop in Shaftsbury Avenue (Sounds Music). This blonde haired guy came in and was AMAZING at slap bass. I asked him a few questions and he explained very nicely...'Think drums/percussion...thumb/mute/pull. The muting is vital for this sound.... *amazing bass slap for two minutes* - It was a very young and unknown Mark King! I saw him a year later with his band Level 42. I was with my best friend Martin (also a bass player). We heard something on the radio 'Love Games' Better see this... The bass player sounds great. It was their first London show! They came onstage - ....."THAT'S THE GUY FROM THE SHOP!!!" Most of the set was Instrumental, then of course, he sang lead vocal on 'Love Games' AND played at the same time Unbelievable! Martin and I were silent.... The walk back to the tube was in silence I wanted to give up playing.... But couldn't.... Too late. Gordon "Gordy" Johnson : I started playing the piano by ear when I could reach it. I figured things out early on and found later that I had perfect pitch. I started playing bass when I was about 11 or 12 years old, with my dad's encouragement, and I learned that it was fun to play the low notes. Dad played bass, both in the symphony orchestra and around town on jobbing dates, and also a bit of jazz. Mom was a piano teacher, so there was plenty of music for me and my brother, bassist Jimmy "Flim" Johnson to absorb! I saw my first rock band in about 7th grade and there was this guy playing bass in the dance band who was a very good bassist, and was a charismatic presence. He had really long hair (for that time!) and great stage presence; James Worthington Kane. He went on to be in a Minneapolis band called "The Litter" which became quite popular. Anyway, that was the "live rock" band side of my influence. There was also pop radio, the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, etc... Our parents also had some jazz recordings which I began studying back in those days. The Oscar Peterson Trio with the great Ray Brown. They also had a big collection of Nat Cole, Ahmad Jamal, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, George Shearing, Herb Ellis, and so on. So I got to listen to quite a bit of that as I was growing up. The junior and senior high school both had a jazz band that played a bit, and I was the electric bass player for those bands. Strangely enough, I took up the flute in 3rd grade and got into the Eastman School of Music as a flute major! However once there I began an involvement as electric bassist with the Eastman Jazz Ensemble and Studio Orchestra, and was involved with other non-school jazz bands at that time as well. The keyboard trio, "Petrus" was chosen in a nationwide contest to perform at the Newport Jazz Festival at Avery Fischer Hall in New York in '73. That group included fellow ESM students, Phil Markowitz on piano and Ted Moore on drums. After graduating from ESM, I was called to tour with Maynard Ferguson, which I was secretly hoping for. I really wanted to be in that band, so it came true! There I got to see the world and play with some fine musicians. Peter Erskine played drums for 2 of my 3 years in that band. Bobby Militello, Mark Colby & Mike Migliore were in the sax section. Later on, I toured with Roy Buchanan, Doc Severinsen, the Paul Winter Consort and Chuck Mangione. When I finally quit touring in '89 and decided to settle back in my home town of Minneapolis, that's when I actually became more deeply involved in playing jazz on the bass violin. I'm self-taught, though I did get a few pointers from my dad early on. I never studied classically and never got the arco thing happening too well. I consider myself a pizzicato specialist! I think of my main influences on bass violin as Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Sam Jones, Paul Chambers, Scott LaFaro & Eddie Gomez. On electric, I think my likely influences were James Jamerson, Carol Kaye, Chuck Rainey, Will Lee and of course in about 1977, Jaco Pastorius. I have produced 5 of my own piano trio CDs on my independent "Tonalities" label, featuring numerous pianists & drummers. Why I play bass, however, is because it's really fun... No mystery there! Ike Onwuagbu : Well I consider myself a musician then a bassist. I started in music when I was 4 or 5 my parents bought me a toy xylophone. The tones from the toy, intrigued me. Like kids and toys, the xylophone fell apart but regardless, the seed was planted. Later on, at the age of 10 I joined the choir,

encouraged by my Mum and thats where I got started in music properly. As a kid, I started in the soprano section, fiddling around on the piano/organ/keyboards, then moved to the tenor section about 3 years later but I noticed something, being in the choir, - any time I heard a song, the bass part came to me naturally. Then at the age of 16 (after 6 years of being in the choir), I picked up the bass. The bass I started on belonged to the Choir, so any time I was away from the choir - at home, for instance, I had a piece of plywood approximately the length and breath of a 20 or 22 fret bass guitar on which I marked all the dots and the 4 strings - I used it to practice. In 1 month of starting the bass, I was playing in the choir-band. Obviously at the time I naturally moved to the bass part of the choir. The rest is pretty much down hill. The choir in which I started, had 3 components, the choir, the choir orchestra and the choir band. Instruments like sax, trumpets, trombone's, tuba's, violin's, viola's, drum kit, keyboards, guitar's etc, were very much present in the choir all to suit each component of it. Like I said in the beginning I'm a musician first, then a bassist. After the bass, I learnt to play the keys well enough to play in the choir band, learnt to play the sax, the tuba and trombone - which I played in the choir orchestra, I also dabbled a bit on violin and voila. At one time I could play 8 instruments, the bass, guitar, drums, keyboards, sax, tuba, trombone and violin and 50% of theses instruments I could play in any component of the choir. As the years went by, I stuck to the bass. Now I just dabble in drums, keys, guitar I love music so much because of the limitless universal colours, emotions one can paint with 12 tones and the bass clef/part provides the foundation, the foreground for the countless ideas, paintings to come through. That's why I play bass guitar, being able to provide foundation, play melodies, chords and solo's etc Dan Rubel : Like so many others, I started on a different instrument. I started playing tuba in middle school, seventh grade. While in high school, I continued to play tuba, but during my sophomore year, the bassist in the jazz band at the time was graduating, so I told the band director that Id like to start playing bass in the jazz band my junior year. He agreed, so I went right out and got my first bass, an Aria Pro II from Florida Discount Music in Melbourne, FL, and I purchased a little Peavy Basic 40 amp as well. I also bought a book entitled, Heavy Metal Bass Lines, which included transcriptions of one of my favorite bands at the time, Iron Maiden. One song in particular caught my fancy entitled, Phantom of the Opera, because it had a brief paragraph before the transcription which stated, If you can play this, what do you need me for? I just couldnt pass up the challenge, so that summer before my junior year, I concentrated on learning that song, and by the third month, I had mastered it. I was hooked on playing bass ever since. My junior year, I really started researching jazz bassists, and like pretty much every aspiring jazz bass player, happened upon Jaco Pastorius, and like every jazz player before or since, was just blown away and inspired by Jacos virtuosic style. After I graduated high school, I was side-tracked for a few years, got into computers, etc., but I caught the bug again, and I went back to Brevard Community College to continue my studies. While at BCC, the BCC jazz band was invited to participate in the University of North Floridas school day program, where the UNF faculty critiques schools and gives them pointers on how to improve, etc. While there, I fell in love with the campus and the jazz program in particular. I dare say theres no school in the country with a better jazz program than UNF, with the incomparable Bunky Green as its director. I was truly honored and blessed to be a part of such a fine program. I graduated from UNF in 1997 with a Bachelors degree in jazz performance, and even though, sadly, I dont play much jazz these days, I look back at my days at UNF as some of the most inspiring and joyful days of my life. Today, I continue to play, mostly corporate/wedding type music and rock, but any time Im playing bass, no matter what the style or venue, its a truly blessed feeling to just hold the bass in my hands and play. Its such a true joy playing music, and I wouldnt trade it for anything.

Dan Hestand : I have always been around music. I started playing piano before I was in school but to the frustration of many piano teachers, played by ear. I have always been able to read music, but it never mattered. When I was about 10 years old, I started playing trumpet, spending an entire summer teaching myself (mostly incorrectly) to play by playing along with Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. From there I moved to the Baritone Horn and then to the Euphonium and Tuba. It was an easy progression since I could read music like a pianist and that was an advantage over others. At age 13, I started playing brass with the Houston Youth Symphony. Since I sat near the back and next to the Contrabass player, we would sometimes switch around. At the same time I developed an interest in the guitar but did not pursue that fully until age 16 when I bought my first guitar (a cheapo no-name guitar). I had an older friend who was heavily invested in Marshall amplifiers, Fender guitars, and a Fender bass. We started playing together occasionally and I ended up playing the bass. During high school I played in an occasional band where our primary focus was on how much volume we could achieve without too much worry about the quality. I had realized that music was something I enjoyed but would not follow as a career so I put aside the bass, traded my Yamaha steel string acoustic for a Yamaha classical guitar and focused on a career that started in physics, moved to meteorology, and has finally ended up in software engineering. During a consulting engagement with Bose Corporation, an annual Bose event brought me together with 3 other colleagues to form a band called HeadUnit. I purchased a Guild fretless, a Behringer amp, and started practicing again. I recalled how much I truly enjoyed making music. HeadUnit focused on Stevie Ray Vaughn and similar blues artists. We played the Bose event to a packed house and actually got people off their seats and rocking. I had so much fun that I went out and bought a Fender J-Bass and a Line 6 amp to provide more flexibility. I don't play in a band right now but still practice and have started working with Logic Studio and my midi controller and instrument input devices. I hope to keep playing and perhaps find a band to play with. Hartmut Hillmann : I started in 1976, at age 15 on my elder brothers Hofner Guitar. He bought this Strat clone because, he wanted to learn to play, but as he wasnt too good at school, he had to work and make money. I went to school and thus I had plenty of time to play around with his instrument. We lived in the countryside, no music school, no books, no teacher. Records were very hard to get. I had a Canned Heat album, it had been the only one for years. One day my father bought a car magazine with a home HIFI-special supplement. It comprised an article about testing your stereo for lowfrequency capability. They recommended Stanley Clarkes self titled album. I went to the newly opened record store and ordered it. After four weeks I held it in my hands, setting it carefully to the turntable expecting the stylus to jump out of the groove, as the HIFI article predicted for low quality systems. This didnt happen, but WTF was coming out of those speakers???

That was the day I changed my mind from guitarist to bassist. Since I had not the faintest idea, how a bass was tuned, I turned the Hofner guitars strings as low as possible and played along through one channel of the stereos phono input, the other channel was for Stanley. My bass guitar sounded horribly distorted. I had to save all my money for a bass guitar and a bass amp for two years. Then I drove with a friends father to the next bigger city with a music store, where I got a Japanese Marvin Jazz bass clone and a Mesa Zoom Mesa Boogie-style 100 watts transistor bass amp. I was really lucky with the bass, because I bought it only for its black nylon strings with red wrapped ends, how cool that was!!! In 1979 I discovered Jaco Pastorius, who turned my mind again. Then Marcus Millers fat thumb, Anthony Jacksons six string superiority and Gary Willis fretless art, which also turned my mind completely, everyone in his own style. Thats what happened for the last 33 years and here I am still learning how to transform my personality into this wonderful instrument day after day. Im grateful! Stefan Redtenbacher : Writing meaningfully about the question 'why I play bass' has circulated around my brain for quite some time now and although it would have been nice to come up with a singular strong reason, there isn't one. Instead there are cause and effect stories, chance, non linear stories and at the heart of it, a lot of emotions around this quest. To pre-empt where I stand musically today: I love playing jazz funk and my band, the Redtenbacher's Funkestra, plays this music the way I hear it and I have all the gratitude in the world for the guys in the band who for years, many records and gigs later, have been with me and tolerate my, at times, no doubt stern leadership:) However, going back to the very beginning of my exploration I have to pay tribute to, maybe somewhat surprisingly, Iron Maiden and, unbeknown to me at the time, Steve Harris. I was not really able to discern between the instruments at the time and certainly did not understand that the instrument that I was naturally attracted to was the bass. I only felt that I loved the bottom end in the music, the thing that made my belly rumble and made me feel good. Around that time, a friend with whom I played a lot of sport, was playing in a metal band and voila, my first encounter with the 'oversized guitar'. He played the classic Rickenbaker bass and I started to sit in to listen to his band's rehearsals. Kindly, he also showed me classic riffs like 'Smoke on the Water' and 'Child In Time' by Deep Purple. I was hooked! Inevitably I eventually ran to my parents with the request for a bass guitar for Christmas. In their opinion they thought it would be better to play guitar first and presented me with a second hand acoustic guitar one happy Christmas. In addition, to acknowledge my initial wish they also presented me with a play-along bass instruction book. That Christmas evening was spent playing along to a little black plastic disc which you had to put on top of a vinyl single and I was labouring through blues bass lines and cream's 'Sunshine of Your Love'. I did not abandon the top two strings of the guitar altogether, although I spent the majority of my time on the bottom strings. I'm glad my parents gave me a guitar first as I also learned a few chords and provided

backing to many get togethers where people always fancied a sing along. I still play (rhythm) guitar today and love that too. My singing? That is another matter... All this was enough fun to justify getting myself my first bass and also to escape the, in my opinion, boring things that my age group were up to and possibly things that also I could not get into, even if I wanted:) One rainy day I jumped on my trusty bicycle and cycled to an industrial estate. In there I went to every single office to ask for a summer temp job to be able to buy my first bass guitar. After many bemused looking receptionists, who could say 'no' with considerable charm, I finally ended up, purely by chance, with a company that hired the director of my business school as a consultant...however, I only found that out once someone else said yes to my plea. That summer I spent in the dusty roof top of their archive, relocating files from the 1950s into new box files, wearing a blue overall and being made fun of by my colleague temps. All this did not matter as my first bass was in sight and my resilience was strengthened. 14th of August 1984, and nothing was between me and my beloved red Ibanez Blazer that I had been googling up and down in the showcase window of the late Mr. Armsdorfer's music shop (he also taught accordion in a white coat??) in the town centre of Salzburg, Austria. Tunes that I recall playing with my new treasure were 'Chameleon' by the Headhunters, 'Jean Pierre' by Miles Davis, 'Do you feel the way I do' by Peter Frampton and 'Child In Time' by Deep Purple, although I must say that rock tunes quickly disappeared from my playlist in favour of more jazzy and funky explorations... My beloved bass was a type of Fender P-bass copy with one split PU, a white scratch plate and a thick Dshape neck. All this changed very swiftly when I saw Jaco Pastorius live in the old Salzburg Kolpinghaus in the spring of 1986 - this was certainly a mile stone in my musical education... Hearing Jaco play the Weather Report opener 'Black Market' through an Acoustic amp plus octaver... in the first row, a few arm lengths away from his amp certainly cemented my want to become and stay a professional bass player. Right after seeing Jaco it was clear that I needed to 'pimp' my bass by installing the midrange and 'honkey' jazz bass PU. How my carpenter friend and I managed to install active EMG PUs I don't know, less so why we thought the night before my first major outdoor festival gig with my first band was the right time to do it, but sometime in the early hours of the morning we had the 'Jaco' sound at my disposal. Another important factor in my early musical bass education was my contact with another enthusiast bassist by the name of Toni Feldman who ran a really cool cafe/bar with a huge vinyl collection which he spun with glee: Earth, Wind and Fire, Weather Report, Mike Stern, Herbie Hancock's Headhunters, Level 42...what a treat in the otherwise classical music dominated historic town of Mr. Mozart and Karajan! Needless to say, all these artist's music is decidedly bass heavy and this just seemed to strengthen my calling to become a 'serious' bass player. 27 years onwards and I still love to play my bass. My original impulses of why I started to play bass are still valid, namely that it just feels good and to control the low frequencies of any good music. After many phases and permutations, new insights have made themselves available to me and hopefully this will continue to be that way in the future. Nevertheless here are my current thoughts around 'Why I play bass' (in case you thought I lost track of my original journalistic quest:) Sting said something like the following in an interview in a bass magazine: "The bassist is the quiet captain of the ship. In an orchestra, for example, 40 violinists might play a C major triad, however it is not unless I play a C. This is real power and strength." Over time I've also come to understand and relish the 'quiet captain' role and I have become more aware of the huge responsibilities that come with playing the bass being the only instrument to tie together rhythm, harmony and melody is no small feat and certainly does not generally come with public accolades. Bassists are often made fun of as 'failed guitarists' and the wooden faceless person at the back of the stage by the layman. This does not bother me in the slightest. I believe it needs a person of great character and strength to hold this all important position and a person that does not need the limelight and the 'look at me and admire me, and tell me how great I am' ego massage. I almost feel there is a kind of secret code amongst bassists that might quietly sneer towards the more attention seeking musician fraternity but at the same time understanding that to create a complete musical picture you need a fore, middle and background. This is also one of the reasons why I think bassists make great producers as they concern themselves with all elements in the music - Paul McCartney, Marcus Miller, Larry Klein, Sting... The list is endless. Bassists generally know who they are and where their strengths lie. Giving it up for the greater good of great music, gluing together the sometimes disparate musical elements and its musicians, finding a groove, staying in it and being in the zone with others have all near religious importance for me and that is why I play the bass.

Ashley Kelly : I was at Art School in Johannesburg in the early sixties and a friend of mine, who had once played with the Mickey Most band, was involved in an outfit that had no bass player. One thing led to another and I started playing bass. It didnt take long for me to realise that this was a far bigger task than I had visualised and that I needed a teacher. I found a marvellous guitar teacher by the name of Gilbert Stroud, who really became a mentor to me, and soon talked me into learning guitar as well. This was the best thing I could have ever done as it immediately broadened my whole perspective as to what a bass player needed to know and do in a band. As I took in all this knowledge Gilbert started encouraging me to listen to jazzy type stuff, another great thing he did for me! I started playing with his dance band alternating on guitar and bass and had soon developed a huge appetite for the standards. Dont think I was not listening and playing all the rock stuff as well, I was, but deep down I preferred standards over pop music. Basil Fearrington : I started out in elementary school playing brass instruments. The first one was trumpet and then French Horn. I could read, was in the orchestra and all but the idea of soloing was a bizarre concept that I couldnt even begin to do on trumpet. My two older brothers both played instruments. One is a drummer and the other played every instrument in an orchestra, bass included. When I was 15 years old or so, I asked him to draw a diagram of the notes on a fretboard. I could already read. I just needed to be able to figure out the notes. The very first tunes I learned were, Time Is Tight by Booker T & the MGs and Slys, Everybody Is a Star. My drummer brother worked in the Billy Paul band for a good while and Billy always had stellar musicians in those days, jazz musicians. The first bass player in that band that I met was Tyrone Brown. Tyrone is primarily an upright player but was very helpful. He directed me to the Simandl books for reading. Tyrone was later replaced by Alphonso Johnson when he moved on. It was Alphonsos fretless bass that was the very first fretless I ever played. They let me sit in on a band set. We played Quincy Jones version of, Whats Going On with the walking bass and another tune by Grant Green called, Dracula. I was as scared as )(*&. Alphonso was very helpful and influential. Alphonso would eventually leave to join Woody Hermans band. I got the biggest kick years later when I was playing with Michal Urbaniak and we opened for Weather Report with Alphonso playing. His replacement in the Billy Paul band changed my life! Anthony Jackson replaced Alphonso in that band. This was way back in 1973 or so and no one had ever seen a bass guitarist like Anthony. His playing today is nowhere close to the kind of ridiculous, circus-like things that he was doing when he was very young. No one in the world compared to him. A lot of guys do now with double-thumbing and things like that what he did with 3 fingers on the right hand without any slapping or use of the thumb. He was playing impossible stuff but at the same time, could play on the most laid back R&B piece, like Me & Mrs. Jones.

Anthony and I became very good friends. I inhaled every note of every session he did. I learned the pick and flanger technique (used like crazy on Urszula, the album by Michal Urbaniaks ex-wife), and it was Anthony who turned me on to James Jamerson, really life-changing stuff. For the great majority of my early years, the goal was to play like Anthony and even though I am beyond that today, you will hear the influence when my CD is released. The bass shown in my picture was given to me by Anthony as a token of his respect for me and our friendship. It is the 6th Fodera contrabass that he had made for him. I play bass because that is the best way, as far as an instrument is concerned, that I can express myself musically. However, having played now for what seems like a billion years, it is important for all bass players, in fact, for all musicians, to understand that the music comes before the bass. The greatest bass player or musician in the world cannot save a composition or song that sucks and quite often, the goal of the solo bass player is to communicate more ego than music. So, today, I focus as much on composition, arranging, and production as I have on bass and I hope to show it all on my release, to be titled, Mu sic Obsession. Chuck Rainey : I started out at a very early age on piano thats preschool age. The family was very musical: my sister and my mother sang and my father played piano. My mother also played a piano but she was really a flutist. When I got into school, I took piano lessons for a couple of years and then I took violin lessons for about three years. In the sixth grade I started playing trumpet and thats where it really started. I played trumpet all through grade school, high school and college. Except when I got into college, I majored in brasses, so baritone horn became my main instrument. I was trained exceptionally well on the horn; I can attribute a lot of knowledge that really helped me get into the business when I started playing bass, to my schooling on the brasses. But they didnt teach me how to play, you know; they taught me how to perform and function in a symphonic situation. Like reading charts, orchestration, breathing and stuff like that. When I was in school, I realised that I was an excellent musician, but I couldnt play, if you know what I mean. I went to a jam session when I came home one summer and took my horn out and attempted to blow but I couldnt without any music in front of me. They were playing the blues in F and I was 20 and there were guys 17, 18 and 19 they were gettin it, they were playing! And I wanted to be good at whatever I did, in any environment. I had always fooled around a little with guitar and with some friends, we started rehearsing some things in the house and we got a gig. I played the guitar for about six months. At first I played bass on my guitar. I tuned the low E string down as far as it would go without clanking. I used a thumbpick and then switched to a fingerpick, but I had to take the pick off, to play jazz. So one day I saw some group that had an electric bass I had never seen one before and I always thought that sound was a 6-string bass guitar. And here was this great big long thing and I liked it, so I got one. I loved it as soon as I got my hands on it. I was almost reborn. Where I came from, in Ohio, it was all upright and organ basses, so when I got the instrument, I was the only guy in town that had it. Everyone seemed to like what I played; popularity just started spreading. Excerpt from Bass Heroes

John B. Williams : I was born in the Bronx, New York, and lived on Sugar Hill in Harlem as the only son of a middle-class family surrounded by beautiful, talented women and beautiful music. Music was a staple in our house, while also drifting in through the back windows of our apartment every afternoon: Sonny Rollins practicing, practicing, practicing. He taught me that to practice is a lifestyle as important as breathing - if you were serious about the music. It all began with my sisters, Jackie and Joyce, who inspired me to play drums and piano. My Mother favoured the quieter piano, although, eventually she relented and together with my elder sister Joyce, bought me my first Slingerland drum set at age twelve. I also learned to play Latin percussion (Congas, Bongos, and Timbales) to do my living in racially mixed 'Sugar Hill," As a teen I played drums at community events and then the piano with a neighborhood jazz group called "The Jazz Disciples." We won the Amateur Night contest at the famed Apollo Theatre three weeks in a row. Another sister, June, convinced our mother that I should study ballet (she majored in Ballet at the High School Of Performing Arts in New York) to keep me off the streets. So much for my tough image! However, ballet exposed me to modem dance and the music of Stravinski, Copeland, Bernstein as well as Broadway musical theatre. Yet another sister, Jean, played bass in her Seward Park High School orchestra, and she introduced me to the instrument that would stay with me for the next fifty years. When I joined the Marine Corps in 1960, I returned to the drums which afforded me the opportunity to make extra money playing with local bands on the weekends. Soon there were too many drummers and not enough bass players and I switched back to the instrument that I loved. A $100.00 bass was spotted in the window of a pawn shop in Jacksonville North Carolina was my first investment in an enriching history of U.S. and foreign concert tours, television and films. My friend, Alex Lane gave me my first bass lessons while I was stationed at Camp LeJeunne U.S.Marine Base in North Carolina. Whenever we didn't have to pull guard duty on the weekend, a few of my New York buddies would pile in a car and drive up to New York City for the weekend and drive back to the base for Monday morning 9AM roll call. During this time I listened and tried to imitate the great bass players that I heard on recordings, on the radio, and in clubs: Paul Chambers, Jimmy Merrit, Wilbure Ware, Charles Mingus, Ron Carter, Scott La Farro, Bob Cranshaw, George Duvivier, Richard Davis and Milt Hlnton. By 1962 my music was also influenced by Latin, Caribbean and Rhythm-&-Blues art forms. In 1964, After my military discharge,1 began studying classical bass with Ron Carter and continued for three years. Thanks to his strict, no-nonsense training, I auditioned for, and got the chance to play with the legendary ."Horace Silver Quintet," playing alongside Bennie Maupin, Charles Tolliver and later Randy Brecker and Billy Cobham. That band stayed together for about two years. Horace taught me so much, especially about playing in tune, getting a groove, and not to Waste notes. After my stint with Horace, I went on to play with Hugh Masakela, Dizzy Gellespie, Leon Thomas, Kenny Burrell, Jon Hendricks, Horace Parlam, Jimmy Smith, Grady Tate, Sir Roland Hanna, and recorded with Roy Ayres, Bobby Hutcherson and Harold Land, Johnny Hammond Smith, Count Basie and Louis Armstrong, and Benny Carter.

In 1969, adding classical and electric sounds to my bass rhythm, I was recommended to Doc Severinson, the musical director of "The Tonight Show" starring Johnny Carson. To be a part of that great studio band. I grooved with Doc and that great band for seven years, four years in New York and three years in Los Angeles. In 1972, shortly after relocating with some of Doc's key players to the West Coast, Billy Cobham (who had been my soulmate over the years) called and asked me to fly back to New York and play on his landmark recording, "Crosswinds." Doc granted me a two week leave and I was joined by George Duke and Garnett Brown, both of whom were living in Los Angeles. In New York we joined up with Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Lee Pastora, John Abecrombie, and Billy. That album was a milestone for all of us. Shortly after its release, Billy wanted to take the band on tour, but I chose to stay in L.A. with "The Tonight Show". While at the same time I was attending the International College where I majored in Music History. Jonathan Moody : Playing bass is a family tradition (sort of). I picked up cello in fourth grade. When sixth grade came, my mom and I pushed the orchestra director to give me a chance on string bass (since it was then an option). When I graduated from high school, I received the orchestra's top award. The orchestra director said at the concert that it might never have happened, because I was her best cellist in sixth grade but my mom insisted I be allowed the chance. I later found out that while my mom was pregnant with me, she was playing in the community orchestra in townon string bass. We know where the string bass sits on the body, and we joke that it had a profound effect on my musical upbringing. I still use my mother's French Bow that she used in the orchestra. Picking up electric bass wasn't as interesting. For a while, I was completely in that mindset that the string bass was THE instrument, and the electric was just a cop out for people that hack it on upright. I refer to that as my cocky, jazz days. I only used it in high school for jazz band at the behest the jazz teacher. he summer of 1995 was to be the summer I opened my ears. During a break between rehearsals (I was in an international youth orchestra), I was looking for a CD to listen to, but nothing was piquing my interest. A fellow bass player gave me Michael Manring's album, Thonk, and told me to listen to track six (My Three Moons). I remember being awe-struck, inspired and wanting to play that kind of music. He smiled and said "He's playing three basses. At once." When I got home from that tour, I bought a five string Ibanez and started writing music for electric bass. I ended up with a ten movement solo piece which, while not up to par with Manring's offerings, was scratching the surface of what I could do and achieve. That was the pivotal moment when I stopped looking at the electric bass as an extension of the upright, and its own instrument. That brings me to why I play bass. It is an amazing instrument. Unlike many others out there, the bass is not bound by musical styles and genres. Sure, there are certain things each genre requires, but knowing

that allows you an immense amount of flexibility in playing the songs and helping to elevate them to a greater place. Steve Swallow: In 1953, I was in the 7th grade. I played trumpet and I was taking my first steps into jazz. A few of us stayed late after marching band rehearsals to play Jumping with Symphony Sid and (Stan Kentons) Intermission Riff. I had bought a book by Ziggy Elman called Fifty Hot Licks for Trumpet and I memorized it. I developed a sort of serial approach to improvising. I would cycle the 50 licks in varied sequences until my lips gave out. I seemed to be getting the hang of soloing None of us played bass and we knew the music needed a bassist so we agreed each of us would play a tune on the schools Kay plywood bass and then wed rotate. When my turn came around, I picked up the bass, started to walk and never looked back. I refused to give it up to the next player in line which was just fine with him and I played until the end of the session. I rode my bike home with blisters on my fingers and a wide grin on my face. By the fall of 1959, I was a sophomore in college at Yale. I was majoring in Latin literature and looking forward to a teaching career, but with some misgivings. I had been playing the bass a great deal since that day in the band room and I had been increasingly drawn to it always at the expense of whatever else I was supposed to be doing. In my teens I had formed a strong friendship with Ian Underwood, who subsequently joined The Mothers Of Invention and became a prominent L.A. session player and we spent a lot of time researching bebop and helping each other to learn how to play. In college, I was making good money playing Dixieland, which was the Ivy League party music of choice but I was spending perilously escalating time at night in the clubs that lined Dixwell Avenue, which ran through Newhavens African-American community. The veteran players there were incredibly kind to me and they taught me more than any of my professors. It was only a matter of time. Pianist, Paul Bley needed a cheap bass player for a concert at Bard college and through the recommendation of a friend of Ians, I got the call. I met Paul and his wife Carla, on the afternoon of the gig. Paul was vague in response to my questions about his repertoire and when we walked onstage that night, I had no idea what was about to happen. So we began out of thin air and every note we played seemed just right. I had the rare and ecstatic experience of watching my hands act of their own volition. Shortly afterward I quit school, moved to New York City, presented myself at Paul and Carlas doorstep and became their bass player. (Taken from Bass Player Magazine March 1997) Dave Pomeroy : Over the past 45 years, I have learned that playing the bass is a lot like life. Life is also a lot like playing the bass. For many of us, playing the bass IS life, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to express myself on an instrument that gives me the freedom and versatility to define who I am at any given time in my journey through life and music. The bass is the ultimate problemsolving machine. It is the crossroads between harmony, melody and rhythm. It can support or lead, and is the conduit through which bass players bring other musicians together, often without others realizing what made that happen. That is our role, and one that we take seriously every time we strike a string. Its our job to make people feel good, whether they are dancers, fellow musicians, or a listening audience. The bass can be electric or acoustic, and anywhere in between. It is a humble instrument that is also capable of making grand statements, and its flexibility makes it a true reflection of the bass players soul, mind and heart. It can be aggressive, mellow, thoughtful, fearless, and much more. The power rests in the player to tell his story.

The electric bass has had a relatively short history compared to the guitar, piano and other instruments, yet has had a stunning evolution over the past 60 years, going from a barely audible thump in the back of the big bands of the early 20th century to a dominant force in contemporary music. At the same time, its big brother, the acoustic bass, has had its own development as well, and innovative players have continued to develop and perform repertoire that pushes the boundaries of the traditional function of the string bass in modern acoustic music, including classical, jazz, and folk. As audio technology has improved, the bass has been one of the primary beneficiaries of the advances in extended low frequency response and increased power. New styles of music like funk, hip hop, techno and more have been built around the bass and its sonic and rhythmic qualities. The future of the bass is limitless, and it is in good hands. So why do I play the bass? I cant imagine my life without it. Its never let me down. Its my true voice, and is my friend, confidant, mentor, and lifelong inspiration. The bass is as infinite as music itself. No matter what else I do in life, I will always be a bass player. Thats as deep as it gets. Zeljko Zelle Glamocanin : I became a bass player accidently.classic storyI was a rhythm guitar player in a band and one day when our bass player left us, two weeks before booked gigs, everyone in the band looked at me, saying just for these gigs and we will look for a bass player afterwards.These two weeks never ended ;o).At the beginning it was love, passion, energy, groove, connection between rhythm and harmony etc..now its just part of my life, the best way to communicate to other people. Like people need oxygen or food to live-survive, cars need petrol to run.Can you imagine life without a heart.thats how I cant imagine my life without a bass. Dillon Govender : Why do I play bass? I guess, for the same hundred and one reasons that every other bass player does. One, because its the first thing I think about when walking through the door. Two, because when things just dont seem to go your way, or life is just too hard to swallow, you always head for the bass. It just seems to tell you what you want to hear. Three, its the same thing you do when the world is great and you couldnt be happier, its always close at hand. (Everyone has their own four to a hundred). One hundred and one is just that thing inside, that lets you know there is nothing else in the world that you would rather be doing. Willem Samuel : Well, the story of how one begins to play bass is kind of like a love story. My first ventures into music making was when I was 13. We had an acoustic guitar at home and my brother (excellent blues guitarist) taught me a few chords. Back then I wanted to play the drums - but my brother said I should rather play bass because bands are always looking for bassists. So I just stuck with acoustic guitar for the mean time. I still stick to acoustics in fact its been very influential on how I play bass - like a guitar. In std. 5 me and two friends would go after school and jam at my house - each with his own acoustic - we would write these two chord songs and record them on a tape player - we used to think they were brilliant! So we also started to go and check out guitars at music shops - and that's when the bass caught my eye. It was an acoustic bass and I just couldn't help but marvel at its raw simplicity. Yet it was a bigger, meaner instrument, the strings being so thick and when I played on it, it was so low I could scarcely hear it. It was a very strange instrument to me - that's maybe why I loved it. By then we were convincing another guy at school to get a drum kit. It would still be a year before I got my first electric bass guitar. In the mean time we just jammed with three electrics (I used my brother's) and drums, covering Nirvana, Ash and Springbok Nudegirls songs!

But the next year I went to a different school - and I found out through the grapevine that the drummer and I were left / kicked out of the "new" band. (they found a better drummer and a guy with a bass guitar). I was very p#**$d off. But instead of leaving my musical ambitions behind I went ahead and got a second hand bass guitar a week later. My first year of playing bass was just by myself in my room with a little amp. Yeah, and it still felt great even without a band. At my new school there were some musicians and a few times I would bring my amp and guitar and we would jam a bit and it was great. I was the kid with the coolest toy. Electrics just didn't impress people anymore. So I went on and got better, had a few lessons at jazz workshop. It was easy for me because I knew the guitar and before long, my brother and I would jam the blues. The next year one of my old band mates heard me play bass and he couldn't believe it. He told me he had no respect for bass as an instrument because the other guy has been playing it like a Dorris. A week later we started jamming as a three piece and then onwards I had the greatest high school career of band playing ever! To finish off; I've heard it said and I do agree: "It's easy to play a bass - but to play it well is hard". For me, when I look at a guitar I can never see myself mastering it, or even wanting to. But when I look at a bass, I feel challenged by it - it's something I long to conquer its an intimate relationship and it reveals new things to me every time I play her. As time goes on I just realize how big an effect bass has in music and what an effect you can have as a bass player in a band. I feel sorry for these bands where the bass player just copies the guitar notes (especially in Metal or Hardcore). I have always tried to make sure that my guitar delivers the presence it is deserving and capable of - accentuating the vocals, supporting great leads, rolling with the drums. I play bass because I love it - and it loves me - very important for any relationship you would wish to continue in for the rest of your life. Ivan Poskal : I wanted to play a stringed instrument since I became a rocker when I was 15 years old and started to watch MTV videos of heavy metal and nu-metal, but I didnt want to be in the first row of the stage, I supposed I was kind of scared of people looking at me in the first place at the shows, I liked to be in the back, so I picked the bass and started trying some Metallica songs with some friends and then: I fell in love with the bass!!! And I can explain it, like this: I play bass for its gorgeous feeling. I play bass for the deepest sounds that you can hear!!! You cant hear lower sounds! I play bass for the purity of the waves! (of course without reverb, delay and distortion!). I play bass for all the adrenaline you can throw to the stage playing head-banging songs. I play bass as no other instrument can sound so beautiful with full bass and full treble at the same time! So low + so high = such perfect tone! And now, I keep playing bass and never want to leave it as the rock without bass is just noise! so we have the honor to make the rock be music, and thats it! Graham Mckay : Well the reason I got the job in The One Night Stands is because I play and love Rickenbacker Guitars. Lu, our front man plays a 70s 12str 330 and is also a Rickenbacker nut! Their bass player left and Lu gave me a call and said bring your 4001 bass and lets have some fun. I love the old gear, I have a 60s Hofner Beatle Bass, Fender 70s Jazz Bass and my favourite, 70s Rickenbacker 4001. My moto is as follows: If you want to play 5 strings play a banjo! If you want to play 6 strings play a guitar! If you want to play bass play 4 strings! (only because anything more than four strings confuses the crap out of me! Ha Ha.) Cheers Eldred Schilder : I come from a family of excellent jazz pianists, I instead started playing guitar at age 10. My dad always had his trio rehearsing at home so the instruments where always there, I had the opportunity to play on them all. after picking up the bass I was hooked. The bass for me is everything, the

root the groove and a very expressive instrument, also composing on the bass gives you an insight and a very different perspective on composition. BASS RULES. Ado Roza : I grew up in a family listening to the accordion of my cousin Clair Teresinha and the exceptional tenor voice of my uncle Aparcio who used to sing acapella Brazilian classic songs by Francisco Alves, Vicente Celestino, Orlando Silva, Nelson Gonalves and other great singers from the Golden Age Of Brazilian Radio. Beside this at home, we used to listen to every kind of music that was being played by the radio stations. I instinctively decided that radio would be my teacher and so I started to learn my first bass lines, ear training, sometimes trying to duplicate the bass on any song that would be playing on the radio. My first instrument was an improvised bass guitar that I built stretching strings and installing a bass pickup on a piece of wood, just like a fretless stick bass. It all started when I first listened to John Paul Jones, Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorius recordings. I couldn't believe that anybody could do that on a bass guitar!!! In this way, I began my interest at the same time for learning / developing my playing and dedicating myself to the art of fixing, building & designing stringed instruments, particularly the bass. Today I dedicate my time to developing my own ideas in regard to tecniques, design and construction of stringed and percussion instruments, playing on stage and studio hopping to insert my own voice in the vast field of instrumental Brazilian music. Al Cardillo : Theres plenty of artistry involved in playing the bass, but its a quiet artistry, stolid and unobtrusive. Its an artistry devoted to making everyone else in the band shine rather than making oneself the centre of attention.. And thus it is an instrument that tends to attract stolid, unobtrusive people. A great bass player is far likelier to live a life of relative anonymity than, say, a great pianist, and the few bass players who are famous-Paul McCartney, Sting, even the late Chales Mingus are famous for reasons that have little to do with their ability to play the bass. Bass players take quiet satisfaction. Bass players prefer the shadows to the limelight. Ronnie W. Dalesio : Bass for me is the bridge between the rhythm section and melody and harmony. I love that I can interact and be a part of both musical landscapes. This is what feeds my soul and more than anything else, its FUN! I wish I could say that my encouragement and influences for music came from my parents like many of you have shared. But that really wasnt quite the story for me. As a little child, my mother enrolled my sisters and I in dance lessons. Then in grade school, I took clarinet lessons into middle school. At age 12, my father gave me an acoustic guitar and I think he wanted me to learn it but most of the time when I wanted to play and practice (which was all the time) he wanted me to help with other things. Maybe because at 13, I wanted to be in a band with my friends, which I did even though I knew he may not be too pleased. The band actually had a guitar player and really needed a bass player. I was happy to oblige and that was the moment that changed my life forever. Entering my high school years, my parents transferred me into a fairly prestigious technical school for a degree in HVAC. I excelled in my classes and a lot of that had to do with the instructors there. You see, I was already involved in a local band and playing clubs. Once my instructors got wind of that, they made me a deal....get As in your classes and we wont interfere with your moonlighting. I really didnt want to pursue an HVAC career, and stay in the small town I grew up in like everyone else. I wanted to play music professionally or otherwise. I wanted to live the big dream like all of us do who play music because its inside of us. In my senior year of high school I auditioned for Berklee College of Music, and wouldnt you know it, I got in. Sadly, I would never enroll there due to unfortunate circumstances.

Regardless of the road blocks that faced me, I continued to play. I picked up the best bass I could afford at the time, an M.V. Pedulla Interceptor. I got into a hot cover band in the early 80s. We played the Paradise Theatre, opened for Leslie West and ran up and down the East Coast performing close to 1,500 live shows. In the late 80s, we came out to the West Coast to cut a record. In 1990 I made the West Coast my new home. Since then I have had the blessing to be in some fantastic projects and meet some amazing people, many of whom I call family. It was here in Seattle that my bass playing took on a whole new identity, my own creative style. I realized that bass playing was not only a natural talent and calling, it was the passion that kept me alive, like the air we breathe, water is to fish, laughter for comedians; without it there is no life. I can only describe my passion for bass like this: I dont just love to learn my part or learn new genres, I must. I enjoy challenging myself and the wow factor when I pull a new riff from somewhere inside of me and surprise myself. My main go to bass now is a six string Tobias Killer-B. Its been my entertainer since 1996 mostly for original collaborations. For more classic rock and blues its my Fender P-Bass, and when I want that four-string that sings like a nightingale its still my Pedulla. Over the years bass has been, and still is, so rewarding for me because I can experience both sides of the musical river, while being an intricate part of a musical landscape. And one thing is crystal clear to me, playing bass is my destiny and whether for fame, fortune, or not, I will always be a bass player because it completes me. Now Im off to my next musical journey, whatever presents itself around the bend ahead. Jodi Stevens : I started on violin at age 8 and was absolutely the worst player in the district for 5 years straight. The director held auditions every year and I always ended up in the last seat, sitting behind kids who had started even years after me. I tried saxophone at age 13 and after about a month of lessons decided I wanted to teach myself. I still play and teach saxophone and enjoy it very much. I fell in love with the Bass guitar at age 15. My friends were starting a band at school and needed a bass player. My parents bought me my first bass and amp for Christmas and I remember learning and being able to play a bass line the very first day. My mother raised me on Motown and my dad loved Hendrix and Bruce Springsteen. As a teenager I was listening to a lot of metal and hard rock music. It wasnt until attending Berklee that I started branching out into other styles. I now enjoy playing and learning as many different genres as I can. I currently play with a Jazz group, a Soul/R&B unit and an original progressive/Stoner rock band. I continue writing solo bass pieces as well. Nothing else can take me out of my own head like my bass. We all take in so much around us every second of every day. Playing and composing on my bass allows me to channel so much of what I feel, think and experience. My bass is like a best friend, it knows all my secrets. I can get so lost in writing and playing, an hour could pass and it feels like a minute. After certain writing sessions I feel such a catharsis. What an incredible gift it is to be able to experience so fully the moment. Earl Craft : Like a lot of people, I started on guitar in my church. This was in the mid 70's during the JESUS Movement and all the hippies in that movement played guitar...everyone! So when some friends of mine wanted to start a band, guess who was selected to play bass? They gave me an old Fender Bronco bass, showed me how to play "Black Cloud" by Trapeze (Glenn Hughes band) and away I went! I played guitar & bass back and forth for a few years but when I finally called myself a 'Bassist' was once while playing in a band at the church I was going to, we were doing a song that had a measure (rest) of silence so I added a power slide to just add a fill. The whole band stopped playing and turned and looked at me! "You did that" and started laughing and clapping!!! I had arrived! Now, bass is a part of my body...an

extension of who I am! What I feel is what I play. One band I was in was just drums, guitar, bass, and vocals...the guitarist sang but couldn't play lead to save his life so I started playing more of a lead bass style to fill the gaps...and I loved it! Now I play bass just because it is such a part of who I am...an expression of deep emotion & worship!! I love it! Eddie Kohen : I started as a young rock guitar player and thought that was it. In my later teen years I found myself starting to be drawn to jazz and in particular the bass players. Ron Carter really got to me. As I listened more and heard Stanley Clarke and Eddie Gomez and many others, the better quality of jazz recordings really allowed the beautiful sound of the upright to come through, I thought this is for me and started to play upright and study jazz. When I attended Berklee as a dual major the decision was made, every gig I got was on electric bass. Here we are 35 years later and bass is what I do! Austin Underhill : Deciding to play the bass was actually an accident! My friend wanted to start a band with me when I was in middle school. He told me I should be the bassist since he already played guitar. At the time, I played saxophone and didnt really know anything about stringed instruments, but I agreed to get a bass. For some reason, I thought his electric guitar was a bass and was very surprised when I went to a store to purchase one. I got home and immediately called him asking what I had just bought and why it wasnt like his. After he explained to me the difference between a bass and an electric guitar I was very disappointed and upset. However, a good year after playing the instrument I fell in love with it and found a great ability in picking up and learning music quicker than I could on my saxophone. Since then I have been very thankful for the misunderstanding as I can't imagine playing something other than bass! Playing the instrument has been a way to express myself musically that I somehow cannot convey on any other instrument I've played. It is my musical voice that no other instrument can replace. John Dahlman : I play bass because I dont have a choice. I heard Ray Brown when I was 4 and told my dad I wanted to make that sound. There was no option, I had to make that sound. He indulged me and much to his chagrin, I never stopped. I wore out School Days & Jacos rst albums. Replaced them, and wore them out again. Got anything Mingus, Ray Brown, Steve Swallow, Paul Chambers, Anthony Jackson, etc and wore those out too (I still do that). That opened me up to what could be. That there are no rules. There is an unbelievable freedom when playing bass. You can do whatever you want, but it better be damn good. As a person who was chosen by the bass, I have the joy and deep responsibility to make the groove happen with those Im with. In my case the groove may not be all that obvious, but its there. At least in my head. The fun is communicating the groove to those Im privileged to work with and those Im honored to play for. I still have to make that sound. There is nothing like playing bass, nothing, to make me feel that I have found a place worth occupying on this planet. Except when I get to hear my son play bass. Then I know what I was chosen for. James Eller : I'd heard the Beatles and other early '60's notables like Sandy Shaw and Billy J Kramer as a little kid, but wasn't really interested. It wasn't until I saw the Stones' performance of Jumpin' Jack Flash on black and white television in '68 that I was truly captured. I remember it now like my DNA changing instantly and forever. We had Sgt Pepper and The Kinks Sunny Afternoon, and it's B side I'm Not Like Everybody Else on hefty rotation in our house. We were a little young though for The Stones and Beatles et al to be really ours and it wasn't until Led Zeppelin and Free and slightly later, Deep Purple, came along that we were truly in it. I still hadn't isolated the bass as an individual entity - it was all just a huge, propulsive noise that sucked

me in and surrounded me. The first time I actually noticed bass playing was Ronnie Lane's on the Faces album A Nod's As Good As A Wink. Once I'd made the distinction, it didn't take long to work my way backwards through all the records we had in the house, from Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton and the Modern Jazz Quartet, Sinatra, Billie Holiday and Ray Charles through to our current heroes. Pretty soon I only half heard all the other components in a recording. John Paul Jones and Andy Fraser quickly became my complete heroes. Through the next few years I chased this way and that devouring prog, jazz rock, disco, funk, soul, rock, new wave - anything where the bass had a pulse. Although I have no memory of it, apparently I rushed downstairs at some point when I was 14 or so and said "That's what I want to do", pointing at Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen on the Oscar Peterson tv show. Different noise, similar role. I love that role. We are the lock AND the key to any band. If the bass is working the band is working. I think of my own performance as subsidiary to that of the band as a whole. For example, I'm much more interested in the overall sound of a recording - if it needs three notes on a Minimoog then that's what I'm going to play. The greatest compliment I ever had was that I produce records from the bottom up. Live, if the band hasn't played to it's potential for any reason, I feel an overwhelming responsibility and I work hard with everybody until the next time to rectify that. I place huge emphasis on my role as part of the rhythm section and spend most of my time listening to hihat and kick - I'm part of that machine. I live in the engine room and I'm more than happy for others to stand on the bridge in their gleaming whites, taking the salute, haha! Inspirational bass players have been John Paul Jones, Andy Fraser, Alan Spenner, Bernard Edwards, James Jamerson, Pino Palladino, Ron Blair, Robbie Shakespeare, Jaco Pastorius, Bruce Thomas, Norman Watt Roy and the guys from Average White Band, Alan Gorrie and Hamish Stuart. And of course there are countless, unsung others who have made a great bass line or underpinned a performance that needed a strong foundation. Morn Brainers : I remember growing up in church, checking out the musicians and daydreaming how I would one day play as well. Not long after, I had the opportunity to play the drums in evening service at my local church in Bishop Lavis, Cape Town because the drummer wasnt available that day. I was a young boy playing drums in church for the next few years but the bass always grabbed my attention. I was about 12 years old when I started picking up the bass after trying out drums. I took guitar lessons from a great musician by the name of Freddy Arendse . After my first lesson I knew that I was a bassplayer. I would go home after practice and just play the top four strings on my acoustic guitar. When I was in matric in 1999 I started using drugs like crystal meth, more known as Tik and also ecstasy. So that meant no more practicing bass and under the bed went the 6 string Warwick bass my dad bought me. I was an addict for 4 years until I got a call from the same guy who tried teaching me guitar telling me about a music school in Pretoria and that I should consider auditioning for a bursary. Not having played for 4 years I got on the bus and came to Pretoria to audition for a bursary at Ochrim school of Music. I started studying the following day and been playing pro ever since. So music and playing bass for me was a means of escape from the life I lived in the Cape Flats. An escape from my addictions and uninspired lifestyle. Given this second chance I feel that I

should use this God given gift and my story to touch lives and inspire people. I am now a professional bassplayer with a wife and two kids. They are my vitamins. They push me to do more and work harder and to become greater... This is why I play bass. Daniel Madu: I love the bass guitar. I love the sound it makes. I fell in love with this instrument when I was 13 years old. I was always attracted to the instrument during concerts, not the singing or dancing, drums but the bass. I started learning by observation because there was no one to teach me at that time. Without the bass, the music is not complete. You always get that feeling that something is missing. When the bass comes in, now thats music. I love my bass guitar so much that at one time I used to sleep with it by my side. The bass helps me express myself naturally through music. The groove, rhythm, emotion, tone of this instrument connects me to my listeners. I always get their attention and compliments. Casey Andersen : I started playing Upright Bass in the Fourth Grade as a requirement of my school. I chose it because no one else wanted to play it, and I wanted to be different. I soon realized why no one wanted to deal with the hassle of carrying such a large, cumbersome instrument that, at the time, was taller than me. Through steady practice and play I gained a real love for the rich tone of the instrument and figured that I could put up with its girth. Later on I bought an Electric bass, but it didnt interest me that much. Soon after, a teacher told me that I didn't practice enough so I should stop playing. Being a young Middle School Student, I took his words to heart and only played for required school functions. One day I was asked to perform for a fellow student's Eight Grade Graduation Recital. I was, however, asked to play Electric. Practicing on the instrument was wonderful. It was the same joy I felt with the Upright just without all the nasty associations of doubt and guilt. It was then that I realized all I had to do to get better was to keep playing, so I set out to be the best that I could be. I am now studying Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and I've managed to overcome the "nasty associations" that came along with the Upright Bass. I play with many different groups and love to practice, try to write and wrestle with this wonderful puzzle of Music. I hope to graduate soon and continue down my path with Music always at my side. Bruno Migliari : Being interested in music from a very early age, I began converting my weekly allowance money on records when I was around 10. I was always fascinated by music and various musical instruments as well. I would fool around with any instrument that I could lay my hands on at the time, which included my aunts acoustic guitar and a friends piano. I was particularly attracted to the low end of the spectrum though, and specifically remember identifying the sound of the bass very early in my life and feeling very moved by the subdued way in which it seemed to control the songs I listened to. It felt like the song was a ship and whoever was playing those low notes seemed to be at the helm of that ship, almost guiding any given song to its musical conclusion. By the time I was fourteen years old, I started my proper musical studies, taking private lessons with a local teacher and enrolling in a wellknown music school a few months after. I decided that I wanted to play music professionally as soon as I was old enough and try and make a career of it as a bassist...that was my ultimate goal. Within six months I found myself performing in school competitions and school festivals. Within just a few years I was already playing in three different bands at the same time, one of which actually gained recognition after winning a continuous series of music competitions. Around that time, I began wood shedding hard. I would relentlessly carry out daily practice sessions from the moment I got home from school. The years of hard work eventually paid off for it, and I indeed became a professional musician by playing my first string of paying gigs when I was seventeen years old, still on my last year at school. I soon embarked on a

very busy gigging schedule which included jazz trio gigs, accompanying various singers simultaneously and playing in an orchestra. I undertook this workload while also attending Music College, pursuing a classical music curriculum on double bass. I worked very hard from a young age to be equally comfortable with both the electric and the acoustic basses. Music provides us all with a vast array of feelings when we listen to it, and it gets even more intense when we are playing it. Nothing feels as good and fulfilling to me as holding the bass and stirring the music with it as I sail away on those adventurous oceans of musical expression. Ever since graduating in 1994 at Uni Rio Music College, I have maintained a well balanced diet of Pop, native Brazilian, and Jazz music. Since 2001 I have been playing bass for Brazilian singer/songwriter Frejat, and have also acted as music director for him on the TV series Claro Que Rock (aired on the Brazilian cable TV channel Multishow). I continue to involve myself in jazz-related projects, leading my own Bruno Migliari Trio. I also lead the compositional project 8VB, and co-lead the small orchestra 11 Cabeas (alongside saxophonist and arranger Henrique Band). I have also either recorded or toured with well=known artists such as Milton Nascimento, Marcos Valle, Maria Gad, Ana Carolina, Banda Black Rio, Lokua Kanza, Avi Wisnia, Lulu Santos, Baro Vermelho, Lobo, Leoni, Paulinho Moska, Quito Pedrosa Quarteto, Marco Lobo Quinteto, among others. Aurlien Dervaric : Actually, I started by trying to play guitar, but I soon realised that what I was more comfortable with playing, and what I used (in my head) to play, while following a song by ear, was the bass line! The role of the bass in a band matches up with My personality more than any other instrument : maybe not the one you notice first, but the one that needs to be constant and discreet in the meantime - the instrument that you notice when it stops playing. I like this kind of "subtle" role. I had the opportunity to begin on bass, by personal choice, in a novice band, but it has been the most valuable experience Ive ever had! I had to learn quickly, and I loved it. A few years after this, I played in another, Death Metal, band, The technical challenge is still there for me, and that's what makes me interested in the whole thing of playing in a band. I mean, what's the point of doing something that you know you're good at? I would rather like to try to do something hard, I enjoy the results even more once I manage to achieve my goals. Gene Torres : I Picked up the bass at 15 years old and havent put it down since. I Started out playing R&B (Motown, Stax, Atlantic, etc.) then moved on to funk (James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, Earth, Wind and Fire, etc). The first group that I played with was called Paranoid. Paranoid was awarded the third best band in Brooklyn. At that time, most of the bands had horns and we were no exception. Paranoid stayed together for about six years, which I was a part of for five. After leaving, I started freelancing and getting exposed to many styles of music. The majority of musicians I was playing with was much older so they were like a mentor to me. The first order was to learn Jazz, which at the time was like speaking another language. After many bumps and bruises along the way, Jazz started to make sense.

Still though, formal training needed to be had, so at that time Jazz Mobile was one option, another was Lynn Olivers. Still, private lessons were another thing that had to be done so studying with Bob Willams, Ritchie Hart, Ken Hatfield, Charlie Banacos (correspondence course) and Paul Caputo Im still studying with Paul up to this day. My first major recording was playing on the James Mason, Rhythm of Life, album (1977). To this day its in the top 100 in England and its a collectors item. It started a whole music revolution (Acid Jazz) in England with Sade, and a bunch of other English groups. Today, at any given day, I can be playing from Hip-Hop to Bebop, with a little rock thrown in. Nowadays, Im not only playing bass, but writing, producing, music editing , sheet music (Finale), teaching privately and in a school. Some of the people I have had the pleasure of playing and or recording with runs the gamut of music styles, for example Ben E. King, Al Hibbler, Rahn Burton, Public Enemy, Yousef Lateef, Chico OFarrels Afro-Cuban Big band at Birdland. Ernie Marcelin of Taboo Combo, La Bamba and the Hubcaps, Southside Johnny, Ted Curson Blue Note, Late Nite Jam Session, The Weather Girls, The Chiffons at The Apollo Theatre, Chambers Brothers, Jonathan Butler, Hannes DeKassian Trio, Moon Pool, Tony Cedras (Keyboardist with Paul Simon), Jennifer Holiday, Noo Voodoo, Mark Pender (of the Conan OBrian show, opening up for the BT Express). The Big Apple Circus, David Dorfman Dance Company, Fred Ho (Vampire Opera) Petey Pablo of Jive Records, Gucci Man (Me & You single), Danny Mixon, Ty Stephens, Pee Wee Ellis , Co-winner of the 2010 McDonalds Gospel Fest Childrens Choir Contest. A.J. Hager : I picked up the bass guitar at age 15, but after I had already been playing guitar for almost a year - and it was all Paul McCartneys fault! I wish I could just shake his hand and thank him for setting me on course toward the musical career I have today! He and the Beatles have also been a huge influence and inspiration to me for song writing as well. At age 9, I started buying a bunch of Beatles 45rpm records, and on the B side of Paperback Writer was a song called Rain. I didnt realize fully at age 9 why I was absolutely floored by this song until I got older. All I knew was that the way the bass and drums sounded individually, and also the way they blended together was sending me over-the-top and giving me chills!! It was a sonic, melodic, and structural force that was blowing me away! And I just couldnt get enough of this song, and I kept playing it over and over again as I sat in front of our very old, but loud Magnavox console record player! I think I can safely say that the song Rain played a big role in why I play bass. The other reason why, is that some friends of mine were putting together a band when I was 15, and they already had two guitarists, a singer, and a drummer. And since they knew how big a McCartney fanatic I was, they asked if I would want to play bass. I think most 15 year old guitarists might have balked at that idea, but I was so excited at that opportunity! However, the singer said to me, So, you need to ask your father to buy you a bass. To which I said, Yeah! Fat chance THAT will happen!. Well, after having my grandma yell at him a few times about how he never buys me anything, I picked out a $52, short-scale bass made by Montaya, with one pickup, and a neck like rubber! But I proudly walked out of that record/music store with that puppy! And I felt like a King as I crossed the street, carrying that bass with no case(couldnt afford that! ), when a guy yelled out his car window in his best NJ accent, HEY! PLAY US SOMETHIN! Yes!...I have arrived!! And when I got back to the house, I thought, Now I have to figure out how to play this thing!! Over the years Ive been influenced by other bass players as well, like John Entwistle, Stanley Clarke, Jaco, Jack Bruce, Fernando Saunders, and many others, but it was Sir Paul who started it all for me, and who still continues to influence my playing and writing. And if I go more than a day or two without a bass in my hands, I actually go through withdrawals! I need it! I just love the feel of those strings under my fingers. Its such a powerful, beautiful, and sexy instrument.

Jayen Varma : I never knew I had some talent in music till I started learning drums at the age of 20. I was a drummer in the 1980s. In those days I also used to play the six string guitar a little bit. In 1986 two of my friends who had a band asked me to play bass in their band. Since it was difficult for me to buy a drum kit, I took the bass, loved the sound and started my journey. I never had a bass instructor. So I had to follow whatever style was convenient for me. Since I underwent training in the South Indian classical percussion instrument Mridangam in the 80s. I found that kind of finger technique convenient for me to play slap bass. Later the style was named as Indian Slap Bass. I was working in a government department in the south of India and I had to spend three hours in a train everyday. In the train I started doing finger exercises on my mobile phone to get finger speed. After a few months I started feeling the result of my repetitive works. My bass playing was validated for the fastest by record books Like Record Holders Republic/Registry of Official World Records and Record Setter Book of World Records in 2008 and 2011. However this is just a technique to get fast notes, so I do not relate this to music. Also there are many Fast Bassists in the world who are Fastest in their own styles and techniques. I am one among them: One of the Fastest Bass Guitar Players. I have my band named KHAYAL GROOVE led by the Indian classical vocalist Aparna Panshikar. I also have a music collaboration with the French Drummer Jean Davoisne Nixon Rosembert : Prior to becoming a bass player, I played a few other instruments. As a child, I was always interested in music but it was at the age of seven that I began playing the recorder in a school orchestra. At the age of eleven my mother bought a guitar for me. It was a reward for passing my elevenplus exam. The guitar was a very small acoustic. I no longer play it but I still have it. I used to listen to the radio to try and learn every song I heard. It was also with me whilst I watched the television, so I could play along with the music on the advertisements. I was selftaught on the guitar and also the harmonica. This was followed by some cornet and trumpet lessons that led to performances in various orchestras. At the age of thirteen I joined a school band. Apart from the drummer, I was the only member that did not have an electric guitar. There were two guitarists, a drummer, and me with my inaudible acoustic. There happened to be an old bass and amplifier in the garage where we were going to rehearse. One of the band members turned to me and said You dont have a guitar, theres a bass over there, youre the bass player! I picked it up, played it and loved it. That was my first band and it was the first time I had ever played a bass guitar. In 1992 I was touring around the UK and Europe with a band. Quite a few of the songs required notes lower than the lowest 'E' so I decided to go to the bass store to get a Hipshot D-tuner. There were none in stock but the salesman persuaded me to try a six-string bass. I ended up buying the bass and gigging with it on the same day. That was quite a challenge but I instantly took to it. Since then the six-string bass has been my main instrument. The reason I play bass is that I love the varied tones and frequencies that it can produce. I enjoy creating new bass lines and learning great bass lines created by other players. I like the way the bass brings together the harmonic and rhythmic elements of music. For me, it is an integral part of the foundation that holds everything together. I also enjoy helping other players to learn and develop their bass-playing skills. When I leave this world the only thing I would like to take with me is my BASS.

Derrick Davis : Being born the son of a Parliament Funkadelic, groove was in my soul before birth. I was picking out bass lines in my mommys belly before I knew what bass was. Actually what got me interested in playing the bass guitar was the colour of one. Years ago, I saw a Fire Engine Red Fender Jazz Bass. And I have been hooked ever since. I learned to pick out the bass in songs by myself with no help. So thus, I was self taught. Did I mention that I started playing bass at the tender age of 10 years old? The Bass feels like its an extension of my body. The sound of the bass takes me somewhere else when I feel it.. I am in a Zone! And its just me..becoming one with the bottom. Currently I am the bassist for The Original P (featuring original founding members of Parliament/Funkadelic). I have also played for Faith Evans, Bernie Worrell and the WOO Warriors and I also currently play for Dionne Farris on occasion. I prefer for Funk and R&B, the 5 string because of the low b and the 6 string bass for gospel, you can get pretty melodic with it. Jeff Dodd : First, I would like to state that the reason I play music is, it allows me to capture an audio portrait of a moment in time. My music and arrangements or contributions to others peoples music are largely based on the emotions going on in my life (good or bad) when I write or perform them. I believe this to be true for all musicians playing and performing music. I think, had any music artist been given parts to write, days, months or even years later than the day they wrote it, that the palette of phrasings and chordal colors would not be the same. I specifically play the Bass guitar because it allows me to be part of the rhythm section and part of the melodic content. Additionally, when I play in altered tunings and different gauge string use, the bass allows me to write in ways I cannot conceive on any other instrument. And, Fretless bass playing in particular, allows for all of those cool in between notes you can't capture as well on a fretted instrument, which is ideal for adding tension or vocal like phrasings/melodies to complement whatever is going on in any style of music. Another example of why I am passionate about the Bass guitar is: As I got deeper into writing my own music I found that chords in the lower register were getting lost, or muddy. This lead me to utilizing piccolo and tenor strings. I turned to my custom built acoustic Taylor AB-2 and strung it with piccolo strings and began trying to make four string chordings sound clearer. Since then, I continue to explore new ideas and techniques, most recently focussing on my fretless bass playing using a mix of bass, tenor and piccolo stings. My Bassline basses offer tones I haven't been able to capture on other basses before. Interestingly, this has lead to new approaches from traditional bass playing techniques and has me seeking out more scenic routes on the road less traveled. It is these cool new unexpected sounds and techniques that I stumble upon that inspires and guides flow to the emotional ebbs and flows of life, and keeps me playing Bass. Mike Dyer : I play bass because I believe in everything the bass represents. A solid foundation that others can build upon. The bass is always unwavering, and others look to the bass for reference to what they should be playing on the song. I believe in this concept outside of music as well, being true to beliefs, and living your life as an example for others to follow. I play bass because of the connection with others that music provides. Ever since I had my first experience playing music with others, I've had a desire to pick up my instrument every day. That desire gets stronger every day. Practice becomes meditation for people who have made it a priority in their daily routine. I know my future is going to be a happy one because music will be the top priority. The benefits of playing bass are vast, endless and different for everyone, but for me it translates directly to my

relationships with other musicians and non-musicians alike, provides direction and purpose to my life and gives me an overall sense of well-being. Sharlafunk : Thats what I hear, feel and will sing first! The Bass Line,.if its not moving or grooving or hitting that spot in your soul, then its just a bunch of notes wasting time, .instead of keeping time! I have always gravitated to the bass even though I play keys, I learn the bass line first then the melody. The chords, to me, are just the sweet filling in the middle. One thing I love to do, is arrange the sets and in that process (because I would be like that's not the bass line) I was told I should learn to play bass. soooo I went looking for one, found it in a pawn shop in NYC now I know youre not suppose to want a bass, based on its looks, but it looked good, held it in my hands it felt good - love at first pluck.. took a bass friend to check it out and he said if I didn't get it he would beat me with it so I am the proud owner of a 4 string Spector Bass. I introduce to you, Blade! David Dyson : Growing up between ages 6-12, After steady listening to Graham Central Station, Sly Stone, and Bootsy recordings, I was consistently drawn to the bass. Always digging the songs where the bass took liberties and was prominent. Then the Brothers Johnson's "Look Out for #1" album came out. When I heard Louis Johnson's bass tracks on that album, I was hooked! I would stare at the bass on the cover for hours, studying it. Then I begged my parents to buy me a bass for Christmas and they did. From that point on, I checked out anyone who picked up a bass and I consider them all influences. The rest is history. David "Doc" Tourville : My story started when I was 3 years old and a cousin gave me an old F-hole acoustic guitar to play with. Our home had one of the first TV's in the neighbourhood and Mom would tune in a local variety show each afternoon. When the music group came on with an upright bass, I would play along on my pretend upright. I got the moves down, but it wasn't until years later that I returned to bass. During grade school years, it was drums in the orchestra and marching band. Somehow I was always connected to the beat, the bottom, the foundations of the music. At age 13, a friend had a party with a live band, who let me sit in on bass. It was the first time actually playing something, and I really had no idea what was going on, but something must has been right because the band called me a week later and asked me to join as bass player. That was the real beginning of my musical expression on bass. As to why the bass, it is difficult to say, as it was not a thought process so much as a feeling that this was the instrument that formed a connecting link between the timing and beat, and the rhythm and melody. In my mind, a very important piece of song structure which I really wanted to pursue and succeed at. Brad Davies : There are many reasons I play bass. Like martin, I prefer the bass over all the other instruments. Its a sexy instrument to play and for some reason the girls go mad over us bass players!! (not that Im in it only for the girls) . Its not easy for me to put the bass down because it is so addictive. I love making up new licks and just messing around. Bass makes the music. If you dont believe me just ask a drummer!!!! Thabang King Moshoeshoe : The main thing about deciding on an instrument to play is finding passion. I loved drums as a kid but my sense of harmony was well developed to the surprise of many elderly musical people and I even made a 5l oil tin guitar for myself. I enjoy percussive sounds as much as I enjoy harmony and playing bass gives me double fulfilment. I also enjoy the musical link between harmony and rhythm sections caused by the bass player. I love making the sound of the roaring wood.

Alex Bershadsky : I never thought about it like that. But bass is considered an underdog instrument. Most of the time in the background, The instrument that somebody picks when he's not so successful on guitar. The instrument that everybody's talking while he solos... And the one that always should play the supportive role. Since I remember myself I was always supporting underdog figures in sport, movies and life. I always thought about myself as the one that comes from behind and surprises everybody. So you can say that choosing the bass was very natural for me, though I never thought about it like that. Jackson Mann : I play the bass because of a lot of different things. I love the different sounds the bass can make. It can be big and boomy and make the whole room shake. It can be short and smooth and make everyone in the room listen close. I also love the connection the bass player has with the drummer. I love the feeling I get when Ive played with a certain drummer enough to know just how to listen and connect with his/her groove. All I have to do is look at him/her, smile and shake my head and he/she knows exactly what to do. Thats a connection only a bass player and a drummer can have. Lane Baldwin : I play bass for two reasons. The first is that I have to. If I dont, I cant function in the real world. Its that important to me. The second... well, it all comes down to the first time I held a bass in my hands and thumped out a few notes. I had a true epiphany. It hit me all at once that the bass was the foundation for everything else the rhythm, the chord structure, the melody and harmony. Everything rested on the bass line, and changing the line would entirely change the song. It was like God showed me with just a few notes how powerful, and how important, the bass was. And I knew I wanted to be the person who helped make everyone else on stage sound better. I wanted to be the person who brought everyone else together to make a band. Now, more than forty years later, its still one of the most important lessons I ever learned. Jerry Scott : I was in a band singing when I was about 16. and our bass player quit because his grades were bad in school, so my Dad bought me my first bass and it was off to the races!!! Throughout my career I have played with, Bad Company, Brian Howe. Stephen Pearcy, Molly Hatchet, XYZ, and members of White Zombie in a band called Healer, so my love for bass goes way back to when I was a teenager, and thats why I play bass. Kenny Weydener : I started playing bass because I wanted to play the most challenging modern instrument that I could think of and electric bass was the obvious choice. I started on drums and guitar. I felt rhythmically satisfied with drums and melodically satisfied with guitar, but neither really felt like 'home' to me. With both instruments, there seemed to be something missing. The beautiful thing about bass is, you are part of the rhythm section and largely responsible for the 'groove', but at the same time you are playing off the melody and chords and vocals, so the note choices are just as important as how you phrase those notes. I find the bass to often be the 'secret weapon' of some of the best songs ever written, because of the uniqueness of how much the bassline affects everything. From the reason that people tap their feet to the beat, to how they sing the melody, the bassline is probably the single most important thing happening in any arrangement, next to the vocal. Compared to

most instruments, the bass is easily the most 'consequential' and I actually enjoy having that much responsibility on my shoulders. A lesser man would crumble under that kind of pressure. lol David Neubert : When I was 10 years old, my best friend played the cello, so naturally I had to play one too. Our clever public school music teacher told me she had checked out all the cellos but there was a nice, large bass gathering dust that was ready to go if I wanted to play in the orchestra. So here I am, 42 years later still playing and teaching the bass what a ride. It was playing a low Bb with the bow that hooked me; just feeling those low notes resonate. Seeing Gary Karr when he first began his solo career play at our local junior high in 1965 sealed my fate. Now I get the same rush watching Franois Rabbath, Edgar Meyer, Rufus Reid, Brian Bromberg and the list goes on. Andy Till : Why I play bass? I started to learn bass at high school in Macclesfield, Cheshire as a second instrument to playing the drums. I played drums for different bands for nine years. At first I didn't get along with the bass and put all my time into playing drums and then to making drumming my profession / day job when I left school. Eventually I decided to take more bass lessons and what happened was, the bass chose me. I fully got into the sound and feel and the way the bass looked. At this point the bass fully took over, I sold my drum kit and got my first bass from Manchester - a Fender copy for 80! At school, I played a Fender mustang bass. From this point, I knew that playing the bass was a lifestyle thing, something I knew that I was going to do as my living / career and every day thing. Since my school days, I upgraded from my Fender copy to a USA Fender Jazz / Fender Jaguar - Ampeg and make a living as a working professional bassist. I love that the bass has taken me to many places. Ive met different people and played music to people who love and enjoy music and not forgetting all the great musicians I have worked with so far. The bass, to me, is a passion in playing and the role it plays within a band, the sound and most importantly, the feel and groove when played with a drummer is one of the best things in life! Greg Brown : I started off on guitar and quickly grasped the logic underlying the notes on the fretboard and elements of basic chord theory. So much so in fact that at the age of 14 I wrote a book (which was never published) on 1,500 different chord shapes and various chord progressions. When I was 15 I formed a band and we ended up with two rhythm guitarists. I borrowed a bass from a friend and because I knew which notes belonged to each of those 1,500 chords, the transition to bass was very easy. Then came the big bass experience. I plugged into this big bass amp and started playing bass grooves on the huge growly bass strings. Immediately I felt a connection with the pulse and heartbeat of the universe. It was an incredible experience! I had found my niche in the musical universe. Fifteen years later I studied the elements of slap/pop technique and this enabled me to become even more connected in a uniquely percussive and rhythmic way. Finally when I dabbled with the fretless bass I realised that I could meander through this low-frequency world in a very mysterious and elusive manner. So the reason why I play bass is that it makes me feel connected to the pulse of the universe in a very special and mysterious way. And it also makes me feel that I am connected to all the bass players of the universe. What a privilege! Matt Bissonette : My mom and dad surprised me one day by telling me to get the groceries out of the trunk. I opened up the trunk and there was a guitar case, I thought they got me a guitar. My brother Gregg and I went into the basement and started jamming right away. I realized it wasn't a guitar but a bass, what is a bass? I asked my brother. He played Smoke on the Water on the record player and told me, "it's not

the first instrument played, it's that bottom thing that holds it all together." So, I thought that was cool and we played that song for about four hours. Later that week my dad asked me to play in his wedding band with him on drums and an accordion player. I asked him, "What do I do?" He said, "Just look like you know what you're doing, play something that sounds good and get me a beer whenever I point at you." So that was the lift off, immediately being thrown into the fire. I play bass because I love it. In college it was a burning passion, it still is, but it has more importantly led me into hearing music as a whole for what what all the instruments do. I thank God for letting me play bass because it has taught me humility. Us bass players are always in support of the other members of the band, like sports we are all teamates. Other instruments are meant to stand out and shine more than others. The bass is an instrument of humility and support, I like that, it's real life and I believe a real lesson in the more important matters of life. Of course there is always a place to shine, shred, or whatever the word is today and for that you must be prepared to play well and show what you have. I am thankful for the bass also because it has supplied a great living for my family. I'm not an "artist" who's gonna die for the "Art of the bass", it has generated a great living from one gig to the next, for that I know I am deeply blessed, mostly because I couldn't really do anything else, I know, I've tried. Lynn Seaton : I began on the classical guitar at 7 but was drawn to the bass at age nine. I was fascinated by the low end and still am. Paul McCartney's wonderfully inventive and solid basslines were a big attraction. In my elementary school, they had a day where you could go to the band room and sign up for an instrument that you wished to play. I wanted to play the double bass, but at that time, I was small for my age. The teacher thought I should start on the cello, but I insisted on wanting to play the bass. The school system found a 1/2 size bass on a stand for me and my father build two little foot stools for me to stand on. I still have such a passion for playing the bass. My wife says that sometimes I move my fingers and practice in my sleep! I am thankful to be given the gift of music and the opportunity to make a living as an artist. Gregori Hofmann : I started playing bass simply because there was no one to be Jason in what was basically a Metallica tribute band. I started out pretending to sing when my friends wanted to play Silverchair songs together. After my best friend bought some drums to jam with his brother who played guitar, we decided that with two guitarists and a drummer that I would have to play bass by default. I started out playing Rage Against The Machine, Metallica, Cypress Hill and all the Metal/Rock classics at the time. I was always into songwriter type music i.e. Ryan Adams, Ray Lamontagne but I worshipped Metallica and I had to play with a pick and be Jason. I spent the next 4 years from when I was 14 to 18 doing gigs playing in a Death Metal Band. When I finished school in South Africa at 18 I decided to start a new band and go to London, which is where I live now. After playing in the same band for 3 years and trying to 'go for it' I got over working on building sites and playing pub gigs and almost went home to become a beach bum again. Instead of doing that, I decided that even if the band was over, I couldn't stop playing music and so I started studying Bass at The University of West London. Going from playing Metal and Rock my whole life, I learnt more on a one year diploma course than I had ever before. I decided to carry on studying and have just finished a Bmus

Degree. Over the past 4 years of studying, I gave up playing Metal/Rock as I wanted to move away from that world and that mentality and immerse myself in everything else. I played in every band and with everyone I could. Sometimes gigging 7 nights a week with 6 different bands. With everyone I met, I learnt new ideas and approaches to music. Everyone was telling me different bands and artists to check out and my iTunes library got out of control. During the past few years I have learnt so much about music and tried to follow the tradition of the electric bass from Jamerson to Jaco and all the guys who played with James Brown. Everyone who you got to check out! As my ears and my eyes opened, I got into Double Bass and fell in love with the instrument and with the music - where I hear it the most, which is Jazz. At the moment, Im still checking out Ray Brown and I'll probably do that until I die. The reason I have been so in depth when it comes to what I have been doing since I started playing bass is because all of these things have made me understand 'WHY I PLAY BASS' which I feel comes from who I am as a person, or I would have given up a million times. I don't like being the centre of attention, I love to support a vocalist or soloist and I'll do that all day and night. I love the instrument and the sounds it makes. A low voice, the link between rhythm and harmony. And the instrument is young. James Jamerson was and still is the man and guys like Pino are carrying on that tradition of supporting the music but also having a strong voice on their instrument. I love that there are guys doing all the crazy stuff too and creating any sound you can imagine. I love Matt Garrison and Damian Erskine and Im fully into learning the tech side of things and getting intergalactic with my own tunes. SO I suppose I love checking out the tradition and I want to push myself creatively just like Matt is doing! When it comes to melody I'm always checking out the great improvisers like Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Miles, Coltrane etc and the fact that our instrument can support those ideas is amazing too. The possibilities are endless and thats why I can't really stop playing! Michael Stram : The groove. Layin it down. The feeling of your body vibrating with every note. When the groove makes you more fucked up than alcohol or drugs. When the audience dances, vibrates, and moves with the music. When you create that ONE, that hipnotic movement. And every damn person in the club is with you. Even the cockroaches and rats. Bass is the shit. I know drummers who play bass. Keyboard players who play bass. Guitar players who play, well, wish they could, play bass. Everybody and your momma wants to play bass! Why? Bass is the shit. Pardon my language, but its true. Other cats might say that the drummer creates and directs the groove. But its drummers who tell me, " I listen to you mother**cker!" " You direct the band. Not me!". Its pure communication. The bottom. Down there. Where you feel it. There is responsibility there. There is discipline there. There is love there. A good mentor, friend, colleague once told me, "I'm not comparing you to these other cats. I'm comparing you to Nathan East! Nathan doesnt play rock, or blues, or jazz. Nathan plays bass!" Thats why I play bass. Jorge Carmona : Why do I play bass? At school, we decided to create a band, we didnt know anything about music, I elected to play bass because I was somehow attracted to it - or maybe it chose me!!! To this day even after many years I'm still a bassist and will carry on being one forever. Why do I play bass? A question that I always ask, The answer is simple, because it fills my soul, my life and theres no other instrument that makes me feel better. Edwin Van Huik : My mother was a classical piano player, my father, a jazz freak (Earl Bostic. Earl Garner etc).My older sisters were into James Brown, soul, disco and funk. Also I grew up with West Side Story and all kinds of crazy music. As long as my feet were moving, I bought the record. The first single I bought was Get up, stand up from Bob Marley and the Wailers because it felt great for my body and brain - I didnt understand that kind of music, but it touched me, hahahaha. I was only busy with

gymnastics and motocross, until ....... my best friend bought a bass guitar, so I did too !! At that that time, I didnt even know what a bass guitar was....In 1982 my father (my best friend ever) passed away, so the bass was some kinda replacement for my fathers death, because he always supported/stimulated me to become a musician. The bass was, for me, like heroine for a junkie. I learned to play it on the street and after years, I founded the Bass Connection, a specialized bass-shop who trades/designs/buys/sells basses world-wide. Right now, busy with my first album, although I already released a few songs. Playing in the studios and live with all kinds of acts. What if my best friend bought a tennis racket instead of a bass? Ariane C. Cap : I play the bass because I love the way a groove feels, being the heartbeat of the band, supporting the singer or soloist, making the audience dance or bop their heads. I discovered the bass because the band I was in as a keyboardist and guitarist - Sitting Bull, a blues rock band in Austria - lost their bassist. We couldnt find a replacement and with gigs on the books and time running out, the drummer suggested I go get a bass since I played guitar anyways it would be easy. And it did come easy. The guitarist showed me what to play and I played my first gig as a bassist within weeks and never looked back. I became serious about it quickly and attended Jazz schools in Austria which landed me a scholarship to the University of Miami and the possibility to study Jazz in the US. I had started playing music (piano) at the age of five and as a classical player it was always about the dots on the sheet. I loved the improvisational nature of Blues, Rock, Jazz, Latin and other styles. And I especially loved the feel of the groove and being the foundation of the band. These days I play piano, electric and upright basses, fretless and mini basses. I tinker with the flute and I sing, I do solo bass shows with a looper and have fun all sorts of ways. I compose in a variety of styles, also commercially. Understanding the bass helps me with all these activities. I love the bass because its contrapuntal function in many musical styles opened up my understanding of music. I feel, these days, for me, its no longer so much about which instrument to express myself with, but, laying down a good groove with one of my axes is still one of my all time favorite things to do! Also, the more I play other instruments in a band, the more I appreciate bass players!!! Alofa Toetu : I've been Playing BASS since I was a Kid and did the whole thing , gigs , out door concerts session studio's , Rock Bands , Heavy Metal Bands , Gospels Choirs and in the end , ended up with a Jazz Fusion Band....Got Married and had children and waited for them to grow up. So Bass Playing took a Back Seat for about 15 Years while I concentrated on the Family.. Only in the last 3 years, I had to reteach myself Playing the Bass again But in those 3 years, I got to meet & also attend Victor Wootens Master Class and Richard Bonas Master Class and I also got to Attend Marcus Miller's Master class as well and was very fortunate to receive a signed Signature MM Jazz Bass from Marcus himself.. I Record Jazz Fusion at Home and Session for a couple Blues Bands In a Nut Shell....I LOVE BASS Richard L. Wallenburg : I live in the Netherlands. I grew up in a family where music was everywhere. We played and sang a lot in the living room. As a kid I started playing the Flute and later on, Alt Sax. When I was around 25 years old, I started playing the bass and never stopped playing it. These days, I work as a freelance bass player in different kinds of music styles. The gear Im using is a |Fender Jazz

bass, Gretch Broadkaster, an old German Double Bass and last but not least a Kala U bass (Ukulele Bass), the amps Im using are Ampeg Svt, Aer. Steve Adelson : I may be a bit different than most players in this collection. I started playing guitar in 1969. Rock of the time and fingerpicking ala John Fahey, Leo Kottke and the older blues guys were my focus. Later started studying jazz guitar, eventually started two-handed tapping which then led me my current status as Chapman Stick player. Since 1983, I've tried to digest the creative possibilies of this extraordinary musical instrument. My exploratory urges are totally drawn to the inspirational concepts behind Emmett Chapman's revolutionary invention and techniques. I can now play bass lines, chords, melodies, improvs and rhythms simultaneously. What a great pallette to work from. I'm also inspired because The Stick is fairly current, having little history. Hence the history is unfolding in real time and being part of that is very rewarding on an artistic level. With my Chapman Stick I play the bass roll in my musical performances but with guitar, piano and orchestral capabilities as well. As a creative musician, this is very gratifying Rico de Jeer : I knew that I wanted to play the bass from the time that one of my brothers played me the LP "Armed Forces" by Elvis Costello & The Attractions with Bruce Thomas on bass. This desire grew when I saw a classmate perform with his band. After another classmate and ever since best friend (poet/writer Ronald Ohlsen) asked me for a 'guitar club' the actual playing of this instrument became reality. In my final year of high school I bought my first bass: a green metalic Maya bass. In 1986 I enrolled at the University of Groningen to study Psychology and after that first year I switched to study Economics. In 1988 I bought the 1976 Fender Jazz Bass I still play now and in the summer of that same year I went to Budapest by bus to buy my first double bass. In 1991 I quit my studies at the University to prepare for my admission to the Hilversums Conservatory. My musical preference by then had shifted from pop to blues to jazz. The Fender bass was left in a corner of my room for a number of years. Tim Nobel, student at the Hilversums Conservatory, gave me my first double bass lessons and with him, I was preparing for my own admission. In 1992, I was admitted to the Hilversums Conservatory. In 1993 I moved from Groningen to Amsterdam to be closer to school. During my training I studied with (amongst others) Koos Serierse, Rob Langerijs, Ruud Ouwehand, Edward Mebius and Ernst Glerum to finally graduate in 1998 with Arnold Dooyeweerd. After my studies I worked with several bands and played several double basses. I still play my old time favourite '76 Fender Jazz Bass. Currently I play a French double bass, which was built around 1850. Craig Martini : It started with my two brothers interest in playing electric guitar and drums. It was the summer between 3rd and 4th grade, at the time so I looked up to them quite a bit. I asked my Mom what I could play and she introduced the idea of playing bass to me. Her Mother (My Grandmother) played the upright bass. So my brothers and I found instruments in the Sears catalogue and looked at them for months. At one point I cut out the picture of the bass (Harmony short scale) and carried it around with me. Eventually my parents gave in and ordered the stuff for us. I dont think Ive ever been more excited about anything in my life to this day! Then an episode of a show called Rock School on a public access station, changed my life. Larry Graham was on it, his playing was absolutely mind blowing to me! His words about, when and where to keep it simple, have been words I have lived by ever since.

The reason I keep playing bass is, I love the responsibility of the role the bass plays in music, it really is quite important. It is the ultimate team instrument. As the bass player you are always in the middle of the music, you get to glue the drums to the melody, occasionally getting to take the lead role as well. I wouldnt change it for anything! Wes Watson : I started out playing the flute as my main instrument and as the only guy flute player I was mocked incessantly. I suppose I took up the absolute other end of the musical spectrum in response! I continued with bass when I started listening, really listening to music. Bass drives rock. Im not sure who said it first but folks may sing with the singer, may watch the guitar player, may dance to the beat of the drummer but they shake their behind to the bass player! I love being able to provide that within the context of melody and harmony to be the engine room of the song. I absolutely love the sounds I can create with bass. And listening to other artists those who play solo bass just blows me away. Im proud and honored to play the same instrument as they do. Were also different those of us that play bass. We understand each other we have a camaraderie that other instrument players dont. We connect on a deeper level. And we can shake the walls with just . . . one . . . note. Alfred Smith : I started playing bass at the request of a Pastor at the first church I joined when I moved to Pennsylvania. They had no success in finding anyone who could do it, so he asked if I would be willing. I was. Since then Ive been on four other worship teams in the last twenty years, and was part of an outreach trio until recently. I continue to play bass for my current church, and theyve enlisted me to help them during outreach events with other churches if a bass player is needed. If He chooses to bless it beyond that, its okay. If He doesnt, thats okay too. Using my gift, and giving it back to God for bringing me this far, and up and out of the perils of life, is the ultimate that I can do with it. Thats why I play bass. Mike Dorea : My next door neighbour made his first guitar and then made a bass as well. I tried the bass and discovered that I love the bass guitar. I can play a bit of guitar and keys as well, but Ill always love the bass. Clment Schepens : The first memory I have with this wonderful instrument called "bass" was around 1993. My big brother played the bass in a band with his friends from high school. He was a huge fan of Iron Maiden, and had a lot of their posters in his room. That were terrorising me. But from time to time, when he wasn't there I was overcame my fear and went exploring his den to see and touch his bass. The vibration was hypnotising me but I was just a kid and never asked him to teach me how to play, I don't even think I understood how someone could use it to make music. Later, when he left the house, studying in another town I took his bass and started to play along to the few tapes and CDs I had, without the amp, without knowing anything, but trying to do exactly what I could hear. And that's how the love began.

I believe that the greatest thing about the bass IS bass. It can make your booty move, it gives all the depth to a chord, it gives power to a rock lick. And since Pastorius, it's also a great melodic instrument. The air vibrating is music, your body vibrating is bass. Logan Byrne : I love playing bass because thats who I am. Its my sweetest form of expression. I play bass because its the grooviest instrument. Seriously, I dont think I find any other instrument as appealing. Its got a sexy sound; it has a huge range, from the deepest, darkest low frequencies, to the sweet mid range and obviously the upper register. It takes on the roll of the bass cleft and the treble cleft with equal confidence and ease. A well-played bass or written line is the glue of a composition. That glue is basically the stuff in between the harmonic structure and that is what holds the rhythm and the harmonic structure together. Not only is that exciting, but it highlights how subtly the roll of the bass anchors and guides whats happening in the music. It is supportive and holds space for all other instruments, ideas and possibilities to form or be created, mostly above it, and in mentioning that, the absence of the bass is felt immediately. You can feel straight away that its not in the music. Guitar was my first port of call, and later I switched to bass and found my groove there. Bass is not up front all the time and playing bass has always led me to my passion and involved me with the music intimately. Interaction with musicians from all walks of life and playing songs from all over the planet, thats what really excited me and kept me involved in playing bass. Playing bass has taught me that music is all about people and your approach to them, or interaction with them, whether it be the band members with whom you play or are playing with presently, or the audience or listeners. Music is a feeling and an interaction between that; and bass playing is also just that. Like any other instrument, it captures a feeling. Playing bass also taught me many things, but most of all it has been the sensitivity to the people with whom you are playing the music and that are involved with the experience of playing. Double bass playing is by far the most physical of all bass involvements and experiences, and also the most rewarding. So thats why I play bass. Tony Reeves : I was 15, and at Colfes Grammar School in Lewisham, London. There was a classical school orchestra, and for some reason I can't remember, I wanted to take up the trombone. But there were only 3 trombones in the orchestra, and all three had players. However, the double bass player was leaving school, and so I thought it would be a good idea to learn that for a while until a trombone became vacant, since the music was written in the same clef and I would give myself a head-start on reading trombone music. As they say, I never looked back! (and I still have no idea why I wanted to play trombone!). I used to take the school bass home on the weekend on the train, with a mate holding one end and me the other as we walked to and from the station. When I was 16, I also -very dangerously - used to take it on gigs to The Old Tigers Head in Lee Green. It had a canvas cover with a wide canvas strap diagonally across the back, so you could sling it over your shoulder. My mate Dave Greenslade used to sling it across his shoulder and then get on the rear pillion passenger seat of my motorbike, and we used to drive like that to the gig. Probably get arrested if you did that now. Dave Avenius : I started playing bass as a teenager for the same reason many do my friends had a band but they didnt have a bass player. I had played various instruments growing up: Piano, Trumpet, Tubabut none of them spoke to me the way the Bass Guitar did. Over the years I came to realize that the instruments role in music fits my personality very well. I try to be supportive and compliment whats going on around me whether in a musical setting, my personal life, or in my role as CEO of Aguilar Amplification. Its about connecting the dots and being the glue that holds things together. I also really appreciate the community that weve all developed over the years. I think the same personalities that

draw us to be bass players also allow us to check our egos at the door and appreciate what each other is doing. Thats what life is about for me how can we all continue to grow? Andy Long : As a teenager I thought I wanted to be a guitarist. I loved hard rock and metal and all the cool guys were guitarists. My dad bought me a cheap guitar and the Bert Weedon book and I was away. As I listened to records and picked up bits and pieces I found myself unconsciously picking up and playing the bass lines to songs rather than the guitar parts. I didnt really understand what the bass was at the time, but a couple of years later when I finally got to be in a band, they already had a lead guitarist and they needed a bass player so I got some cheap gear and defaulted into the job. I soon found that bass was my instrument and there began a thirty-year (so far) love affair with the low end. As time goes on, it becomes less of a hobby and more of an obsession. Ive played in lots of bands in many different genres, hard rock and metal, alternative, blues, jazz, church worship and more. I guess about a dozen or so years ago I met Steve Lawson and was inspired by his approach to the bass as a solo instrument. From there I delved further into soloists and bassists from different genres and have tried to soak some of that stuff up. The bass player community is a fantastic world; its inspiring the way in which the top players are willing to share their knowledge and experience with everyday amateurs or semi-pro players and there is a co-operative spirit of friendship amongst players that transcends geographical and cultural boundaries and cultural boundaries. Ivan "Funkboy" Bodley : I dont think that you choose your instrument. I think that your instrument chooses you. At age 17 I decided that it would be a good idea to start playing the Electric Bass Guitar. I remember seeing Rick James on the Midnight Special and being captured by the bass line. I also remember a high school friend who played guitar. He had a bass in the corner with only the E and A strings on it (the 2 I mostly still use!). I remember picking out lines on it by ear, including Rick James You and I and Jah Wobbles part on Public Image, Ltd. The bass was choosing me. There had been some very brief musical flirtations with a couple of instruments as a younger kid: guitar, viola, piano, but nothing stuck. There was no musical program at my very snooty and prestigious preparatory school (go figure! And I wondered why I didn't fit in there.). So the bass was a very self-motivated endeavour. I washed dishes at a dude ranch in Colorado one summer and saved up the $400 to buy my first used 1978 Fender Precision Bass. Excellent purchase; I still have it and use it on recording sessions to this day. My very first gig, after only six months of playing, was my high school talent show doing Police, Stones, Rush, Tommy Tutone, and Pat Benatar covers. Somehow I ended up having to organize the show by

default and turned a profit on the gate that night from the exorbitant $1 admission price. I made money while simultaneously being applauded by a school full of people who hated me. This was something I could get used to. The rest is history. Ali Hairunie : Born to a musical family, I was 10 years old when my dad induced me to play the acoustic bass. Though huge for my age then, I recall truly enjoying my first few notes on the bass as it was a learning and play along session right from the start (with my dad on the violin, piano or saxophone and my elder brother on the guitar and piano) Without regret, my natural love for the bass evolved to the electric bass later and has remained my principle instrument until now. Why I chose to stay on the bass was every reason that most bass players would enjoy, that is being in a supporting position in the lower range yet with an important and defining role that shapes the various music genres and styles. With the evolving function of bass being more upfront and more bass players in a leading role, the challenge and musical satisfaction remains to this day, my prime inspiration of being more involved with the bass, hence the continuous effort of improving and enjoying the bass. From a single note to chordal applications, supportive to melodic and improvisational functions, the bass truly remains my love and reason for enjoying music. Brittany Frompovich : I came to the electric bass after many years of performing on the guitar and after getting my music degree on double bass. The electric bass reconciled my backgrounds on the guitar and the double bass into one instrument. I studied guitar in high school in private lessons. Like most young guitarists, I performed originals and rock music with a group of friends in a band. When I went to college, I initially majored in audio engineering. However, I was still required to study an instrument. Since the school did not have a guitar program, my instructor suggested I try the double bass. After a few lessons, I was hooked. The presence and depth of the sound was instantly addictive. I added a double bass major to my course of study. After a few years, I became interested in electric bass as well. I loved how the electric bass had familiar aspects of the guitar and the double bass with the addictive low growl I loved. I borrowed an electric bass from another student. That allowed me to start playing electric bass in a classic rock band and incorporating it into my original music. Shortly thereafter, I purchased a bass and de-fretted it myself. The "personality" of the bass also aligned with many of my core values; being a strong foundation in a group, plus the sense of belonging to a larger community. Bass is evolving, with innovative players, builders and engineers contributing to both the tradition AND the emerging landscape of new possibilities for the instrument. That sense of exploration really appeals to me; seeing what I'm capable of, what the instrument can do, and seeing what others contribute to the craft. The bass is versatile; one night I could be playing with a rock band, another night I could be doing theatre work, the next night Im performing big band music, and the next night I could be playing a solo bass show. I love that versatility. Why do I play bass? It is fundamentally who I am. Eric Rupert : When asked to explain why I play or what inspired me seemed to make me look back. The initial thought was back watching Will Lee(Late Night with David Letterman) jumping up in down in tempo with some great tune The Worlds Most Dangerous Band was jamming to that night. Then I remembered a performance of Ella Fitzgerald with Ray Brown on a rerun of Johnny Carson, duet version

of My Funny Valentine. The sound of the deep acoustic bass really made me feel something inside. How I gage this is whenever I play My Funny Valentine today I still use that line at the start. Years later not only did I study with Ray Brown; I was able to count him as a friend. I take so much from my surroundings whether it be bass, piano, orchestras, horn players or vocals, so the list of who inspired me is probably shorter than what has.... Geddy Lee : I always took music in school; I tried various instruments drums, trumpet and clarinet all for really short periods of time, though. Learning an instrument in school didnt really turn me on, so I took piano on my own when I was very young rudimentary stuff. It wasnt until I was out of grammar school and listening to rock music that I became interested enough to seriously learn to play. Cream were actually the first band that really got me interested. From then on, I listened to people like The Who and Jeff Beck. I was mainly interested in early British progressive rock. I began with guitar, although I didnt play it very long. I was about 14 then and I got my first acoustic guitar, a beautiful acoustic that had palm trees painted on it. Other than that, I have no idea what kind it was. I got a bass about six months after that, a Conora, which was just a big solidbody with two pickups. It had a real big neck sort of like a Kent. I had a little amp too but I cant even remember what kind it was. We used to borrow and rent amps Ace amps, Silvertone amps whenever we needed them. The first real amp that I got was a Traynor with two 15s; I was almost 16 then. It was just before I joined Rush actually. I knew Alex from school. We were pretty good friends and we always wanted to play together but we never had the opportunity. He used to call me all the time to borrow my amp, though, because in those days, an amp was hard to come by. He would say How are you doing? and Id say Oh, not bad. Then hed say Oh, by the way, can I borrow your amp this weekend? Weve got a gig. I used to loan him my amp all the time. Well I received a call from him about two weeks after he started Rush with our original drummer, John Rutsey. They had an excellent bass player, but he decided to quit the band at the last minute before a gig at a local coffeehouse. That was big stuff back then. So I got this panic call from Alex: Do you want to come out and fill in for the gig? I said, Sure! You know, in those days it was typical for a band to rehearse for four hours, get all the songs together and just go out and do it. I did that one gig and they asked me to stay in the band. Excerpt from Bass Heroes Cheech Carriero : The dictionary definition for the word Passion is "an intense emotion, compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something." This is an understatement when it comes to my love of the Bass. I have found it such a difficult task to explain to non-bass players the strong feeling of bass obsession. I have been playing bass for almost 30 years. What sparked my love for bass was a combo of rap and rock. I heard Rapper's Delight on the radio and was mesmerized by the bass line as a kid. Soon after I saw a man on TV running around on stage, placing his foot on his monitor and heard this sound coming from his bass. The loudest, rawest, fantastic sound ever. This man was Steve Harris from Iron Maiden. Over the years, I have modeled my own bass style. Daily I am a performer, creator, teacher and student. Being on stage and creating music with my bands is an infatuation. Being able to show the world what I have dedicated my life to is a major accomplishment. Not only do I perform but as a teacher of

bass I have taught many students over the years the art of bass. To see a teenager pick up a bass and years later see the love of bass still in their heart is amazing. You are never too old to learn. I have had the same bass teacher, my guru, for 25 years. My favourite song lyric is from Led Zeppelins Houses of the Holy Let the music be your master. Will you head the Master's call" and I say YES I WILL! Jennifer Sharp : Because Im lucky! I started playing at school, because I wanted to give up the violin. When my teacher asked why, I told her that I couldnt bear the squeaky high notes, so she suggested that I try the bass. I loved it and even though I got into rock music as a teenager, I kept playing. However at university I couldnt afford one, so didnt play for ages. Then one day I was at home with my small children, idly listening to Radio 3 when I became aware of a magnificent, energetic and exciting bass line. It was Beethovens second symphony and I knew I had to join in. Out of the blue one day, my husband bought me a bass and I had to start from scratch again, but it was great fun and soon I was playing in all sorts of bands. I have played with a huge variety of amateur orchestras and groups around Edinburgh and the Borders area. The great thing about playing bass is that it is very grounding. Sometimes it feels as though the basses are providing an anchor to keep the music and other musicians on track. I dont actually mind when people say, You dont notice the bass until it is not there! Then there are those magic, spine tingling moments when the bass and body vibrate in unison and the wave seems to creep over the whole orchestra. Thats what inspired me to help start the Scottish Bass Trust, which aims to encourage all things bass. I will continue to play the bass as long as I am lucky enough to do so! Riaan Hefer : Wellmy reason for playing bassfirstly, the Bass is such an exceptional instrument in its contribution to the feel of any song in whatever style! Growing up playing rhythm guitar, I realized after some 10 years, that theres something betterplaying the bass! But my obvious reason would probably be the satisfying and fulfilling emotion that is expressed, through playing what you feelthat sensation of expressing yourself by using your instrument! And experiencing what lies beyond that line is what motivates me even more! Alvin Cordy : My journey with the bass guitar began as a young 5 year old watching my uncle Alvin Lee (The Lee Boys) in our church. I come from a family with a musical background, so this is all I know. I play with a 7 string VCS by Mark Vinciguerra, this has become my signature bass. Im asked all the time why 7 strings? For the style of music I play it feels comfortable to me. When my uncle was in school he would listen to Bela Fleck and the Flectones, I remember how impressed he was with Victor Wooten. He would also listen to other Bass players like Stanley Clarke, Wayman Tillsdale and Marcus Miller. This really opened my eyes to the world of the Bass Guitarist. Traveling with the Lee Boys has allowed me to play with guys like Victor Wooten,

Oteil Burbridge, Steve Bailey and many others. Recently, I moved to Atlanta, GA to expand my musical career and hope to inspire other young bass players. Every Tuesday night at the Peachtree Tavern, I host a jam in Atlanta. The Bass is my life and I hope to touch the world with my music. Just like you. BISCUIT : Why exactly was the Bass guitar my chosen instrument to play ?.... well that is a question that I had never really thought about too deeply until now, and one that I found was a little more complicated to answer than I would have thought, but here goes. I have always been very passionate about music, even from a very young age, and growing up through the 60s 70s and 80s , I, like millions of others, feel privileged to have been exposed to the wonderful music of some of the greatest musicians and bands that the world has ever produced, in my opinion. As a child, I had a cousin who played lead guitar in a Rock band and who influenced me heavily by way of his own playing and also the records that he owned at the time, such as Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Boston and Jimi Hendrix to name just a few...which were followed by the likes of Genesis, Queen, Whitesnake and Thin Lizzy etc, so I was pretty much a lover of the power of Rock right from the beginning. Also at this time there were artists around such as David Bowie, Mark Bolan, Slade and the Sweet among many others, which were all still kind of in that Rock area, so I was always going to be a little Rock Heavy I suppose. Although having said this...In those early days, I also found myself also being moved by the sounds of the Blues, Soul, Mowtown, Reggae, Ska, Pop, and Classical music too and indeed everything and anything that I could lay my ears on. I realised that music was a very powerful and emotional force which could evoke feelings from great Joy right through to great sadness, which of course we all feel during our lives at some point, so being a quite emotional Kid who could really feel a Vibe all of this really affected me in a massive way, and was to influence my life much later on, more I could never even imagine. During those early years, I just soaked all this music up, but never really had any thoughts or aspirations of taking up playing an actual instrument of any kind, although I did jump around a lot with a tennis racket used as a guitar as most kids did back then... But little did I realise that I was to one day play for REAL. It was to be many more years of actually listening to hundreds or possibly thousands of bands and Soaking up all of their music before I actually decided one day, that I would start actually playing an instrument myself. This was to be a day during the summer of 1990.... I was 28 years old, and had just moved house after starting a new job, and wanted to fill my spare time with some kind of hobby during the evenings. As a lover of Rock, I decided I would buy a cheap 6 string Lead guitar, which I believe was a Gibson copy, which I would sit down and attempt to play to various records during my after work sessions. Try as I did, I just could never get my head around the lead or Rhythm guitar parts, but instead I instinctively found myself using the Low E and A strings and found it relatively easy to pick out the Bass lines of almost anything I attempted to play..... It was almost like the guitar was Playing me This came as quite a shock to me, as I never realised just how many of those bass lines I had absorbed in my head without even thinking about them consciously... and even more Scary was the fact that I actually knew pretty much where to put my fingers.

It was this revelation that sent me off to the local music store to purchase my very first Bass guitar.... a Jackson Charvel 4 string in a creamy white colour. From that moment on, I would come home after a full days work, and would play that bass to tunes from every genre of music for 6 hours a night over the next 3 years.... I was addicted to Bass, ha-ha. Once I felt that I had acquired enough confidence and ability to hold a band together after that 3 years, I just had to get that feeling of playing live with other musicians and so ventured out of the spare room and into the crazy world of Bands and gigs etc ...Argghhh ha-ha. I have been involved in so many bands during the last 22 years that I could not possibly name them all here, and that goes for the many brands of Bass guitars that I have used too...lets just say I have pretty much tried every manufacturer of 4, 5 and 6 string basses that you could imagine, which have of course has been a cross between great, good, bad and Indifferent. I have to say that I feel that I have been very fortunate in the fact that 99% of those bands I have played with have been playing and writing original material, so I have pretty much had a free reign on what and how I could play, which has been a real blessing for me and which ultimately led me to becoming a Solo artist, Tutor and session player and which has resulted in my recording for various other projects since I went Solo 7 years ago after being so heavily influenced during those recent years by the likes of Jaco Pastorius, Billy Sheehan, Marcus Miller and TM Stevens I have also become an endorsing artist for some major bass gear manufacturers over the last 7 years too, which has also come about due predominantly, to those Solo efforts, which is something I could never have either dreamed of or hoped for...... So dreams really can come true, even if you didnt realise you had them, eh, haha. So why do I play Bass? Its a Love and an addiction all rolled into one...I just love the Look and the feel of Bass guitars and the Sound of those Lower frequencies and how they are the Heartbeat and direction of music, and the way they hold everything together, and I am convinced it really was always just Meant to be for me..., my destiny... I think that those Basses actually Play me most of the time ! Respect always.... BISCUIT Mark White : I basically started playing bass to meet girls. My friend Reggie Capers was playing drums and in those days, you could actually recognize a song just from the drum beat. He had some girls over and they seemed excited about his drum playing. By chance that same week, my friends two little brothers found a busted guitar in the pool, so I took it from them (I was much bigger than them). That guitar only had two strings on it, but I played it in the bathroom where I could hear it. I totally remember closing my eyes and thinking I was some famous something in front of thousands of people. That guitar is actually the reason I'm left handed. Since I had nobody to show me what to do, I just sort of made it up. I played until my thumb got sore from picking and I would flip it over and use my other thumb, and I kept flipping it back and forth until I somehow got stuck left handed. Finally my mom busted out the Sears catalogue for Christmas and there was a guitar and a bass (which I had no idea there was a difference), so I got the guitar because it had more strings, but I'm playing with my friend and I'm only playing the E and A strings. He said I needed to get a bass. So later on, my mom gave me a hundred bucks, I went to Sam Ash on 48th street and said, "what do you have for 100 bucks?" and the dude said, "that". I said, "I'll take it." That whole thing took less than two minutes. My friend Tony took that bass and put the E string on top, because I was still playing upside down. He did a great thing for me by doing that, because I would never have thought of it. I didn't even know you had to tune it, I was playing for weeks and didn't know until I played something for Tony over the phone and he asked me if the bass was in tune, and I said "tune? What's that?" Now I had to call him up

everyday to tune the bass over the phone until I got a tuning fork. After a while I would just tune the E string to Slave's song " Slide." Well I never met any girls, I spent so much time playing that bass it's a wonder I didn't gain 200 pounds and become allergic to sunlight. I was basically practicing from sunrise to sunset. Somebody showed me the "C" major scale and I used to play that thing until my mom was like, "don't you know anything else??" I would just move it to C# and ask her, "is that better?" Nowadays, I'm glad I picked the bass. I still play it like crazy, I don't really think of it as practice, I just can't put that thing down for any length of time. It's like crack for me. But a nice kind of crack that actually takes you all over the world and pays for your chicken Mcnuggets. Skip Hartman : I am soon to be 56 years old. I grew up on a family farm with 3 siblings. Thanks to my mother, we all participated in school music programs and learned to play instruments at an early age. I played the trombone from age 9 to 18 in our school music programs and participated in choir and other music groups, as well. I was also greatly interested in mechanical relationships. Due to the intensity of my studies to become a licensed aircraft mechanic and a mechanical engineer I put music on the back burner during my university education. I got married before graduation so family and career followed close on the heels of school and my participation in music was limited to inconsistent participation in church choirs and the enjoyment of listening to music produced by others. This was the case until 2005 when, after watching my wife lead the praise team in our church for more than a year, the Lord impressed upon me the need for a bass player in our church worship program. My wife encouraged me and I borrowed a bass from a friend and began to teach myself to play. I did work hard and discovered that I was capable of learning and after a few months purchased a bass. I was travelling a lot for work so I purchased an Aria Sinsonido "travel" bass that I could disassemble and take with me and practice in hotel rooms without having to have an amp. I became a part of our praise team and greatly enjoyed the opportunity of playing with the group as a service to the church. A retired member of our praise team asked me to accompany him a few years ago in some "gigs" outside our church and this activity has picked up considerably. I still travel a lot. I have picked up several more basses and I have really enjoyed learning the history of the bass guitar and becoming familiar with those who have really lead the way in developing its roll in modern music. My latest acquisition is a Rogue 8 string using 4 pairs of strings paired in Octaves. I have enjoyed learning about the subtle differences in various basses that reveal slightly different tonal qualities unique to specific basses. I have discovered the bass is an instrument that really fits my personality and while many people can play the bass I know that many do not find the pleasure in it that I do. I do not want to use all the clich terms that go along with descriptions bass players often give of why they enjoy playing, but they do mostly apply to me! I feel very fortunate that I have the opportunity to play now with such regularity, with other team members who are gifted and dedicated, and that something I find so pleasurable can be used in service to my Lord in a worship setting! I find music in almost any form to reinforce my Christian beliefs in a Lord that is a Lord of creativity and design and that the music is produced by a group is more than the sum of

its parts. It has a touch of divinity! Just as I see the Lord's intricate design in how man has developed his knowledge of science and technology in my engineering work. Mergan Naidoo : Why do I play Bass? Well I guess at the outset I didnt have a choice.. I led a worship team for many years at my local church, South of Johannesburg. Our current bassist at the time, who was well versed in the instrument and played with such passion, took a job some 1400 kilometres away. The drive to our twice a week practise sessions was becoming somewhat of a problem. So, I did what any great leader would - I fired him. Regrettably and unfortunately we had to say goodbye to our bassman who went off to work in East London and took his Yamaha TRB with. I was forced to pick up the instrument that I would soon fall in love with. I have been grooving ever since. I did not have a choice when picking up the bass I did, however, have a choice to eventually put it down I CHOSE NOT TO! Relinquishing my duties as a Worship leader, I joined AVIKAR, a Bollywood Fusion Outfit, with the intention of developing my bass playing skill to a whole different level. I soon traded my unused, Fender 50th Anniversary, 2-toned Sunburst Deluxe Stratocaster collectors piece for a 2006 Limited Edition Warwick Thumb Bolt-on Dirty Blonde. It initially felt a bit different from the Washburn 5 String that I was accustomed to in church but soon found so much pleasure having just 4 strings to control the mood and feel of what we played. Our style of music varied from contemporary bollywood music through to dance and pop. Included some Jazz Fusion, which initially posed a serious challenge to this church muso. Marcus Millers Friends and Strangers bass solo from the Dave Grusin Mountain Dance album was the first bass solo that I had to learn and perfect. Thank goodness all the musos around were better than I was. To date it is still one of my favourite pieces. Ok, back to answering the key question WhY dO I PLaY BasS? Or Why do I love playing Bass? Music is a creation from our Father in Heaven who enjoyed it with such a deep passion that He gave charge over it to His most superior angel. Music of all genres has power because God created it with such power. Do you notice how certain music when played loud enough moves you to the depth of your soul? There is power in Music, and its not all good by the way That superior angel I mentioned before. Grew a tail, got himself a pair of horns, got a bit arrogant, and was fired from the Heavenlies.. He is still a chief musician though and uses the power in music in ways.. Well, lets just say he fell from grace and is not such a nice guy anymore. Hey who am I to judge? There is power is music because God breathed power into it, like He did when He breathed life into man. Sounds like I am preaching hey? Ok sermon over. Let me just answer the damn question already. I feel that I have been blessed with this love of music and more blessed that I am able to express this love. My heart is that of a Worshipper it will always be. Im grateful to be alive and will honour my Father in Heaven wherever and whatever I play in the love that we both share in Music. Jon Liebman : My story is similar to that of many bass players. I began playing the bass out of necessity. Specifically, it was because there were already more than enough guitar players, so I faced a choice: either learn to play the bass or find myself out of the band!

When it came time for college, I began taking the basic music theory and history classes, without really knowing where I was headed. When it came time to declare an instrument toward the end of my freshman year, I needed to make a commitment. In those days, there was no such thing as a rock major or even a jazz major, so I had to choose a traditional instrument. I deliberated between classical guitar (which I love, to this day) and classical bass. Something about the bass just resonated with me. Having played electric bass for four years by then, broadening my scope to include the upright, seemed obvious. I also saw a lot more opportunities for bass players than guitar players, not the least of which was the fact that there were already so many great guitar players in the world (see above!). Moreover, if a bass player doubles on upright and electric, the instrument can be applied to just about any musical situation, whether it be orchestral, theatre, weddings, rock shows and so on. Theres also a certain camaraderie among bass players, unlike that of any other instrument family. Whats more, the possibility for new techniques seems virtually limitless, as evidenced by Jaco Pastorius, Larry Graham, Marcus Miller, Steve Bailey, Michael Manring, Niels Pedersen, Victor Wooten, Billy Sheehan and so many others. Its great to be a member of that family! Double-Z : Just at the end of my high school years, I knew I wanted to do something really different than other girls. Id been a musician my entire life-since the age of 3, I played piano. I played concert piano until I decided I wanted to play the stuff I heard on the radio more. The only girls that played instruments that most women didnt play were in Sly and the Family Stone! I wanted to play something even more different! BASS!!! Yeah, thats it! Why do I play bass??? Many reasons. My first was just stated above. I also believe that it lets the masculine side of me *run amuck* with Big Balls!(lol) Im a *In Yo Face* bassplaya! Then a real important reason for me, is that Ive been told by many males and females how Ive inspired them to *dare to be different*, to play an instrument they didnt think they could play and to just DO the damn thing! I put them on the path. Thats a great feeling! I play bass, cuz thats what I was put here to do! George Moye : Growing up in a family band, I started playing bass at a young age. We had only guitar players and I happened to have a regular guitar but it had only 4 strings, so I assumed the role as Bass Player. The summer I was 16, I remember my Mom asking me what I wanted to do with the money I had been saving and I told her I wanted to buy a real bass guitar. She took me to the music store and helped me buy the instrument I am still in love with today. I truly enjoy being in the supporting role of the

rhythm section and have discovered my voice on the bass. I know when the bass notes are played correctly, the groove will invade your soul without permission. Amy Shook : I had been playing violin for about 5 years and loving it. When I was in 8th grade, I was singing in the jazz choir, and we attended the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. I remember going to one of the evening concerts at the festival and hearing the likes of Carmen McRae, Dizzy Gillespie, and Stan Getz. But then the Ray Brown Trio took the stage with Gene Harris on piano and Jeff Hamilton on drums, and even though I had no idea what I was hearing, it was so powerful, so magical, I knew that's what I wanted to do. There was something that profoundly resonated with me upon hearing the deep, swinging groove that Ray was laying down, locking in with Jeff and Gene, playing the blues...it made me want to dance and cry all at the same time. The next year, instead of singing in the jazz choir, I taught myself to play the upright bass so I could be in the jazz combo accompanying the choir. I eventually went to university on a violin scholarship, but playing jazz bass was my passion, and now I'm blessed to get to groove and swing everyday, laying down the foundation, the heartbeat, playing America's Music, Jazz. To me, there is nothing better than grooving on those low notes. Martin Simpson : By definition, I am a bass guitarist but that doesnt actually make me a bass player. I couldnt truthfully call myself a bass player to find one of those, you need to look in the direction of people like Ron Carter, Jorge Pescara, Jason Marsh, Christian McBride, Kristin Korb, Joseph Patrick Moore etc etc. Im essentially a guitarist that feels more comfortable on four thick strings than six thin strings. So then, just why do I play bass? Thats easy because, not only do I prefer playing bass guitar above any other instrument Ive ever tried, but it also affords me the opportunity to connect with all these guys and girls on a level that only we truly understand. We are all from different walks of life with widely varying intellects, we play instruments with anywhere between two and twenty strings, we play Wooden, Cardboard, Carbon Fibre and Plastic instruments. We use bows, fingers, thumbs, plectrums, finger picks, thumb picks and drumsticks to set the strings in motion. The bow users have a choice of German or French bows which are both held differently. The plectrum users draw from a selection ranging from stone, metal, carbon, plastic and felt depending on the type of tone theyre after and on the subject of tone, us bassists draw from a selection of strings ranging from natural cat-gut, stainless steel, nickel, bronze and nylon. The metal strings themselves come in zingy sounding round-wounds, half round (essentially round-wound strings that have been milled flat so that fretless players can tap into the

zingy sound without destroying their fingerboards) and flat-wound variations - and the various ways the strings are made, is a science all of its own!!! Some session bassists will change their round-wound strings as often as one new set everyday just to retain that brightness of tone thats so important to them when theyre employing the slap technique. Compare that with our dub reggae brothers and sisters who would rather REPAIR a twenty-year old flat-wound string to retain that deep dull sound thats so important to their art!!! We play instruments that are older than our Great Great Grandfathers, we play modern day instruments that we have specially built for us and we even play instruments that weve made for ourselves, were two separate genders, were left handed and right handed, were Muslims, Buddists, Hindus, Jews, Christians, Satanists & Atheists but sinners, every one of us! Were Professionals, ex Professionals, Semi-Pros, Amateurs and Hobbyists.. Were masters of legato and staccato techniques. We range from people that can say everything they need to with one or two well-placed notes to people that feel that they need a thousand notes to express the same thing. Likewise, youll see the same thing in this missive, where some people can express themselves with as little as three words and others need a page or more to say the same thing. Theres absolutely nothing wrong with each approach it just shows how different we all are. We range from the introspective guy that stands, unobtrusively, hunched over his bass, in the corner of the stage to a certain individual from the Isle of Wight in the British Isles who actually chews gum while hes singing the lead vocal and slapping complex bass lines. We range from musical morons to musical geniuses and also range from root peddlers through one four five (12 bar) specialists to soloists supreme. We also range from creative geniuses (not necessarily great or even competent musicians) to people (in some cases, absolutely awesome musicians) that are happy to spend their entire careers covering other peoples material. We range from people that have been playing bass since they were just a few years old to people that have taken up the instrument in their forties! Were different colours, playing differing styles of music and essentially no two bassists are exactly identical in the way they play their instruments, but the bass unites us and I for one, am extremely happy to be part of this special community of low frequency Space Cadets!!!!!

Thank You
Thanks to everyone that contributed in some way towards this book and that includes, not only the 503 bassists (including the eight students that study / studied with Peter Tambroni) that contributed (either directly or indirectly through another publication or from beyond the grave R.I.P. Monk Montgomery & Andre van Zyl) stories, photos, messages, autographs and music to this project, but also the photographers (both living and deceased R.I.P. Fred Hayward) whos works are included here, the various managers that sent along material and the Suspect Seventeen whos stories are told at the back of the book. Thank you to all those people that gave me help in a number of different ways towards making this book such a success. Thanks also to all those people World-wide, that prayed for my health to return when things were looking very bad for me in 2010 and mostly, go thanks to my beautiful late wife, Lillian, for nursing me back to health before succumbing to pneumonia just a year later.. John Goldsby once said to me You must be very proud of this book. Im very happy that God (I finally realised) charged me with putting this book together, but Im proud of all of YOU guys and girls that made this mammoth task possible with your dedicated and enthusiastic participation without you, there wouldnt have been a book an absolutely brilliant team effort!

One Liners Re-Visited


Adam Engela: Because its cooler than guitar. Alfred Kallfass: I never learned anything else, so I have to. Barry Sherman : I play bass because nothing can make a song rock like a steady eighth-note groove. Chris Garner: It just feels great. Clive Jackson: I enjoy playing bass as it allows me to express myself as a musician. Colin Deacon: - Cos I love it when my Nuts rattle on stage Dave Segall: I play bass for the chics, man!! Bass is just so mysterious, and Im a mysterious guy! Dino Fiorenza: I play the bass. Its my very reason to live. Emil Nysschens: Basses were on sale, the day I went to the music store. Graeme Currie: Because I can!!!!! Ilze Fourie: I guess I started playing bass in 2001 by just being at the right place at the right time... Jeroen Paul Thesseling: "Playing fretless bass gives me a tremendous amount of musical freedom" Martin Engelien: Why do I play Bass? Is there another reason to live? Paul DeLano: It is the first instrument I was able to pick out in a song and still the first instrument I hear when I listen to a song. Richard Jay Terrien: "Because Bassists RULE!!!" Rika Hebrst: Nothing beats the low, Earth-Moving sound of a BASS! Roy Melville: Because I love it. Stefan Henrico: Why do I play bass? Well, how long is a piece of string? I cant tell you why I play bass, I just do. William Slimmerts: There was no one else at Church to do the job!!! .

Photographic Acknowledgements

Bassist
Randy Kertz Adam Nitti Quintin Berry Andy Gonzalez Steve Bailey Bryan Beller William Teags Victor Bailey Pino Palladino Graham Jacobs Kevin Brandon Matthew Bairstow Billy Sheehan Sting David Hughes Stanley Clarke Mark Egan Rufus Reid Glenn Letsch Victor Wooten Jean-Bertrand Carbou Concord Nkabinde Michael Manring Jeff Berlin Shaun Moseley Ross Pickford

Photographer
Kim Honan Dieter Spears Not Known Not Known Leeann Bailey Michael Mesker Paul Moore Not Known Not Known Caitlin Jacobs Not Known Suzanne Archer Not Known but Billy owns the photograph Not Known Robin Ganter Not Known Jesus A. Martinez Laucirica Not Known Larry Garcia Not Known Not Known Suzy Bernstein Philippe Lissart Not Known Ryan Skully Demoser Leon van Heerden

Bassist
Brian Ogawa Francois Marais Llewellyn Buzz Bethwaite John Goldsby Eelke van der Hak Al Turner Chuck Bianchi Yves Carbonne Clement (Mr Crazy fingerz) Georges Tammy Wilson Victor Masondo Joseph Patrick Moore Alexander Kalinovski Chris Badynee Jade Abbott Franc OShea Wayne Fox Joe Penn Nik Felbab Darren Michaels Christoph Victor Kaiser Cobus Keyser Edo Castro Yo Yo Buys Rob Gourlay Richard Sims Mark Meadows Gonzo

Photographer
Tracy Ogawa Dirk De Wet Monique Forbes Ines Kaiser Not Known Not Known Michelle Preston Philippe Lissart Not Known Shireen Arbuthnot Mziwoxolo Mtola Gina Cellino Not Known Alan Eden Richard Hering Not Known Cindy Fox Melissa Heath Not Known Cindy Sheffield Michaels Not Known Leon Oosthuizen Sharon Green Darlington R'n'B Club Grant Stinnett Gene Higgins n-foto@web.de C. C. Campos

Bassist
Daniel Gray Pete Ball Kevin Charles McGinnis Jan-Olof Strandberg Scott Kungha Drengsen Hilton Vermaas Ben Allison Jitka Brzek Bert Askes Dave Askes Miles Askes Simone Vignola Rudy Sarzo Julian Mayer Lars Lehmann Barry Irwin Kai Horthemke Roald Nel Reggie Washington Marius Liebenberg Scott Hubble Jacques Steyn Bill Parish Donn Dowlman Paul Martin Abel Stoltz Glenn Topping Andra (Fuzz) Reitz

Photographer
Zara Mary Gray Chris Moore Jean Clogenhouse Ulf Zackrisson Not Known Not Known Greg Aiello Not Known Lundie Askes Michael Brown Dave Askes copyright : European Bass Day Not Known Dave Evans Christin Maschmann Not Known Gary van Zyl Not Known Eddy Westveer Graeme Currie Not Known Adriaan de Beer Not Known Peter Sansom Not Known Jonathan Damaghaulas Gen Frank Jarrad Nelson

Bassist
Johann Kruger Chris Harris Ed Friedland Lex Futshane Marten Andersson Ernie Leblanc Lorenzo Feliciati Celste Reyneke Todd Johnson Alex Davison Theo Klassen Pierre Schnehage Gareth Sherwood Nikolai Neronski Greg Cavanaugh A.L. "Artie" Terry Peter Tambroni Valery Bashkov Reggie Worthy Bruce Gertz Mark Neuenschwander Vuyani Wakaba Justin Maree Al Garcia Herbert Smith Brian Lawrence Al Caldwell Kerry Blewett

Photographer
George Hakim Not Known Dawn Miller Not Known Theresa Cameron Not Known but Ernie owns the photograph Simone Cecchetti Karl Storbeck Luke Neuman Not Known Not Known Miemie Wolmarans Muriel Sherwood Vlad Kiryshenco Not Known Gary Irving Peter Tambroni Vlad Kiryshenco Not Known Nicole Goodhue Not Known Jody Warner Not Known Al Garcia Ken Berger Gideon Murray Dave Probst Not Known

Bassist
Albey Balgochian Brogan Thompson Frederick Charlton Roy C. Vogt Pat Cullen Arlyn Culwick Norm Stockton Craig Bissel Johann Eicher Robbie Sanna Max Theron Leon Bosch David Geschke Prof. Marc Duby Colin Brown Michael Auer Julian Fairall Richard Bodkin Llewellyn John William Maxwell Jake Kot Prakash John Stewart McKinsey Evan Marien Shaun Scott Grant Stinnett Jamie Canivet Corn Dannhauser

Photographer
Jane Grenier B Glenn Diane Devereaux Terrell Thornhill Hayden Garwood Not Known Neil Zlozower Sean Brand Not Known Vincenzo Sanna Candace van der Leek Guy Mayer Not Known Not Known Adrienne Brown Jono Jebus Isaac De Abreu Johnny Lai Sang Not Known Not Known Sidney Smith David Charlesworth Kathryn Saffro Simon C.F. Yu Nadine Scott Sarah Stinnett Not Known Gerhard Bouwer

Bassist
Siyabonga Ngubane James Sunney Anthony Scelba Vaughan Ross Ronald John Pillay Andrew Warneke John Archer Maxim Starcke Jeremy Howard Trish Bailey Lorne Peakman Ponkey Reilly Dave Meros Vic Bergh Peter Murray Jauqo 111-X Lucas Senyatso Dereck Walstra Taylor Corrado Canonici Lenny Padayachee Jim Stinnett Jimi Glenister Daniel Rezant Rob OBrien Tom Kennedy Judy Foxcroft Benoit Grigaut

Photographer
Mxolisi Coki Not Known Susan DeFurianni Nadia Ross Dylan Harbour Claire Warneke Adelle Saggerson Lisa Bauer Rudi Botha Jimi Glenister Joanne Peakman Alette Reilly Joe del Tufo Jaco Steyn Dave Dickson Mike Kemet Pryor Not Known Katya Filmalter Marian Mlynarczyk Not Known Samantha Padayachee Jamie Stinnett Trish Bailey Joshua Anthony Not Known Dave Weckl Not Known Not Known

Bassist
Antonella Mazza Hadrien Feraud Alex Searle Martin Motnik Kirwan Brown Alan Goldstein Shaun Johannes Doug Johns Steve Walters Rami Lakkis Hilliard Green Adam Taylor Raul Amador Chris Adams Mel Brown Mary-Anne Ray Virgilio Venditti diRASTAMAN Steve Gee Damian Erskine Aram Bedrosian Dr. Donovan Stokes Victor Denson Angulo Trip Wamsley Brent Anthony Johnson Jean Baptiste Collinet Jimmi Roger Pedersen Jason Marsh

Photographer
Not Known Kerstin Baramsky Steve Winter Csaba Molek Drew Gates Don Jalbert Not Known Natalie Ceja Morten Thobro Nadine Al Koudsi Howard Baden Leigh Benson M. Cantral Naomi Adams Kelli Capelli Julian Mayer Chiara Venditti Monja Ras Phil Mulvaney Cortney Erskine Jamie L. Cram Cora Rhodes David Halliday Bobby Monds Sasha Johnson Marine Beltran Vagn Guldbrandsen Chris Walkden

Bassist
Kim Clarke Don Bryce Steve Doner Garth de Meillon Glenn Veale Stuart Krahn Joseph Milstein Phil Peters Simon Goulding Schalk Joubert Albert Hobson Tim Bogert Markus Setzer Vail Johnson Darius Willemse P.J. Phillips Ike Onwuagbu Dan Hestand Hartmut Hillmann Stefan Redtenbacher Ashley Kelly Basil Fearington Chuck Rainey John B. Williams Jonathan Moody Dave Pomeroy Willem Samuel Graham McKay

Photographer
Dave Gibson Mike Reeves Jane Doner Michael Brown Belinda Lings Maurade Baynton Elena Gammardella Elizabeth Buenacasa Pete Lucas Gerrit Joubert A.E. Harris Not Known Klemens Mllenbeck John Raymond Thina Joubert Becky Curran Not Known Dan Hestand Denis Bopp Tom Barnes Steve Walker Wendy Holmes Not Known Veronica Puleo Anthony Steinberg Philip Pomeroy George Hugo Sarah du Pina

Bassist
Ado Roza Ronnie W. Dalesio Austin Underhill James Eller Morn Brainers Casey Andersen Bruno Migliari Gene Torres A.J. Hager Jayen Varma Nixon Rosembert Jeff Dodd Sharlafunk David "Doc" Tourville Alex Bershadsky Lane Baldwin Kenny Weydener David Neubert Greg Brown Matt Bissonette Gregori Hofmann Michael Stram Ariane C. Cap Rico de Jeer Alfred Smith Tony Reeves Andy Long Ivan "Funkboy" Bodley

Photographer
Sonia Santos Patricia Dalesio Austin Underhill Katryn Fougery Not Known Zac Suskevich Ana Paula Oliveira Migliari Not Known Anna N. Dhody Twin Eyes, Coghin John McCarthy Erik Dodd Lil sis Millie Not Known Liran Bershadsky Josh Daubin Cathy Weydener Not Known Tootsie Brown Not Known Ian Harding Laureen Smith TNT Pictures.com Gea Schenk Valerie Barber Not Known Not Known Ivan Bodley

Bassist
Brittany Frompovich Geddy Lee Jennifer Sharp Alvin Cordy BISCUIT Mark White Skip Hartman Mergan Naidoo Jon Liebman Double-Z Amy Shook Martin Simpson

Photographer
Brandon Hill Not Known Mike Sharp Not Known Not Known Aaron Comess Joe Hartman AVIKAR Randy Zdrojewski Not Known Pat Shook Michael Brown

Alphabetical Index Section


Bassist
Adrian Lay Alliston Europa Cees van der Weele Delton Daniels Djordje Stijepovic Jaime David Vazquez Jorge Pescara Jose A. Valentin Caro Nick Cook Steve Adelson Trevor Muller Wilbert van Niekerk

Photographer
Fred Hayward Dirk Gous Anne van der Weele Delton Daniels Anthony Toth-Fejel Elizabeth Troche Andujar Eduardo Oliveira Yaritza Ortiz Rowan Kelly Not Known Michael Brown Alwyn van Ziyl

One Liners Section


Bassist
Stefan Henrico Martin Engelien Dino Fiorenza Graeme Currie Chris Garner Roy Melville Emil Nysschens Dave Segall Ilze Fourie Clive Jackson Jeroen Paul Thesseling Jay Terrien Colin Deacon William Slimmerts Paul DeLano Adam Engela Barry Sherman Rika Hebrst Alfred Kallfass

Photographer
Lynn Landman Not Known but Martin owns the photograph Riccardo Barbagallo Brian Farrell Kris Gruber Leon Wolmarans Shandene van der Walt Not Known Not Known Sean Jackson Matthijs Hakfoort (Moodphoto.eu) Elizabeth Terrien Karen Healy Martin Simpson Diana Smith Caron Roodt Hazel Sherman Madelein Potgeiter Not Known

Why I Build Basses Section


Builder
Michael Pedulla Anthony Olinger Ado Roza

Photographer
M.V. Pedull Guitars Inc. Diane Zahorodny Sonia Santos

Why I Play Bass

Comments (1)

Todd Grosberg : The story, Why I Play Bass was awesome to read. You know, reading different stories about bass players or even different musicians its good to read - how they started out and where theyre experiences took them. Those are the kind of musicians that inspire other musicians to be good players and make great experiences. I know Ive been inspired as a musician and I hope to pass it along as well. Trish Bailey : What strikes me is the absolute common thread running through most of the Bass stories from top Pro bassists to weekend warriors - from their early experiences of how they started, their similar personality types to their love of the deep resonant frequencies and of their instruments, and so often apparent is Soul connection with all that is Bass which manifests in the pervading warmth, humbleness and sense of humour throughout all comments. How wonderful to be a part of the great family of BASS! Vuyani Wakaba : From the time I began playing the bass, and during every stage of my development as a bass player, I have always had bass players that Ive looked up to. The work of these bass players was also a benchmark that I used (and still use) to compare my own playing. Even though I've since come to know and formed friendships with many of my bass heroes, I still am amazed by their originality, musicality, and dedication. The "Why I Play Bass" comments from many of the bass players I admire serve to prove that we are much more similar than we are different. As I read through the comments, I find that even though we may not share the same cultures, nationalities, or faiths, we are equally touched by music. It is that connection to music that breaks barriers (language, cultural, national, racial, etc.) and forms the amazing bond found among bass players in particular. Barry Irwin : Its quite a mouth full trying to grasp the reasons why people choose to play the bass. How different each and every bass player is! Some have been fortunate to have great teachers who helped and inspired them from the very beginning, while others seem to have come to the instrument in an unassuming manner. Others as if out taking a stroll contemplating the musical universe, and unknowingly lured into its sphere. Passion seems to be what ignites us all. Whatever being a bassist is to each individual, there seems to be a profound love for the roll as a bass player, and the instrument, also a willingness to learn and grow in both spiritual and intellectual ways. Being such a complete instrument, yet incomplete in our understanding of it, leaves us with so much to think and do. Maybe the reason why once a bass player, always a bass player Trying to master harmony, rhythm, feel and time. To capture the atmosphere of the moment, is a life long journey on the bass that brings much joy and much pain, but much growth to us all. It certainly is the heart and soul of all music and the heart and soul of all who play it. Without it, this world would be a very different place to live in. Its a blessing and something to always cherish and respect. Play the Bass! BBI. Judy Foxcroft (GrannyBass) : When reading all the stories, I agree that there is a deep passion for this instrument that only bassists can share. The variation of bass guitars and what sounds they produce, can blow your mind and leave the musician such an opportunity to explore and reach depths and heights one cannot imagine. One will never understand this until you belong to this exotic family and feel the bass notes vibrating through your heart and soul. I love my bass family. Joseph Patrick Moore : "Why I Play Bass" is probably the most fascinating expanding article available. It truly shows the power of the internet to cross cultures and boundaries, all in the name of music and bass. Kudos to Martin Simpson for his initial vision and for his flame that will not go dim on keeping this beautiful article alive. This is the modern day bass reference for anyone interested in playing bass or for those fascinated by the players that do." Andrew Warneke : When I read 'Why I Play Bass' I was so excited to see contributions from some of the great names in bassplaying alongside those who are perhaps unknown, or 'soon-to-be' greats. It really gave me a sense of the well-known idea that bassplayers are a bunch of guys who see themselves as a community, and not as individuals in competition. I'm so glad to have this inspiring resource to refresh my memory of why I do what I do.

Why I Play Bass

Comments (2)

Richard Sims : I found it interesting that the majority of bassists had a common reason for picking up the instrument. From a purely subjective standpoint, it made me feel a little outside of the brother and sisterhood, seeing as I've never really experienced those feelings that so many bassists seem to share. However, this article was not only entertaining because of the obvious love for the instrument which all these folks profess and which emanates from their words - but it also was further reinforcement that there is room for all our contributions, whether peddlers of root notes - thumb thumpers - hyper tappers groove merchants - jazz walkers or solo explorers. It put a big smile on my face! Thanks Martin... Gareth Sherwood : Schew, that was quite a read, but I really enjoyed it, Adrian Lay had me spewing tea out my nose. It seems most bassists seem to have a similar personality type, kinda "Tail end Charlie" type thing (last armed in a formation/convoy) look around, tidy up, and support, 'cause we got the big gun ... and know it :) In most cases bass is not the first nor only instrument played, it comes as more of a discovery which starts the whole journey. It's really great to read about other bassists, some excellent insights here, I love the feeling of brotherhood (nice to see some sisters here too) that span across genre, ability, age etc. Excellent job Martin, thanks for putting this together and sharing it. Jason Marsh : Martin has created a wonderful article, his passion for bass is astonishing! I feel privileged to share the same pages with some of the greats that came before us. The highlight of the article for me was reading the comments from the young students, new bass art...Brilliant! Mark Egan : "Martin Simpson has created this fascinating collection of various bassist's views on their attractions to playing bass. It's great to read about the various paths that led these individuals to discover their musical outlets. From "I play bass for the chics"... to "Its my very reason to live." and everything in between, kept me reading on and on. I love the inquisitive human thread that weaves through all of the stories. I'd be interested to see a similar collection for every instrument. Great job Martin!" Jim Stinnett : I really love this collection. Reading it makes me feel at home. For years I have known that bass players are a special breed and reading all these thoughts makes me proud to be a part of the brotherhood. Martin, thanks for all your diligence and continued support of our community. I really couldn't stop reading the reasons why we play bass. Maybe our blood is actually thicker (more fundamental) or something. :) Damian Erskine : Martin has done an amazing job of compiling the passions, thoughts and motivations of bassists the world over. From the most heartfelt to the most inane, it's all in there and is a totally captivating read! Very cool Michael Manring : To the rest of the world we bass players probably seem a little bit crazy. We pay all the dues of being a musician with almost no hope for the rewards, either monetary or social. This book sheds some light on this mystery. However we initially got a bass in our hands, some of us just get the bug and become fascinated with the feel and the sense of playing this often-underestimated instrument. Bryan Beller : I'm quite certain that never before in history has the question "Why Do You Play Bass?" been so thoroughly answered. There's a certain magic in reading so many different reactions to one simple question: A collective wisdom takes hold, and sinks in deeply. Marten Andersson : Finally a bass book by the people - for the people! I don't think there is a person out there that knows as much about the bass as Martin Simpson (Other than myself of course). Martin has done a great job putting this together. If you have interest in the bass guitar this is the reading for you. It will not disappoint. Some hard labour was put into this. I take my hat (or strings) off to you. Richard Bodkin : Through all the years of playing this magical instrument one truism has prevailed: "I don't play the bass, the bass plays me"

Why I Play Bass

Comments (3)

Leon Bosch : This mammoth undertaking by Martin Simpson, Why I Play the Bass provides a remarkable insight into why each and every one of us has chosen this most regal of instruments. It has in my own case re-invigorated my passion, enthusiasm and devotion to the double bass. Chris Badynee : Martin Simpson's collection titled "Why I Play Bass" reveals the individual character hidden within my Bass heroes. I now have an opportunity to search those bassists that have been performing for years, but not in Detroit. So now I'm exposed to fresh ideas, uncommon methods, and a large group of diverse thought patterns with explanations of how those thoughts came into being. Because of Martin Simpsons book, I'm discovering more music and more musicians. "Why I Play Bass" is more than just short stories, it's an affirmation of love shared by a community of artists. It's a simple statement of joy expressing the virtues of patience, discovery, acceptance, understanding, and most importantly the communion of the groove. Dave Meros : Reading through this wonderful collection of stories from bassists young and old, from every part of the world and having every background imaginable I realize that we are all just variations of the same person. There is a certain genetic sequence that spells out "bass player", and no matter what our bodies and faces may look like and no matter what other physical or mental attributes we possess, there is a very strong common thread that joins all of us. What was surprising to me was that a large majority of bass players had a similar musical beginning to mine, and that is to sort of stumble into playing bass accidentally. And also like me, when that first bass was picked up, that feeling of "OK, this is home" instantly happened and we never even thought of switching instruments again. I liken this experience to dating and finally being lucky enough to find your soul mate. You may not be able to quantify exactly why you need to be with that person for the rest of your life, you just do. I think that is why many of these stories are more of what Martin perfectly described as "How I Got Started" rather than specific reasons explaining "Why We Play Bass". We really can't tell you exactly why because we really don't know, or at least don't know how to put it in words. But with that first bass experience came a musical awakening that was so powerful that we can all remember it like it was just yesterday. Kirwan Brown : "Why I Play Bass" is a wonderful look at the things that tie all of us bass players together, amateur or pro, male or female, young or old. Players of any style, from any background, are sure to enjoy reading. Dereck Walstra : Why I play bass is an informative valuable book that exposes bass players from all over. Explaining their comfort with their instruments and their history. Why I play bass tells you that we have amongst us, some of the worlds top bass players from the past to the present that are not forgotten. Who have incredible talent and encourage existing and future bass players to live a dream come true. Alan Goldstein : Id like to thank Martin for putting this work together and at the same time, pay my respects to Peter Steele, Cliff Burton, Jaco Pastorius, Mark Sandman, John Entwhistle, Roger Patterson, Rick James, Phil lynott and others. Mary-Anne Ray : This is a remarkable collection of reasons, excuses, hilarity and insights which all boil down to this: 1. Martin Simpson has an admirable dedication to bass, bassists and bassism - thank you for including us in this Martin; 2. We all play bass because we CAN...

Why I Play Bass

Comments (4)

Graham Jacobs : What an insightful read this is something I will be dipping into time and again. This book captures what Ive known intuitively all along, although never properly articulated until now, and that is what a special breed bass players are. There are quite a few common threads that struck me when I read this book. Firstly the gratifying lack of egos. Very few bass players set out to become prima donnas, and yet many have extraordinary capabilities. As Trish Bailey puts it, .the way a mother holds the family together, so does the bass bind the band. Pity therefore that there are not more female bass players around. More often than not, bass players do indeed regard themselves as performing a nurturing role, as implied in many of the books contributions. To rephrase Jacques Steyn and Victor Wooten slightly, bass players are there to make the other guys sound good. As a result, a bass players role all too often goes unappreciated. Bass players know this of course it goes with the territory. Its something they need and love to do, whether it gets recognized or not. Secondly, I was struck (though not surprised) by the large number of bass players that are multiinstrumentalists. This book is evidence of just how many have come to the bass via a range of other instruments. The broader musical insights that this imparts are probably unique, and plausibly what equips many to become successful composers, arrangers, and bandleaders. For an instrument that is apparently so simple to play, it is remarkable just how widely the bass and its exponents are misunderstood by others. Even someone as insightful as Frank Zappa freely admitted that he didnt get bass players. He simply couldnt understand how they could get off playing mostly repeated figures. Although he referred to electric bassists as often being failed guitarists, he did, however, have a grudging admiration for their ability to hold down a groove without getting bored. Ironically, his perceptions didnt stop him from working with some of the best bass players in the business. Bass players certainly do need the right temperament and ears for the instrument another factor that makes them special. Trish Bailey says that the bass is easy to play, yet impossible to master. I like that. Sue Condie Stephenson says it a bit differently, referring to the instrument as being as simple or as difficult as you want it to be, anytime. These are just some of the thoughts from contributors that struck me. There are, of course, many others too numerous to mention, and to all of these people go my thanks for sharing their insights. Mostly go my thanks to you, Martin, for making this all happen. I do have one point of disagreement with you though. In your contribution, you refer to yourself by definition as a bass guitarist and not a bass player. If there is one thing that your book has shown us, we are all bass players. For me, the final words as to why we all play bass must go to Lucas Senyatso when he says: What would this world be without bassists? Groundless.. Edo Castro : As bassists, we're an odd lot, being the low end to hold the harmony in place, provide tension, rhythmic placement and be soloist, but rarely does the world get a glimpse of the persona behind the instrument. Martin has provided a window, if you will, into our world. This document/book is a testament to Martin's love of the bass, the bass players and his willingness to share with you his meticulous documentation of our thoughts. I'm very honoured to be amongst the finest players in the world listed in this collection. Bob Skeat : When I first heard of Martin's idea for this book I wasn't sure if it would truly be that interesting...but now that I've read it, it's absolutely fascinating to get an insight into those earliest emotions and passions of hero and fellow players. A good read for the established and an inspiration for those just starting out!! Phil Peters : Bass players have seemed to have more of a (non gender specific) brotherhood than guitar players. We tend to get excited when other bass players get great gigs etc. I think it is very cool that we have a way to understand the diversity of who populates our community.

Why I Play Bass

Comments (5)

Bruce Gertz : I find Martin's book to be enlightening. Everyone has been honest and soulful about what brought him or her to this great place where they love to play the bass. Adam Nitti : "Why I Play The Bass" is a fascinating insight as to what ultimately inspires musicians to establish a relationship with their instruments. Martin's compilation of bass players' stories and historic insight is a fantastic read that ultimately inspires the reader to discover more completely where they came from and where they are headed as a player. Regardless of your musical background, this is a project that will capture your attention and reveal new things about the bass and the people that choose it as a form of communication. Steve Doner : Martins compilation is fun and enlightening to read in part because we hear both from pros, hobbyists and everything in between. It was very interesting for me to see that we bassists share many things in common regardless of how we got started or how skilled we have become. I hope that there is a special section for us in heaven, with a trio of 12 string basses producing melodic thunder, instead of those girly harps. Joseph Milstein : This is the greatest book for any bass player and musician. Hours of intrigue and entertainment consolidated into 100+ pages. Who knew there were so many bassists available to make a contribution? - and each with a wonderful, unique story. I love this fraternity and hope it continues to grow. Thanks Martin, for assembling this fantastic collection. Schalk Joubert : Martin Simpson has created a unique book with unique stories from musicians all over the world, all sharing one common interest their reason for being in love with the bass! In the current world where the focus of the media and governments seems to be constantly highlighting the differences between people, it is really refreshing to come across a book like this which once again makes you realize that the power of music is indeed one of the greatest unifying factors in our quarrelsome and fickle species. Thank you Martin Virgilio Venditti : I play bass purely for fun. Ill never be a working musician. My daily job is completely different yet I am absolutely proud to be a bass player musician and this book proves that there are as many kinds of bass players around - at least as many as there are basses on the planet! Scrolling through the pages, youll realize that in the city of music everyone settles in the preferred suburb (blues, rock, metal, bluegrass, jazz) and every citizen feels fully entitled to express him or herself, conveying his or her own feelings - either by three subtly placed background notes or by a long uninterrupted solo. Bass brotherhood is not only a word: its a reality and this book helps with keeping the community tight together!!! "Good job, Martin! :) V.". Martin Motnik : Why I Play Bass is an incredibly extensive collection of statements why bass players chose to play that particular instrument. It is a real source of inspiration. And since it is combining statements from both, amateur bassists and real bass legends, it shows how unifying making music is. Why I Play Bass shows the core of a particular breed of musician, one that is not necessarily known to stand in the spotlight, but one that is responsible for building the solid foundation on which every band needs to stand. Why I Play Bass shows that bass players are aware of this, and proud of it. Anthony Scelba : The Why I Play Bass book is an inspiration and something that helps build community among all of us in the bass world. The book is a great idea well executed. Gary Jibilian : WIPBT is a very unique, and entertaining read. Great collection of ideas from a wide array of players of all genres and styles. I'm honoured to be a part of it! Tony Senatore : In his book entitled "Why I Play Bass" Martin Simpson polled a vast group of Bassists worldwide to find out what got them started in the business. While the locations of the musicians varied, the core of the story was the same; In each case, they were taking the inspiration derived from listening to their personal heroes and giving it their own spin, passing along the art to a new generation of upcoming Bassists.

FRONT COVER
Did YOU spot the bassists appearing on the front cover?

Al Garcia Chuck Bianchi Fred Charlton John Goldsby Lars Lehmann Lee Barker Mark Roberts Marten Andersson Michael Manring Richard Jay Terrien Rob Gourlay Scott Hubble Steve Clarke Stewart McKinsey Yves Carbonne

.. & The BACK COVER?


Did YOU spot the bassists appearing on the back cover?

Adrian Davison Albert Hobson Alfred Kalfass Antonella Mazza Bootsy Collins Byron Santo Jaime David Vazquez Jeff Plant

Autographs (Page 1)

Autographs (Page 2)

Autographs (Page 3)

Disc One (7 Countries Represented) Running Time 79:46


Title Track 1 Track 2 Track 3 Track 4 Play Bass Puppy Gardener Fast Monday Get The Funk Out Ma Way Our Love Bassist Markus Setzer Jason Marsh Jimmi Roger Pedersen Lars Lehmann Nationality German British Danish German

Track 5

Kerry Hiles

South African Italian South African Italian South African American South African American Brazilian

Track 6 Track 7

9M PM Psalm 1

Pippo Matino Andrew Warneke

Track 8 Track 9

Liquid Toward The Light Fannys Toy Romance

Dino Fiorenza Theo Klassen

Track 10 Track 11

Reggie Washington Leon Bosch

Track 12 Track 13

No Sea of Tears Hologram (A Tribute To Michael Manring) Left & Right As Luck Would Have It Judging By The Size of Carnie Speed Richochet

Mark Roberts Jorge Pescara

Track 14 Track 15 Track 16

Lorenzo Feliciati Al Garcia Jay Terrien

Italian American American

Track 17 Track 18

Zuzo Moussawer Adrian Davison

Brazilian British

Disc One
Composer Track 1 Play Bass 3:09 (M. Setzer) List of Musicians & additional Info Markus Setzer Bass Joachim K Greve - Drums

Album : Play Bass

..
Track 2 Puppy Gardner Band : Godsticks 5:29 (D. Charles / J.Marsh) Jason Marsh Bass Album : Godsticks Darran Charles Guitar & Vox Steve Roberts / Aaron Evans Drums

..
Track 3 Fast Monday 4:07 (J. R. Pedersen) Jimmi Roger Pedersen Bass Album : Bass Beyond

..
Track 4 Get The Funk Out Ma Way 4:00 (L. Lehmann)
www.larslehmann.com

Lars Lehmann Bass Helge Adam - Keyboards Thomas Zander Tenor Sax Ralli King Guitar Kristof Hinz Drums Anja Telloke Backing Vocals

Album : Music Like Pictures

Lars Lehmann uses Music Man basses, Ernie Ball strings and Markbass amplification

..
Track 5 Our Love 4:07 (K. Hiles) Kerry Hiles Bass & Vox Dave Manchip Everything Else Album : Missiles

Track 6 9M PM 3:24 (P. Matino)

Pippo Matino Bass & Sampler

Album : Third

..
Track 7 Psalm 1 4:36 (A. Warneke) Andrew Warneke 6 string Bass
Andrew plays Cort basses & Harke HyDrive amps

Album : Just The Bassics

..
Track 8 Liquid 4:03 (D. Fiorenza) Dino Fiorenza Bass Prachant Aswani - Guitar Mistheria - Keyboards Gaetano Nicolosi - Drums Album : Its Important

Dino exclusively uses Galli Strings, Markbass amps. Di Marzio pickups, Hipshot hardware, Sonuus midi Device and only Mr. Vester bass

..
Track 9 Towards The Light 3:34 (T. Klassen) Track 10 Fannys Toy 3:44 (R. Washington) Theo Klassen Bass, Guitar & Programming Graham Smith - Keyboards

..
Reggie Washington Bass Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson - Drum Sample Album: A Lot of Love Live

Track 11 Romance 2:58 (Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein)

Leon Bosch Bass Sung Suk Kang Piano

Album : The Russian Double Bass

..
Track 12 No Sea of Tears 6:38 (M. Roberts) Track 13 Hologram 6:40 (J. Pescara) Mark Roberts Bass, Synthpads & Drum Sampling

..
Jorge Pescara Piccolo Fretless Bass with Altered tuning
"Jorge Pescara courtesy of Jazz Station Records USA, plays D'Alegria basses, Megatar, Elixir strings, Powerclick & StudioR amps"

..
Track 14 Left & Right 4:36 (L. Feliciati) Lorenzo Feliciati Bass Lucrezio de Seta - Drums Album: Upon My Head

Lorenzo Feliciati uses MarkBass amps, Ibanez basses and D'addario strings

..
Track 15 As Luck Would Have It 4:21 (A. Garcia) Al Garcia Bass, Drums & Percussion Album : All Things Must Converge

....
Track 16 Judging By The Size of Carnie 5:41 (J. Terrien) Jay Terrien Bass Pat Mastelotto - Drums & Percussion Album : All The Dolls In The Same Place

Track 17 Speed 4:01 (Z. Moussawer)

Zuzo Moussawer Bass Fernando Baggio - Drums

Album : Organic Urban World

..
Track 18 Richochet 4:31 (A. Davison) Adrian Davison Bass Paul Marangoni - Percussion Album : Alibi

..

About My Track (Disc One)


Markus Setzer : The Inspiration kisses me during a sailing boat trip on the Baltic sea in Denmark. I was looking for an Opening track for my instructional DVD "Discover Your Groove 1.0" to animate people to play the greatest instrument! Play Bass! I spoke it, I sung it out loud. And naturally the rhythm of the first chords comes out. Suddenly the whole song was ready in 10 min Back home, I went into the studio together with my old friend and Drummer Joachim..thats it! I hope you enjoy the song and I hope that some young dudes will begin to play the bass! Jason Marsh : I used my Fender Jazz which had been de fretted with a super glue finish on the fretboard, super low action with just the bridge pick up dialled in. Puppy Gardener was written in rehearsals, a band effort. It was recorded using a DI, no effects, some compression, a mid range boost and round wound strings. The bass part is not at all complicated and generally involves bouncing around octaves, harmonics and broken down scales, I'm not sure which ones though. The difficult thing about the bass part is maintaining the stamina to actually play it. It's a very tight, precise and although not a fret board frenzy, it always felt relentless while playing it! The end solo section is a nightmare to play and I've never played it the same since it was recorded. Weird, like doing a cover of your own bass part, you never can get it as it was recorded, haha! Puppy Gardener works for me because of its 3 piece approach, my absolute favourite set up for a band as a bass player. Jimmi Roger Pedersen : The Song Fast Monday is made on a minor blues in E but stretched to 24 bars (AAB like). The bassline in this key sounds big with all the open strings E, A and G that may ring when possible. The theme is based on a G pentatonic with a little blues feel and sometimes moving to Ab pentatonic including some chromatism. In the solo you might be able to find an improvised 12-tone line here or there ;-) Lars Lehmann : "Get The Funk Out Ma Way" is a song from my solo album "Music Like Pictures" which came out in early 2010. In a way I guess the track is some kind of heritage from the times when I was lucky to be on the road with guys from James Browns or Prince's bands a lot. People like Pee Wee Ellis, Bobby Byrd or the Soulsisters Martha High, Marva Whitney, Lyn Collins or Vicky Anderson... at that time we used to play and jam a lot all over Europe, either inventing new stuff or using classic funk tracks as a basis for our adventures during shows or soundchecks. "Get The Funk..." definitely has that great percentage of aggression and dirt we used to put into the music back then. To me it's just rare, dirty funk. Listen to Thomas' amazing sax solo and what is going on in the rhythm section while he is taking off. I guess you'll get my point! I hope you'll enjoy the track as much as I do up till today every time I listen to it! Pippo Matino : 9M PM - Its typically my solo song.....usually I play that live with my head rush..... some inspirations in this case from the singer Silvia Barba..... Andrew Warneke : The melody of 'Psalm 1' came to me after reading the first Psalm in the Bible. It's all about how you will be blessed through trying to live a life that is righteous. I composed the melody and then added chords around it to create a solo piece. Dino Fiorenza : Liquid is a song that probably represents me more than any other tune that Ive composed I use my Hipshot d-tuner (Drop E strings in D) for the entire duration of the track. I called the song liquid because it gives me that feeling like a liquid that proceeds forth, unstoppable, destroying everything that obstructs its path its how I see life - face it with determination and courage Reggie Washington : Fanny's Toy was a "work in progress" for my wife! I was recording it in my studio when I broke the 4th 5th metatarsal bones in my left hand. After the surgery (2 titanium plates/10 screws) & rehab (4 months) I recorded it again during the mixing session for the CD ! My first after-surgery recording !!

Mark Roberts : No Sea of Tears was the final tune of a series of songs that included me performing multi-tracks of extended-range bass guitar with synthesizer pads and e-drum patches that was related to the efforts to create the Voyage CD. However, the extended-range bass in this tune was not multi-tracked. It was a stand-alone track from start to finish. No punch-ins or otherwise. An extreme effort to do so and I have yet to re-accomplish such a feat! The title defines my feelings of the time the song was composed. It is an auditory "painting" of feelings. Though considerable preparation, practice and patience were necessary, the final effort "went-to-tape" and was completed faster than other Voyage compositions. Maybe because there WAS so much FEELING involved. Jorge Pescara : Hologram is a song written and composed on Cheruti piccolo fretless bass with two alternate tunings: D A C # F # and C G D G The word 'Hologram' comes from the term Holography is an old technique to simulate a 3D image. It is used as a way to store data and is a technical analysis of materials. In summary, I named this song Hologram because it contains aspects where I try to simulate a 3D sound spectrum. Inspired entirely in the compositions and experiences of Michael Manring, Hologram is made up of several distinct parts. Using the techniques of harmonics, tapping and pizzicato, and the inclusion of effects makes a compact package of the composition. The exaggerated use of compression justifies this. The reverbs and delays were used in order to make it more spacey, ie, to the 3D simulation. As this song was recorded in a modern DDD system, ie, all digital, I decided to move the recording to an analogue tape to give more body to the sound. When I compose themes like this, I think very philosophically, so I always give different names for each piece of music, so it makes me more holistic in a sense. The intro (DAC # F #), which I call The fourth dimension is where I explored thumb slap with harmonics for comping chords and some tapping. Then a small piece of harmonics called "Fractals and human nature'. Here we have arpeggios in harmonics with alternating notes in 'bass pedals' to contrast with the cadence. Here, a space opens to improvise with tapping and alternate tuning (CGDG).I called this piece 'The third law of the triangle', because of the accents on the 3rd beat. Returning to the pseudo theme, I used the previous tuning and played a variation of the chords with harmonics. I called this part of the 'Tales of causality, and molecular life'. In the last part of the song, a re-exposure of the intro, 'Holography in the fourth dimension' I enclose the initial idea to fade out fine ... I dedicate this study to Manring and all true researchers and explorers, which results in 'Where No Man Has Gone Before'! Music & Peace from OuterSpace .:. Lorenzo Feliciatti : I composed this one around the drums: Lucrezio de Seta did a great job on this tune, there is a melody that reminds me of something from Joe Zawinul who is, and forever will be, one of my greatest sources of inspiration. I played everything except for the drums, I have tried a couple of times to do a live version of this song but without success, I think Ill have to use only certain sections of the song Al Garcia :This piece consists only of bass guitars and drums/percussion. In addition to playing the basses, I also played drums and congas. I played the underlying Afro-Cuban montono like part using harmonics (with a little bit of chorus effect) on a fretted Ken Smith BSR 5 MW 5-string bass. I played the lyrical melody alternately on the Ken Smith 5-string and a fretless MTD Kingston 5-sting. The two basses trade solos in the centre and end of the piece. Jay Terrien : This is one of the songs that I wrote just before I handed off my final pre-session demos to Ronan Chris Murphy. I recorded this using my Status Graphite fretless 6 in an EBDF#C#E tuning exclusively. There is the primary fretless progression track as well as a few improvised tracks above that (improvised oddly enough, in the same tuning!). Ill give you the basic structure of the song: Bars 1-9 (Intro in 4/8 time at 75 BPM) (Tapping Intro) C-Section: Bars 9-25 in 4/8 (Tapping Theme) A: Bars 25-

41 in 5/8 (Slapping Motive) R: Bars 41-57 in 6/8 (Fingerstyle Fragment) N: Bars 57-73 in 7/8 (Heavy Metal Muted Fingerpicking) I: Bars 73-105 in 8/8 (Tapping Harmonics) E: Bars 105-121 in 9/8 (WEIRD Harmonics and Soundscape Outro) This is Pats favorite song on the whole record, which is probably due to the fact that he doesnt play any live acoustic drums on this composition. What you hear is the preproduction drum loops and hits that P@ programmed in his garage back in Austin, which he then dumped into my Pro Tools sessions. His programming work was so phenomenal that Ronan decided NOT to mess it up by adding any other drum parts on top of it. You cant argue with that. This song clearly showcases how Pats advanced production and drum programming abilities (and proper compositional placement of beats) provide a platform for my fretless lines to carve into. Adrian Davison : On the subject of my track "Ricochet" ....all that I would like to say is that the track was recorded live in front of an audience in Dallas Texas...there are no overdubs and that I used my usual set-up, which is two outputs from the bass into 2 separate rigs....one that is a clean signal with some compression, and the second with a delay and minor effects. Each rig contains 4x 10" speakers 2x 12" speakers and 1x 15" speaker...They had direct lines out to the PA system...It was a large set-up because the venue was a 3000 seat hall..

Disc Two (7 Countries Represented) Running Time : 79:53


Title Track 1 Track 2 Track 3 Track 4 Track 5 Track 6 Track 7 Track 8 Bass Face Arniston There Are No Accidents The Troll of History BiPolar / Hughs Jig Delayed Southeast Passage Final Event Bassist Simon Goulding Kai Horsthemke Michael Dimin Magnus Rosn Rob Gourlay Martin Motnik Mark Egan Garth deMeillon Nationality British German American Swedish American German American South African American Spanish British American German South African American Italian South African American

Track 9 Track 10 Track 11 Track 12 Track 13 Track 14

Shubert Sherzo Comfort Dance Architecture Days In The Sun Levis Blues Fangoula

Anthony Scelba jvera Franc OShea Darren Michaels Marius Goldhammer Sammy Webber

Track 15 Track 16 Track 17

Night Cap Mediterranea Bit For Bert

Al Caldwell Vincenzo Maurogiovanni Bert Askes

Track 18

Money In Your Pocket

Grant Stinnett

Disc Two
Composer Track 1 Bass Face 6:10 (S. Goulding) List of Musicians & additional Info Simon Goulding Bass

Album : Familia

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Track 2 Arniston 5:22 (K. Horsthemke) Kai Horsthemke Bass Album : The Train Mike Meiring - Guitar Not The River David Novis - Drums David Gordon Assorted Percussion

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Track 3 There Are No Accidents 4:24 (M. Dimin) Michael Dimin Bass Album : There Are No Accidents

Recorded and Mastered at NRS Recording Studio, Catskill, NY

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Track 4 The Troll of History 4:32 (M. Rosen) Magnus Rosn Bass Birger Lfman - Drums www.felleniusmanagement.com Album : Set Me Free

Track 5 Bipolar / Hughs Jig 4:05 (R. Gourlay)

Rob Gourlay Bass Gord Gourlay - Drums

Album : Lets Do It

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Track 6 Delayed 3:12 (M. Motnik) Martin Motnik Bass Album : Bass Invader

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Track 7 Southeast Passage 4:32 (M. Egan) Mark Egan 4 string Fretless Pedulla Basses & Keyboards Recorded in NYC Dec.1991 Clifford Carter - Keyboards Composed, produced Don Alias- Percussion
and published by Mark Egan/Azal Music

Album : Beyond Words

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Track 8 Final Event Band : Rendezvous 4:39 (Rendezvous) Garth deMeillon 6 string Bass Illimar Neitz Guitar Joe Penn - Saxophone Gideon Meintjies - Drums Album : An Evening @ St. Pauls 2007

Note : Saxophonist, Joe Penn (Thats him on the cover of the album) is also a bassist his story appears on page 21

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Track 9 Schubert Great C Major Quintet 3:53 (Schubert) Anthony Scelba Bass Kean University Concert Artist Ensemble Album : Schubertiana

Track 10 Comfort 3:27 (jvera)

Jos Vera jvera Bass Pedro Barcel - Drums Jacob Sureda Piano & Hammond Antonio Serrano - Harmonica Javier Pedreira Guitar fx

Album: Butterfly

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Track 11 Dance Architecture 5:29 (F. OShea) Franc OShea - Bass Album : Esprit Tristan Banks - Drums Nigel Hitchcock - Alto saxophone Gerard Presencer - Trumpet & Flugelhorn Mark Edwards - Piano & Keyboards Alex Postlethwaite -Violins Charlotte Glasson - Violas Sarah Barker - Cellos

Franc O'Shea uses Jeff Chapman basses and Elites strings

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Track 12 Days In The Sun 4:01 (D. Michaels & J. S. Bryan) Recorded at Studio Dud Darren Michaels Basses & Vocals Julian Scott Bryan Drum Loops & Synths Album : Cumulo

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Track 13 Levis Blues
3:47

(M. Goldhammer)

Marius Goldhammer Bass Album : Goldhammer Mario Garruccio - Drums Mathias Grosch - Keys Reiner Witzel - Baritone Saxophone Levi Goldhammer Count In

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Track 14 Fangoula 4:22 (S. Webber) Sammy Webber Bass Karriem Darries - Drums Tony Paco - Percussion Andrew Ford - Piano Shaggy Scheepers - Synthesiser Album: Happy To Be

Track 15 Night Cap 3:11 (A. Caldwell)

Al Caldwell Bass

Album : Forbidden

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Track 16 Mediteranea 4:56 (V. Maurogiovanni) Vincenzo Maurogiovanni Bass Album : Tempus Fugit

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Track 17 Bit For Bert Band : The Homegrown Band 5:22 (B. Askes) Bert Askes Bass Steven Baker - Keyboards John Paul Destefani - Guitar Wayne Houghton - Drums Album : Homegrown

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at B# Studios

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Track 18 Money In Your Pocket 4:23 (G. Stinnett) Grant Stinnett Bass Everett B. Pendleton - Guitar Tom Arey - Drums Album : Money In Your Pocket

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About My Track (Disc Two)


Simon Goulding : BASS FACE. The track was recorded for my debut studio album 'Familia'. Its a track built up of different grooves & a few riffs. I was influenced by big band music and the way the brass, saxes & rhythm section build up their different parts and create the complete tune. Sort of a call & response in a way. I started the track with a drum and Rhodes loop then added a bass figure influenced by Paul Jackson's playing with the Headhunters. Then into more of a Funk shuffle with 3 bass parts and Fender Rhodes. The track ends with a slap part in harmony (4ths). Kai Horsthemke : Arniston is a small seaside village near the southernmost tip of Africa. Its usually a tranquil (and beautiful) spot except when the storms hit! This piece, a single, live-in-the-studio take, is also homage to Paul Motian, one of my favourite drummers, and Bill Frisell, one of my favourite guitarists. RIP, David Gordon. Michael Dimin : "There Are No Accidents" was one of those tunes written in about 15 minutes. It was inspired by my wife, Julie, who would quote that phrase. Musically, it was meant to have an ambient and ethereal feel to it; flowing from one chord to the next, from one section to the next. It wasn't till after I had played it many times that I realized that the melody is really just an embellished major scale! Magnus Rosn : My idea was from all the touring I did with the Metal band Hammerfall - over 10 years of touring around the world, to SET ME FREE with bass playing. I worked with beats like 4/4, 4/8, 4/16 and single notes with straight bass lines. In metal, its the way most of the bass lines are. When I stopped playing with the band, I was so hungry to play more bass lines with interesting beat changes. The song, Troll Of History, is with Bass & Drums together with a Gregorian monk choir. Its interesting with this mixture - Id never heard it done before, so my wish was to try it. The recording of Troll of History was done in Sweden at a metal studio ( Sonic train studios ). I play 4 string bass almost exclusively - with light strings - gauge 40 to 95 - it gives me more possibilities for technique playing. For me, its most important to feel with my bass and playing. Rob Gourlay : Bipolar is the soundtrack to a story of a day that starts out great and then somehow goes off course.Hughs Jig is a tribute to my Dad and was debuted at the Berklee College of Music basslines concert in 2006. Dad always loved many styles of music and we heard a lot of Scottish and Celtic music growing up. Hughs Jig was written from that inspiration from an amazing Father. Martin Motnik : "Delayed" was the first song I recorded for my solo album "Bass Invader". It was originally part of a bass solo I used to play when I was performing with my former original band What4 when I was still living in Germany. The inspiration for the song came from the Simple Minds song "Ghostdancing" that has a steady 16th note bass riff going through most of the song, which I emulate on the D respectively A string, as well as from U2's guitar player David Howell Evans - better known as "The Edge" - who uses delay effects a lot. I wanted to create a steady, riff-based and pulsating solo piece with a simple and catchy melody, spiced up with some pinched and hammered harmonics. I always played the song as a solo piece, in 2010 however was I hired to perform with LexRox, a very talented young singer from Las Vegas, for which we rearranged "Delayed" for a dance performance and added guitars, keyboards and drums, giving the song much more dynamic and more atmosphere. I loved it! Mark Egan : The song Southeast Passage was inspired by my music experiences while in my Miami days....(Southeast U.S.) Miami is a real musical and cultural melting pot as it is a port city near the Caribbean islands, Cuba and South America. While in Miami I heard, learned and played with some of the best Latin musicians in the world. I used to go to Cuban grocery stores and coffee shops looking for rare Mongo Santamaria/Santeria religious records. Yes, records as this was in the early 1970's. While recording Beyond words I wanted to feature a track with bass and percussion and Don Alias was my first choice since he is a master percussionist. Also on the track was keyboardist Clifford Carter, a long time friend and great musician that I also shared much of the same experiences with during our "Miami days" studying music at the University of Miami.

The backwards sounding fretless bass on the intro to the song is from an effect setting on the Eventide H300s Harmonizer...."backwards". I played all fretless 4 string Pedulla basses on the track through a T.C. Electronics stereo chorus. The harmonics that are the bed of the groove were tripled and I overdubbed the solo as well as played some of the keyboard parts. Jvera : For my track, Comfort, it was my intention to create music that would allow each of the collaborating musicians the opportunity to freely express their own musical vision of my music on this album. It was an opportunity for me to listen and hear their own individual ways of expressing the music, that in the end, they have managed to make their own. Im grateful to all of them! Franc OShea : The title of my tune "Dance Architecture" comes from a Frank Zappa quote where he says "Talking about music is like dancing about architecture". The main melody and riff comes from an old funk bassline that becomes somewhat chromatically enhanced. It has a funky "dance" feel but really is a full on Fusion assault! It was inspired by Mike Stern's excellent "Chromozone" tune. It features the top Jazz horn players Nigel Hitchcock (Jamiroquai, Kate Bush) and Gerard Presencer (Sting, Joni Mitchell). They sight read the complicated head in the studio and what you hear on the recording is the first take. There were stellar performances by everyone and I love the rich textures that were created. The solo's are built on sections of chords that rise in minor thirds which provides a continuous feeling of exciting motion and the soloists trade with each other in ever decreasing bar lengths until they are finally soloing together. The outro is based on a repeating riff that uses motifs that diminish by one note as each phrase is played. At the end of the final unison run you may be able to pick out Gerard playing a really high F on the trumpet. Apparently only a handful of trumpet players in the world can reach this note. Marius Goldhammer : This is just a little minor jazz-blues for my son levi, who also counted off the track. We recorded the rhythm section live as a trio and added the sax-parts and the bass-solo later. It came out very nice and is one of my favourite tracks on the album. Sammy Webber : What I do most of the time when I'm composing is sit at my keyboard (piano not PC) or pick up my bass and then just allow ideas to grab hold of me....so there's no big inspiration of staring at the ocean or looking at the stars or running a marathon or anything like that. The story behind the title is that I had a girlfriend at that time who worked on the cruise ships - her favourite destination was Greece and "Fangoula" is the greek word for "skattie or liefie or bokkie" (roughly translated of course) and she liked that word, and from there I decided to make it the title of one of my songs on the album. Al Caldwell : Night Cap was written as a tribute to Jaco. I used to watch Jaco play at 7th Ave South, in New York. His brilliance was smeared by drugs at the time. One night he played Killer Joe, without going to the change, for an hour. I had to remember that this man lifted the melodic shift of the 4 string bass to a Parker like status!!! I had to remember that Jaco the composer, was my hero. I went home after that gig, saddened by his state, but inspired by his presence. I was staying with Dave Weckl the drummer, at the time. I wrote that song...that night. Hence the name... Night Cap!! Vincenzo Maurogiovanni : My track is inspired by our Mediterranean landscapes, the scent of our ancient countryside, our history, and all my memories. Ive used the bass to tell my story and describe my point of view, taken from my second album as leader Tempus Fugit. Life goes fast, I try to slow down, I like to enjoy every moment, and I hope you will enjoy my composition too. This composition has no overdubs, and its a first take thats how I like to record.

Disc Three (8 Countries Represented) Running Time 79:42


Title Track 1 Track 2 Track 3 Bass Song Northern Stories Spain Bassist Joseph Patrick Moore Jan-Olof Strandberg Vuyani Wakaba Nationality American Finnish South African German French German American Dutch South African Swedish American American

Track 4 Track 5 Track 6 Track 7 Track 8 Track 9

Gratitude Holy Spirit Paco Graphic Moving South Hymn For Molobye

Alfred Kallfass Yves Carbonne Patrick Paco Muller John Flitcraft Florian Friedrich Lucas Senyatso

Track 10 Track 11 Track 12

Snowflakes Fif Conversations With Like Minds A Dark Light QX4 Ye Olde Bass Players Inn

David Hughes Damian Erskine Trip Wamsley

Track 13 Track 14 Track 15

Aram Bedrosian Martin Simpson Jason Green

American British South African American South African

Track 16 Track 17

Thanks Damian Simone Sereeka

Ernie Leblanc Greg Moonsammy

Disc Three
Composer Track 1 Bass Song 2:33 (J.P. Moore & Tyrone Jackson) List of Musicians & additional Info Joseph Patrick Moore Bass Wayne Viar Drums Tyrone Jackson Keys

Album : To Africa With Love

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Track 2 Northern Stories 4:09 (J.O.Strandberg) Jan-Olof Strandberg Bass Album : Illustrations

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Track 3 Spain 5:28 (C. Corea) Vuyani Wakaba Bass Chris Edwards Percussion Adrian Garza Drums Juan Garza Guitar Vuyani endorses Essential Sound Products, DNA Amplification, DR Strings, Mogami, HJC Customs (Basses), Galien-Krueger Amplifiers, Centrance and iGig Gig Bags.

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Track 4 Gratitude 2:29 (Ani de Franco) Alfred Kallfass Bass Jasmin Graf Vocals Album : Jasmin Graf & Alfred Kallfass

Track 5 Holy Spirit 3:22 (Y. Carbonne)

Yves Carbonne Bass

Album : Carbonne Di Piazza - Manring

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Track 6 Paco i Arrival ii Go n Get It iii Struggle iiii Paco Begins Band : Playstation 6:34 (P. S. Mller) Patrick Paco Mller Bass, Album : Playstation Programming, Voice, Additional Percussion & Keyboards Matthias Anton - Saxophone Nico Schliemann - Guitars Klaus Webel - Keyboards & Synthesizer Jan-Philipp Wiesmann - Drums & Percussion

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Track 7 Graphic Band : Altered 5:41 (J. Flitcraft) John Flitcraft Bass Jeff Miley Guitar Steve Holmes Drums Album : Graphic

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Track 8 Moving South 4:52 (F. Friedrich) Florian Friedrich Bass Album : Moving South Eduardo Righini - Guitar Randal Corsen - Piano & Rhodes Mark de Jong Drums & Percussion

Track 9 Hymn For Molobye 6:46 (L. Senyatso)

Lucas Senyatso Bass Rob Watson Drums Johan Mthethwa Keys

Album: All of Me

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Track 10 Snowflakes 6:54 (D. Hughes) David Hughes Bass Album: Foreign Shores Graham Ward Drums Michael Bluestein Piano Nate Tschetter Rhodes Brian Price Acoustic Guitar Billy Hulting Percussion

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Track 11 Fif 8:13 (D. Erskine) Damian Erskine Bass Album : So To Speak Reinhardt Melz - Drums Ramsey Embick - Piano Chris Mosley - Guitar Rafael Trujillo - Congas Carmello Torres: -Timbales Derek Reith - Percussion

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Track 12 Conversations With Like Minds 5:15 (T. Wamsley) Track 13 A Dark Light 2:37 (A. Bedrosian) Trip Wamsley Bass

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Aram Bedrosian Bass Album : A Dark Light

www.arambedrosian.com

Track 14 QX4 1:47 (M.Simpson)

Martin Simpson Four 5-String Basses

Album: Varyaeshunz

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Track 15 Ye Olde Bass Players Inn Band : Circumference 6:34 (L.v/d Merwe) Jason Green Bass Luke van der Merwe - Guitar Andre Behnke Keyboards Garth Farrant - Drums Album: An Evening @ St. Pauls 2007

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Track 16 Thanks Damian 0:51 (E. Leblanc) Track 17 Simone Sereeka 5:31 (G.Moonsammy) Ernie Leblanc Bass

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Greg Moonsammy Bass Moses Efijenue - Drums Olufemi Ogunkoye Alto Sax Neil Engel Trumpet & Horn Dapo Dina Keyboards Ayo Solanke Tenor Sax Moloko Kgomo Guitar Neil Kuny Percussion Album : The Journey

About My Track (Disc Three)


Joseph Patrick Moore : The main melodic idea of this song was something I fooled around with for a while. I use to play this as a way to check the entire "live sound" range of the instrument and primarily for clarity. It morphed into a song/jam and I wanted something on the "To Africa With Love" CD that was primarily a bass feature so I decided to flush it out and record it. Jan-Olof Strandberg : This is the closest to what I wanted to do with my new acoustic bass guitar (I was developing with my friend Rauno Nieminen) for the Illustrations album. There are influences of classical music maybe a bit of inspiration of flamenco and northern European music, and hopefully a lot of my own things as well Vuyani Wakaba : I've always been a big fan of Chick Corea ever since I heard the tune "500 Miles High". I've always wanted to play one of his compositions at some point. Fortunately, I was blessed enough to have some great musicians around me in my band who were also eager to play Chick's music. We chose "Spain"....and it was a group choice. What you hear on the recording is a live take on this tune. It was recorded in Chicago for a live video taping. As you can hear, the band was really on it! The band, called Vuyani Wakaba & Friends, was made up of my friends, Juan Garza on guitar, Chris Edwards on percussion, Adrian Garza (Juan's brother) on drums, with me playing bass. Unfortunately, we only performed this song three times - with the first time being at a gig we played with bassists Doug Johns and Jauqo III-X. Alfred Kallfass : I got this (Gratitude) and a lot of other songs on a mixtape years ago, which my friend Anna from Madison WI sent me. We met on a school bigband exchange back in 1997 and both became musicians, she being a wonderful Singer/Songwriter now. Jasmin also liked the idea of recording an Ani DiFranco song, so I did a little bass arrangement and we recorded it in one take. Yves Carbonne : "Holy spirit": Using the fretless 8-string with its orchestral possibilities, a soulful expression of my feelings for my son with a simple fretless melody. Patrick Paco Mller : The tune Paco from the debut-cd of the German fusion/jazz-rock band PLAYSTATION is a real funky piece with a great vibe, punchy groove, a heroic theme and a lot of strange sounds. The Intro itself tells a complete story. The composers nickname is the title of this short concept-opus consisting of four movements: I. Arrival II. Go`nGet It III. Struggle IV. Paco Begins The parts follow the evolution of this stage name, built by friends out of the composers first name, Patrick, and Jaco (we-all-know-who), but all in all, it also stands for the beginning of Paco becoming a bass-player (thats why theres the Slap-Parts) and getting self-conscious about being a musician. Sometimes in a dramatic and hard way, but with a lot of fun and emotional feelings thats Paco, in music and in person. And thats his song! John Flitcraft : I wanted to write something in the "Tribal Tech" vein with lots of room for finger funk playing. Jeff solos over a D7Alt chord vamp which leaves a lot of room for interesting rhythmic and harmonic twists and turns. Great solos by Jeff and Steve. Florian Friedrich : I came up with this bassline/groove. It was a cold rainy day and when I sat down to figure out what to play "around" it (the chords, the melody, the form) everything fell into place. It was one of those "magical" moments of inspiration, I just couldn't stop until my little demo version was ready. And while listening to the demo afterwards, I imagined myself driving south through Italy in a convertible. The sun was shining, it was all just this big cliche... hahaha. So there it was: "Moving South" , the title of the song which later would become the title track of my CD. Lucas Senyatso : The song was recorded in 2005. Peter Molobye used to teach Piano at the school I was studying at. We later became band mates and I learnt a lot from him. he was like a brother to me. so when he died a few years later on, I was devastated. I composed the song as a tribute to him.

David Hughes : Snowflakes is from the album Foreign Shores. When listening to a new tune I close my eyes and title it according to the emotion it evokes. This tune made me reminisce about my childhood winter days in Sweden, the snow on the ground making everything so quiet and the light snowflakes falling straight down in the dead calm. I played my 1969 Fender Jazz Bass strung with DR medium high beams through an Avalon SP737 preamp. I used a touch of Logic's chorus to make the bass a little wider in the mix, but high passed the effect to retain the punch of the low frequencies. This is a feature available on some chorus pedals and in my opinion is essential for bassists. Bass and drums were tracked together and the other instruments were overdubbed, mainly for practical reasons. Many bassists owe much to Marcus Miller, and I am not shy to say he has been a great influence. The swelling, clustered horn chords were probably something I picked up from Steve Reich. I hope you enjoy the track! Damian Erskine : "Fif' began as a rhythmic exercise, actually. I was playing with a metronome (in 5) and experimenting with triplets and omitting certain subdivisions (initially in the bassline and then with the melody as well). The B section has evolved since the recording into more of a Tumbao feel and this track is incredibly fun to play for me. I've always loved playing in 5 for some reason and this song has led me to some interesting places rhythmically. I've come to love the explorative side of composition and it all started with this track. Trip Wamsley : I used my 8 string ERB and a fretless here. I "orchestrated" different things to come in and out. What seems to be multiple parts might just be one and vice versa. I enjoy doing things like that. This track just evokes the feelings I get, when I get to be amongst kindred spirits. Much love to all and thanks for listening. Martin Simpson : QX4 means Quinterican Multiplied by Four. This piece originally started life as a two hand tapping exercise called The Quarterican which was composed for a four string bass. I recorded it for my Lost In Space mini album in 1997. I went back into the studio two and a half years later and recorded it a fourth higher, with my (newly acquired) five string bass (tuned EADGC) recording it on the bass twice to get a full stereo effect, for my Bass To Bass album. Listening back to it (after a live recorded performance of it at St. Pauls Church in 2004) I realised it actually had no balls (too much tapping on the G and C strings) so I went back into the studio and used four basses two tuned E through C and two basses tuned B through G - which allowed me to play the piece in two octaves for a more full blooded stereo effect. Some of you monsters will wonder why I didnt just use a six string bass to perform all the parts, but unfortunately, I just cant handle more than five strings at any given time (Im just a mere mortal)!!! Ernie Leblanc : Back in February of 2005, after listening for some time to some CD's Damian sent to me from his personal collection and try as I may, I just could not play like him. In a moment of my deepest angst, I just gave up and played with an image in my mind of how Damian must play and let my fingers fly! "Thanks, Damian" is What Come Out! To this day, Damian is one of my greatest inspirations. "Thanks, Damian!" Greg Moonsammy : Simone Sereeka is my 27 year old daughter. She moved to the USA with her Mom when she was 10 years old and it has been hard for me as an absentee parent. This track is a dedication of my love for her.

Disc Four (5 Countries Represented) Running Time : 57:51


Title Track 1 Landscape Bassists Jim Stinnett Rob Gourlay Yves Carbonne Michael Manring Joseph Patrick Moore Adam Nitti Edo Castro Michael Manring Todd Johnson Kristin Korb Martin Simpson Kai Horsethemke Jim Stinnett Rob Gourlay Grant Stinnett Michael Manring Concorde Nkabinde Victor Masondo Nationality American American French American American American American American American American British German American American American American South African South African

Track 2

Sub Jam

Track 3

Herbie 57th Latitude

Track 4

Track 5

Blues For Helen

Track 6

The River

Track 7

Piscatorial Dreams

Track 8

St. Pauls / Give Thanks

Disc Four
Composer Track 1 Landscape 6:30 (J. Stinnett / R. Gourlay) List of Musicians & additional Info Jim Stinnett Bass Rob Gourlay - Bass Dom Moio - Cymbals Lionel Loueke Guitar & Vox

Album : Two Low

....
Track 2 Sub Jam 4:02 (Y. Carbonne / M. Manring) Yves Carbonne Bass Michael Manring - Bass Album : Carbonne Di Piazza Manring

....
Track 3 Herbie 5:37 (J.P. Moore) Joseph Patrick Moore Bass Adam Nitti - Bass Album : Decade

....
Track 4 57th Latitude 6:30 (E. Castro) Edo Castro Bass Michael Manring - Bass Album : Sacred Grafitti

Track 5 Blues For Helen 6:30 (T. Johnson)

Todd Johnson Bass Kristin Korb - Bass Kendal Kay- Drums

Album : Get Happy

....
Track 6 The River 4:49 (M. Simpson / K. Horstheke) Track 7 Piscatorial Dreams 7:39 (J. Stinnett) Martin Simpson Fretted Basses Kai Horsthemke Fretless Basses Colin Heaney Drums

....
Jim Stinnett Bass Grant Stinnett - Bass Rob Gourlay - Bass Michael Manring - Bass Album : Project M

....
Track 8 St. Pauls / Give Thanks 17:35 Concord Nkabinde Bass Victor Masondo - Bass Album : An Evening @ St. Pauls

....

About Our Track (Disc Four)


Yves Carbonne : "Sub Jam": It was just a jam in the studio between Michael Manring and myself, when the album "Carbonne Di Piazza Manring" was recorded. We liked the result, and decided to include it in the album. Joseph Patrick Moore : I recorded the upright bass track and then sent Adam Nitti the tracks. He added an amazing electric bass part, flew it back in and added some synths and sound effects. This song was recorded in 2004 and I was honored to have Adam Nitti guest appear on this track. Edo Castro : This piece was originally slated to be on my first release "Edo" but was axed. Partly due to the fact that the original track was just too loose and the producer didn't like this track at all. I went back to the drawing board and re-recorded my part and added the textural items using a Roland GR33 and my Conklin 7 string Midi bass. This was after my 2nd release "Phoenix." For the main fretless chordal part, I used a Fretless Stinger Bee Bass. While I was recording I kept hearing Michael Manring playing on this. Since we were well acquainted through various gigs and whatnot, I emailed him and proposed the track. He agreed and put his part down. The title came about by accident. I had originally called it "7th Latitude" or something like that, and Lisa Star, of Passion Star Records, kept referring to it as "57th St" So I ended up calling it "57th Latitude" Martin Simpson : With this piece, I went back to Andy Thomas recorded drum part that he laid down for my The Bass Remains The Same album and laid down an assortment of fretted bass parts which interacted with each other in a pan extreme left and pan extreme right call and response approach. I then asked fretless wiz, Kai Horsthemke, to lay down something to run down the middle which he did, using both bass guitar and upright bass. I remarked later on, that I saw my parts as the embankment with his parts being the river that runs between them so we called the piece The River. I deleted the original drum track and asked Colin Heaney to play something that fitted in with what us two bassists had done. The track doesnt reside on any of our solo albums yet - Kai actually prefers the un-drummed version but I prefer this version so well probably each put our own favourite version on our next solo offerings.. Listen to this track with phones on, for the full stereo effect of what we were trying to achieve. Martin Simpson : St. Pauls / Give Thanks - O.K. I didnt actually perform on these particular pieces, but I was there and witnessed this amazing seventeen and a half minutes of bassin (if you listen intently, youll hear me clapping). Kai Horsthemke, Bert Askes, Dave Askes, Phil Raath and Judy Foxcroft (all contributers to this book) were also there and a great evening was had by us all. Judy had organised the evening at St. Pauls church for the South African Bass Players Collective to let their hair down and strut their stuff. Phil opened the evening with his band and Bert & Dave Askes closed the first half (thats them on the cover of the album). I opened the second half, followed by Kai (thats him on the cover). Concs & Vic played out the evening with this amazing showcase of bass virtuosity and improvisational creativity. Concord is the bassist doing the talking in between the pieces.

Out-takes Pages
As with every cd / DVD /Film, theres a certain amount of footage that doesnt make it to the final presentation. My own Bass To Bass album originally consisted of 82 minutes of recorded music before I whittled it down to a one-hour presentation. Visit any manufacturing plant and they will tell you that they allow for 10% waste. This book is no exception. As believable as their stories may seem, these people may or may not be bassists. They could in fact be just very good storytellers. In all the years that this book has taken me to put together and with much badgering, these people werent able to supply me with a photo of themselves with a bass. These are their (????) stories. Ulf"Rockis"Ivarsson : For me, its really simple. I love basslines!! And there are too many egos out there in the guitar territory! From the beginning, in the post-punk days 1978-79, when I started to play bass, I bought a bass guitar in January, started a band in February and had my first gig in March! It probably sounded dreadful but it was fun!! I think that was the main thing with the punk rock scene, you didnt need to be a virtuoso on your instrument, and the choice of bass guitar was a coincidence for me. My music teacher told me that he only taught bass and guitar, so I chose bass in one minute. It could have been guitar or drums - there was never any smartness about my decision regarding this. Then of course, after a couple of gigs with untuned instruments and bad sounding songs, I started to take my bass-playing more "serious". Im listening to all kinds of different music styles and bass-players to get on top of my chops! So there you go, Im still growing as a musician because Im constantly working on being a better listener rather than a "good bassplayer". Thats why Im playing so many different styles of music!! Graeme van der Schyff : I started playing acoustic guitar when I was around 14 years old. A couple of years later, I met a guy who played the bass and he started teaching me a couple of things about it. Haven't look back since, it just seemed to grab me and has never let go. I think there'd be a big hole if bass playing were taken away from me. Anyway, my bass is calling ("Coming dear!"). Cheers!! Edward Victor : There are a number of reasons Why I play the Bass Guitar: It really appeals to me. I just have that innate ability for it. I really derive a lot of inspiration from it when Im picking my notes. Joy exudes out of me whenever Im holding my chords on it. Werner Ainslie : Why do I play bass? I started playing bass about 2 years ago. I was playing acoustic at that time in a band called Apparently Greenwood when the bassist fell ill. So I stood in for him. When I played that first chord with the whole band and that weird feeling came running up my spine I knew that this was what Im going to doTwo weeks after that, I got my Ibanez gsr 200/ 4 string and I was set. I just love the way it sounds and the way it feels. I played all kinds of instruments - Acoustic 6 and 12 string, piano, trumpet, drums, but the bass still is and will always be the instrument I prefer. Its nice to know that there are people that feel the same out there Andrew Nelson : Bass tickles that elusive spot in my stomach that only the greatest longing or a simple drop in elevation* can. Playing a double bass exaggerates the sensation as you are in contact with the body as it resonates. *cresting a sharp hill in a fast car Neil Weir-Smith : Let's be honest, it all started in a drunken stupor after a R2.50 a shot tequila party night. I was waiting to be picked up by my father, yes I was under age at the time, and talking to a friend of mine. He was starting a band and currently had two guitarists but needed a drummer and a bassist. "Bass?" I said, "I could do that." so we made plans to go out the next day and shop for a bass guitar for me. The next day I called him to see if he was still keen to go shopping, he was surprised I remembered that conversation...obviously the drunken stupor wasn't quite so drunken :)...From there we got together and bought a bass later that day. I'm sure my parents thought that this was just a passing phase but the whole thing took off for me and I've never looked back. Seven and a half years later and I'm probably

more in love with my bass than I was when I started. Passing phase? HA, is what I say to that idea. Bassists of the world unite!!!! Clive Woodvine : From my pimple-free, pre-pubescent days, I was fascinated by the mop-headed blokes who appeared on Top of the Pops and Ready, steady, go! playing guitars. I loved them and they drove my old man daft !! Noise is in the ear of the listener. On the verge of my growing up in England in the swinging 60s my family moved to South Africa . Denied access to seeing these newfound idols on TV, I had to settle for second-best: LM radio!! Primary school made way to high school and in the first week I forgot what homework I had, so I walked to the home of the class monitor who lived just a few streets away. From the confines of his bedroom came sounds similar to wasps in a jam-jar. It was actually a Guyatone through an 8-watt Meazzi amp he played guitar!! Sod the homework, did I play guitar? No? Would I like to play? Yes? Would I like to play Bass? Whatsit?? From the depths of a cupboard, a dilapidated jumbo-bodied acoustic was produced and the four bottom strings were strung. . We were a band!! That was Vanderbijlpark, January 1968. Thereafter followed many evenings and weekends spent honing my craft, while the world waited with baited breath for me to conquer it. Fast forward to the present - Ive just turned 50 and have only ever missed one gig. Ive played in dance bands and club bands; played at concerts and corporate functions; played to full houses and to tables-and-chairs; played pop, rock, reggae, blues, jazz, punk, gospel and latin. Ive played Japanese copies to American customs; fretted, fretless and foot pedals; through combos to double stacks; choruses to cry-babies. Ive been rewarded and ripped off; been professional and been penniless. Ive picked it, plucked it, snapped it, and slapped it. Why do I play bass? Because I forgot my homework when I was 11 . . . . Lloyd Engelbrecht : I started playing bass by a stroke of luck. Growing up, my parents sent me for piano lessons, which I didnt enjoy, I moved on to guitar lessons, which I didnt enjoy. I played the sax and clarinet, and also didnt enjoy that. Then our church instruments were kept at our house during the week while the building was still being built. I started playing with the bass guitar when I used to get home from school. It became like a drug and I couldnt wait to get home after school for my afternoon fix. It got to a point where even on weekends I would just want to stay home and play. To boil it down is easy. Bass controls the music. Eg when you hear music from a car with serious decibels pumping out of it, the bass is the first thing you hear. Rudo Pieterse : I love music and I love sitting in the sweet pocket of any groove. Andre Brzek Le Roux : One of my best friends had a nice Gibson and always rocked on it, It got me to the point of getting a bass guitar to join him, and so the first band started with a couple more friends, I went for a few lessons just for the basics. I had a real "Pick n Pay" special bassguitar when I started, lol. From there, just loved it so much that it got me studying music at a college, I like the studio work, but love the stage and a random jam is one of the best things ever since. I think bass, for me, is a place to let go of all the crap and frustrations we face in life, it releases me to be free in a wa y. Therefore I guess Ill enjoy it for as long as I possibly can. Cleo Moneyedao : Irrespective of it's sex (the bass) I can pick on it and slap the Sh#t out of it without getting into trouble with the law, never mind the fingering. Andrew Buntain : I play bass in order to get It out. Bass releases It, and therefore playing bass releases me from the tyranny of conscious thought. When I'm playing the instrument, nothing else really matters. The bass is not just an escape mechanism from ordinary life, that's too much of a clich. I'm talking about what matters when you're playing a song - dynamics, tempo, rhythm, notes - they're all so important. I'm communicating with others in the band, and the audience the whole time I'm on stage. And you can't do that until It gets out. Patrick Cousins : Just over a year ago I had thoughts of learning to play the drums. My buddies had a three-piece band, The Uninvited they had been practicing for a gig at my place and had left a set of drums there for collection. So one morning after the gig I was bashing around a bit on the drums and the

doorbell rang. On answering I found one of the lead guitarists standing there with a bass in his hand saying, here try this, so I did. Its a big learning curve for me and I still have a lot to learn but it is great fun Melinda Marks : Bass is the most versatile, fun instrument to play. I grew up playing classical music on the violin. I picked up the bass after college when I reunited with a pianist who used to accompany me on the violin. She was in a cover band, and I was teasing her, asking whether they needed a go-go dancer or something and whether I could join. She had an idea I could pick up the bass and join the band because they wanted to kick out their bassist! It was easy to pick up, and it was easy to play a simple bass line, but there was so much more I could do with it. I could pick, pluck, slap, pop, I could play fretted or fretless. I could add switches to modulate my pitch. I could play a 4 string, 5 string, or even an 11-string and each different string or finger position can make a different sound. Its all about holding down the low end and keeping the beat while adding your own style. Someone told me once that you may not think people notice the bass part, but if they are tapping their feet or dancing, they are grooving to the bass. Mark Wood : I'm not sure why I play the bass... It's just something that's visceral, which cannot really be put into words. It's that undefinable something holding a band together, driving the music and filling in the blanks, that stimulates something deep within me. Maybe its a feeling of being part of the soul of a piece of music. Kevin F. Bolembach : My mom forced me to! I wanted to play guitar originally, but our school gave free lessons on the upright Bass. We were pretty poor and couldn't afford private guitar lessons, so my mom said "you will learn the Bass instead!" I didn't even know what a Bass was but she's German, so you better listen when she talks! Anyway, after playing in the string orchestra for about 4 years, I figured out that the upright and the electric Bass were pretty much the same thing, so I traded in my Double Bass for a '73 Fender P and never looked back! Steve Becker : In 7th grade, I received a six-string electric guitar as a hand-me-down from my older brother. I played it for about a month before realizing that I knew seven people that played guitar, five drummers and no bassists. So I guess I started playing to be different. I learned how to play by listening to my favourite music and picking out the bass lines. Once I started playing sports in school, free time was a rarity. I played somewhat infrequently for the next four years until what I call my Bass Epiphany. During my senior year of high school, a buddy of mine lent me his copies of Jamiroquais Emergency On Planet Earth, The Return Of The Space Cowboy, and Travelling Without Moving. Hearing Stuart Zenders bass lines on those albums realizing how it was his playing that held all of their songs together and provided them with their grooves and funkiness realizing how FUN his bass lines were to play I was sold. By listening to him, I understood a bassists true role: being the bridge between the rhythm and the melody, incorporating both into your playing, and being the glue that holds everything together and I LOVE playing this role. There is another aspect of playing the bass, however, that I believe is the main reason Ive stuck with it. Playing my bass is my release. If Ive had a rough day at work I pick up my bass. Bad mood? I pick up my bass. Argument with a girlfriend? I pick up my bass. My bass has always had the ability to bring me out of any bad funk and put me into the good funk. Its my most trustworthy friend and companion. My bass is my soul mate.

Alphabetical Index
Names shown in Red are accompanied by their photographs alongside
Autographed contributions are indicated

A
Abel Stoltz Autographed Adam Engela Adam Nitti Autographed Adam Taylor Autographed Ado Roza Autographed Adrian Davison Adrian Lay Adrian Kuban-Maruszczyk A.J. Hager Autographed Al Caldwell Autographed Al Cardillo Al Garcia Al Turner Alan Goldstein Albert Hobson Autographed Albey Balgochian Alex (11) Alex Bershadsky Autographed Alex Davison Alex Searle Alexander Kalinovski Alexander Vankevich Alfred Kallfass Alfred Smith A.L. "Artie" Terry Ali Hairunie Alistair Andrews Alliston Europa Alofa Toetu Alvin Cordy Alvin Hendicks Amy Shook Anastasia Ferrara Andre van Zyl Andra Reitz Andrew Pfaff Andrew Warneke Andy Gonzalez Andy Long Andy Pietropaolo Andy Till Anthea Buys Anton Marshall Antonella Mazza Aram Bedrosian Autographed Ariane C. Cap Ariel Garcia 37 17 5 85 117 13 18 52 123 50 117 48 17 82 101 51 45 127 42 81 19 82 22 133 45 136 62 51 131 138 33 144 48 16 38 16 68 5 135 35 128 53 46 80 89 131 70

Arlyn Culwick Arran McSporran Ashley Kelly Ashley John Long Aurlien Dervaric Austin Underhill

Autographed

53 59 110 62 122 119

B
Barry Irwin Barry Sherman Barry Sparks Bart Tarenskeen Basil Fearrington Ben Allison Ben Jones Benoit Grigaut Bernard Myburgh Bernhard Lackner Bert Askes Bill Clements Bill Ellison Bill Parish Billy Sheehan BISCUIT Bob Skeat Bootsy Collins Brad Davies Brent-Anthony Johnson Brent Lovell Brian Bromberg Brian Lawrence Brian Lee Brian Ogawa Brittany Frompovich Brogan Thompson Bruce Gertz Bruno Migliari Bryan Beller Byron Santo 33 4 33 81 110 29 14 80 67 18 30 56 80 35 9 139 43 102 126 92 39 48 49 103 15 136 51 46 121 6 50

Autographed

Autographed

Autographed Autographed

Autographed

Autographed

C
Calvin Jones Carl Rohrbeck Carlos del Pino Casey Andersen Cees van der Weele Celste Reyneke Cesare Cassarino Charles Adams Cheech Carriero Chris Adams Chris Badynee Chris Chard Autographed Autographed 37 81 64 121 98 41 28 76 137 85 20 30

Autographed

Chris Garner Chris S. Harris Chris Tarry Christian McBride Christo Groenewald Christoph Victor Kaiser Chuck Bianchi Chuck Rainey Cladio Juliano Autographed Clement Georges Clment Schepens Clive Jackson Cobus Keyser Colin Brown Colin Deacon Autographed (Page 120) Concord Nkabinde Corn Dannhauser Corrado Canonici Craig Bissell Craig Martini

12 38 63 100 67 22 17 111 43 18 133 80 22 57 62 13 64 75 54 132

D
Damian Erskine Dan Hawkins Dan Hestand Dan Rubel Daniel Burger Daniel Gray Daniel Madu Daniel Rezant Daniel Sher Dann Glenn Danny Fox Danny Lugo Darius Willemse Darren McGregor Darren Michaels Dave Askes Dave Avenius Dave DeMarco Dave Meros Dave Pomeroy Dave Segall David (13) David Dyson David Geschke David Heyes David Houghton David Hughes David Neubert David Tourville Dean Barbour Delton Daniels Denis Lalouette Dereck Walstra Derek Oliver Autographed 89 74 107 106 50 26 121 78 59 144 17 89 103 33 21 31 134 72 72 114 14 45 126 57 27 12 10 128 126 6 28 4 74 13

Autographed

Autographed

Autographed

Autographed

Autographed

Autographed Autographed

Derrick Davis 125 Derron Ferreira 62 Dillon Govender 115 Dino Fiorenza Autographed (Page 118) 18 diRASTAMAN 88 Djordje Stijepovic Autographed (This Page) 61 Don Bryce Autographed 95 Don Campbell 85 Donn Dowlman 36 Donovan Tose 54 Double-Z 143 Doug Johns 83 Dr. Donovan Stokes 90 Duncan Bell 52

E
Earl Craft Ebinho Cardoso Ed Friedland Ed Poole Eddie Kohen Edo Castro Edwin Huik Edwin Paanakker Eelke van der Hak Eldred Schilder Emil Nysschens Eric (9) Eric Owens Eric Rupert Ernie Leblanc Errol Bong Strachan Evan Marien 118 84 39 9 119 23 130 76 17 116 42 45 55 136 40 32 62

Autographed

Autographed

Autographed Autographed

F
Fedis Gray Florian Friedrich Franc OShea Francois Marais Frederick Charlton Autographed 19 89 20 15 51

Autographed

G
Gareth Langdon Gareth Sherwood Garth de Meillon Gary Jibilian Gavin Langevelt Geddy Lee Gene Torres George Moye Glenn Letsch Glenn Topping Glenn Veale Autographed 79 43 97 92 94 137 122 143 12 37 98

Gonzo Gordon Johnson Grace (8) Graeme Currie Autographed (Page 118) Graham Jacobs Autographed Graham McKay Autographed Grant Stinnett Autographed Greg Brown Greg Cavanaugh Gregori Hoffman Gregory Moonsammy Greg Olwell

26 104 45 20 8 116 63 128 44 129 57 11

H
Hadrien Feraud Harald Weinkum Hartmut Hillmann Henry (13) Herbert Smith Hilliard Greene Hilton Vermaas 81 19 107 45 49 84 29

Autographed

Autographed

I
Ike Onwuagbu Ilze Fourie Ivan "Funkboy" Bodley Ivan Poskal 105 62 135 116

J
Jackson Mann Jacques Steyn Jade Abbott Jaime David Vazquez Jake Kot James Eller James Sunney Jamie Canivet Jan Olof Strandberg Jason Green Jason Marsh Jauqo III-X. Jay Terrien Jayen Varma Jean Baptiste Collinet Jean-Bertrand Carbou Jeremy Howard Jeff Berlin Jeff Dodd Jeff Plant Jeff Schmidt Jennifer Sharp Jeroen Paul Thesseling 127 35 20 39 60 119 65 64 28 101 94 74 13 124 93 13 70 14 125 8 26 138 31

Autographed

Autographed Autographed

Autographed Autographed

Jerome Robinson Jerry Scott Jessica Handley Jesse Mogale Jiggs Downing Jim Guthrie Jim Stinnett Autographed Jimi Curve Jimi Glenister Autographed Jimmi Roger Pedersen Autographed Jitka Brzek Jo Janssen Jodi Stevens Joe Penn Joe Sanchez Joe Smith Joey (12) Johann Eicher Johann Kruger Autographed John Archer John Dahlman John Flitcraft John Goldsby Autographed John Lester John B. Williams Autographed Jon Liebman Jonathan Dimond Jonathan Moody Autographed Jorge Carmona Jorge Pescara Autographed (This Page) Joris Teepe Autographed Jose Aponte Jose A. Valentin Caro Jose Joey Vera Joseph Milstein Autographed Joseph Patrick Moore Autographed Judy Foxcroft Julian Fairall Julian Mayer Julian Spruce Justin Maree

67 127 55 95 73 88 76 80 77 94 30 37 118 21 94 37 45 54 38 68 119 52 16 48 112 142 19 113 130 85 21 23 24 46 99 19 79 58 32 62 48

K
Kai Horsthemke Kenny Aaronson Kenny Weydener Keri Moore Kerry Blewett Kerry Hiles Kevin Brandon Kevin Charles McGinnis Kim Clarke Kirwan Brown Kristin Korb Autographed 33 101 127 64 50 61 9 27 95 81 34

Autographed Autographed

Autographed

L
Lane Baldwin Lars Lehmann Lee Barker Lee Smith Lenny Padayachee Leon Bosch Lex Futshane Lige Grant Curry Lisa Jonker Llewellyn Alberts Llewellyn Bethwaite Llewellyn John Lloyd Wilke Logan Byrne Lorenzo Feliciati Lorne Peakman Lucas Senyatso Lynn Seaton 127 32 6 23 76 56 39 22 42 63 16 59 32 134 41 71 74 129

Autographed

Autographed

M
Magnus Rosen Marc Levine Marcin Suchodolski Marius Goldhammer Marius Liebenberg Mark Egan Mark Freel Mark Grandcourt Mark Meadows Mark Neuenschwander Mark Roberts Mark White Mark Williams Markus Setzer Marten Andersson Martin Engelien Martin D. Fowler Martin Motnik Martin Simpson Mary-Anne Ray Matt Bissonette Mattheus (10) Matthew Bairstow Matthew Moss Max Theron Maxim Starcke Mel Brown Mergan Naidoo Michael Auer Michael Brown Michael Dimin Michael Manring Michael Stram Autographed 72 74 82 88 34 11 98 85 25 47 36 140 92 102 40 43 57 81 143 86 129 45 9 8 55 69 86 142 58 44 103 14 130

Autographed

Autographed Autographed Autographed Autographed

Autographed Autographed

Autographed

Autographed Autographed Autographed

Michelle Ohlhoff Mike Campbell Mike Dorea Mike Dyer Miles Askes Autographed Mischa Marcks Mitch (11) Mlungisi Gegana Monk Montgomery Morn Brainers Moses Andrew Rixi Roman

40 75 133 125 31 86 45 58 56 120 52

N
Nick Beggs Nick Bellinger Nick Cook Nico Kruger Nicola Lori Nik Felbab Nikolai Neronski Nippy Cripwell Nixon Rosembert Norm Stockton Autographed 102 16 63 50 42 21 44 104 124 53

P
Pat Cullen Pat Wilkins Patrick Paco Mller Paul DeLano Paul Martin Paul Vosloo Pete Ball Peter Murray Peter Tambroni Phil Kloppers Phil Peters Phil Raath Philipp Rehm Pierre Schnehage Pino Palladino Pippo Matino P.J. Phillips Ponkey Reilly Prakash John Prof. Marc Duby Autographed 52 17 42 66 36 75 27 73 45 33 99 15 20 43 8 78 104 71 60 57

Autographed

Autographed

Q
Quinn Hawley Quintin Berry 15 5

R
Rami Lakkis Randy Coven Randy Kertz Autographed Raul Amador Ray Riendeau Reggie Washington Autographed Reggie Worthy Riaan Hefer Ricardo Rodriguez Autographed Richard Bodkin Richard Sims Richard Wallenburg Rico de Jeer Rika Hebrst Roald Nel Rob Dakiniewich Autographed Rob Gourlay Rob 'Acebass' Perl Robbie Sanna Autographed Rob OBrien Ronald John Pillay Ronnie W. Dalesio Autographed Ross Pickford Roy Melville Autographed (Page 119) Roy C. Vogt Rudy Sarzo Rufus Reid Ryan Norton 84 104 4 85 15 34 46 138 46 59 25 131 132 85 34 51 24 18 55 78 67 117 15 48 52 32 12 54

S
Sammy Webber Sander Huiberts Autographed (In Gallery) Schalk Joubert Autographed Scott Hubbell Scott Kungha Drengsen Scott Pazera Seamus Doyle Sergio Groove Sharlafunk Shaun Dutton Shaun Moseley Shaun Johannes Autographed Shaun Scott Autographed Simon Cox Simon Goulding Simone Vignola Siyabonga Ngubane Skip Hartman Stanley Clarke Stef Neumeyer Stefan Held Stefan Henrico Stefan Redtenbacher Autographed 102 50 100 35 29 14 30 57 126 60 14 83 63 73 99 31 65 141 11 78 52 21 108

Steve Adelson Steve Bailey Steve Crozet Steve Doner Steve Gee Steve Rodby Steve Swallow Steve Walters Stewart McKinsey Sting Stuart Hamm Stuart Krahn Stuart Watkins Sue Both Fourie Sue Condie Stephenson

Autographed Autographed

Autographed

132 6 7 97 88 8 114 84 61 10 10 98 73 58 36

T
Tammy Wilson Taylor Thabang King Moshoeshoe Theo Josias Theo Klassen Tiens van Zyl Tim Bogert Tim Seisser Todd Johnson Autographed Tom Genovese Tom Kennedy Tommie Rademeyer Tony Reeves Tony Saunders Tony Scelba Autographed Tony Senatore Autographed Tony Vaughn Trevor Muller Trevor Smith Trip Wamsley Trish Bailey 18 75 126 80 42 90 101 14 42 22 79 62 134 55 66 16 19 25 75 91 70

V
Vail Johnson Valery Bashkov Vaughan Ross Vernon Hodgetts Vic Bergh Victor Bailey Victor Denson Angulo Victor Masondo Victor L. Wooten Vincenzo Maurogiovanni Virgilio Venditti Vuyani Wakaba Autographed 104 45 66 24 73 7 91 19 12 88 87 47

Autographed Autographed Autographed

W
Wan Abdullah Wan Salleh Wayne Fox Wes Watson Wesley Chetty Wilbert van Niekerk Willem Perold Willem Samuel William Japhta William Maxwell William Slimmerts William Teags Autographed Winton Palmer 24 21 133 103 47 36 115 65 60 33 7 15

Y
YoYo Buys Yves Carbonne Autographed 24 18

Z
Zeljko Zelle Glamocanin Zuzo Moussawer 115 21

Introduction We all know the big boys like Fender, Gibson, Rickenbacker and Ibanez etc. What really intrigues me,
however, are the passionate individuals building customized instruments for those fortunate enough to afford them. Many of these people are at the cutting edge of their craft, some meticulously making as few as 50 instruments annually. This section is devoted to those people: the so-called boutique bass builders. One thing that I absolutely love about the building of basses is that theres such diversity in thought as to what the ideal bass should be. Weve witnessed the dense plastic/wood composite creations of Ned Steinberger, the graphite instruments of Status and Modulus, the Dan Armstrong plexiglass basses of the 70s that have recently been re-issued, the all-wood Warwicks and now the mixture of wood and aluminium that Square One Guitars has recently designed. In the 70s we witnessed the aluminium necked Travis Bean bass and the not-too-dissimilar bass that Kramer made at the same time, with the ebonal (their secret formula) fingerboard I could imagine these instruments to have been a bit of a handful at festivals in the wintertime especially if you were a root peddler back then youd run the risk of your thumb getting stuck to the neck!!! These days weve seen the emergence of the fan fret layout. Sheldon Dingwall is flying the flag proudly in this area. We have also witnessed the development of the neck-through-body designs as opposed to the bolt on or glued in neck variations, and then there are the headless designs that make for more compact traveling companions. Whatever path you decide to take, one thing is certain. If you are fortunate enough to be able to afford a custom made bass, you will either already be fairly knowledgeable as to the makings of a good instrument, or youll have to commit yourself to a steep learning curve. You dont just put down a deposit and come back a few months later to pick up a finished instrument! A great deal of interaction is required between the musician and the luthier, from the selection of the raw materials to the finishing off and setting up of the completed instrument. What scale length are you looking at? 33,5, 34, 35. or even 36 inches? What string-spacing? 19mm, 18mm, 17,5mm or even less? Active or passive electronics? What type of woods should be used? Jan Olof-Strandberg, a good friend of mine, once did quite an extensive study of the sound quality of certain woods. Quite surprisingly, he found that the exotic grained woods actually detract from the sound, and that it was the plainer grained woods that actually produced the superior sounds. Very interesting indeed!!!! I asked this selection of luthiers to give me half a page of text, covering why and how they each got involved in the bass building business, their philosophies on bass building, their wood preferences and preferred construction methods. Not everything was addressed but the following pages will give you some insight into the World of the Bass builder.

Sander De Gier
I got into building for fun. I played guitar and
wanted to build my own one. I went to get some training from another luthier. When the training was half done, I was ready with my guitar. He probably recognised talent and offered me a job. I worked for him for a year. Then I started my own business. It was very small at first, mainly repairs and custom guitars. After a few years, I started with my own designed guitars. Word got around and I got orders. Eventually that grew out to where we are now, 3 people working here, mostly building our own models. We do everything here. Woodworking, finishing, etc. I'd like to deliver a perfect instrument. We choose the wood carefully and work very concentrated. The lacquer we use has been chosen after more than 10 years of experimenting to get it just right. As far as sound is concerned - we may have a slightly different approach than other luthiers. You always need to get used to an instrument - and the ears and needs of players are continually growing. So we try to deliver a guitar that sounds just great, but we know that eventually the customer might want to change pickups or so. So we are not concerned too much about that. For every sound that exists, there is someone out there who loves it. But when it comes to playability and construction, it just has to be perfect and, of course, look perfect. A guitar that looks great is inviting to play. When it plays easy, it makes you feel you can reach higher. So a guitar must inspire you. Great looks are very subjective of course, so we always let the customer decide. One prefers relic and another prefers high gloss, clean and neat. But nobody likes sloppy fretwork or an uncomfortable neck. So basically that's my philosophy. Try to get it as perfect as possible, but with the humble acknowledgment that the customer might want to change something after a while. When picking a guitar from the shelf, you know what youre buying but when you have a custom guitar made for you, there is always an element of surprise. I can perhaps get 80 or 90 % close to what a customer hears in his or her head, expressed through words to me, then translated to wood again. But for a little bit he just has to wait and see.

Bill Conklin
I build basses for many of the same reasons most bassists play.
For me, it is a creative outlet; a way for me to express my artistic passion much like a musician writing and recording songs. Hopefully the material that I design and create will make an emotional connection with enough like-minded bass players to allow me and my business partner to eek out a respectable living. But it's not about the money. We honestly do this because we love it and we pour our heart and soul into each process. There is a sense of spirit with the wood that inspires us to make the best use out of each piece and then pass our creation on to another type of artist so they can use it to do great things. I have always run my business on the philosophy that there is no right or wrong way to build an instrument; sure you have the core principles of scale length and string tension, etc. that must be adhered to, but beyond that, there are no rules and therefore, I am continuously thinking of ways to innovate, simplify and improve. I've always kind of preferred bolt-on neck construction because it seems to be a little more forgiving in terms of allowing us the freedom to be more experimental with sound chambers and hollow bodies, unique tops and pickguards, neck heels and neck angle and the installation of various hardware and electronics componentry. In the end though, it's up to the customer and we are fully prepared to build it just the way they want it. I love to get creative with different species of wood and different types of figure and colours within the wood. Nowhere is that more apparent than in our exclusive "Melted" tops, fingerboards and headstock caps. This is a process where we carefully select the most beautiful examples of 3 to 5 different woods and then meticulously cut and join them in such a way that they form gorgeous flowing patterns, or as we like to say, "organic graphics". Sometimes we just make a stunning top out of the "melted" woods and other times we may continue the pattern all the way through the fingerboard and headstock cap for a truly spectacular effect.

Michael Pedulla
After receiving his BM degree as a classically trained
violinist, Michael Pedulla moved to Massachusetts and set up shop as a repair tech and builder in 1975, repairing and building a myriad of instruments from acoustic guitars to banjos. Having repaired basses for professional bassists Mark Egan and Tim Landers, Michael took a specific interest in the need for the extension of what was then mostly a one bass world for players, a new tool that would allow the bassist to play what was in their head, a tool to keep up with the demands of the new music, and the new era of bass playing. Thus the MVP/Buzz was born. The design and execution process has always been focused on tending to the specific acoustic tone of each and every instrument, coupled with the ergonomic needs of the bassist to facilitate their technique. With the use of different woods, various neck designs, hardware and electronics, the acoustic color of the sound could be manipulated, which led to the full line of the current five models: MVP/BUZZ, Thunderbass/Thunderbuzz, Thunderbolt, Rapture, and the Nuance, each having their own unique character. All designs are original, the art of reproducing existing instruments never interested Michael. Michael maintains that there is a difference between a bass and an instrument (perhaps from his classical training), a view that has guided his building philosophy. The bass is the sum of its physical parts, design, ergonomics, and performance. An instrument is more, it has an energy that comes from the builder and the player, allowing one to transcend inherent limitations of the bass and the player, they become one. To that end, Michael has returned to building each and every bass himself, 100%. With decades of experience, and a well formed technique and art, Michael imparts a piece of himself in each and every instrument he builds. There can always be room for improvement, every day, no matter what the level of achievement becomes that is the challenge, in instruments and in life. I love building basses and cant imagine doing anything else.

Anthony Olinger
I started playing bass during freshman year in college
and absolutely loved the instrument. By my senior year, I realized my musical abilities were being limited by my mid-level bass. Being a broke college student I couldn't afford the bass I wanted, so decided to try building one myself. By the time I graduated I had a new handmade bass that played like butter and a newfound passion for lutherie. I started Xylem a couple years later and began making basses and guitars in our kitchen full time (a.k.a. my new dream job). A truly excellent bass is not an entirely separate entity it becomes an extension of yourself whenever you play. A bass should be infinitely responsive and comfortable, play effortlessly, and inspire its player to evolve as a musician. It is a precise, refined tool for the master craftsman who shapes and polishes soundwaves. These are the basses I believe in building, as they can benefit not only their musicians, but the music itself. I design my basses to be lightweight, balanced in sitting and standing position, and easy to maintain in playing condition. Every glue joint, contour and measurement is important when making a bass that will stand up to time and world tours, without straining your hands or back. I choose woods for their stability, weight, durability and how they complement a particular bass design. Precision fretwork is essential, it determines how low you can set the action, which has a huge impact on the abilities of your fretting hand. I strive for elegant design, so I'm always looking for simpler, more effective solutions, with an ambition to revolutionize the bass guitar design. I'm also going to keep my basses available to musicians who have more talent than money. Part of the reason why I am a luthier is the huge satisfaction I get from giving bass players the tools they need to attain their musical ambitions. Not enough high-potential bass players realize how essential a good instrument is to attaining their musical goals.

Ado Roza
When I was a child, along with my brothers and all the children of the
neighbourhood, we used to have fun, building our own toys. Empty (wooden) apple boxes, discarded plastic packs, and vegetable oil cans could all be transformed into little boats, cars and, eventually, musical instruments. At that time, we could beat them as a drum, fill them with sand to shake and on rare occasions, the cans would get a wooden neck (with matches as frets and pins as machine heads), which were stringed with fishing nylon, to sound just like an acoustic guitar (they didn't.!). But very "exotic sounds" used to come out from those instruments that never were in tune. No problem! We weren't musicians as well.......... yet! This was my first approach to the art of playing and constructing instruments. Today, Brazilian children (maybe World-wide!) should enroll on courses to learn how to play with creativity..! We made toys like kites, home-made scooters, can drums etc. Nowadays, the kids ask their parents go to buy them toys in the shops avoiding the creative (and the apprenticeship) process. In my history, the phenomenal Black Sabbath's Terry Geezer Butler and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones were the first bass guitarists to lead me to listen to the acoustic upright Jazz players like Ray Brown, Scott La Faro, Eddy Gomes, Charles Mingus, Oscar Petiford etc. Rock led me to Jazz. Later, Stanley Clarke and Jaco were to show me that the evolution wasn't anywhere near finished yet. Today nothing surprises me. I think that I was ready for Victor Wooten and Charlie Hunter!! Who knows what else will come in the years ahead!! In the last few years, I've being playing, fixing and developing my own techniques in construction using specific tools. The result is that I started to build my own instruments. Besides this, I guess that I build basses because I play bass too and so bassists tend to trust me more for building their axes. Sometimes, musicians want me to sell my own privately owned basses to them so I offer them a custom made one! This is the advantage that a luthier, instead of a large company, can offer to a performing musician. A real custom made and sometimes an original instrument. Each instrument for me is just like a son, "I almost don't want to deliver to my customers.

Why I Play Bass

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Why I Play Bass

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