Bassically speaking: James Simkin

My style is classic hard rock, I try to maintain a thumping rhythm that keeps the song well grounded. It might not be flashy stuff, but for me bass is about creating a strong rhythm to hold the rest of the group together; I grew up listening to a lot of blues musicians, so I think that’s where it comes from. My favourite bass to date is my black 1979 Fender P-Bass. I’ve owned a few bass guitars in my time, but this one is in a league of its own. The flame maple neck is perfect and it plays so well, with what feels like no effort at all. Although I’m not a huge fan of signature models, I have been eyeing up the Dusty Hill signature P-Bass, and if money were no object I’d probably invest in one.

02_james simkin rough cutThe secret of playing bass well is practice, patience, self-confidence and a good ear. I find most bassists have the ability to listen to everyone else around them, which really comes in handy when songwriting. My bass heroes are Andy Fraser, Phil Lynott, the little known Fran Sheehan of Boston fame… and Cliff Williams, just for being rock solid. If I could get the tone of any album ever released, I would choose Boston by Boston. The bass tone on that record is mind-blowing. It’s so warm but never gets lost in the mix; it’s the perfect sound as far as I’m concerned.

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