The Bass Faces Archive
Three years after producing his acclaimed debut as a solo bass guitarist, Zander Zon returned with his second session, Saturn Return, in April 2013. Included on his latest 10-track collection are six new compositions for unaccompanied bass guitar, three orchestrations, as well as an inventive adaptation of Johann Pachelbel's classic Baroque work, "Canon In D." Having emerged only a few years ago through his captivating video performances on YouTube, today Zander is recognized as one of the most notable contemporary solo bassists who continues to explore new sonorities through altered tunings and expand the repertoire of solo bass music. ... Read More!
After years of receiving countless requests from bass enthusiasts seeking to study his methodologies, techniques, and grooves, Norm Stockton has produced a new educational resource. In March 2012, Stockton launched The Art Of Groove at ArtOfGroove.com. Featuring an online database of Stockton's acclaimed teaching curriculum including almost seven hours of instruction from his Grooving For Heaven video series, 60-lesson groove course, and hours of tutorials demonstrating practical application to spark your creativity and expand your musical development, The Art Of Groove offers unlimited streaming access and the opportunity to interact with Stockton through live online events scheduled regularly throughout the year. ... Read More!
Shortly after obtaining his Professional Music Diploma from Berklee College of Music in 1990, Boston bassist Paul Rogalski relocated to Colorado where he played in various regional groups before forming Mojomama in 2002. Nearly a decade later, Mojomama is a mainstay of the Colorado music scene and continues to perform their fusion of rock, funk, and soul music at clubs and festivals around the state. Mojo's Music Academy is a teaching facility that was founded by Rogalski in 2007. It is the area's premier institution for the advancement of music performance. In addition to overseeing the direction of Mojo's popular summer programs, Rogalski regularly schedules concerts, recitals, clinics, and workshops at his academy featuring distinguished instructors and visiting artists such as Michael Manring, Doug Johns, and Chuck Rainey. He also hosts some of the largest annual bass events in the Midwest including the Mile High Bass Camp and the Rocky Mountain Bass Slam. ... Read More!
Before relocating from their native Brazil to the United States in 2011, Ebinho Cardoso and Sergio Groove were widely acknowledged for their innovative styles and technical virtuosity in the Brazilian bass community. As instructors, they have authored numerous titles in print and video formats which document their methodologies. Now residents of the Boston music scene, this acclaimed bass duo maintains a busy performance schedule and leads workshops at bass events throughout the New England area. In 2010, Cardoso and Groove formed the Elements Bass Trio, an all-bass showcase with Grant Stinnett. Released in October 2011, their self-titled collaboration features an assortment of 10 tracks composed for solo bass guitar and arrangements for bass trio. ... Read More!
In February 2010, two years after recording and posting his first performance on YouTube, Zander Zon issued his debut production as a solo bassist. Featuring cinematic melodies, expressive soundscapes, and classical to contemporary influences, Sonorous contains a selection of 10 compositions for unaccompanied bass guitar. Before the release of his first solo project, Zon captured the attention of bass enthusiasts around the world and built a massive online audience which resulted from a series of popular solo bass videos on YouTube. On those videos, Zon performed original pieces along with a variety of arrangements spanning from Johann Pachelbel's "Canon In D Major" to Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven." Besides showcasing his music through videos that he regularly uploads to his YouTube channel, Zon plays frequently throughout the London area at events ranging from house concerts to legendary venues such as the Troubadour club. ... Read More!
After dedicating over 25 years to performing in local, national, and international venues, Doug Johns has developed and refined his own brand of horn-injected funk which merges virtuoso technical facility with sophisticated compositional skills. On the stage and in the studio, Johns has worked with the likes of Victor Wooten, Neil Zaza, Dweezil Zappa, Steve Smith, Buddy Miles, and many other notable artists. A couple years removed from the release of his acclaimed and self-titled debut as a solo artist in 2006, Johns produced Pocket Fulla Nasty, a groove-induced showcase of 11 tracks featuring an electric fusion of funk, jazz, and R&B styles. ... Read More!
Ever since the advent of the 6-string bass guitar, bassists have expanded the traditional role of the electric bass with new sonic textures. At the forefront of the extended range movement is Todd Johnson. Over the past two decades, Johnson has continued to refine his distinct performance style through the utilization of innovative chordal techniques by arranging popular standards from the jazz repertoire and original compositions for unaccompanied bass guitar. Assisted by Berklee College of Music professor Jim Stinnett, Johnson's latest production, Fishin' For Grips, is the first instructional DVD to present the application of melodic harmonization on electric bass. This 84-minute DVD/book package is an indispensable resource for the contemporary study of chordal vocabulary on bass guitar. ... Read More!
With the release of their self-titled collaboration, Project M features a non-traditional quartet of bassists including Michael Manring, Jim Stinnett, Rob Gourlay, and Grant Stinnett. Accompanying a 10-track audio CD of original compositions, is a 92-minute DVD, Making Project M, which contains a behind-the-scenes look at the recording process in the studio along with interviews and demonstrations. Individually, each member of Project M has produced their own bass-fronted endeavors. Through his virtuoso technical innovations, Michael has completely redefined the function of the bass guitar as an unaccompanied instrument by merging all of the contemporary bass techniques with his unparalleled utilization of the EBow, harmonics, and altered tunings. ... Read More!
A musical prodigy since her early childhood, Esperanza Spalding had become the concertmaster of her local community orchestra in Portland, Oregon by the time she was 15 years old. Through the encouragement of her high school band director, Spalding began playing bass and left high school a year later to enroll in the music program at Portland State University. ... Read More!
Equally versed at solidifying grooves, blowing lyrical solos, and providing chordal textures on his 6-string bass, Damian Erskine showcased his extraordinary level of musicianship with the release of Trios, his debut as a leader, in February, 2007. As the nephew of world-renowned drummer Peter Erskine (Weather Report), Damian spent much of his childhood surrounded by many legendary musicians. In addition to the degree he earned from Berklee College of Music, Erskine has studied privately with bassists including Marc Johnson, Victor Wooten, Reggie Hamilton, and Kai Eckhardt. Erskine maintains an active presence in the club scene and performs regularly at festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest. ... Read More!
From sold out soccer stadiums in Mexico to packed arenas in Asia and abroad, Jonni Lightfoot has toured extensively throughout the world since becoming a member of Air Supply in 2001. Lightfoot, a native of Salt Lake City, performed before 175,000 people in 2005 as part of only the second Western group to ever play inside Cuba. Along with his bass playing duties in Air Supply, Lightfoot has also assumed the roles of the band's studio engineer and musical director. ... Read More!
Before joining the faculty of the Berklee College of Music in 1986, Jim Stinnett studied acoustic upright bass under the guidance of James Harnett of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and later attended North Texas State University in 1978 where he became a member of the critically-acclaimed 1:00 Lab Band. After concluding two years of touring with that ensemble, Stinnett continued his studies with Ed Barker of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and acquired his bachelor's degree from the New England Conservatory of Music. ... Read More!
Anthony Vitti is an associate professor of bass at the Berklee College of Music where he graduated with honors and a degree in Music Production and Engineering in 1986. After obtaining his degree from Berklee, Vitti went on to pursue a masters degree in jazz performance from the University of Lowell and then later returned to Berklee where he has been teaching within the bass department since 1989. ... Read More!
Utilizing a repertoire of innovative arrangements and contemporary techniques, Ray Riendeau has showcased his virtuoso bass playing ability on four discs including All Funked Up, Groove Therapy, Enlightenment, and Arrhythmia that he has released through his Groove Theory Records label. Before Rob Halford left to rejoin Judas Priest in 2003, Riendeau recorded two studio projects, a live double CD release, and toured around the world with the Priest frontman as a member of the band Halford. Besides his work with Halford, Riendeau is acknowledged for his contributions alongside highly-revered guitarists such as Gary Hoey, Greg Koch, and Neil Zaza. ... Read More!
On his acclaimed 2004 debut solo project, Mad Science, Steve Jenkins established himself as one of today's brightest up-and-coming electric bassists by merging serious bass chops and a sophisticated sense of melody within the context of groove-oriented compositions. While a student on scholarship at Berklee College of Music, Jenkins honed his advanced technical proficiency through his studies with renowned bass instructor and long-time faculty member, Bruce Gertz. ... Read More!
After years of percussion-related studies that were pursued on the college level with the intent of becoming a band director, Brady Muckelroy turned his attention to bass guitar. By fusing his previously-acquired percussion experience with the harmonic and melodic potential of alternately-tuned fretted and fretless electric basses, Muckelroy found his voice as a solo bassist. Since 2001, Muckelroy has released two recordings as a leader, Brady Muckelroy Live (2004) and Too Much Coffee (2001). As a soloist, Muckelroy has toured throughout the United States and has performed at bass events such as BassUp! and the Bozeman Bass Bash. ... Read More!
Whether recording as a solo artist, performing as a member of E.M.P. Project, or touring as a sideman, Joseph Patrick Moore has demonstrated the diversity of his musical prowess across a broad spectrum of musical genres while utilizing acoustic upright, electric, and fretless basses. Moore's fascination with music began at a young age. With encouragement from his family, Moore started playing alto saxophone at age eight before switching to drums and then later bass in high school. Following high school, Moore attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) on a full scholarship to pursue double and electric bass studies with a major in both classical and jazz performance. ... Read More!
Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, bassist Chris Tarry has firmly established himself amongst his contemporaries as both an award-winning leader and a sideman on a global scale. Over the past decade, Tarry has appeared on a collection of recordings with artists that span a wide range of musical genres and has participated in tours extending from one end of North America to the other and abroad. ... Read More!
On October 7, bassist Jeff Schmidt of San Rafael, California was declared the winner of the first Bass Extremes International Contemporary Solo Bass Competition. Before a live audience and an all-star panel of judges including bass greats Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Anthony Jackson, Will Lee, and drummer Gregg Bissonette, Schmidt performed three compositions for unaccompanied bass guitar at Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. "If this competition was about who could display the best knowledge and application of music theory, I wouldn't have been there. ... Read More!
"It's been over 50 years since the electric 4-string bass was invented, and it's time to see what else we can do," exclaims extended range bassist Al Caldwell. Although extended range basses have existed for several decades and innovators such as Anthony Jackson and John Patitucci are widely recognized for their pioneering efforts on 6-string bass, it has only been within the past few years that playing extended range basses consisting of 7 or more strings has greatly increased in popularity amongst those bassists who feel they are confined by the physical limitations imposed on 4-string instruments and are really seeking to expand the boundaries of those concepts which have been traditionally labeled as conventional. ... Read More!
I was born in England in 1966 and began studying classical guitar at age 12 with the help of big names like Julian Bream, Philip Candelaria, and Paco de Lucia. My private guitar instructor was very into sending his students to master classes where the players of the day made clinic-like performances at music universities and colleges and then instructed members of the group and class. I first started playing bass in high school in North America with the school band because the music we were playing had little or no parts for guitar. We were doing jazz standards like "A Night In Tunisia." In high school, I met a few guys that were putting together a band and needed a bass player. I joined the band and used the school's Fender Precision bass and a big bulky Peavey amp. ... Read More!
Raised in a small town in Utah, I always had an ability for music. Playing piano by ear as early as age three, my life with music has been as familiar as my life with English. When I was fifteen years old, I was "discovered" by my high school band teacher. The band teacher handed me an electric bass along with a bass book and showed me to the practice rooms. I fell in love with the instrument, started playing double bass, and practiced both for six to eight hours a day. ... Read More!
I was born in Seattle, Washington but spent most of my early years in the green mountains of Vermont. There was always a lot of music in our home. My sister played piano, and my brother played drums. My dad had a part-time vending business, and we often had a jukebox blasting music in the kitchen. Music was everywhere, and I was blessed with incredibly supportive parents. I started playing guitar in 6th or 7th grade and loved it immediately. There was never a question about what I wanted to do with my life. My first lessons were uninspiring and taught me more about how not to teach than how to play. This would be a huge motivator to try and inspire my own students in later years. ... Read More!
I was born in Alexandria, Virginia and raised in the south east part of Washington, D.C. I received my first guitar when I was twelve years old and began playing bass by age fifteen. When I attended Oxon Hill high school, I began to take music courses. I went on to study jazz at the University of Miami and studied audio engineering at Omega Recording Studios. Some of the first artists that I identified with musically were James Brown and Stevie Wonder. From an early age, I was drawn mostly to the lower frequencies in the music spectrum. This led me to take inspiration from bassists such as Larry Graham, Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Mark Adams from the group Slave, Bootsy Collins, Louis Johnson, and a host of others. ... Read More!
I grew up in the woods of Oregon. My father drove a logging truck and played country-western music nightly. While I do not think of my youthful music education as formal, it was extensive. I began fooling around with the guitar at age seven, and my dad taught me to play "The House Of The Rising Sun." For the next few years, I dabbled with the guitar, bass, and drums. My musical memories are not clear until the age thirteen, when I got a new Gibson 335, and really started practicing. I began at this time to work, playing gigs regularly with my father as well as a few guys in a rock band. I bought an Epiphone bass from a neighbor for fifty bucks, and soon began to play guitar and bass in high school bands. At this time, my influences were quite varied. ... Read More!
I was born in Sweden. I started taking piano lessons when I was age six but switched to violin at nine because I wanted to play a portable instrument. My dad has a great appreciation for classical music and is an amateur pianist so classical music was always around me. My older sister supplied ABBA, Blondie, and Swedish top 40. When I discovered "Yesterday" by the Beatles, I began to develop a more serious interest in music. ... Read More!
I was born in Vienna, Austria in 1968. From 1987-1995, I studied music and physical education at the University of Vienna and graduated with a Master's degree in music in 1995. I studied jazz bass at the Conservatory of Music in Vienna and earned a Professional Certificate from B.I.T. at Musicians Institute in 1997. While at B.I.T., I had the opportunity to study with Steve Bailey, Alexis Sklarevski, and Todd Johnson. I have also taken private instruction with Gary Willis, Dave Carpenter, James Genus, and Rocco Prestia. In 2001, I began work on my first solo project, and in 2002, I returned to B.I.T. as an instructor. My debut recording, A Bass Bolero, was released in 2004. ... Read More!
I am a bass player living and working in Los Angeles, California. I started playing bass in high school but didn't take it seriously until I joined a band called The Brood. One day at rehearsal, the guitar player played Allan Holdsworth's Metal Fatigue for me. I was floored. The music had the energy of rock but with sophisticated harmonic and rhythmic structures. I knew immediately that this was the kind of music I wanted to play. I decided it was time to get serious and enrolled in B.I.T. While there, I was lucky enough to hook up with Gary Willis for private lessons outside of school. Willis really helped me focus on what it was I wanted to do on bass. I studied with Willis from 1987-1993 and still take lessons from him when he's in Los Angeles. ... Read More!
I am a freelance bass player working out of Los Angeles, CA. Like a lot of bass players, I started at a very early age on other instruments including piano at age eight, trumpet at age ten, and guitar at twelve. I was also a vocalist in the church choirs where my father was a Baptist minister all around the state of Kentucky. My musical "ear" came from my mother and father who both sang well and played piano by ear. I was doing family vocal trios in church by age four and then quartets when my little brother joined two years later. By high school, I was singing bass in the choir. The first time I picked up a bass guitar I was sixteen years old and played "Crocodile Rock" with my garage band. ... Read More!
I am a bassist and composer located in Colby, Kansas, a three hour drive east of Denver, Colorado. I grew up in rural Colorado where my first exposure to playing any type of instrument came in the form of the dreaded piano lessons. I also started playing trumpet in the fifth grade. The switch from the dark side happened when I stumbled across an old P-bass in the school's music room closet. ... Read More!
As funny as it seems to me now, my first love was not music. I had my heart set on becoming a painter. My room and almost everything I owned was covered in my doodlings. I didn't feel right unless I was engaged in my next endeavor to create the "perfect" masterpiece. To me, drawing and painting were the ultimate means of expression. Growing up, my household was very unmusical. Most of the music I was exposed to came blaring from the television. Occasionally, I would hear 80's pop tunes creeping from under the closed door of my brother's room. My other brother was into hip-hop (a genre just hitting the scene), but he too did not want to share! ... Read More!
I'm a bassist and composer currently residing in Portland Oregon. I started my career in my 20's, a bit late compared to the norm. After 10 years of rock, the jazz side of my playing began to evolve, and I've been immersed in the more contemporary (electric) side of that style ever since. My first serious studies were with Steve Rodby, bassist with Pat Metheny. ... Read More!
I'm a bass player and singer-songwriter working out of Toronto. I started playing bass when I was 15. I had already studied piano for a few years and some trumpet (unhappily) in high school. For Christmas, I got a cheap 4-string and immediately started an original band with some school friends. We learned some covers, wrote our own music, got some opening gigs in clubs and also played talent shows and school dances. ... Read More!
I'm a bassist and a composer. I work in a wide variety of musical settings. I've released four independent jazz/bass recordings and have also appeared on many recordings by various artists. I perform and record with my own group as well as various artists. I have toured with Col. Bruce Hampton and the Fiji Mariners, BlueGround UnderGrass, Leo Nocentelli (The Meters) and have performed/jammed with: Oteil Burbridge, Rob Wasserman, Jimmy Herring (the Dead), Derek Trucks, Shawn Lane, Jeff Sipe, Jon Fishman (Phish), Mike Gordon (Phish), John Popper (Blues Travelers), Tinsley Ellis, JoJo Herman (Widespread Panic), Gil Scott Heron, James Williams, Donald Brown, and many others. ... Read More!
I just finished a solo album called View. It was released on October 28, 2003. If someone told me in my youth that I'd be releasing a solo album, as a bassist, with the kinds of players on it playing the kind of music that's on it, I wouldn't have believed them. This is all really confusing to me. I had to stay after school in the 3rd and 4th grade to learn how to cut with scissors because I had issues with fine motor coordination. So, naturally I became a bassist, first on upright at age 10 and then on electric at 13. I really loved the piano. Bass was a hobby, an easy way to get into playing along with records. You couldn't play piano along with most Led Zeppelin tunes. ... Read More!
I started playing the bass guitar when I was thirteen. My first instrument was actually 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. ... Read More!
I began my musical studies on classical guitar at the age of six. My interest in electric bass began at age 12 when a "friend brought over this guitar with really fat strings." What drew me to the instrument was the sound. Bass is, to me, a wonderful combination of power and beauty. My early influences include Chris Squire and Geddy Lee (I still often play keys with my bass pedals!), but it was a 1977 Weather Report concert with Jaco that really opened my ears to the possibilities of the instrument. Since then I have played in a wide range of ensembles including orchestras, jazz ensembles, rock, celtic, blues, metal bands, pop and country groups, various duets, and even as a solo bassist. ... Read More!
When I began playing electric bass in the mid-eighties, it was the popular rock and metal bands that first inspired me. But, in high school I took my first music theory class and was introduced to classical, jazz, and the music of Jaco Pastorius. After that, everything changed. I wanted to develop a deeper understanding of music and was fascinated by the melodic potential and subtle range of expression that is possible on the bass. ... Read More!
I started playing in April of 1982. My father was a band director whose school had a Peavey T-40 bass and TNT 100 bass amp that weren't being used. He brought them home and got me some lessons with a family friend, and I was off from there. My first bass heroes were Paul McCartney and John McVie. From there I went on to: Geddy Lee, John Taylor, Curt Smith of Tears for Fears, Brad Lang of ABC, Del Palmer, Tony Butler, John Giblin, Mick Karn, Percy Jones, Steve Harris, Martin Turner, John Entwistle, Tony Lewis of The Outfield, Steve Swallow, Jerry Peek, Anthony Jackson, Sting, Guy Pratt, Tony Levin, Michael Manring, Jimmy Johnson, Abe Laboriel, and tons of non-bass players like Alex de Grassi, Will Ackerman, Arvo Part, Tuck Andress, and others. ... Read More!
I live in the Belgrade, Montana area with my wife and our three children. My father is a drummer. I always wanted to play drums so badly! When I was a youngster, he bought me a guitar at a garage sale. Then, he said if I learned to play it, he would buy me a drum set because I wasn't allowed to touch his set. I did learn to play drums. I used to trace the shadows of his cymbals on cardboard so that I could replace everything the way it was, and he could tell just by sitting down to play if I had been messing with them. When my mother was pregnant with me, she would attend my father's performances, and she tells me that I would kick in time to the music. I started my first band with drummer Jeremy Slead at the age of thirteen. ... Read More!
Although I started playing violin when I was in my single digits, it never took. Music seemed to be an increasingly big part of my life until high school, which is when I picked up a bass for the first time. My first gig was playing a talent show about two weeks after I got a bass, a short scale Squire Bullet. I studied with a private instructor for six months and then just scoured magazines for articles and playing tips until I left for college. ... Read More!