Bassically speaking – Robert Dowell

I primarily play fingerstyle, and I often arpeggiate chords while adding syncopation to accompany a drummer. I play four- and five- string basses. For gigs I use a four-string, as the weight of five is a bit much, although I love the option of having three octaves close together. As a musician I play slap, although in my band I haven’t wanted or needed to yet. The secret of playing bass well is practice, live experience, groove, theory and playing the right notes.

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My first bass was a black Stagg, which is a good starter instrument I guess. So far, I have owned only four basses, but my 2004 EB Music Man Stingray 5 is my favourite. It features an ash body with black scratch- plate – gorgeous. The greatest bass player that ever lived? I know it’s popular and my answer is clichéd, but due to him being an early influence to me, I would say Flea. I am not a huge fan of slapping, but I found myself drawn to his unique melodic playing… but is he the greatest ever, technically speaking? Probably not. If I could get the bass tone of any album ever released, I would choose A Family Affair by Christian McBride, specifically the ‘Or So You Thought’ solo.

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